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Home arrow newsitems arrow EUParliament Head Tajani to EF +French President Macron: April RDV+Citizen Debate before Decisions ?

EUParliament Head Tajani to EF +French President Macron: April RDV+Citizen Debate before Decisions ?

Автор ACM
Пятница, 23 Март 2018
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*Brussels/EU-Summit/Angelo Marcopolo/- EU Parliament's President, Antonio Tajani, speaking to "Eurofora" on the sidelines of his Press Conference during the EU Summit of March 2018 in Brussels, confirmed French President Emmanuel Macron's venue in Strasbourg Next Month, and did Not Exclude a cooperation with his Plan for EU "Citizens' Consultations", eventually Starting by that visit of Macron, who meanwhile, (apparently reacting to relevant "Eurofora"s move here : See Infra), took, afterwards, the initiative, (during his subsequent joint Press Conference together with German Chancellor Angie Merkel)) to speak about the Substance of his idea to create such Popular Gatherings all over Europe, (in a way which Brings them even Closer to "Eurofora"s 1997-mainly 2007-2018 Project) :


 - Yes, Indeed, the French President Emmanuel "Macron is due to Come on April" to EU Parliament, as things stand Now, clearly confirmed, on Wednesday, its President, Antonio Tajani, an Experienced former Twice EU Commission's vice-President, f. Top MEP and former Italian Foreign Minister, in Reply to a wider "Eurofora"s Question (See Infra), as things stand Today.


- It's on Tuesday, 17th of April 2018, that Macron is expected to Speak at EU Parliament in Strasbourg, in the Framework of an exceptional series of Hearings by MEPs of Heads of State/Government of EU Member States on "the Future of Europe", and, particularly, about the outcome of the currently on-going Franco-German Talks on the Future of €uroZone.


- Macron revealed, Later-on, Today, during his Joint Press Conference with Merkel, that he intends to Visit, Meanwhile, also Berlin, "in the Next Weeks", in order to Fine-Tune the Franco-German views mainly on Economy and €uroZone, etc. Such Franco-German Meetings are due to continue also on April, and even on May 2018, he added.


+ But, the most Important, from the point of view of "Eurofora"s above-mentioned Question to Tajani, is that the French President is Also expected, (according to other, Well Informed, French Sources), to "get out, shortly After his Speech at EU Parliament's Plenary, and go elsewhere to salute the 1st (EU) Citizens' Convention", which is due to Start in Strasbourg, that Same Day, Inaugurating a Long Series of similar Popular Events throughout all EU Countries, in the run-up to the forthcoming European Elections of May 2019, which are notoriously Planned to spread until around the End of 2018.


>>> And, indeed, the Main thrust of "Eurofora"s Question to Tajani was whether he found Both Feasible and Desirable for that Unique Opportunity of April 2018 in Strasbourg to be Seized io order to Kick-Start also a Joint Move between EU Parliament and various other Similar Popular Events, as those of EU "Citizens' Conventions", in order to Advance towards that kind of "Expression" of EU Citizens' Views on EU Organisations' Activities, and of "Regular Dialogue" between EU "Civil Society" and European Decision-Makers, as that which has been prescribed by the current EU "Lisbon" Treaty's Article 11, (since its Entry into Force, already as early as since 2010), but Not Yet really put in real Practice, at least not fully, (Comp., among others, also: ..., etc). I.e., something almost Identical to "Eurofora"s (+2007-2018) main Project for Systematic EU Citizens - Politicians Debates Before Decisions.

- Exceptionally, on this Key Point, EU Parliament President's immediate, spontaneous Reaction to that 2nd, and More Important Part of "Euforora"s Question (Comp. Supra), was to suddenly become quite Thoughtfull, but chosing, rather, Neither to immediately Confirm that, clearly and Explicitly Now, Nor to Deny any Possibility to do so in the Foreseable Future, no more : I.e., ipso-facto, in other words, Leaving that Crucial Question "Open", with a kind but somewhat mysterious-looking smile...
 
eu_parliament_president_tajani_surrounded_by_journalists_who_open_a_way_for_agg__eurofora_400


It's also true, that, in Fact, on this particular Moment, as things are going on, it's not even sure that Antonio Tajani won't become, during the Next few Weeks, eventually, the ...New Prime Minister of Italy, (i.e. entering, ipso-facto, inside EU Council), as it was, notoriously, proposed to him, Recently, by one of the main Winners of the Latest Italian Elections, including the Experienced, former 4 Times Prime Minister himself, Silvio Berlusconi, now Head of a New Center-Right Coalition, (Together with Rightist Leader of the "Lega" party, Matteo Salvini), which Succeeded to arrive at the Top of the Votes, and might, even, attract the 2nd Frontrunner, Beppe Grillo's "5 Stars" Movement, in a New Kind of Pioneer Coalition Government, (See: ...).


