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Home arrow newsitems arrow Schäuble to EF after G20 Finance+EU Rome Summit's Eve: €uro to Strengthen Europe with its People

Schäuble to EF after G20 Finance+EU Rome Summit's Eve: €uro to Strengthen Europe with its People

Автор ACM
Saturday, 18 March 2017
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*Baden-Baden/G20 Ministerial Finance Summit/Angelo Marcopolo/- German Minister of Finance, Wolgang Schäuble, who Chairs now the "G20" Finance Ministerial Summit for 2017, Replying to a relevant "Eurofora"s Question, launched a Vibrant Appeal for the forthcoming EU Heads of State/Goverment Summit, Next Week at Rome, to Move towards "Strengthening Europe", closely Together with its People.

An Horizon that he Finds to be Both Achievable and Necessary, as he said, just After an Intense Experience of "Fresh", and sometimes "Hot", Global Political, Both Bilateral and Collective Meetings between Representatives of 30 Countries, (i.e. Including the "Guests"), and 10 International Institutions, Exceptionaly held, during more than 2 Days, at Baden-Baden, near the Franco-German Borders and Strasbourg, at the Same Time that the New, US President, Don Trump, was meeting, for the 1st Time, with German Chancelor Angie Merkel, at the White House in Washington DC, and sending his New Secretary of State, Rex Tillerson, to meet the Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi and President Xi Jiping at Beijing, (etc).


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Schauble is a very Experienced Twice Finance Minister, after having served also Twice as JHA Minister, who was considered as one among the possible Successors to former Long-Time Chancelor Helmut Kohl, (the Historic "Father" of the ReUnification of Germany, followed by that of Europe, in Cooperation with Schauble, from which Emerged Angie Merkel), while also being Nowadays a Close Partner and Solid Political Support to Chancelor Merkel, (whom he had advised in the Past also on Security and Foreign Policy matters). After having served also as Chairman of the Govering, ChristianDemocrat CDU Parliamentary Group at the Bundestag, Schauble has also served as President of the CDU Party in the Past. He's widely considered as Firm Supporter of European Integration, (including in its Franco-German core, Personaly living Near France with his Wife, who had Earlier said to "Eurofora" that she found Strasbourg City recently Changed).


For various Previous Statements made by Schauble in Reply to Other "Eurofora" Questions on several Topical European Issues, See, inter alia, also, f.ex. : .... + ..., etc).


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     - "Mr. President, according to your Experience, and from what you saw Today (at the G-20 Finance), in view of the (EU) Rome Summit Next Week", (on EU's Anniversary + Future), "what is your Feeling, Now, about the €uro's Future and EU Integration ?", "Eurofora" asked Schauble, joining 2 relevant Topical Issues, that he knows very well, (Comp. Supra).

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    - "The (EU) Summit on the (60th Anniversary of the) Treaties of Rome is, I think, for the Heads of States and Governements (of 2_EU Member Countries) to use this Anniversary as an issue to Show the Importance (that it has Nowadays) to Strengthen Europe", Schauble Replied to "Eurofora"s Question.


    - Because, Today, "the Integration of Europe is More Needed, than Ever !", the Experienced German Top-Minister, and currently Chairman of the International "G-20" Finance Ministerial 2917 Summit, of Key Importance for the Present and Forthcoming GeoPolitical developments, Strongly Added, Speaking to "Eurofora" just after an Exceptionaly Intensified and original Global Political Meeting here, (including, particularly, with the New US Administration's representative, Treasury Secretary, Steven Mnuchin, who made his 1st Official Visit in Europe. Comp. Mnuchin's reply to another "Eurofora" Question, during his own Press Conference, at the Conclusion of Baden-Baden's G20 Finances for 2017, at : ....).

 

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    + And, concerning the Crucial Point, of whether this Can be Achieved Now sufficiently "Together With the People", Schauble appeared Careful but clearly Positive : - "Yes, I Think so. I do Think so !", he Replied also to another, relevant "Eurofora"s Question, speaking Exclusively, before Leaving an Important and Long, Presidential Press Conference about the Official Conclusions of the "G20" Finance Ministerial 2017 Summit that he Chaired during 2 Busy Days here.


    He had, Earlier, Stressed the Need for that particularly Important, latest Point, during another Exceptional Conference, held Together with ChristianDemocrat/EPP Party's President, Joseph Daul (France), at CoE/EU Parliament Plenaries' Headquaters in Strasbourg, previously, as "Eurofora" Reminded to Schauble now, inviting him to renew his stance now, taking into account all, meanwhile, relevant developments.

