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Home arrow newsitems arrow CoE Chair Ukranian President Yanukovych: Focus= Debate issues, Fast EU Integration, Fight Corruption

CoE Chair Ukranian President Yanukovych: Focus= Debate issues, Fast EU Integration, Fight Corruption

Written by ACM
Tuesday, 21 June 2011

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Victor Yanukovych, President of Ukraine and CoE's Chairman for the period of May - November 2011, intends to valorize CoE as a "Focal Point"  to debate all issues related with European Integration, as he said from the outset to Journalists, including "EuroFora", stressing also Kiev's wish to "accelerate" Ukraine's EU aspitations.


But the New CoE Chairman, as well as his Foreign Minister Kostantyn Gruschenko, both focused also, in reply to MEP's Questions on the massive Fight against Corruption, currently engagd in Ukraine, in  a vital attempt to clear its Future from a Counter-productive, Negative Past, in a way and at a moment that it could give a Timely example which could usefully inspire also current efforts to free the majority of Greek People and all €urozone from an artificially growing Debt, initially provoked by Nepotism, Corruption and shady Political Deals mainly of the 1980-2001 Past period,, (including Athens' precocious entry into €urozone, earlier than normal, i.e. without doing previously necessary Reforms, in exchange of Turkey's controversial and unpopular EU bid, notoriously pushed by some former "Socialist" Governments : See previous "EuroFora"s NewsReports).          

 
    - "CoE is the Institution which serves as the Focal Point, where many Challenges faced by Europe meet together", significantly stressed from the outset President Yanukovych, speaking after a meeting with CoE's Secretary General, Thornbjorn Jagland, to Journalists in Strasbourg, including "EuroFora".
 
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-  Ukraine's aim being to accelerate its EU Integration, we are ready to debate on all relevant issues, including Rule of Law and Human Rights, he replied later to a question by the Chairman of the biggest Political Group in CoE's Parliamentary Assembly, that of ChristianDemocrats/EPP, Luca Volonté from Italy.


- Meanwhile, Yanukovych got a "strong Support for Reforms and the Fight agaibst Corruption" also by CoE's Secretary Genera, Thornbjorn Jagland, from >>Norway, who reminded that Anti-Corruption Measures are included in CoE's  core Tasks, (particularly as part of its Democracy and Rule of Law activities).

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-  As well informed sources from Ukranian President Yanukovych's entourage told "EuroFora", various Negative Consequences inherited from a Corrupted Past, are still one of the big Challenges that the new Government is decided to try to eradicate, using, for that purpose, a large panoply of various concrete measures, both for reasons of Justice and Healthy Democracy, but also in order to revigorate and boost a Healthier Economy :


- Thus, "a number of Laws .. specifically on .. Corruption", were adiopted recently in Ukraine, because "it was Necessary to Break through the Previous Years of Stagnation, which had proved to be a Challenge to progress", stressed Yanukovych.


- "Committed to routing out Corruption", despite "Opposition by individuals who had become Rich as a result of Embezzling Public Funds", Yanukovych denounced that "Corruption remained a significant Problem in Ukraine, but one which he had the Political Will  to resolve.


+ Added to a "Massive ¨Programme to Fight Corruption", the "DeRegulation of the Economy was also a part of this", (f.ex. by reducing 90% of State"s involvement into granting Permits, etc), while "all Publioc Functions would be Streamlined, and there would be a -30% Reduction of Civil Servants working in the Ministies", as he promised, observing that even the CoE itself "h    ad Cut out its Secretariat's Numbers by -60%"...


- Naturally, "there was a huge Resentment from Civil Servants and Bureaucracy, who were putting Pressure on the State to keep the Status Quo", because "it was a Painful process to Abolish the Previous Systems, but .. there was Now a System in place to Fight Corruption", he observed.     


+ Speaking earlier to the CoE, Foreign Minister Kostantyn Gruschenko, also accused "those who Governed before, to be Responsible" for what happened afterwards, and revealed that there are, currently, "more than 400 Cases" opened for Investigations: "It has to be Far-Reaching, and Nobody is Immune", he warned, stressing the need for "Resolute Action".


