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Inicio arrow newsitems arrow Tusk's Dramatic Letter, eve of Exceptional Bratislava EU Summit, urges Solid Basics

Tusk's Dramatic Letter, eve of Exceptional Bratislava EU Summit, urges Solid Basics

Escrito por ACM
13.09.16
 
eu_council_president_donald_tusk_400 

*Strasbourg/Angelo Marcopolo/- Just 1 Day before a "State of the Union" Public Debate at EU Parliament's full Plenary Session in Strasbourg, with one among the most Experienced Euro-Politicians, EU Commission's new President Jean-Claude Juncker, a long-time Prime former Prime Minister of Luxembourg as well as f. Chairman of "EuroGroup", and 2 Days before a Crucial, Exceptional EU 27 Heads of State/Government Summit in Bratislava on Europe's Present and Future after UK's BREXIT and various other Serious Recent Developments, the new President of the European Council, former Prime Minister of Poland, Donald Tusk, felt the Need to take  the unusual Initiative to write and publish Today a both Dramatic-looking, but also "Realisticaly Optimist", as he says, official Letter to EU Leaders, practicaly Urging them to Timely Respond to the main current concerns of the European People, based on Solid Basics.


After Meeting with almost all 27 EU Member States' Leaders, President Tusk allowed himself "some Personal Reflexions", striving to make "an Honest Assessment", for "the Best possible Basis for Building our Future Together", as he wrote.


"We are ... at a particularly Historic Moment", after "the 1st ever decision of a Country to Leave the EU", (i.e. the UK, which had, however, done a Lot of Efforts in the Past in order to be Accepted inside the EU from the 1970ies), in a Wider Context of "Turbulent Times, Marked by Crises and Conflicts", just "a Few Months" before the EU turns 60 y.o., Tusk reminds from the outset.


In Fact, (Joining a recent "Eurofora"s Analysis, See : http://www.eurofora.net/newsflashes/news/brexitparadox.html), he stresses that "the BREXIT Vote (by a Majority of the British People) was a Desperate Attempt to Answer Questons that Millions of Europeans Ask themselves Daily", and concerning "the very Essence of Politics" :


I.e. "about ... Security of the (EU) Citizens and their Territory, ... about the Protection of their Interests, Cultural Heritage, and Way of Life". So that, "We (EU) would Have to Face", "these Questions", at any case, "even if the UK had voted to remain".


Indeed, "People in Europe want to know if the Political Elites are capable of restoring Control over Events and processes which Overwhelm, Disorientate, and sometimes Terrify them", President Tusk warned, speaking also after a notoriously Exceptional "Hot" Summer, which included various Deadly Attacks against Innocent Civilian People by Extremist Islamistic Terrorists, in France, Germany, the UK, Austria, even Switzerland, etc., almost in Parallel with several Bands of Irregular Migrants, massively brought in by Turkish Smugglers, slyly Aggressing, including by Mobsters' Brutality, defenseless Young Girls, sometimes Aged only 14, and even Young Boys, almost Kids, (See various unprecedented Violent Incidents, particularly in Germany, Austria, Sweden, Denmark, the UK, etc).     


- That's why, "quite Rightly", "People ... Expect their Leaders to Protect the space they live in and ensure their security. If the Belief that we have Abandoned this responsibility is Further strengthened, they Will start Looking for Alternatives. And they Will Find them", Tusk Warns, speaking shortly after various atypical Rightist a.o. Political Parties notoriously Started Recently to Mushroom accross several European Countries, not only in the UK, but also in France, Germany, Austria, Finland, Denmark, Norway, Switzerland, Greece, Hungary, Croatia, Sweden, etc.


- "The Migration Crisis was the Tipping Point. Last year's (2015) Chaos on our Borders, ...every  Day ...Hundreds of Thousands of people Moving across our continent withOut Any Control, created a feeling of Threat among many Europeans", who "had to Wait Too Long for action to bring the situation under Control, such as (1st) the Closure of the Western Balkan Route (since Mid-February 2016 ; Comp., f.ex. : http://www.eurofora.net/newsflashes/news/unpopulareuvisafreefor80millionsturksuseless.html + http://www.eurofora.net/newsflashes/news/weltadoptseuroforaviewonuselesseuturkeymigrantsdealafternewthreat.html), and (2nd) the EU-Turkey Deal", (from the End of March-Beginning of April 2016).


 - But, "Instead, ....they heard "Politically Correct Statements", f.ex. "that Europe canNot become a Fortress", that it "must remain Open", etc.. All this "Weakened Citizens' Trust in their Governments, ...and in the wider Establishment, already Undermined since the (2008-2009+) Financial Crisis". he observed.


 -"We do Not have too much Time to spare" : "We Must Demonstrate to our Citizens that we are willing and able to Protect them from a repeat of the Chaos of 2015", Warned Tusk, while France, soon followed by Germany and several Other Key EU Countries, Starts already to Prepare Crucial Elections for 2017.


+ "It is equally important to Combat Terrorism Effectively", he stressed, after an Unprecedented Long Series of Various Deadly Terrorist Attacks by Islamistic Extremists during this Summer, in many EU Countries (and even in the US, Australia, etc) : "Someone must Give back to Europeans their sense of Security", he urged.