 

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    "G20" Finance Ministerial Summit's official Conclusions, published during Schauble's Press Conference, speaking as its Chairman, Today (Saturday) Afternoon, stress from the outset, a Global "Agreement" to "foster Economic Resilience", and a "Determination to use all policy Tools : Monetary, Fiscal, and Structural (Reforms) - Individualy and collectively - to achieve (a) Strong, Sustainable, Balanced and Inclusive Growth", while "Global Economic Recovery is Progressing", recently, "But (with) a Pace of Growth (which) is Still Weaker than desirable, and Downside Risks (which) remain". In such a Context, "Excess Volatility and Disorderly Movements in Exchange Rates, can have Adverse Implications, for Economic and Financial Stability", so that "G20" Countries "Commit" themselves to "Refrain from Competitive Devaluations", and "Not Target (their) Exchange Rates for Competitive purposes" : I.e. something which should, normaly, enhance also €uro-Area's potential role, in the foreseable Future.


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G20 Finance Ministers 2017 logo's part on "a MultiPolar World", Nowadays pictured in Germany's Baden-Baden "KurHaus", is an Historic and Symbolic Wording able to Please both French Gaullists and China's President Xi, while it might Not be excluded also from New US President Don Trump's GeoPolitical Vision, since Many among his Popular Fans notoriously Criticise what they call "Globalists".


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The "G-20" was Initialy Created Back on late 2008, as a Tool to Help Face the Emerging, then, Global Economic and Financial Crisis. The move had been made on a joint Initiative by former French and US Presidents Nicolas Sarkozy and George W. Bush, supported by German Chancelor Angie Merkel and former Chinese President Hu Jintao (to whom, the current President Xi Jiping, served then as Vice-President), as well as by Russian former President Dimitri Medvedev, (a close Ally to the current Russian President Vladmir Putin, who had served, then, as Prime Minister), welcomed by other Leaders in Europe and the World.

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=> Thus, Economy and Finances were, right from the Start, at the Heart of the G20 in general, (while the Pre-existing G7 or G8 (currently Chaired by Italy, with a Summit scheduled on May at Bari), developed, since then, towards a More "Political" Global body.


But, in this Exceptional 2017 Year, during which an Important Political Change has recently Started in the USA, after the Latest Presidential Elections, due to be Followed, Later-on, also by Crucial French and German National Elections, (respectively on April-June and September 2017), probably to be Followed soon even by Italian Elections, while Germany and Italy are Chairing G20 an G7(8) respectively, Economic/Financial and Political Issues clearly appear as closely Interwined, and/or largely imbricated together, in real Practice.


Spectaculary Marked also by some Exceptional Top Political Meetings these Same days, key to GeoPolitical developments related to the New, Don Trump's US Administration's policies, this very "special" G20 Ministerial Finance Summit at Baden-Baden's First Day "coincided" with German Chancelor Angie Merkel's 1st visit to US President Trump in Washington DC, Yesterday Evening (Comp., f.ex. : ....), as well as with New USA State Secretary (Foreign MInister) Rex Tillerson's 1st Visit to China, to meet with Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi, (to be followed even by President Xi Jiping himself), during Baden-Baden's Global Gathering's Second Day, earlier This Morning, when, naturaly, also various "Hot" G20-related Issues were Discussed there.


The Final, Heads of State/Government G20 Summit, is due to take place in Hamburg, on July 2017, i.e. just After the forthcoming, Crucial French Presidential and Parliamentary Elections (April/May and June, respectively).


Since the 2016 UK Referendum for "BREXIT", Germany (which also holds Elections, Later, on September 2017), and France have Become more Important than ever for a eventual ReLaunch of the European Integration, Starting from its €uro-Area core.



(../..)

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People in Europe and the World expect from CoE to make a succes of its "Monitoring" for Human Rights and Democracy, despite difficulties, said Finland's President Tarja Halonen to "EuroFora" at a crucial moment for the mecanism built 15 years ago by the paneuropean organization which celebrates its 60th Anniversary in 2009.

Halonen, known as "Mother" of CoE's "Monitoring" mecanism, a long-time MEP and former Foreign Minister before becoming Finland's President, holds a long experience in the mattter, after also serving twice as CoE and EU Chairwoman in the past. That's why she is well placed to judge how CoE's "monitoring" should deal today with some crucial issues of importance both to CoE and to the EU.

The move came just a Month before a crucial, last visit to Turkey, scheduled for June, by the President of CoE''s "Monitoring" Committee, Ukranian MEP Serge Holovaty, to finalize his Report on Ankara, the CoE Member State with the longest Monitoring procedure. From its results depends its overall credibility.

