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Home arrow newsitems arrow CoE SG Jagland Wonders What Turkey may Seek by Threats to Reduce its Financial Contribution

CoE SG Jagland Wonders What Turkey may Seek by Threats to Reduce its Financial Contribution

Written by ACM
Wednesday, 08 November 2017
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*Strasbourg/CoE/Angelo Marcopolo/- PanEuropean, 47 Member States-strong CoE's Secretary General, Thornbjorn Jagland, former Norway's Prime Minister, speaking to Journalists in Strasbourg, including "Eurofora", during a Press-point, said that he did not yet know what was the Real Cause, and what Aim was, in fact, seeking Turkey, when it suddenly asked to Reduce its Financial Contribution to the Organisation of Strasbourg.

 

Curiously, indeed, Ankara's Government, after having asked itself, a few years ago, to be considered among the so-called "Great Payers" of the CoE, (so that there would be More Turkish MEPs in the Organisation's Assembly than in the Past, as it was, indeed, accepted by the CoE, meanwhile), all out of a Sudden, it Changed its mind, and wants Now to Pay Less Money...


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 - "I have received a Letter from (Turkish) Foreign Minister Cavusoglou, that Turkey would DisContinue being a Grand-Payer to the CoE", Jagland confimed officially.


- "We (CoE) have 6 Grand-Payers, together with the UK, France, Germany, Italy and the Russian Federation", he reminded.


 - "Now Turkey has conveyed to me that they want to get Back to the Normal Payer" status, (i.e. Pay Less to the CoE), and "we are going to have a Dialogue on this", on "How" and "When" to act. "Until it's done, I cant' say anything more" now.


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 - "All I can say is that the CoE, and particularly the ECHR, Needs all the Financial Support that it can get", especially "Because of the Many Applications coming also from Turkey and others" . "The Court has a need for such Funding", Jagland added, (indirectly, but surely, Pointing at Ankara's Authorities' Resposibilities, given the Fact that, for Years, the Biggest Number of Cases of Human Rights' Violations notoriously use to be Turkish)...


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    - "Do you think that it's a Sign that Turkey doesN't want to Respect its Commitments to the CoE" anymore ?, Jagland was asked.


    - "I have No Signs that the (above-mentioned) Letter is (such) a coup" attempt.... "It's up to the Turkish Government to Explain the contents of this Letter. It's not for me", he Carefully Replied, (apparently, however, Not Excluding Anything)...


     - Nevertheless, "I have received it, and, of course, I shall Try to Understand more of What it Means", CoE's Secretary General promised to Search to Find out.


     - "But", (at least for the Time being), "there is No Sign (yet) that Turkey has the Intention to Withdraw or Reduce its Commitments to the CoE", Jagland Negatively replied, as things stand until now.


    - "And, of course, this Decision will Not Influence at all the Judicial processes, that have already started, and may come in the Future. It will Not at all Influence Any of the Judicial Mechanisms that we (CoE) have on the Country", i.e., Turkey, CoE's Secretary General went on to add. (I.e. Warning Ankara that such Controversial Moves canNot be Exploited in order to eventually Diminish CoE's Monitoring of the situation of Human Rights, Democracy and Rule of Law nowadays in Turkey)...                                                                                                  
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    Immediately after having, Previously, Asked to become one among the 7 CoE's "Great Payers" (Comp. Supra), Turkey had also asked and got a Considerable Augmentation of the Number of Turkish MEPs inside CoE's PanEuropean Parliamentary Assembly (PACE), in Strasbourg.


    To the point that, for the 1st Time in its recent, Post Cold-War History, CoE's PanEuropean Assembly had, in fact, ended up by having a Lot of Turkish MEPs, while, by a Stange Coincidence, it had No More ...Any Russian MEP at all, since a PACE's Controversial but Influential Minority had, meanwhile, also taken a much-Disputed Decision to impose so Harsh "Sanctions" to Moscow, (f.ex. "Freezing" not only Voting, but Even Participation Rights in Top Bodies), that its MEPs were practically pushed to Refuse to Return Back to Strasbourg in such Conditions, unless their Rights were Better Respected.


    The Political Pretext for that Row, between PACE and Russia, was, obviously, the Ukranian Conflict, which has Divided the European Continent since 2014, (See, f.ex. : ... + ..., etc).


    It Resulted, recently, on 2017, by Moscow Goverment's anouncement that it was, at First, Suspending a big Part of its Annual Financial Contribution to the CoE, (2/3), until the elementary Rights of Russian MEPs would be Saveguarded. Moreover, Nowadays, Russia had just officialy anounced that it intends to definitively Cut all its Annual Financial Contribution to the CoE for 2018, for that Same Reason, (See, f.ex. : ...).


    So that Turkey's subsequent (and Different) announcement that it also Intends to Reduce its own  Annual Financial Contribution to the CoE, obviously came at a very Bad Moment for the PanEuropean Organisation.... Particularly when Ankara, Suddenly just Anounced that on ...November, which is, precisely, the Month, during which CoE uses to prepare and decide on its Budget for the Next Year (i.e., now, for 2018) !


     But, Contrary to Russia (Comp. Supra), Turkey's real Political Aim, which might Motivate or serve as a Pretext for such an UnPrecedented Move in Real Practice, is Not Yet officially known...


    What is known, however, is that the Turkish Governments use, too often, to practice various kinds of such "Blackmails" vis a vis not only Other Countries, but also various European or PanEuropean Organisations, (as the EU, CoE, etc), even NATO (f.ex. with an, UnPrecedented then, Institutional Blockade of NATO's 90th Anniversary Summit of 2009 in Strasbourg, see: ...), in order to Attempt to Obtain one or another Political Concession.


