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Home arrow newsitems arrow CoE Democratic Governance Head Luciani to EF: Despite Risks = Strong Democratic Vitality in Web-News

CoE Democratic Governance Head Luciani to EF: Despite Risks = Strong Democratic Vitality in Web-News

Written by ACM
Monday, 21 October 2019

 

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*Strasbourg/Press Club/Angelo Marcopolo/- Replying to an "Eurofora"s Question at a Press Conference organized for the 2019 edition of the "World Forum on Democracy", in Strasbourg's Press-Club Today, the experienced CoE's Director for Democratic Governance, Claudia Luciani, expessed a Solid "Optimism", as a genuine Believer of Nowadays Society's "Strong Democratic Vitality", able to Find, asap, adequate Solutions on how to Defend Both Quality and Freedom of Information even in the Modern Web-News Era, despite acknowledging some "Risks" at the Internet nowadays, (See Infra).

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 - "Information : Democracy in Danger ?", suggests, right from the outset, the Official Placard of WFD 2019, distributed by the Organizers of that Annual Series of Events, organised Partly inside the CoE, partly "Extra Muros", at various other Emblematic Buildings in Strasbourg.

- "Nowadays, the Multiplication of Un-Controlled Informations at the Internet, threatens Democracy", claimed the out-going Socialist Mayor of Strasbourg, Roland Ries, speaking just Before the Forthcoming, crucial Local Elections at the Beginning of 2020...

- Apparently, he wasn't far away from the Views of the current Government Spokesperson in France, Sibeth Ndiaye, known for being sometimes Strict vis a vis certain very Critical Journalists, who will be the Invited Keynote Speaker at the Opening Session of this 2019 Edition of the "WDF" in the CoE, on November 6, as CoE's Press Attaché, Estelle Steiner, told "Eurofora".

- However, "Optimist", as Luciani Confirmed, Smiling, to "Eurofora", CoE's Democratic Governance's experienced Director, ...democratically Accepted a Friendly Criticism by "Eurofora", when we asked to be Excused for Raising a quite "Hot" Question, which might appear, to some, as if we played a so-called role of "Devil's Lawyer"...

- "We sometimes Need also to Tease the Devil !", Luciani laughed, Bravely Accepting the Challenge. - "Yes, But we Need also ...some Angels", "Eurofora" insisted, Prefering to Focus on Web's Positive Potential for Modern Democrary in the Foreseable Future.

  - Thus, "Eurofora", at First, Started by Asking Juliani why the CoE is Focusing, so much, Only on the Dangers that the Internet might provoke Against Democracy, withOut Exploring, also, the Web's Potential for Nowadays, Modern Democracy's further Development.

- "The Potential of Internet to Boost Democracy, is, indeed, a matter that we (CoE) had Explored in the Past, (See, f.ex. : ...., etc), and it Returns Back, from times to times, But it's Not for Now. However, it's true that it Might Come Anew to the Forefront, perhaps in one of our (CoE's) Next Editions" of the Annual "World Democracy Forum", Luciani replied to "Eurofora"s question.

- Indeed, CoE French Presidency's coordinator, Ambassador Mattei, present also at this Press Conference, had, Earlier, told "Eurofora" that, even if Web's Democratic Potential "Might", eventually, be Combined with at least Some Parts of this 2019 Edition, However, it seems More Probable for it to be Dealt with by one among the 3 Forthcoming, Next, CoE's Rotating Presidencies, by Georgia, Germany and Greece, pointing, already, to a Draft Program of the first...

+ Web's Potential exploring would be Also Interesting from the point of view of Economic Development, even if this is not so much at CoE's core Mission, she acknowledged. But Luciani certainly Understood, moreover, that, a Wise Use of Internet in order to Facilitate Citizens' Communication with Politicians, at a Period of Notorious Crisis of Public "Trust" to the Established Political System, could become really Helpful, even in Traditional, Establshed Representative Democracy, f.ex., by Facilitating Parliaments' and Various Other Public Authorities' Transparency, (as some Concrete E-Tools had Already Demonstrated in a Recent Past, at the CoE).

=> Unless, even in Countries with the Longest Parliamentarian Tradition in the World, as, f.ex., the UK, finaly, People get Fed Up with the Obvious Controversial, Energy and Time-Wasting "Games", that Westminster's House of Commons notoriously Plays Nowadays on the Topical "BREXIT" Issue, during an already Too Long Period, (Comp., f.ex., also : ..., etc), and, After all that, they Might Start to ...Dream about ...Direct Democracy !", "Eurofora" pointed out, as a Serious "Joke"...

And this comes Soon after, Both "BREXIT" Party's Chief, Nigel Farage, and the current, Conservative Party's new UK Prime Minister, Boris Johnson, notoriously, Dreamed, Recently, one after the other, to Deal with that Controversial House of Commons almost as ...Cromwell had done in an Historic Past, by ...Closing it Down, at least for a certain Period of Time, (Comp., f.ex., : ..., etc)...