This is a Test-case, because, in fact, it's in order to avoid Sanctions threatened against Turkey by a CoE's Assembly's April 1995 Resolution for grave Human Rights violations, Democracy gaps, the continuing Military Occupation in Cyprus, the unresolved Kurdish problem, Aegean differend with Greece, etc., that MEPs decided to create, for the 1st time on April 1996, a "Monitoring" proces, allegedly destinated to check, without excluding Countries who did not fulfill all CoE's standards.

In the Past, the obliged withdrawal of Greece's Military regime and of its "Civil" cover-up out of the CoE had helped bring back Democracy in 1974. But, on the contrary, since April 1996, the idea was to "monitor" Human Rights' respect while keeping most concerned Countries inside the CoE. After Turkey's oldest example, this was extended also to several former "Eastern" European Countries, even if CoE's Assembly has imposed to some of them (fex. Ukraine, Russia, etc., after Belarus, Serbia, etc) various "Sanctions", that Ankara always avoided. Curiously more succesful even than .. USA itself, (a CoE "Observer" since 1995), which has been at least threatened with sanctions some years ago..

EU-effects of CoE's Monitoring process became obvious between 2001-2008, since the "closure" of this procedure, when CoE felt that a Country had met most of its Human Rights, Democracy and Rule of Law obligations, (i.e. the "Copenhagen Criteria" for the EU), helped trigger Negotiations with the EU for "Accession" or other closer relations : This occured already before the 2004 and 2007 EU Enlargements to former "Eastern" European Countries, as well as for the commencement of "accession" negotiations with Croatia, and of "open-ended" negotiations with Turkey in 2005.

    But a stricking new development are Holovaty's recent findings that on core Human Rights issues as Torture and Freedom of Expression, Turkey, even "5 Years after" CoE closed its "Monitoring", back in 2004, inciting EU to start accession Negotiations in 2005, still presents grave problems.

    His findings are of crucial importance after a 2008 CoE Resolution called, "if need be", to "seriously consider the possibility of Re-Opening the Monitoring procedure for Turkey" : A move which might affect Ankara's controversial EU bid, since EU Accession Negotiations are based on the Hypothesis that the Candidate fullfils the "Copenhagen Criteria" (See above)..
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    Holovaty expressed his will to check  "Matters still Outstanding" and  those that he "didn't have an opportunity to discuss" at an earlier visit this year, "in order to discuss the more complex issues in greater depth", at his forthcoming New Visit to Ankara, before the December 2009 EU Summit.  This is all based on the 2004 CoE Resolution which stresses that, CoE "will continue.. post-monitoring Dialogue with the Turkish authorities,...in addition to a 12-points list,..and on any Other Matter that might arise in connection with Turkey’s Obligations as a CoE member state".

    CoE's Resolution also asks  from Turkey "to secure the proper Implementation of Judgements, particularly in the Cyprus v. Turkey InterState case", of 2001, which concerns also the plight of many Hundreds of MISSING People. It adds Turkey's obligations to "execute" ECHR's Judgements in the Loizidou case,..and in particular adopt General Measures to avoid repetition or continuation of Violations found by the Court" to the detriment of Refugees.

    Nevertheless, Holovaty said to "EuroFora" that "MISSING" persons,"might be included" and cannot be excluded, but he has yet to examine the situation "to find out  which issues will be raised" to the Turkish Government.

    Therefore, "EuroFora" asked Halonen, as the Historic "Mother" of CoE's Monitoring mecanism, if she thought that, "whenever there are grave Human Rights Violations, as fex. "MISSING" persons, attested even by ECHR's judgements, they should be always checked by a Monitoring process. Or could they be forgotten ?"
    
     - "We (CoE) must be, at the same time, Fair, Realistic, but not in the mind that "now we have Forgotten", etc., replied to "EuroFora"'s question Halonen, speaking as a matter of general principle.

    - "When we think of those People that are suffering from the lack of Democracy, of Human Rights, and of the Rule of Law", "we should find a base on how to deal with the (Monitoring) system more rapidly"', she stressed.

    - "Sometimes it's very difficult to combine Transparency and Effectivenes together, particularly in this specific case", she went on to say. But, "I have not found a (CoE Member) Country who could be insensitive in this sens", Halonen answered concerning grave Human Rights violations attested by the ECHR.

    - "I have no ready-made answer. I have the expectations that you, in the CoE, will, step by step, find the different types of the monitoring systems."

    Also "because this is a part of the UN's Post-Conflict system, (fex. when it comes to Cyprus' MISSING persons), and it's a more Global system". So that, "If we make a succes in Europe, the others will follow", throughout the World.  "But they expect that we (Europe) are this opportunity, this Opportunity to make a Succes", Halonen concluded.

    In addition, she advised to extend CoE's Monitoring to all its 47 Member States, "because, as long as we hear that, all these monitoring systems are "OK for the neighbor, but not for me", "it's very difficult" to understand. Something which could make easier to Compare...

