Fidest – Agenzia giornalistica/press agency

Quotidiano di informazione – Anno 33 n° 335

Posts Tagged ‘Strasbourg’

The strangest love affair – autocrats and parliamentarians, from Berlin to Strasbourg

Posted by fidest press agency su domenica, 4 aprile 2021

In recent weeks, the unbelievable story of corruption of parliaments across Europe by the Caspian autocracy of Azerbaijan has created big waves in Germany.Suddenly Azerbaijan’s rulers and their apologists’ strange love for the oil-rich country in the Caucasus were debated in the Bundestag. The issue made the headlines of papers and television news. It was discussed on popular talk shows before millions of viewers. It played a role in the resignation of MPs from the governing CDU. It triggered a long-overdue debate on how to protect parliamentarians from being manipulated by determined autocracies.ESI has written about this scandal for a decade. We published many reports and more than two dozen newsletters. For years these had no impact. Until April 2017 this caviar diplomacy, which had led to the capture of Europe’s leading human rights institution charged with defending the European Convention on Human Rights, was flourishing. It was simply too easy to bribe and seduce many of those parliamentarians Europeans had elected to represent them.Calling on the Council of Europe to act on the biggest scandal in its history: John Dalhuisen, Frank Schwabe, Gerald Knaus, Pieter Omtzigt (2017)Calling on the Council of Europe to act on the biggest scandal in its history: John Dalhuisen, Frank Schwabe, Gerald Knaus, Pieter Omtzigt (2017) In 2017 a bipartisan coalition of MPs from across Europe, led by Pieter Omtzigt from the Netherlands and Frank Schwabe from Germany, led the charge for an investigation of these serious allegations. It achieved the resignation of Pedro Agramunt, the president of the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe (PACE). An official report in 2018 described the tip of the iceberg of this scandal, naming some of the members of PACE involved and calling on authorities across Europe to act.In January 2021 three former PACE members were sentenced by a court in Milan to four years in jail. In Germany parliamentary immunities were lifted and prosecutors started house searches. However, most of those involved in this policy since 2003 have walked away with impunity.For the Aliyev regime, almost two decades of efforts to aggressively undermine democratic institutions remained without consequences. It was never challenged on this policy in the Council of Europe by other members states.This week we discussed the lessons from this scandal in a long interview in the Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung, which is now also available in English.

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European Parliament

Posted by fidest press agency su lunedì, 10 febbraio 2020

Strasbourg. The week ahead 10 – 16 February 2020. Long-term budget. Ahead of the Extraordinary European Council of 20 February on the Multiannual Financial Framework, MEPs on Wednesday will urge member states to agree on adequate financing of 2021-2027 EU programmes and projects. A roundtable debate with EP negotiators for media will take place on Tuesday. EP President David Sassoli will hold a press conference on this issue on Wednesday at 13:00.
EU-UK future relations. Parliament will debate and vote on a resolution setting out MEPs’ stance on an ambitious new EU-UK partnership, on Wednesday. Any final future agreement will need the approval of the European Parliament as a whole before it can enter into force.
EU-Vietnam trade deal. MEPs will debate on Tuesday and give their final vote on Wednesday on the free trade and investment deals between the EU and Vietnam. A press conference by the rapporteurs will take place in the afternoon.
Artificial intelligence. Challenges arising from artificial intelligence and the measures the EU should take to protect consumers will be the focus of a debate on Monday and a resolution, to be put to the vote on Wednesday.
ECB President Lagarde. Newly-elected ECB President Christine Lagarde will address the plenary for the first time on Tuesday, to discuss the Eurozone’s economic governance and ECB activities. Greening the economy, financial technology and the impact of Brexit are likely to be raised by MEPs.
Enlargement. The revised approach on enlargement, as presented by the Commission on 5 February, will be debated by MEPs on Monday.
Foreign affairs. War in Syria and recent US peace plans for Israel and Palestine, as well as a new strategy for EU relations with Africa, are up for debates with EU Foreign Policy Chief Josep Borrell on Tuesday afternoon.Illegal trade in cats and dogs. To protect animal welfare, pet owners and public health, MEPs are set to call for an EU Action Plan to end illegal trade in companion animals, in a debate on Wednesday. They will also vote on a resolution on Thursday.President’s Diary. EP President David Sassoli will meet ECB President Christine Lagarde, on Tuesday. President Sassoli will meet the Delegation to the Parliamentary Assembly of the Union for the Mediterranean, on Wednesday. On Friday, the President will participate in the opening ceremony of the Megalizzi Foundation in Trento, Italy.
Pre-session press briefing. The EP Press Service will hold a press briefing at 16.30 on Monday in the Daphne Caruana Galizia Press conference room, Strasbourg.

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Why to join for the opening of the new European Parliament?