>>> However, Returning Back to the above-mentioned Critical, "Devils' Lawyer", stance, (Comp. Supra), "Eurofora" Felt Obliged to Dare Advance Further, and Ask Luciani :  - "But, anyway, aren't you Concerned by what EU Citizens might Feel if they See that, Nowadays, it's Only ...USA's neo-Conservative President Trump who Pleads for "Freedom at the Internet", already in 2 Recent, Spectacular Speeches at a White House Summit on Web Journalim in Washington DC, (See : http://www.eurofora.net/newsflashes/news/trumpforfreewebnews.html),and at UNO's Parliamentary Assembly at New York, Last July and September 2019, respectively,while, on the Contrary, they see Europe More Anxious to Take various Restrictive Measures, addressing the Web only as a Risk of Hostile Problems ? Isn't it, at least, a Paradox to Leave for US President Trump the Monopole to Plead for Freedom at the Internet, while Europe, and particularly its Human Rights/Democracy Organisation : the COE, Focuses just on Restricting and/or "Controlling" the Internet, considered only a Dangerous Adversary to a Traditional Establishment ?, we Questioned.

 - Indeed, at a White House's exceptional Web Media Summit, US President Don Trump encouraged "On-Line Journalists" for "fulfilling a Vital Role ... : You are Challenging the Medias-GateKeepers and the Corporate Censors to Bring the Facts Straight to the ...People".-"With amazing creativity and determination, you are Bypassing the Corrupt Establishment, ...and the very, very Corrupt Media", in order to "Communicate Directly with our Citizens, withOut going through the Fake News Filter", he praised on September 2019. + And, in his subsequent UN General Assembly Speech at New York, Later that same Month, Trump also slamed a Few New Communication Technology "Media Giants" and "a Faceless Bureaucracy" to Secretly Undermine Democracy, by Censoring Free Speech at the Internet, while, on the Contrary, a Free Society cannNot allow them to Silence the Voice of the Peoplen as he stressed.

 

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- "I Believe very much, and Expect, that, asap, will Emerge (even inside the USA, which, Despite everything, it still remains a Great Democracy) some Very Strong Antidotes, Because, in fact, there is a Big Democratic Vitality !", CoE's experienced Director for Democratic Governance, Replied to "Eurofora"s above-mentioned, Critical Question, pointing, f.ex., mutatis-mutandis, at what had Happened, already "at the End of the 1960ies - Beginning of 1970ies : At First, it was the Vietnam War, and Afterwards, it all Changed", as she Reminded, with a Strong Optimism...

- And she Kindly Saluted "Eurofora" with an Affirmative Smile, when we asked her to confirm if she really expected "something Similar in Europe Nowadays"... - "It will comme", she guessed.

While Waiting for such eventual Positive Developments in the foreseable Future, ... let's Cross Fingers, or, rather, let's Use our Fingers to Tape Better NewStories for the Internet !

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+ More Practical, Strasbourg City's European/International Relations' Head, Nawel Rafik-Elmrini, one of the "WFD" 2019 Co-Organizes, Replying, afterwards, to a SImilar Question by "Eurofora", appeared to Agree whole-Hartedly with our above-mentioned observations about the Important Potential of the Internet for nowadays Democracy.

- In fact, "what we want to do, is Not to Attack the Social Media" of the Web, she explained, "It's just to Warn Readers, f.ex. Young Children, Not to Believe into Everything they see Anywhere at the Internet, immediately, but, rather, to Search, Compare, and Consciously Decide what it's True". And, "for that purpose, we are Giving them some concrete Tools",  Elmrini stressed.                                     

+ By the way, Glad to receive also "Eurofora"s Congratulations for Persisting to co-Organise, on this occasion too, another Event on Web Journalist Daphne Caruana-Galicia's Brutal Murder, and the Scandalous Impunity of its Instigators, even 2 Years After a Bomb Exploded at her Car, right in front of her Family Home, (See, inter alia, also, f.ex. : ..., etc), Strasbourg City's Senior Officer, bitterly observed that, Contrary to what had, Meanwhile, happened at a Similar Killing in Slovakia, where apparently All those Involved with the Murder of a Young Employee of a Foreign Big Media's Website, and his Girlfriend, were Already Found, Prosecuted and Punished, on the Contrary, "in Malta, the situation is much Harder".  

In this regard, it's also Difficult to Forget the Contempt and Hate with which several Fans of the Governing, powerful Politicians that Daphne had Dared Criticize for alleged Corruption, Arbitrariness and Cronyism, after Investigating several Cases and Publishing her Findings at the Personal Web-News Site that she had been Obliged to Create in order to Escape from Censorship at a Traditional Weekly Newspaper where she had been Working in the Past, were Openly and Shamelessly attempting to Insult her in Public, among others, also by Holding, during Collective Meetings, Placards with her Photo to which they had pined the word "Blogger !", (i.e. even Denying to the Murdered Woman the simple Identity of a real Journalist, just because she used to Publish at her own Website)...

 

 

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Swedish Foreign Minister, Carl Bildt, speaking  to "EuroFora", denied rumors on Turkey's attempts to avoid an EU check of its obligations on Cyprus on December 2009 by blackmailing Nicosia to either accept any deal with intransigeant Turkish claims contrary to EU values on the island's political issue, or face threats against the territorial integriy of the EU island, semi-occupied by Ankara's army.