    And Ankara's Threat against CoE's Organisation for Human Rights, Democracy and Rule of Law, comes just After the EU Governments and MEPs reportedly decided to Cut 100 Million €, and "Freeze" 60 from Turkey's controversial and unpopular, so-called "Pre-Accession" Financial Aid for 2018, (i.e. practically Doubling the Amounts earlier Voted at EU Parliament in Strasbourg since October 2017), Because those Funds concerned mainly Democracy, Human Rights and Rule of Law issues, that the Turkish Authorities are, notoriously, trumpling underfeet, particularly nowadays...

 


(../..)
 



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("DraftNews", as already send to "Eurofora"'s Donors/Subscribers earlier. A more accurate, full Final Version, might be published asap.)

 
 


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Facing a 70% Abstention threat in 2009 Election, EU endorses EuroFora's idea for Citizens' debates on crucial EU decisions !

- Different views on "Europe's Future", should be debated among Citizens at June 2009 EU Elections, thanks to political Parties' "Manifestos", says EU Parliament's Report


                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                               
A main idea, initiated and promoted by EuroFora's founders since 1997: the vital need to develop European Citizens' democratic right to actively participate in multilingual debates on EU decisions, is formally endorsed by the EU from 2009 !

The move is a key attempt to overcome "catastrophic" Polls which warn that only ...30% of Citizens are ready to vote in the forthcoming June 2009 EU Election !  This was revealed by EU Commission's vice-president, in charge of Communication policy, Margot Wallstrom, during a "hot" meeting of EU Parliament's Committee on Culture and Education, during the December 2008 Strasbourg session.

Wallstrom faced criticism, but also suggestions from various MEPs, naturally worried by Abstention threats which herself found even "worse" than in 1999 or 2004...

A Report on "Active Dialogue with Citizens",examined at the same time, presented some useful practical tips, on "facilitating Interviews"; etc., but also a  potentialy important call to "incorporate the conclusions of ...debates...into (EU) policies, and take into consideration the expectations that Citizens have of the EU when deciding". An amendment even implies that Citizens' participation in debates on EU decisions is a democratic "Right".

More importantly, it finds that  a Debate "on the Future of Europe", (as French President Nicolas Sarkozy has asked since 2007), would be a good idea " for the 2009 European parliamentary Elections", because "clarifying the political differences between the EU political parties would help citizens to identify themselves with, and choose between various concepts", for which "all parties (should) present their Manifesto".

A "Joint political declaration on Communicating Europe in Partnership", co-signed by "the European Parliament, Council and ... Commission", confirms that they "attach the utmost importance to improving communication on EU issues", by "enabling European citizens to exercise their right to participate in the democratic life of the Union, in which decisions are taken as openly as possible and as closely as possible to the citizens, observing the principles of pluralism, participation, openness and transparency".

This should "enable Citizens to exercise their right to express their views and to participate actively in the public Debate on European Union issues", while also "promoting the respect of multilingualism". In this regard, EU confirms its "wish to develop synergies with national, regional and local authorities as well as with representatives of Civil Society".

    It's since 1997 that a group of EuroFora's founders have officially presented a pioneer Project (then called "EIW", for "Europe in the World"), which aimed to develop Strasbourg's "Polyphonic music", by providing "Interactive information", on "main issues ... during the Decision-making process of European Organizations which engage in Transparent and Public Democratic Debates"

    This should be done, inter alia, by "exploring the potential of New Communication Tools (mainly Internet)", as well as classic-form debates, the 1997 EIW pioneer project's anounced in its "Synopsis". It was formally "accepted for evaluation" by EU Commission in Brussels in order to be examined for a grant in the framework of the "Research/Technology/Development (RTD) Programme in the field of Information Technologies", then called "ESPRIT", as a "Best Practice Pilot Project".

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        But the vital, urgent Political need for EU to search new, efficient ways to reach the People and interact with European Citizens, was really felt in Brussels and elsewhere only after the unprecedented in History 1999 and 2004 Majority Abstention in EU Elections, followed by 3 "NO" in Referenda in France, the Netherlands and Ireland, on 2005 and 2008...
    In this New Political Landscape, we prepared a new, actualised and more developed version of our initial idea, in a simplified and more efficient form, thanks also to a large Experience accumulated during many years of EU/CoE/UNO Press work and Multi-lingual debates, with the New project "EuroFora" :

    On 2006 we presented in Public its main lines during Questions/Replies that we raised at two Press Conferences by EU Commission President, Jose Baroso, and mainly EU Commission's vice-President, in charge of Communication policy, Margot Wallstrom, together with EU Parliament's vice-president, Alejo Vidal-Quadras, in Strasbourg, (Videos available), and we reminded it at various brief contacts with Commissioner Wallstrom in 2007 and 2008.

    Meanwhile, a new Text was also presented for "EuroFora" Project mainly to certain Political and other personalities, at European, National or Regional/Local level, mainly in 2007, but also in 2008..

    Now, after the unexpected 2008 Irish "NO", and before the 2009 EU Elections, which are due to be of exceptionally crucial importance for Europe's Future, the moment has obviously come to launch that project, progressively, but in real practice.

    Whoever really cares for Europe and its Citizens is welcome to join, in one way or another. Only anti-European, anti-democratic, obscure or ignorant groups might oppose or attempt to "steal" and deviate the main idea.

    But European Citizens, incited by enlightened political leaders, are those who will finally write the real History.

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