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Accueil arrow newsitems arrow Simone Veil to Eurofora (Original 2010-2017) : Europe in a Transitional stage, before a New Era ?

Simone Veil to Eurofora (Original 2010-2017) : Europe in a Transitional stage, before a New Era ?

Ecrit par ACM
lundi, 03 juillet 2017

 simone_veil_at_sorbonne_conference_2010_monumental__original_photo_by_eurofora_400

*Paris (Sorbonne) 2010-Strasbourg 2017/Angelo Marcopolo/- When "Eurofora" met the 1st EU Parliament's President, Simone Veil, back on 2010 in Paris, the Famous Academician Lady, survivor of NAZI Camps, had pointed towards a New Stage in European Integration, which has not yet arrived until Today :


It was during a Political, Cultural and Economic Forum co-organized at the Prestigious "Sorbonne" University also by our collegues of mainstream Newspaper "Les Echos", (whose Director had earlier told us in Strasbourg that Both the Printed and OnLine Versions of his Media were profitable, working well, and full of potential), which had invited "Eurofora", and had chosen Veil as the Keynote Speaker, at the Concluding Day.


Polls had just revealed that Simone Veil was, in fact, the most Popular political personality, then, among French People, and well beyond. Indeed, Sorbonne's amphitheater was full.

 

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On Stage, she developped, inter alia, one of her favorite points : That, when she was Young, she had been politicaly exploited as an "Alibi", particularly as she had been "La Pétite", i.e. he Youngest, by far, in a Family almost decimated at the Concenration Camps.

Afterwards, we were Surprized to see her, suddenly, emerge out of nowhere, in a quiet Room of Sorbonne's Historic Building, that we were crossing, accompagnied by an old but athletic and tall man, who was, apparently, taking care of her, and kindly let her speak with us.


- "Eurofora" questioned Simone Veil, who was EU Parliament's President during the 1st and 2nd European Elections of 1979 and 1984, (remaining MEP until 1993), about the following Historic "Paradox" :

 

paris_sorbonne_forum_2010_simone_veil__agg_eurofora_400


- How it was possible to have Succeeded, at that Previous period, to attract a Big Majority of EU Citizens to Vote, despite the fact that European Institutions didn't have, then, any of the various, important and numerous Competences to Act, as those that EU Parliament has got during Recent Years, where, on the Contrary, Abstantions notoriously skyrocketed until recently ? (Particularly since the Controversial and UnPopular Turkey's EU bid of 1999).


>>> Simone Veil's Reply, (after carefuly giving a Thought on that matter), was quite UnExpected, and Brief, but very Dense:


  - "You know, I Think that Europe currently is, still, in a kind of Transitory stage, in Transition", Veil stressed, pronouncing her key words distintively, one by one, and in a crystal-clear way.
 

- However, when "Eurofora" asked her, also, what she thought that should be done in order to reach, asap, the Next Stage, Simone Veil declined, at least for the Time being, to give any more concrete indication on that second point, now.

 

paris_forum_sorbonne_simone_veil_start_19.09__eurofora_400


  Instead, with a Smile, she made a vague but vast Gesture with her hand, (she murmured something, almost inaudible; and not clearly registered by our Tape Recorder, that we might try to decipher), and excused herself kindly:  


  - We were, then, on Spring 2010. I.e. at a Key Moment, particularly for joint Franco-German efforts, with then French President Nicolas Sarkozy and German Chancellor Angie Merkel, mainly to Deepen EU's Franco-German "engine"'s activities, as well as to Boost €uroZone, for Stronger European Integration.

 

chapelle_de_sorbone_april_2010_conference_with_simone_veil_eurofora_400


    These Moves unfolded, rouphly speaking, all the way between January 2010 (with Elysée's Franco-German Summit in Paris, adopting a relevant Road Plan of scheduled joint Projects : Comp., f.ex., "Eurofora"'s NewsReport then, from Elysée, at : ....) ; continuing on December 2010 at nearby Freiburg, Germany, with a full Franco-German Inter-Governemental Summit, (Comp. relevant "Eurofora"s NewsReport from Freiburg, just after the neighbouring Offenburg, then :....); and evolved, Surprisingly, in the Middle of ...August 2011, at an Exceptional, Summer-Time Franco-German Summit anew at Elysée Palace, (on August 16th !), which launched the Pioneer Idea for an Ambitious "€uro-Area" Treaty, for the 1st Time in History. (See also Infra)


    + In the Meantime, just after the Entry into Force of the "Simplified" Lisbon EU Treaty, its annexed European "Charter for Fundamental Rights and Freedoms", had just Started to exist, also that Same Year of 2010, (after also a Relevant landmark EU Summit in Berlin, back on 2009: Comp. "Eurofora"/TCW's NewsReports from the spot, at ...+...), concerning obviously a Key Issue also for EU Citizens, as well as for Simone Veil's own Legacy, (who had notoriously surprized many by openly supporting Sarkozy, already as early as since the eve of 2007 crucial French Elections, that he had brillantly won. Followed also by a 2009 Joint, Franco-German+ Victory of ChristianDemocrat/EPP Parties of Merkel and Sarkozy, headed then in EU Parliament by Strasbourg's Top MEP Joseph Daul, at the 2009 European Parliament's Elections).