- "And ...we must do more to Fight Radicalisation", But,  withOut Genuine Determination to Fight Terrorist threats, we will Fail to Stem radical and increasingly aAggressive behaviour", President Tusk Warned, reminding also "the Fact that ...it was (found) Not possible to Prevent a number of Attacks".

++ Moreover, "Our Citizens also Expect the EU to better Protect their Economic and Social interests", and "Stand By them in the Confrontation with Outside Competitors", President Tusk added. "Free trade and global competition lie in the interest of Europeans, But ...they Pose significant and often Unprecedented Challenges", he pointed out.

 - Howewer, the above-mentioned Crucial Points "are Insufficient", withOut also "Other equally Important endeavours", "such as Economic and Social Development, Jobs and opportunities for the Young, the single Market, the Digital agenda and Investments", EU President Tusk added.


____________________________________



=> Therefore, "Bratislava (EU Summit) will have to be a Turning Point", he Urged : "Business as Usual is Not an option".


EU Leaders should "also provide a Road Map" :


>>> "Effective Control of our External Borders comes First", from that September 2016 Summit in Slovakia.


 - At the forthcoming "October (2016) European Council Summit", "our (EU's) Relations with Russia will be Reviewed", (i.e. just after the September Elections in Moscow).


- "In December" 2016, we shall seek "to Strengthen Practical Cooperation in Defence".


 - "Later (i.e. in 2017), we will ..come back to ...the Banking Union and the further development of the Economic and Monetary Union". (etc).


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


- "The Future of Europe will Depend ....on how we Handle the Migration Crisis, Terrorism, and the fears associated with Globalisation", while also ensuring "Development", Tusk resumed.

In Wider terms, "it is ...Crucial to restore the Balance between the need for Freedom and Security, and between the need for Openness and Protection", he advised.


- "Rebuilding ...Trust, has become an Urgent Necessity", with "Rapid Action, and a .. European Strategy", by National Governments and EU Institutions, able "to Control the Sirtuation" and Protect EU Citizens from such "Threats", (See Above).


- "The main Instruments in this field remain at National level, but we (EU) can and must do More Together".


As long as "We will Not ... change the EU into a Single State", "it will be Crucial for the Member States to better Cooperate ...to bring our Forces Together in the Union". "The Keys .... lie in National Capitals. The (EU) Institutions should Support the priorities as Agreed among Member States", which have to "Change Attitude".


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


>>> "There is No Fatalism ..., everything is still in Our Hands", and "our Countries' Potential" is "More than Enough", in order "to Believe in Europe and its Ability", Donald Tusk Firmly Stressed.


After a "Critical Diagnosis", "there is ample room for "Real - Optimism", as he said.

In fact, Tusk rejected any "Gatopardo"-like attitude, as the Italian Writer di Lampedusa had named those who Pretend to "Change Everything, if (they) want things to Stay as they are", in substance...


=> On the Contrary, "We (EU) Must ... Preserve what is Best", and "Take ..., in fact, Simple Decisions", he urged.


Even if they might be "Difficult", nevertheless, "What we Need is a Strong political Will and Imagination !", Tusk Concluded.


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

slovak_pm_robert_fico_video_on_bratislava_summit_400

 


    Meanwhile, Welcoming the preparations for the forthcoming EU Summit in Bratislava, Slovak Prime Minister Robert Fico, who currently Chairs EU Council, (Comp. Fico's Reply to "Eurofora" Question in a Press Conference at June 2016 EU Summit in Brussels : http://www.eurofora.net/newsflashes/news/ficomigrationpolicymightpushbrexits.html), anounced that he would be Glad if it Succeeded to set up running "a Process", due to be Further Developed, later-on, also by Similar EU 27 Summits in Malta and Italy on "Spring 2017", when the EU is due to celebrate its "60th Anniversary",  (eventualy followed by Estonia at the second half of Next Year).

 


    As for the Slovak Foreign Minister, Miroslav Lajčák, (who is also a FrontRunner Candidate in the still on-going Electoral process for the New UNO Secretary General), "the EU is Not Only a Political Project", because "Culture is what Brings Europe Together", as he stressed on the occasion of the presentation of the Cultural Program of Slovakia's current EU Presidency, earlier this Summer.

 

bratislava_castle_400

 


    Last, but not least, that Crucial, forthcoming Bratislava EU Summit, is scheduled to take place at a Hilltop Castle, which looks both Rock-Solid and Citizen-Friendly, while, after Lunchtime, the 27 EU Leaders are expected to visit a Danube River Museum, which currently Hosts an Exhibition of "European Paintings", including that of Spanish "Miro", Famous for "his Characteristic Language .. reduced to Basic Signs", such as, f.ex., "Pictograms, patterns drawings from PreHistoric Paintings, Childrens' Drawings, and Folk Art".

 

miro_painting_danubiana_museum_in_bratislava_slovakia_400

 


    I.e. just what might Inspire that "Simple", but Important, "Best" Solid Basics' style, that EU Leaders are Today urged to practice for EU's Future, (Comp. Supra)...

 

(../..)

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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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