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Haupt 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

Geschrieben von 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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They voted to "freeze" UK Government's draft to put People in jail for 42 Days on "anti-terrorist" suspicion without charge, or they abstained. Don't they look suspect ?
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CoE's debate on UK controversy stirs PanEuropean check of anti-terror suspects' imprisonment

Former Leftists of the Sixties would boil in hot water if they heard PACE's debate on the controversial 42 days detention without charge, currently drafted by the British Government :

A "Socialist" Government, a Socialist PACE Rapporteur and a Socialist Chair of PACE's Legal Committee, opposed a .. "Conservative" amendment (supported by .. Liberals, Democrats, etc), to freeze the measure, in order to protect Citizens' Freedom, by "waiting" until CoE's Venice Committee checks its conformity with Human Rights' principles.

"Left"'s support to Conservative-Lib.Dem's criticism, wasn't enough to obtain a majority, nor to make things as they were back in the good old days, when "Left" and "Right" had a clear meaning, as "liberty" and "restrictions"...

Conservatives and most Democrats were joined by the Left in voting for the "freeze", as well as Liberal Paul Rowen, while Socialist MEP Ivan Popescu, an experienced MEP from Ukraine (PACE Member since 1996-2008) abstained. But most Socialists, added to a few Liberals and EPP's Right, voted against.

Fortunately, someone inside PACE had the wise idea to shorten the Debate for less than 1 Hour, and put it on the Agenda only at the end of an exceptionally busy day, towards the end of the Evening, when most MEPs had already gone to taste wins and foods at various Receptions all around Strasbourg's "European" area : As a result, not even 42 MEPs weren't present..

Socialist Lord Tomlinson accused the leaders of the PanEuropean Assembly, in its highest body : the "Bureau", to "lack wisdom" by deciding to hold a Debate on an issue that neither the Socialist Chair of the Legal Committee, nor its Socialist "reluctant Rapporteur", did "not want to do", ...

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Finally, everybody (critics and supporters alike) was happy to agree, in substance, that the controversial measure "may" gravely violate Human Rights, and therefore, PACE asked Legal Experts of Venice Commission to check UK Government''s plans.

But this might take more than .. 42 Days to do, since PACE's Rapporteur asked the Experts to enlarge their study in a PanEuropean comparison of all that is happening on "anti-terrorism" legislation in 47 CoE Member Countries, including Russia, Turkey and Azerbaidjan..

Bad lack : "The existing 28 days’ detention without charge in the UK is, in comparison with other CoE member countries, one of the most extreme : In Turkey, the period is 7,5 days, in France 6 days, in Russia 5 days, and in .. the U.S. and Canada just 2 and 1 days respectively", denounced Democrat MEP Ms WOLDSETH from Norway..

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"Numerous respected human rights organisations, including Liberty and Human Rights Watch, have expressed serious concern" "The proposed legislation ...could easily lead to extensive abuses. ...Detention for 42 days means six weeks in which one is taken away from one’s family, friends, home and livelihood only to be let off without being charged. That will destroy lives and isolate communities", she added.

- "3 years ago, the UK Government sought to increase the period of pre-charge detention from 14 days to 90 days. Not long before that, it had been only 7 days. There was a vigorous debate ...and a ...compromise was reached of 28 days. We have to ask whether there are proper safeguards in place to extend the period to 42 days. I suggest that there are fatal flaws", reminded British Conservative Clappison.

- "What sort of society holds someone in detention for 42 days and does not have to tell the person who is in prison why they are there, or explain the suspicions that arose and led to their detention? What sort of society believes that that is the way to treat its citizens? That is an appalling injustice, ...A 42-day detention period will not make the UK safer. Instead, it will be the first step to giving in to terrorists; it is saying that we are prepared to sacrifice our democratic rights and the principles for which we have stood for centuries", criticized British Liberal Michael Hanckock

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"Comments made ...by Norwegian delegates are unfortunate", replied British Socialist MEP Ms.Curtis-Thomas, accusing them to "besmirch the reputation of our police force, which is one of the Best in the World", as she said, believing that "there are significant safeguards ...to ensure that individuals are not subjected to unlawful detention"

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PACE "has serious doubts whether ...the draft legislation are in conformity with the ...case-law of the European Court of Human Rights. A lack of ..safeguards may lead to arbitrariness, resulting in breaches of ... liberty and ...right to a fair trial". PACE "is particularly concerned that: ..the judge ..may not be in a position to examine whether there exist reasonable grounds for suspecting that the arrested person has committed an offence;"; that "... representation by a lawyer may be inappropriately restricted or delayed;" that "information on the grounds for suspicion of a person ...may be unduly withheld.. ;" that this "may give rise to arrests without the intention to charge;", and; in general, that "prolonged detention without proper information on the grounds for arrest may constitute inhuman treatment", says Klaus De Vries' Report, adopted with 29 votes against zero.

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Records don't say if it took him 42 Days to draft his Report, but, at least, he knew why...

Polls

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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