>>> All this inevitaby reminds, at tjhe present context, the "revolted" Greek People's Massive Demonstrations, these Days, inspired by the initial Tunisian "Jasmin Revolution", one of the demands of wom is that "those who usurpated Pubic Privileges must Pay" the Debt that they have provoked, (exposing the whole Country and even all €urozone to Speculative  Attacks afterwards, asking also to resolutey check for Corruption all suspected Public Post holders,, "without hiding behind any kind of Bureaucratic Time  Prescriptions", (a Populaer demand both in Greece and in Spain, etc).


=> Such kind of Popular demands, in the case of Greece, meet also the political Oppositiuons' older and recent proposals f.ex. to Investigate from the start in order to find out who really provoked that huge Debt, and to check all Public Officials' personal Properties for undue Enrichment cases, etc., both exte nded throughout all the crucial Time period of 1980-2010.


If adequately used, such Measures could certainly help to reveal Crucial Truths, as well as to radically Diminish the Debt due by Country, which, otherwise, risks to remain hostage of what really happened during the crucial 1986-2002 period, unless it's undone.soon enough.


The New Fact that Ukraine is, today, also Chairing the PanEuropean CoE, one of the main Taslks of which is to efficiently Tackle Corruption, might, eventually, offer interesting prospects for EU-CoE Cooperation also in the case of the "Greek" (in fact EU - Turrkey : See supra) Financiero-Political affair..

Indeed, seen in this way, CoE might really become a "Focal Point" for most European Challenges, as President Yanukovich just highlighted in Strasbourg (See supra)...


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    The recent paradox of freezing EU Talks with front-runner Croatia, while continuing controversial EU - Turkey talks, despite Zagreb's acceptance of Refugees' Human Rights to return, that Ankara refuses fex. in Cyprus, while both have "Good Neighborhood" problems vis a vis Slovenia, or Greece, Cyprus and Armenia respectively, can it be justified by the non-fullfilment of EU criteria, as Slovenia says, or, is it "Double Standards" ?    

The question became unavoidable after statements by Presidents of Slovenia and Croatia, Tuerk and Mesic, respectively, to "EuroFora", exclusively or among Strasbourg's journalists this week at the CoE, on the sidelines of its 2009 Summer University for Political Schools, which topically brought them together as successive key-note speakers.


    Comming only a few Months before EU checks Turkey's compliance to its commitments on Cyprus, etc., scheduled for December 2009, this obviously has a special importance for the coherence of EU Enlargement's principles.

     Suspension of EU Negotiations is a normal consequence in case of a Candidate Country's failure to fullfil EU Conditions, such as "Good Neighborhood relations", stressed at first Slovenian President Danilo Tuerk, current CoE's chair.

    But, regarding EU's Criteria,  there shouldn't be any "Double Standards",  reacted Croatian President Stjepan Mesic, commenting the fact that Turkey's controversial EU negotiations continue, while they were recently "freezed" in the case of Croatia, an "unquestionably European Country", which oficially accepts to respect Refugees Human Rights, contrary to Ankara's notorious refusals or reluctance.                                       

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                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                           - "EU itself has set as a Criterium (for EU Enlargement) the "Good Neighborhood relations",  and their absence justifies the "Suspension" EU Negotiations, (f.ex. with Croatia), because of a Border dispute affecting the territorial integrity of an EU Member Country, stressed Slovenian President, Danilo Tuerk, CoE's Chairman in office (May - November 2009), speaking to Journalists in Strasbourg including "EuroFora".    

Questioned earlier what "consequences on EU's Enlargement policy" can have the "Ban on EU Membership Negotiations", imposed to Croatia, Tuerk replied that "this question comes down to the fulfillement of (EU) Criteria for membership. One has to look at each Candidate Country ., from the point of view whether it fullfils the Criteria that EU has set. One of them are Good Neighborhood Relations, I'd like to remind. And also, there are other factors, such as Justice, Home affairs, Rule of Law, and others".


    - "Now, ..Candidate Countries are at Different Levels of fulfillement of Criteria", he observed.

