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Home arrow newsitems arrow CoE Rapporteur, French Assembly v.President Waserman to EF on WhistleBlowers' Legal status Query

CoE Rapporteur, French Assembly v.President Waserman to EF on WhistleBlowers' Legal status Query

Written by ACM
Thursday, 14 March 2019

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*Strasbourg/EU Parliament + CoE/Angelo Marcopolo/- While EU Institutions were fine-tuning and coordinating their work here, on the much needed Protection of "Whistle-Blowers" (like the famous Edward Snowden, etc), the PanEuropean CoE was Launching an Ambitious, Wide and Profound, operation, extending accross many More Countries, in order to Forge concrete, Operational Legal Tools, Starting with a 2 Days-Long Conference, organised, this Same Week in Strasbourg, by CoE's new Rapporteur on Whistle-Blowers, the vice-President of the French National Assembly, MEP Sylvain Waserman, who spoke Today to "Eurofora" on his plans.

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+Earlier this week in Strasbourg, on Tuesday, EU Commission's Chief Spokesman, Margarites Schinas, speaking in a Press Conference, together with EU Commission's vice President Katainen, (Comp. Katainen's statements to "Eurofora" on other Topical Issues at: http://www.eurofora.net/newsflashes/news/eucommissionvpresidentonchinaandspace.html), Announced that "the TriaLogue" (between EU Parliament, EU Commission and EU Council) had just reached an "Agreement" on the "High-Level Protection of Whistle-Blowers", following a Proposal initially made by EU Commission's President, Jean-Claude Juncker, on April 2018".(It updated and gave Legal Force to CoE's Committee of Ministers' pioneer and landmark Recommendation on WhistleBlowers' Status, which had been adopted on 2014, i.e. shortly after Snowden's initial revelations on 2013).

++ Shortly afterwards, this Thursday and Friday, at the Nearby CoE, the Rapporteur of the PanEuropean Organisation for Human Rights, Democracy and Rule of Law, vice-President of the French National Assembly, MEP Sylvain Waserman from Strasbourg, Started a Conference with Debates between Legal Experts, Whistle-Blowers, specialized NGOs, Lawers, Judges, etc., and even a Video-Debate with Edward Snowden himelf, scheduled for Tomorrow, working closely Together with the Experienced Head of PACE's Legal Committee's secretariat, Dr. Gunter Schirmer.

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UE's 27 or 28 Member States use to Cooperate with CoE's much Wider, 47 Member States' PanEuropean Organisation (including Russia, etc), which, in certain Areas of Legal Instruments "Open" to signature also by 3rd Countries, can Extend even Further, f.ex. in Constitutional Law (via the "Committee of Venice") accross 61 Member States, and/or on "CyberCrime" Topical Issues (via the "Budapest Convention"), where it's also the USA which participate, etc), as well as on Protection of "Private/Personal Data", etc., with a Recent Trend for EU - CoE Cooperation to lean Towards a kind of "Global" impact in the foreseable Future's Horizon, (Comp., f.ex. : ...)

So that it's not unusual in Strasbourg to see often, f.ex. EU's Offices to stand Aside ... f.ex. those of the Holy See, and/or of Japan, (etc)...

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- "Eurofora" invited Waserman to present a Highlight of his on-going work, right in the Middle of that CoE's Conference, on Thursday afternoon.

 - "There are 2 Aims", vice-President Waserman stressed from the outset :

(A) "The First is to make a Comparative Study of Various Laws in Europe, in order to identify Good Practices, and, therefore, make some Proposals",

(B) "and the Second is to try to identify Indicators, able to qualify the capacity for Democracy, to reply to the need for protection, etc.

Thus, in all our work we have that Double View :

- (1) Identify Good European Practices, and mainly show how the Decisions taken in the CoE have allowed to make Serious Progress.

These Practices, Nowadays, are very Heterogenous, and Need to be Stabilized, in the Rule of Law".

- (2) But also to find Factual Indicators, very Accurate, which allow to Qualify, by each MP, when he returns back to his National Assembly, and has to transpose EU's Directives, or make (legislative) Texts concerning the Protection (of Whistle-Blowers), enabling him to work with an operational Tool", he concluded.

=> So, Tomorrow (Friday), we are going to Formulate concrete Proposals", he anounced. "Particularly during the Last 2 Sessions, where there will be More and More Proposals".

+ "Afterwards, we are going to have a lot of Work to do, in order to make Scenarios on the way to move Forward".

- Concerning the Timeline, "we intend to use the Time available during the Summer, in order to be able, around September, to present proposals to our Collegues", (MEPs in CoE's competent Committee for Legal affairs).

Thus, "I'd be Glad to have the Result Ready, in a Report (adopted by the Committee), during the forthcoming French Presidency of the CoE, (i.e. between May and November 2019), Waserman concluded, for the time being.

 

(../..)

 

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  Ten Years of ECHR : 1998 - 2008 show need of Revival in 2009-2010 coinciding with 2009 EU Election
   

A threefold, coordinated move by new Top French Political actors in the 2009 EU Parliament Elections, expressed in Strasbourg a will to boost Europe's Political dimension close to Citizens' concerns, going from protection of Economy to defence of Human Rights.    

