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Haupt arrow newsitems arrow EU Chair, Czech v.Prime Minister, to EuroFora on Eastern Partnership: Ukraine has "Special position"

EU Chair, Czech v.Prime Minister, to EuroFora on Eastern Partnership: Ukraine has "Special position"

Geschrieben von ACM
Tuesday, 05 May 2009
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    Regardless of "Antonov" Airplane cooperation prospects, Ukraine has a "Special position" and "a Prominent role to play", "in the Multilateral part of EU's Eastern Partnership", while also keeping "its own system of cooperation with the EU", said EU Chairman-in-office, Czech vice-Prime Minister for EU affairs, Alexandr Vondra, in reply to "EuroFora"'s question, without denying Kiev's aspiration to eventually become in future also a Candidate to EU accession.


    Vondra, together with EU Parliament Foreign Committee's President, Polish MEP Jacek Saryuz-wolski, had just presented to Journalists in Strasbourg, the aims of the forthcoming EU Summit for the launch of the "Eastern Partnership" with 6 Countries : Moldova, Belarus, Ukraine, Georgia, Armenia and Azerbaidjan, at nearby Prague on Friday, May 8.

- "How does this fit with Ukraine's wish to advance towards an eventual EU accession in the future ?", asked "EuroFora".

 - "I think Ukraine is in a Special position, of course", the Czech EU Chairman in office agreed.

- "It has its own System of cooperation with the EU, so I would expect that Ukraine, as the largest country from the others, will be in the Multilateral part of the Eastern Partnership", he replied.

He earlier explained that its "Menu" will be composed both by "Multilateral" and "Bilateral" aspects and various "tools" from which each country could "choose".

- "I think we can rely on the Active Engagement of Ukraine, and certainly we shall have this... So, we expect the Highest Level participation, and, certainly I would expect Ukraine to have a Prominent role to play", Vondra added.

Vondra revealed, in his reply to "EuroFora", that he "was just talking with (Ukranian vice Prime Minister) Hrihoriy Nemyrya, in entering the (Strasbourg's EU Parliament) building" "We (Czech EU Chair) are working closely with Ukraine", he underlined.

During the last EU - Ukraine Summit, with Presidents Sarkozy, Jushenko and Baroso, of France, Ukraine and EU Commission respectively, the French EU Chairman on September 2008 in Paris had anounced EU's crystal-clear acknowledgement that Ukraine was unquestionably "un European Country" and offered an "Association Agreement". I.e. similar to those that former Central-Eastern European Countries had initially concluded before becoming, later-on, EU Candidates and ultimately EU Members, as Jushenko reminded then.

Paradoxically, Turkey, a mainly Asiatic country with an obviously different culture and grave Human Rights problems, including Military occupation, threats or interventions in neighboring countries, profiting from its Cold-War Past, snatched back in 1999 a controversial EU Candidate status, while Ukraine, a peaceful European country with historic European Culture and High-Tech industry, without equally grave Human Rights problems, has yet to struggle in 2009, to get a promise for a European perspective in future...

 - "Eastern Partnership is not a substitute to EU Enlargment", and "its' not directed against anyone, and, in particular, not against Russia, who doesn't wish to take part, and has other links to the EU, Vondra added.

An important boost to EU - Ukraine links, (which may benefit also to Russia), might be given not only by the well known Energy Transport issues (by Pipelines and/or Ships, via the Black Sea and Danube), could be given also in case of a cooperation between Airbus and Ukranian "ANTONOV's aircraft production capacities :

While Vondra found the "Time too short" to reply to a 2nd "EuroFora"'s question on a possible Airbus - Ukranian ANTONOV cooperation to build an efficient European strategic Military Transport Airplane, costing less, and being more efficient and timely than an old plan for a Turkey-sponsored "A400M"' plane, whose delivery has delayed and become uncertain, on the contrary,EU's Rapporteur on the 7th Scientific and Technologocal Research framework Program, mainsteam Polish MEP Jerzy Buzek, (ChristianDemocrat/EPP), a former Prime Minister, was enthousiastically positive :

 - "It's a very good idea, and I am sure that they (Ukrania's ANTONOV) would like to do that, and are able to achieve it", replied Buzek to "EuroFora"'s question whether he found more useful for European Countries to develop a more performant but cheaper Military Transport Airplane in a cooperation fex. between Airbus and Antonov, instead of waiting, again and again, for the old Airbus A400M, with its limited capacities, to be delivered from its strange and repeated setbacks and deadlocks in mass production, which were recently denounced even by a Report drafted by the French Senate..

Russia also had reportedly shown an interest in the past to cooperate with Antonov and EU countries to jointly create a new airplane, and this possibility might, eventually, be anew explored to satisfy the present European needs in the best way possible for EU's High Technology and funds.

Meanwhile, Saryuz-wolski indicated to "EuroFora" that, as EU Parliament will confirm this week in Strasbourg also by writting in a special Resolution, Eastern Partenship's Parliamentary dimension, "EuroNEST", intends to follow the example of the Union for the Mediterranean's Assembly, by bringing together 60 MEPs not only from the neighbouring but from all those interested among EU's 27 Member States : It's well known, indeed, that several other EU Countries have close links with the Black Sea area area, via big Investments, Ship transports, etc.
Meanwhile, Vondra is reportedly due to pass later-on EU's relay baton to a renewed Czech Government, his main successor expected to be the forthcoming New Deputy Prime Minister and Foreign Minister, Jan Kohout.