    The Principle of Respect due to "Human Dignity" (something certainly Dear to People as Simone Veil) became, thus, an Explicitly Recognized Value in Modern Europe, as that EU Charter extended wider the example of Post-NAZI, Modern and Democratic Germany's Constitution (Article 1st). While, as a well known (particularly at Nearby Geneva's UNO's PanEuropean headquarters) Austrian Professor in Law used to Teach also in Strasbourg's High European Studies' Institute, Human Dignity, at least according to contemporary Christian Theology, stands at the Roots of All Human Rights, (i.e. including those of the pre-existing PanEuropean ECHR, (headquartered here as part of the 47 Member States-strong CoE).


    >>> That August 2010 €uroArea Treaty's Franco-German Draft, had Ambitiously seeked to Establish the principle of 18 €uroarea's Heads of State/Government Regular Summits ...each Month (i.e. with the Same Frequency as EU Parliament's Plenary Sessions : at least 12 Times each Year !), and introduced an -often underestimated, but potentialy "Revolutionary"- clause giving to €uroArea's Leaders a very Wide possibility to Deal, in their Monthly Summts, with Any Issues, whatever, which might concern their Countries !


    The Historic Draft, was, Later-on, Restricted but collectively Adopted and Signed at the December 2011 and February 2012 European Summits in Brussels, (where, nevertheless, the initial Monthly €uroArea Summits disappeared, replaced with a much "Softer", Discretionary but Irregular possibility to convene, whenever necessary).


    The Following French President, "Socialist" Party's Francois Hollande, after some initialy Controversial Attempts to reportedly Threaten to "Freeze", or even Abolish that €uroTreaty, (which, however, were always Inspired in fact, by his "Wish to put inside that, also Something about Economic Growth", as Hollande had said to "Eurofora" in Strasbourg, already at the Eve of Spring 2012 Presidential Elections), however, at the end, Accepted its Ratification, and its subsequent entry into force, as such.


    As for new French President, Emanouel Macron, nowadays on Spring-Summer 2017, "Eurofora" had, for the 1st Time, met him at a Press Conference in Strasbourg, a Year Earlier, on September 2016, as Minister of Economy and Finances, then, when he appeared Eager to Push, (Together with his German Counterpart), for More Franco-German Integration, inside €uroArea, etc., in the foreseable Future, (for which, he wanted, then, to Launch a Public "Debate").


    This was so Obvious, Natural, and even already Widely Known, then, that "Eurofora"s Question to Macron, then, followed by his relevant Reply, Focused on a Concrete and Topical aspect of a Europe possibly revived thanks mainly to its Franco-German engine, regarding an Economy-relevant, but also GeoPoliticaly important, including even EU Values and Europe's potential Role in the World, concerning New Energy sources' Projects, (See:...).


    Meanwhile, during the Last 4 or 5 Years, European Integration had advanced Only on "Banking Union", (already Scheduled, also by a Sarkozy -Merkel Agreement, endorsed in principle by EU Summits, at least since the Beginning of 2012), as well as by the Creation of some Funds, and BEI's  greater role (Ibid), before the latest, June 2017 EU Summit in Brussels starts, at last, to mark some concrete 1st Steps towards the Creation of a potentialy Autonomous EU Security and Defense policy, (Comp.  f.ex. "Eurofora"'s NewsReport from the spot in BRX at :...), which obviously still has to be further and adequately Developed in order to really Start to play an Original and Significant Role in the World.


------------------------------------------------


=> But, What is most Important to Note, at this point Today, is that Simone Veil's above mentioned Reply to "Eurofora"s Question, remains, in Fact, much more Topical than what some might believe at First Sight :


- Indeed, by speaking about a "Transitory" Stage in European History, the Experienced 1st EU Parliament's President, MEP and twice Minister, as well as Academician, and one of the most Emblematic Figures of Post-War Europe, in Fact, indirectly but surely, pointed inevitably also at a necessary Forthcoming ... "New Stage" in European developments.

 

sorbonnes_chappelle_outer_version_conference_week_with_simone_veil_eurofora_400


+ However, any New, Higher Level of EU Integration, even if Necessary, won't succeed unless it becomes Able to Attract and Stimulate European Citizens' active support and involvement, has Warned even the Sober German Minister of Finances, the Experienced Wolfgang Schauble, speaking some time ago on EU's foreseable Future, at a Conference at the CoE in Strasbourg, together with ChristianDemocrat/EPP Party President Joseph Daul, as well as, more Recently, to "Eurofora".


>>> Today, as, Chancellor Angie Merkel notorioously stressed, in Conclusion of the recent European/Interfnational Ceremony in Honor of Helmut Kohl, at EU Parliament in Strasbourg last Saturday (See:...), 

- "Now, it's up to us, to defend the Legacy" of the Best Values that such Exceptional European Personalities entrusted us !


=> How Long will still be that frustrating, bumpy and even dangerous,  "Transitional" stage, of which spoke Simone Veil to "Eurofora", before Europe's "New Era", at last, comes ?

 

(../..)


***


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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)..
-------------------------
    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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