    - " Croatia is obviously the closest to that. I'm rather optimistic : I think that in the coming Months we'll have an opportunity to look at all these issues constructively and hopefully we'll be able to make progress". "My main concern, at this point, is the situation in Bosnia : We haven't seen enough progres domesticaly. We haven't seen enough during ..political parties within their country.We need a New Energy, a new energetic move towards the Candidature for EU membership. "Other (Western Balkan) Countries (Serbia, Montenegro, FYROM, Albania) have been making soaring Progress, and I think that they should be ready, in a few Years, for the Candidate status".

    - "As far as the Western Balkans are concerned, .. nobody should be left outside" the EU, Slovenian's President concluded, ommitting to mention Turkey's controversial EU bid.

    - "This process may be seen as Slow, but..  Slovenia has also has also been exposed to various "Booms of Slowness" in our accession period. But now we can say that the process was relatively quick, because changes which occur after becoming EU member, are quite large, and they require proper Preparations before the (EU) membership becomes a new factor, an impacting line for a new (EU) member country".
----------------------------

EU "Solidarity" ?
------------------------------   

Slovenian statements made some participants from certain 3rd Countries as FYROM, etc. claim that "the Principle of EU Solidarity" would "produce a.. rising European Union Nationalism (sic !), against Non-EU Countries", as they said, asking unhappy foreign countries to form a "bloc" to exert pressure on the EU...    

But Croatian President Stjepan Mesic dismissed that, supporting "EU Integration", "after the Economy also in Political" issues, as "the achievement" of our times. In EU there is "diversity, but it's United", he stressed, "EU has to be United so that it can become a central factor of Peace" also at the surrounding areas, he replied.

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Speaking later exclusively to "EuroFora", the experienced twice President of Croatia, former President of the International "Non-Aligned" movement, denounced "Double Standards" in the way EU treats recently Croatia compared to Turkey :   

 - "I think that there shouldn't be Double Standards", stressed the Croatian President, in reply to a Question comparing the freeze of EU - Croatia talks, with the continuation of EU - Turkey talks, despite the fact that Croatia is an "unquestionably European country", while Turkey's EU bid is notoriously controversial.


    Mesic was reacting to the observation that, even if he confirmed his "respect of Refugees' Human Rights to return, etc. (See infra), nevertheless, EU talks are suspended with Croatia.. While for oher, controversial candidates, who refuse to respect Refugees' Rights to return, etc., as fex. Turkey does in occupied Cyprus and elsewhere, EU negotiations continue".

    - "I believe that Croatia's accession will confirm that all European Countries who fulfill all of the Conditions and achieve European Standards, have to join the EU. There shouldn't be any Double Standards", went on to add in reply President Mesic.

    In this relation, Croatia's President found "of paramount importance", CoE's "mechanisms enforcing ECHR's judgements"
    
    - "On Refugees and Displaced persons, the process will be completed only after the last person demanding to return will be allowed to do so !", President Mesic Croatia stressed earlier, setting a general standard of obvious importance also for otherr candidates, as f.ex. Turkey, often accused to exclude or heavily restrict Greek Cypriot Displaced persons' return to their Family Homes and ancestral land, provoke difficulties to Turkish-Kurd IDPs return to their home regions at the South-East, etc.

    Some "2.000 People are still reported Missing" in former Yugoslavia, for some Years, (as in Cyprus, modern Europe's oldest case, for 3 Decades. Nagorno-Karabach, Tcecnya in Russia, etc, more recently), and Investigations "will only be completed after establishing the fate of the last one of them", he added.
    
    Speaking earlier on "War Crimes", President Mesic stressed that "Leaders are responsible for (the) Wars (of the Past), not the People", and called against Impunity :  "Individuals have to be held Responsible for Crimes. International Penal Tribunals have to persecute those individuals", perpetrators of War Crimes, he underlined.

    Such statements naturally made Mesic rather popular at ECHR, whose President, French EuroJudge, Professor Jean-Paul Costa, looked particularly smiling when he welcomed him later on Wednesday afternoon, after Slovenian President Daniko Tuerk earlier this week.
           

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