Kohout, who is well known in Strasbourg from his earlier visits, has already stressed to "EuroFora" Czech Republic's wish to examine carefully Foreign Policy issues, while also boosting Renewable Energy sources, Modern Technologies, Education, etc, as key-tools both for EU's independence and security, and for enhanced cooperation with developing countries accross the World, and mainly in Africa and Asia.

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(+ New Czech deputy Prime Minister and Foreign Minister, Jan Kohout, replying to another "EuroFora" question at an earlier meeting in Strasbourg : 3rd, at the right side).
 

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ECHR's President to "EuroFora" on Journalists Gongadze and Adali murders : Principles must apply to all States, without discrimination.


+ ECHR's Statistics on Freedom of Expression (See below).


 European Court of Human Rights' President, Jean-Paul Costa, questioned by "EuroFora" on Journalists' murders, as in Gongadze and Adali's cases etc., strongly stressed all CoE Member States' obligation to make efficient Investigations to find and punish those responsible, and underlined that ECHR's case-law's principles must apply to all without any discrimination.

His call was clearly supported by various Top MEPs who denounced a risk of "Double Standards" if some Journalists' murders are investigated, while others don't.

To avoid such risks, CoE's Parliamentary Assembly adopted a Resolution, on the occasion of Ukranian Journalist Gongadze's murder, "stressing", as a matter of general Principle, "the importance it attaches to the safety of Journalists and political activists, especially those linked to opposition groups, in ALL member states of the CoE". All "crimes against journalists and political activists must be investigated ... as a matter of priority, without political interference".

Costa was replying to "EuroFora"s question on the fact that, after CoE's Committee of Ministers, also CoE's Assembly had just adopted a Resolution on Gongadze murder case, based on an ECHR's judgement of 2005, asking a full Investigation from Ukraine, who has found and condemned  in 10 years of jail 2 executants, but not yet the instigators.

While nothing similar was yet done for dissident Turkish Cypriot Kutlu Adali's murder, with 5 bullets shot at his head out of his Family's home in the territories of Cyprus occupied by Ankara's army, despite another ECHR's judgement of the same year 2005, and despite Turkey's claim that nobody was found among those responsible for the murder, and that there was nothing more to do..

In order to be credible and efficient, CoE's mechanisms shouldn't find a way to at least ask for full investigations of all Journalists' murders anywhere they might be committed, without exceptions ?

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- "On the larger question that you raised, I'd like to say, since we are in a period of stock-taking on ECHR's 50 Years, that the Court's case-law developed certain concepts ....such as the Positive obligations of States, part of which are also the procedural obligations", started to reply ECHR's President.

 - "Whenever Journalists, Lawyers, Defenders of Human Rights, or even simple Citizens are murdered, the States are held responsible, not only if its their own security forces' agents who committed these murders, but also if they didn't make sufficiently substantial and efficient Investigations", he stressed.

- "I want to strongly underline that we (ECHR) have found in many cases numerous violations of Articles 2 and 3 against States, ....(about) murders or torture, ...because they didn't make enough Investigations in order to try to find and punish those responsible".

- "We (ECHR) do that vis-a-vis all 47 (CoE) Member States, without any discrimination".

"Naturally, the circumstances in each particular case may be differend, and we can't ommit to apply the rules of proof, or the rules of criminal procedure".

"But we try, by all means, to apply these principles of our case-law, to all States", he concluded.

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      Costa's call was strongly supported by several Top CoE MEPs, from various Political areas


- "To investigate the murder of one Journalist, and not of another, looks like Double Standards", denounced the President of EuroLeft Group in CoE's Assembly, Dutch MEP Tiny Cox.  

- "What is the reason ? Politics or specificity of a case ? Of course, if Cyprus and Turkey are involved, it's always a Political case"..

- "Murders of Journalists should always be fully investigated, because killing Journalists is not only killing persons, but also killing Free Press".  "We (CoE's Assembly) should do our outmost to help People who are working on Free Press and they are under threat or murdered".

Because for Free Politics, Free Press is a pre-requisitive : Parliamentarians  cannot  function without a Free Press. Not investigating, is not protecting ourselves".

So we should investigate all Journalists' murders : We are talking about Gongadze, about the Cypriot man (Adali), about the Journalist murdered in Moscow one week ago, etc", Cox concluded

- "CoE can' look at these cases differently. CoE can't wear Blinckers  !".
- "If the one is investigated, so has to be also the other. Why there wasn't full investigation ? Why's that ?", wondered British  Socialist MEP, Alan Meale.

- "A good idea" would be to "make a Motion for Resolution", and "join all Journalists' murders. Adali and Gongadze etc", said to "EuroFora" EU Parliament Political affairs Committee's President, Goran Lindbland, ChristianDemocrat MEP from Sweden.


(See also earlier News at "EuroFora" on similar issues).
-------------------------------

ECHR's Statistics on Freedom of Expression :


    Almost Half of condemnations by ECHR for violations of Freedom of Expression in 2008, concern Turkey : 20 out of a total of 48 for all CoE's Member States.

    Russia, Poland, France and Moldova were condemned only 3 times. Romania, Greece, Portugal, 2 times, and the other CoE Member States only 1 time, or none.
--------------------
    During the last Decade : 1998 - 2008, Turkey was condemned for violating Freedom of Expression in ..169 cases, while Austria only in 24.

    France and Moldova in 14 and 13, respectively, closely followed by Russia and Poland with 11 and 10, respectively. The rest of CoE Member States had less than ten condemnations.    
    

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