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Home arrow newsitems arrow Center-Right Candidate Strasbourg Mayor Vetter to EF: Citizens-EU Decision-Makers Dialogue=Essential

Center-Right Candidate Strasbourg Mayor Vetter to EF: Citizens-EU Decision-Makers Dialogue=Essential

Written by ACM
Friday, 28 February 2020


*Strasbourg/Angelo Marcopolo/- At a Times when the Focus is on what "can Bring Citizens near Europe", Projects, as that of "Eurofora", to develop European Citizens and Politicians' Dialogue before Decisions affecting their lives and/or Society, are "obviously" of "Essential" Importance, replied, in substance, the mainstream Center-Right's Candidate for new Strasbourg's Mayor, the young Jean-Philippe Vetter of the "Republicans"' party, (founded by former French President Nicolas Sarkozy), to a relevant Question at a crucial juncture of the pre-electoral process which Culminates on March 2020.

Vetter expressed his Support to "everything that can really Bring Citizens Near Europe", giving particular importance to "inter-Personal Contacts", etc., despite (or, rather : Because also of) some Critics' claim that several Establishment's Journalists would have complained that, even when they wrote Articles on EU/COE News here, Often they were not Published by their Chief Editor, pretexting an alleged Lack of sufficient Popular Interest, (sic !)...

On the Contrary, "Eurofora"s co-Founder said that, by Experience (Both in Newspaper, Weekly, Press Agency, and Web Media, etc), if Journalists are free to work well, they Can Find very Interesting News at EU Parliament, and/or at the CoE, in Strasbourg...

And we went on to Question Vetter whether he felt that his alleged interest to Help "Develop an EU Citizens' Dimension", considered as particularly appropriate to Strasbourg's overall Profile, should Seize the Opportunity given Nowadays by the forthcoming EU's "Conference on Europe's Future" (2020-2021), in order to "Activate" Lisbon Treaty's clause which already calls for "Regular Dialogue" with "Civil Society" etc. on all main "Acts" of "EU Institutions", and, in this Context, also "Eurofora"s Long-Time Project to boost systematic EU-Citizens - Politicians' Debates just Before Final Decisions affecting their Lives and/or Society.

- Replying to "Eurofora"s Question, Vetter, at First, observed, in this regard, that, as a matter of Principle, "what Helps to Develop Links between EU Citizens and EU Institutions, is an Issue of Essential Importance".

=> - Therefore, "Such Debates (i.e. as those proposed by "Eurofora" : Comp. Supra) could, Obviously, allow to Advance in this Direction", Vetter stressed positively in Conclusion.

+ At this point, it's also the Organizer of that Collective Meeting, (in a Series consecrated to the forthcoming Municipal Elections in Strasbourg City), the President of the "Circle of the Cathedral", Henri Mathian, who intervened, stressing that "This matter Interests us", as he characteristically added. By the way, Vetter, a ChristianDemocrat/EPP politician,  has multiplied Photos of himself around Strasbourg Cathedral's Historic Building, including even one with a superb Replica which had been prepared by Expert Artists on the occasion of a landmark Documentary Film on that Monument, created by the Franco-German European TV "ARTE", (Headquartered in Strasbourg, near EU Parliament).



Nevertheless, it's also true that Vetter warned "Eurofora" that, from a Practical point of view, in his opinion, "MEPs would be Busy to form their |Political] Majorities", just a few Days Before the Final Votes in EU Parliament's plenary. However, for "Eurofora", this is Not a Problem, but rather a supplementary Advantage : Simply Because a Debate with interested EU Citizens, other MEPs, the Medias, etc., would, precisely, Offer a Good supplementary Opportunity to Form such Political "Majorities", eventually even New ones, and/or to Test their Resilience/Credibility and Popularity...



++ Proud to be a Son of Hard-Working People, "a Baker and a Nurse", as he wrote in a Pamphlet that he gave us, the Young Jean-Philippe Vetter, who gathered in his Team almost All Other Local/Regional Politicians of the "Republicans", (including, at a Symbolic place of Moral Support, even "Eurofora"s University Professor, President Jean Waline, former Long-Time Dean of Strasbourg's Faculty of Law, with whom we concluded our Master/DEA and prepare also a PhD Thesis related to Legal aspects of our Project), got a University Diploma on Athletics and Sport, (where he notoriously favours Tennis), before serving as Parliamentary Assistant to former Strasbourg's Mayor, Senator, and now MEP, Fabienne Keller, as well as, more Recently, in EU Parliament's own staff, while also being Elected at Strasbourg City's Council.  