Given these Facts, as well as the Radical Inovation that "Eurofora"s Suggestion might inaugurate, Tajani's carefully Reserved, immediate reaction to that 2nd and Key point of our Question, (Yesterday, on Thursday), appears, at least for the Time being, quite natural, (particularly as it does not exclude anything, at this moment)...


---------------------------------
+ Macron's indirect but eloquent Reply, goes along "Eurofora" Project's query :
------------
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Suprisingly, but Logically, the Next Day, this Friday Afternoon, in Brussels, it's French President Macron himshelf who Suddenly Gave an Eloquent "Push" towards a possible, and much needed, Development, apparently Going almost entirely in the Direction of "Eufora"s above-mentioned suggestion/question to Tajani (Comp. Supra)...


Macron's move came, Unexpectedly, at the very Last moment of his Reply to one of the Exceptionaly Few (3 each) Questions allowed during his Joint Press Conference with German Chancellor Angie Merkel, on the Conclusion of the March 2018 EU Summit in Brussels, where the (almost Synchronous !) Deadly Islamist Terrorist's cowardly Attack Targetting Civilian People in France (Aude) Hindered a Normal, (usualy much Longer) Dialogue with Journalists, since it obviously had to be Cut Short, this Time, in order to give him a chance to Returng Fast enough Back in France, where Tragic Events were still evolving when that Conference started.


>>> Thus, "Eurofora"s Declared intention to Raise a Question related to Macron's wish for EU "Citizens' Conventions" throughout Europe, (Comp. Supra), which we had Transmitted by an Elysée Palace's Press Official, together with our ID, even if it could not be immediately satisfied as such, given the Short Time Available Now, in the Exceptional Context of a Deadly Terrorist Attack against Civilian People, nevertheless, seems to have helped Trigger an Interesting Reaction by the French President, who seized an opportunity given by a (partly unrelated) Different Question raised by a Collegue, (on the Conditions in which various Important EU's Top Jobs were reportedly Attributed to certain Candidates, instead of others), in order to add  a Reply (indirectly but surely) also to "Eurofora"s Query (Comp. Supra), at the End of his Last Public Declaration, just before leaving Brussels !  


Shaped as a matter of General Principle, this particular Macron's "Reply", is very Interesting, (also because he chose practically the Eve of his forthcoming Visit to EU Parliament in Strasbourg, in order to magistraly Boost Main Elements of "Eurofora"s Project) :

 - When "a Procedure has been Launched by the EU Parliament", which "raises several Questions" on Hot Topical Issues, then, "this Procedure Must be Followed" (also by Critical and Independent Observers, as, f.ex., Citizens, Journalists, etc), "and Transparency must be established, so that Decisions will be taken (only) After such a Procedure", he stressed from the outset, (on this special point).

 - For Macron, it's better to Raise Questions, establish a Procedure, and create Transparency : That's the way for things to be done, Democratically", as he characteristically Added.


- On the Contrary, "If (a Critical Question) was Censored, (swept under the carpet), as if there was nothing, that would provoque a Problem", he Warned.


 - "But, (whenever) there is a Democratic Controversy, a Journalistic Controversy : It should be Fuelled. There is a Parliamentary Debate : it should be Treated with calm. And, when all Elements of Truth will be gathered, then, Decide", Macron urged.


 - "That's the Way for a Mature Democracy to stay Alive !", he proposed. I.e., "when, in our Democracies, we have the Capacity for Controversies, and to make them thrive in a Transparent Framework".


 - "Europe" should further Develop its Historic (Comp. Macron's landmark Speech at Athen's Ancient Pnix Rock, near Acropolis, where Direct Democracy had been Invented, at: ...) Capacity to be an "Area where Democracy is living, where there are Citizens' Controversies (Polemical Debates), and Issues are approached in Transparency", he advised.


+ "Truth, and Both Journalists' and MEPs' work, are very Important, in this Framework", the French President added, going even Closer to "Eurofora"s Original (1997-2018) Idea for News-Generating Citizens' Debates before EU Decisions.


- "And that's why, (i.e.) in order to completely ReVitalize (European Democracy) ..., that I am a strong Believer in (EU) Citizens' Consultations !", Macron stressed.

 

french_president_macron_with_german_chancelor_merkel_points_at_eurofora_project_eurofora_screenshot_from_eu_council_video_400
 


=> -  "The point is for (EU) Citizens to be able to Deal with (take posession of) all Issues of importance for them, in order to Share (Express/Present) their Proposals, and Will for Change", he Explained, (with an Amazing Relevance to "Eurofora"s +2007-2018 Project for European Decision-Making process).


- It's a matter for "a Well-Functionning Democracy and Transparency" on Decicion-Making processes which are still "Evolving", he concluded.

 

(../..)


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


***


(NDLR : "DraftNews", as already send, Earlier, to "Eurofora" Subscribers/Donors. A more accurate, full Final Version, might be Published asap).


***



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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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