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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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  Ten Years of ECHR : 1998 - 2008 show need of Revival in 2009-2010 coinciding with 2009 EU Election
   

A threefold, coordinated move by new Top French Political actors in the 2009 EU Parliament Elections, expressed in Strasbourg a will to boost Europe's Political dimension close to Citizens' concerns, going from protection of Economy to defence of Human Rights.    

The move met an exceptional ECHR's call for a "revival" of Human Rights' protection mechanism', in a Mega-Conference, early 2010.   

Obviously focusing on June 2009 Elections to EU Parliament, it involved from the outset the recently nominated "dual" Head of French Governing Party (UMP)  Michel BARNIER and Rachida DATI :

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     - "As President Sarkozy has clearly said, we (France) are in favor of a Strong, Sovereign and Independent, Political Europe, which protects its Citizens, and not for a large Super-Market, nor for a Europe under influence",

    "This goes for everything, including Energy", added to "EuroFora" the experienced former EU Commissioner, Minister of Foreign affairs, currently of Agriculture and Sarkozy's new pick as Leader of the Governing party UMP to EU 2009 Election, Michel BARNIER                                              .                             

  - Human Rights are important because they are at the Heart of the Political Europe that we aspire for : I.e. a Europe able to act and protect its Citizens, stressed also the New French Minister for European affairs, Bruno LE MAIRE, while meeting Strasbourg's Journalists at his first visit to the CoE.   

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This is one of the main interests for CoE, which is also a natural place for cooperation between EU countries and Russia or Turkey, which was recently helpful at the Middle East crisis, he added.

The move gained momentum with French Minister of Justice, Rachida Dati's main observations at ECHR's 5Oth Anniversary :   

- "While we are seeking Europe's Borders and Identity, you (ECHR) remind us also of its Values", Human Rights, Dati noted.   

Citizens seek more and more often ECHR's help, and the tempo accelerates, Europa awaits a symbol, while national legal orders are not freezed   

And she expressed "support" to ECHR President Jean-Paul Costa's call to satisfy the vital need to revigorate the PanEuropean Court by deciding big changes at a High-Level Conference open to a large audience, a kind of "Etats Generaux" of Human Rights, at the beginning of 2010.       

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It's not so much the recently growing number of applications for Russia or Ukraine etc, which seems to be Costa's main concern : In fact, the cases declared "admissible" are much fewer...    

But rather the persistent violations of Human Rights, sometimes very grave (ie. murders, torture, abritrary deprivation of liberty, oppression of freedom of speech, destructions of homes/properties, etc), despite numerous, repeated condemnations by ECHR. So that CoE's Ministers, due to "supervise execution" of ECHR's judgements, are overloaded.   

F.ex. most Media noted that Turkey still remains, even in 2008, the 1st among 47 CoE member States in the number of condemnations by ECHR :  257, compared to 233 for Russia, with a population more than the double..    

The problem is that it's not the 1st time at all : During all the last Decade 1998-2008, Turkey was condemned by ECHR much more than any other State, and for particularly grave violations :   

- 1.652 condemnations, compared to 605 for Russia, 548 for Poland, 494 for France, 476 for Ukraine, etc.   

Italy's second place with 1.394 condemnations is a misleading false appearance : In fact, most of them (999) concern mere "procedural delays" in national courts. Same for France.   

On the contrary, Turkey was condemned 180 times for Killings, 192 times for Torture or Inhuman/Degrading treatments, 340 times for arbitrary deprivation of Liberty, 528 times for "Unfair trial", and 169 times for oppression of Freedom of speech, (etc). And the latest, 2008 numbers, indicate no change in this trend, (See supra).   

The current Spanish CoE Presidency (November 2008 - May 2009) has made of the implementation of ECHR's judgements its 1st Priority.   

ECHR's President, Jean-Paul Costa, stressed in its 2009 Annual Press Conference, CoE Member States' obligation to implement the judgements, according to Article 46 of the European Convention on Human Rights.   

Moreover, if CoE's Committee of Ministers delays to ensure implementation, then, the repetition of violations in similar cases provokes a multiplication of complaints tabled to the Court, which overload the mecanism for the protection of Human Rights, denounced Costa.          

A series of Debates on "the situation of Human Rights in Europe", focusing on the "need to fight against Impunity" of perpetrators of grave crimes, is  currently prepared by CoE's Parliamentary Assembly for the session of June 2009.  

The final Timing comes shortly AFTER the EU Elections, but the main Reports should have been adopted before.

Meanwhile, French President Sarkozy and German Chancelor Merkel's recent call "for a Political Europe" in 2009 EU Elections (See earlier "correspondence from Paris, Elysee Palace), seems more and more endorsed also by other EU Countries' Top MEPs :

Thus, f.ex., EU Parliament's 1st vice-President, Greek MEP Mrs Rodi KRATSA, speaking to "EuroFora", agreed that 2009 EU Election would be a "naturally good" opportunity to debate what really interests EU Citizens : "The Future of a Political Europe, able to face the Economic Crisis, with a Culture and identity which attracts the People"

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(Photo taken earlier during Sarkozy's 1st visit at EU Parliament, in 2007 : Sarkozy and Merkel's Ideas for a Political Europe inspire also other EU politicians accross the continent)..
.



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