    Finnish MEP Jaako Laakso, former CoE Rapporteur on the Occupied Territories of Cyprus and one of the 5 Signatories of the Historic CoE's call to create the "MONITORING" mecanism since 1996, was more specific :  - "We (CoE Assembly) have to find a way for the issue of Cyprus' MISSING People to be better followed", he stressed, anouncing his intention to "speak to Mr. Holovaty" about that. "There might be also other ways", added Laakso.

    - The 2008 "Year had been a very Bad one for Turkey with regard to Human Rights in general, and Freedom of Expression in particular", denounced, meanwhile, Holovaty's preliminary Post-Monitoringh Draft Report by Holovaty, published by the CoE on April 2009.

    "Amnesty International believes that freedom of expression is not guaranteed given the various articles of the Criminal Code that restrict it. .. "For example, 1,300 Websites are said to have been closed down by the (Turkish) authorities in 2008" ! While "the new Turkish Criminal Code was used to bring a total of 1,072 proceedings between June 2005 and April 2008, and led to the conviction of 192 people", for expressing views. "Representatives of the Özgür Gündem newspaper, which specialises in Kurdish affairs, ..complained about Numerous Attacks on their Freedom of Expression ...as was everyone who advocated a settlement to the question by means other than the intervention of the army" "According to their figures, 19 Newspapers had been suspended 43 times between 4 August 2006 and 4 November 2008" !...

    Moreover, on 2008,  CoE's "Ministers adopted its 4rth Resolution on the execution of the judgments of the ECHR, ...and outstanding issues regarding 175 Judgements and decisions relating to Turkey delivered between 1996 and 2008...  concerning Deaths resulting from the excessive use of force by members of the Security forces, the failure to protect the right to life, the DIisappearance and/or death of individuals, Ill-Treatment and the Destruction of property". CoE's " Ministers urged the Turkish authorities ...to ensure that members of Security forces of all ranks can be prosecuted without administrative
authorisation" for "serious crimes". Holovaty reminded.

"Nonetheless", Holovaty heard anew of "Several cases of Violence committed last year (2008) by the (Turkish) security forces". Amnesty International speaks of Many Cases of ill-treatment and Torture in the prisons and by the police". "Including, fex."'the death of Engin Ceber, a young man of 29 who died on October 2008 as a result of the TORTURE allegedly inflicted on him by police officers, prison staff and members of the gendarmerie. He was part of a group of people arrested on September 2008 during a demonstration and Press Conference in Istanbul'. Proceedings against suspects are "on-going" in this case.

- " I therefore noted an Obvious Contradiction between the Government’s stated “zero tolerance” policy.... of Torture and other forms of ill-treatment, and the different testimonies given", denounced CoE's Rapporteur.  Turkish "authorities must make considerable efforts to guarantee that proper investigations are carried out into allegations of abuses by members of the security forces and that perpetrators are effectively punished" "In this respect, I have requested detailed Statistics on the number of Investigations, acquittals and convictions in cases involving allegations of abuse in order to show the positive impact of the measures taken to date", Holovaty said, repeating a permanently unsatisfied CoE's demand to Turkey since a Decade...

    - "The Political Crisis that shook the country in the spring of 2008 highlighted the Weaknesses of the (Turkish) Constitution", which comes from the Military regime of 1982, "and the Urgent Need of Reforms", stressed from the outset CoE's Rapporteur in 2009. In particular, "the ...Democratic functioning of state institutions, including the independence of the judicial system, are crucial", he observes.

    But, "the Electoral  system and the ways in which it is circumvented do not appear to give those elected complete Legitimacy, and tend to pervert the course of direct universal suffrage", denounces Holovaty, observing that, even 5 Years later, Turkey did not yet change the 10% nationwide Threshold for a party to take any seat, which is "far higher" than the "3%" maximum in Europe and already condemned as contrary to European Standards by the CoE.

    + Moreover, EU Parliament's 2009 Report on Turkey, drafted by Dutch MEP Ria Oomen-Ruijten and adopted in Strasbourg on March, expresses "Concern over the Failure of the (Turkish) Judiciary to prosecute cases of Torture and Ill-treatment, the Number of which is Growing". EU also "is concerned about continuing Hostility and Violence against Minorities" in Turkey. It also "calls on the Turkish Government to launch, as a matter of Priority, a Political Initiatve favouring a lasting Settlement of the Kurdish issue, (while "condemning violence.. and terrorist groups"). EU "regrets that No progress has been made on establishing full, systematic Civilian suprevisory functions over the (Turkish) Military".

    The final results of Holovaty's 2nd and last visit to Turkley will be known later this year, and, at any case, before EU's December 2009 Summit.

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