Such a particular Profile might, perhaps, inter alia, explain also Vetter's special Wish to Boost grass-roots "School-Children"'s familiarity with Europe : Area in which he multiplied various concrete proposals.


Almost at the Same Time that the President of the "Foundation for Strasbourg", Jean-Louis de Valmigère, has just Published, on 2019, Two original Books, on "Europe's History" and on "the EU Parliament", (Prefaced by the experienced f. President of the European Parliament and EU Commission's vice-President, Italian MEP Antonio Tajani, and the young French Minister for European affairs, Amelie de Montchalin, respectively). Written in a Crystal-Clear Language, they are destinated for a Large Public, and particularly School-Children : An area into which, President de Valmigère would like to Help Boost a Nation-wide, and, if possible, Europe-wide, "Civic Education" course, inside Schools' Curriculum, which would include at least a Basic Knowledge of Europe for All Citizens in the Future, as he recently told "Eurofora", (on the occasion of a Special Event in EU Parliament). The fact that De Valmigere's Family also runs the Famous Restaurant "Chez Yvonne", where Long-Time former President of France, Jacques Chirac, used to have Launch or Diner with his German counterparts, near the Cathedral, (as well as of "Striessel", where Nicolas Sarkozy came twice, as President, when de Valmigere's Children managed it), naturally adds a sympathetic, relevant flavour...


(President de Valmigere with MEP Anne Sanders -of the same Party as Vetter- posing for an "Eurofora" Photo at an Event in EU Parliament earlier)


Vetter has repeatedly said that, while more than +60% of Voters notoriously do Not want the Same Team at Strasbourg City as in the Past, according to Polls, he is the Only Eligible Candidate who bears No Responsibility for what has been done since 2008 !  Critics Reply that, at least, he bears a Part of Responsibility for the 2001-2008 era of Former Mayor Keller, whose Parliamentary Assistant he was in the Past, (See Infra).

Meanwhile, he is credited by the Latest Polls with enough Intentions of Vote in order to Pass to the 2nd Round of the forthcoming Municipal Elections at Strasbourg's City, on March 2020, and has already spoken, Earlier, with "Eurofora", about Various Possibilities of Political "Alliances". Nowadays, he is notoriously considered as examining an eventual deal with Alain Fontanel, (former Socialist, but today aligned to Liberal/Centrist French President Emmanuel Macron : Comp. ..., etc), without, however, excluding a priori also other possibilities.

Meanwhile, Vetter, (who is credited by the Latest Polls with enough Intentions of Vote in order to Pass to the 2nd Round of the forthcoming Municipal Elections at Strasbourg's City, on March 2020), has already spoken, Earlier, with "Eurofora", about Various Possibilities of Political "Alliances", and is, Nowadays, notoriously considered as examining an eventual deal with Alain Fontanel, (former Socialist, but now aligned to Liberal/Centrist French President Emmanuel Macron : Comp. ..., etc), without, however, excluding a priori also other possibilities.

At his Right, stands Hombeline du Parc, for the Rightist "National Rally", (with more votes than in the past), and at his Left, also the Centrist Chantal Cutajar, of the "Involved Citizens", with rather less, but precious votes, (who had been Ally of the Socialists, in the Past, but might not exclude an eventual reconsideration for the Future). Further away (?) the "Green" Jeanne Barseghian, reportedly quite Popular, doesn't seem, apparently, to have similar intentions with the "Greens" of Austria and/or the "Greens" of the Neighbouring German Region of Baden-Wurtemberg, (who Both made recently Alliances with the ChristianDemocrats/EPP, equivalent to Vetter's "Republicans"), but, after all, who knows what might happen in fast-moving politics ?...












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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 ?


- "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.


      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.    


2009 EU Elections were won by Parties against Technocracy and Turkey's controversial EU bid, while the 1999-2004 Majority Abstention trend decelerated. What should be done in 2009-2014 ?


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