The move met an exceptional ECHR's call for a "revival" of Human Rights' protection mechanism', in a Mega-Conference, early 2010.   

Obviously focusing on June 2009 Elections to EU Parliament, it involved from the outset the recently nominated "dual" Head of French Governing Party (UMP)  Michel BARNIER and Rachida DATI :

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     - "As President Sarkozy has clearly said, we (France) are in favor of a Strong, Sovereign and Independent, Political Europe, which protects its Citizens, and not for a large Super-Market, nor for a Europe under influence",

    "This goes for everything, including Energy", added to "EuroFora" the experienced former EU Commissioner, Minister of Foreign affairs, currently of Agriculture and Sarkozy's new pick as Leader of the Governing party UMP to EU 2009 Election, Michel BARNIER                                              .                             

  - Human Rights are important because they are at the Heart of the Political Europe that we aspire for : I.e. a Europe able to act and protect its Citizens, stressed also the New French Minister for European affairs, Bruno LE MAIRE, while meeting Strasbourg's Journalists at his first visit to the CoE.   

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This is one of the main interests for CoE, which is also a natural place for cooperation between EU countries and Russia or Turkey, which was recently helpful at the Middle East crisis, he added.

The move gained momentum with French Minister of Justice, Rachida Dati's main observations at ECHR's 5Oth Anniversary :   

- "While we are seeking Europe's Borders and Identity, you (ECHR) remind us also of its Values", Human Rights, Dati noted.   

Citizens seek more and more often ECHR's help, and the tempo accelerates, Europa awaits a symbol, while national legal orders are not freezed   

And she expressed "support" to ECHR President Jean-Paul Costa's call to satisfy the vital need to revigorate the PanEuropean Court by deciding big changes at a High-Level Conference open to a large audience, a kind of "Etats Generaux" of Human Rights, at the beginning of 2010.       

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It's not so much the recently growing number of applications for Russia or Ukraine etc, which seems to be Costa's main concern : In fact, the cases declared "admissible" are much fewer...    

But rather the persistent violations of Human Rights, sometimes very grave (ie. murders, torture, abritrary deprivation of liberty, oppression of freedom of speech, destructions of homes/properties, etc), despite numerous, repeated condemnations by ECHR. So that CoE's Ministers, due to "supervise execution" of ECHR's judgements, are overloaded.   

F.ex. most Media noted that Turkey still remains, even in 2008, the 1st among 47 CoE member States in the number of condemnations by ECHR :  257, compared to 233 for Russia, with a population more than the double..    

The problem is that it's not the 1st time at all : During all the last Decade 1998-2008, Turkey was condemned by ECHR much more than any other State, and for particularly grave violations :   

- 1.652 condemnations, compared to 605 for Russia, 548 for Poland, 494 for France, 476 for Ukraine, etc.   

Italy's second place with 1.394 condemnations is a misleading false appearance : In fact, most of them (999) concern mere "procedural delays" in national courts. Same for France.   

On the contrary, Turkey was condemned 180 times for Killings, 192 times for Torture or Inhuman/Degrading treatments, 340 times for arbitrary deprivation of Liberty, 528 times for "Unfair trial", and 169 times for oppression of Freedom of speech, (etc). And the latest, 2008 numbers, indicate no change in this trend, (See supra).   

The current Spanish CoE Presidency (November 2008 - May 2009) has made of the implementation of ECHR's judgements its 1st Priority.   

ECHR's President, Jean-Paul Costa, stressed in its 2009 Annual Press Conference, CoE Member States' obligation to implement the judgements, according to Article 46 of the European Convention on Human Rights.   

Moreover, if CoE's Committee of Ministers delays to ensure implementation, then, the repetition of violations in similar cases provokes a multiplication of complaints tabled to the Court, which overload the mecanism for the protection of Human Rights, denounced Costa.          

A series of Debates on "the situation of Human Rights in Europe", focusing on the "need to fight against Impunity" of perpetrators of grave crimes, is  currently prepared by CoE's Parliamentary Assembly for the session of June 2009.  

The final Timing comes shortly AFTER the EU Elections, but the main Reports should have been adopted before.

Meanwhile, French President Sarkozy and German Chancelor Merkel's recent call "for a Political Europe" in 2009 EU Elections (See earlier "correspondence from Paris, Elysee Palace), seems more and more endorsed also by other EU Countries' Top MEPs :

Thus, f.ex., EU Parliament's 1st vice-President, Greek MEP Mrs Rodi KRATSA, speaking to "EuroFora", agreed that 2009 EU Election would be a "naturally good" opportunity to debate what really interests EU Citizens : "The Future of a Political Europe, able to face the Economic Crisis, with a Culture and identity which attracts the People"

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(Photo taken earlier during Sarkozy's 1st visit at EU Parliament, in 2007 : Sarkozy and Merkel's Ideas for a Political Europe inspire also other EU politicians accross the continent)..
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