On the contrary, the incoming EU President-in-office, speaking exclusively to "EuroFora", promissed that he will act for EU Council's decisions on December 2009 assessment of Turkey's commitments on Cyprus to be kept.


    Bildt was asked to react to Cyprus' President Christofias' denunciation, earlier this week, that some want to exert "pressure" on Cyprus in order for Turkey to escape from its obligations.

    Avoiding to mention any precise Deadline, Bildt, however, warned about "Consequences" in case of "failure" to reunite Cyprus, but without saying whose responsibility an eventual deadlock might be.  

 Asked by "EuroFora" if there is a risk for "Turkey's commitments to "be forgotten or downgraded", "despite crystal-clear EU Council decisions and EU Parliament's latest Resolution on the assessment to make at the end of this year on Turkey's obligations", according to rumours that, instead of pressing Turkey, on the contrary, there might be "pressure on Cyprus", even "blackmail", as Media reported and President Christofias denounced this week, Bildt denied :

- "No ! ", he clearly replied.


- On the contrary, invited by "EuroFora", to "reassure that the Swedish EU Presidency (7-12/2009) will keep a fair stance, based on principles",  Bildt promised that "we (Swedish EU Presidency) will be very clear on all of the decisions taken by the (EU) Council".

He added, however, that "we have very numerous decisions that have been taken" by EU Council, as if he warned, also, on something else.

- "'I am not aware of any sort of statements coming out today''", Bildt started to say, on our reference to Cyprus' President Christofias" denunciation of Turkish lobby's manoeuvers this week, replying earlier to 'another"EuroFora"'s question during a Press Conference at EU Parliament in Strasbourg.


 - '"I know the issues that you' are concerned with'", he added, remembering  the statements he gave us when Sweden was chairing the PanEuropean CoE on 2008.

- "But, obviously, .. I think that Cyprus' Peace negotiations are extremenly important".

- And "'I think that we are at a unique moment in History, in the sens that both (Cyprus') President Christofias and Mr. Talat (the Turkish Cypriot leader), are personally convinced of the need to overcome the division".

 - "It's 20 Years since the fall of Berlin Wal, but we still have a Capital in Europe (Nicosia) that's divided". ,

- 'I don't that we should loose any time in overcoming that"..

 - ''We should be aware of the fact that success will bring great benefits, but failure, will also have major consequences. There will not be Status Quo' " It's a question of seeking a solution, or entering another situation, which is somewhat difficult to see exactly how that could evolve", he warned.

- "That being said, this is a negotiation for Cyprus itself", Bildt admitted.

 - ''We (EU) can support, the (EU) Commission primarily, be technically helpful, and then, of course, there is a specific role for the UN, when it comes to the Cyprus' situation".  

- "At least so far. It might not be for ever'. Certainly not for ever, but for this period of time", Bildt added, skiping now any reference to concrete threats on UNO's Peace keeping force in face of more than 40.000 Ankara's soldiers, contrary to some Press claims, (See previous NewsReports).


     Replying to another "EuroFora"'s Question,  if anyone might attempt to "impose a Deadline for the conclusion" of Cyprus' Talks on December 2009, Bildt avoided to speak of any precise Time-frame, and indirectly evoked the fact that  35 Years of Turkish Invasion/Occupation obviously durated too long :

'- "If I was from Cyprus, I would say that the Deadline was Yesterday ! '",
Bildt concluded.

Cyprus' Government Spokesman, Stephanou, reportedly pointed out that "a settlement is possible on December if Turkey changes its stance", accepting a solution for the reunification of the island based on UNO resolutiona and EU principles.

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Earlier, EU Chair, Swedish Prime Minister Fredrik Reinfeld, highlighted an "historic opportunity" to "re-Unite" Cyprus according to EU's "basic Values"' (i.e. Human Rights) and 'Rules'", in a last-minute change of his draft speech to EU Parliament in Strasbourg.

    The initial Draft spoke only about "healing" the island.

    Significantly, Reinfeldt linked Cyprus' reunification with Turkey's obligations to respect EU's "Values" and "follow" EU's "common Rules" :

    - What is "called Membership Negotiations" should lead, "at- the end of the day", into "sharing a set of common Basic Values (i.e. Human Rights, Democracy, etc), and following common Rules", stressed Reinfeld from the outset.
    
    - "This is something that those on the Outside (of the EU), are now  contemplating", up "to Ankara", for "a solution" on "Cyprus", observed the EU Chairman, immediately afterwards..  

    - "Both sides of Cyprus have been granted a historic opportunity to together reach an agreement on a solution to re-Unite the island, that has been divided for far too long", said Reinfeldt, modifying his draft text.


-  "The Swedish Presidency will act ...in accordance with Commitments EU has made, on the basis of Criteria that apply", "as a Honest Broker", he promised.    

- "To those on the inside (of the EU), allowing the membership process to become an opportunity to solve protracted disputes, can be tempting", he added.


    "In such cases, we must find solutions that can benefit both sides, and open up a way forward. Otherwise, it would jeopardize the progress we have made towards EU integration", Reinfeldt said.

***

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