Posted by fidest press agency su lunedì, 1 luglio 2019

Strasbourg. Tuesday 2nd of July 08:00 – 10:00: Rally in front of the European Parliament: Citizens gathering for the new European Parliament.
The European Union has been “at a critical junction” time and again since its inception. Calls for a renewed commitment to the European project have taken almost a life of their own. Back in 2014, after the Parliament had managed to elect him at the helm of the European Commission by establishing no less than a constitutional precedent, President Juncker declared his would be “the Commission of the last chance”: if it did not deliver, citizens would lose their trust in the EU. After the dismal outcome of the Brexit referendum, EU leaders convened in Bratislava to agree on a supposedly ambitious roadmap “to make a success of the EU with 27 Member States”. Three years on – Leaders’ summit after Leaders’ summit – Brexit still hasn’t happened (thankfully!) and resources, time and energy have been wasted on European Heads of State and Government unable to unite around anything more than generic commitments to the EU.That there would even be a need to reaffirm European unity is proof that the time of national leaders is far gone. We need European solutions urgently, not least to stop more far-right and illiberal forces from rising to power. The alarms bells have been ringing for years now, but these leaders are too comfortable sitting in their own echo chamber to hear them.EU national leaders have failed us. European integration by intergovernmental cooperation has the EU stuck in a status quo that could well be its downfall. But the history of the European Union is not only one of disappointing meetings of European leaders. The history of Europe is also one of citizens gathering, demonstrating and protesting; citizens calling on elected leaders for more decisive steps towards the political unity of the European people.The history of the European Union is one of citizens gathering and calling on elected leaders for more decisive steps towards political unity for the European people: in 1975 in Rome claiming for the direct elections of the European Parliament; in 1979 in Strasbourg asking for a European currency; in 1985 in Milano defending The Spinelli Treaty, in 1991 in Maastricht for European democracy, in 2000 in Nice asking for a European Convention, on 25 March 2017 in Rome calling for a relaunch of political integration.Today, simply celebrating the EU and its achievements is not enough anymore. Our continent is in dire need of common solutions underpinned by genuine European democracy. This July 1-2 in Strasbourg, at the opening plenary session of the European Parliament, we will again call on our elected representatives to choose Europe, wholeheartedly and without reservations. This July, we must take up the challenge of creating a genuine, European democracy – or risk having no democracy at all.

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CEC Governing Board meets in Strasbourg

Posted by fidest press agency su giovedì, 23 Maggio 2019

To set priorities for the work of the Conference of European Churches (CEC), focusing on the theme “Together in Hope and Witness” – CEC Governing Board met from 15 to 18 May in Strasbourg, France.The important areas that surfaced in CEC’s strategic work plan for 2020-2023 include promoting peace, justice and reconciliation in Europe, strengthening ecumenical fellowship and promoting church renewal, and raising churches’ voice in Europe and the European Institutions.The meeting was significant to take place this year when CEC is celebrating its 60th Anniversary. To mark the anniversary a formal reception was held at the Council of Europe for the participants. CEC President Rev. Christian Krieger welcomed the guests. CEC Governing Board members Rev. Alison McDonald and Prof Petr Kratochvil made presentations about the history of CEC, ecumenical movement in Europe and its relevance to CEC’s current work.At the meeting CEC Governing Board made two public statements.One statement titled Towards peaceful coexistence in the Middle East was endorsed. The statement produced at the CEC Cumberland Lodge conference in December 2018, signed by the representatives of churches, aid organisations, politics and academia, stresses the need for mutual respect crucial to the peaceful co-existence of religions in the Middle East.
The second statement by the board recognises the “need for a renewal of democratic vision, attention to political and economic institutions, the recovery of memory, and an expansion of civil society.” In context of European elections, political change and UN Peacekeeping day on 29 May, the statement urges CEC Member Churches to “pay attention to the language of public discourse”.The participants visited the Council of Europe and European Youth Centre, meeting with staff of both organisations, sharing about democratic culture, youth, human rights and bioethics.The meeting was also an opportunity to bring together young representatives of European churches and youth organisations to engage with CEC. Together they discussed the role of youth in the life of CEC, sharing their expectations and contributing to CEC’s work plan.The meeting was hosted by the Union of Protestant Churches in Alsace and Lorraine.

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Strasbourg Europe: quelle passion!

Posted by fidest press agency su domenica, 30 aprile 2017

StrasbourgStrasbourg,18 mai 2017 9h30 > 13h00 Salle de l’Aubette, 31 place Kleber, 67 l’Institut Jacques Delors organise, dans le cadre du projet More EU, et en partenariat avec la ville de Strasbourg et les Jeunes Européens Strasbourg, une journée de la conscience européenne dont la matinée est consacrée à un récital musical sur la construction européenne et un débat avec les citoyens venus participer à cette expérience pédagogique exceptionnelle.
9:30 > 10:00 – Accueil
10:00 > 10:15 – Mot d’introduction
Yves BERTONCINI, Directeur de l’Institut Jacques Delors
Roland RIES, Maire de Strasbourg
10:15 > 11:30 – Récital musical
Europe : quelle passion ! Histoire d’un amour tourmenté
11:30 > 13:00 – Débat avec le public
Francesco PIGOZZO, Directeur de la formation et la communication, CesUE
Claire VERSINI, Responsable des activités citoyennes et pédagogiques de l’Institut Jacques DelorsPour tout renseignement complémentaire, ou pour inscrire une classe, veuillez contacter Claire Versini :
Les ‘European Awareness Days’ (EADs) sont un format original de communication sur l’UE mis en place dans toute l’Europe au travers des projets MoreEU conduit dans le cadre du programme Jean Monnet et AwarEU conduit dans le cadre d’Erasmus+.
Les EADs sont constitués d’un récital musical conduisant à un débat avec l’audience et notamment les jeunes venus y assister.‘Europe: quelle Passion!’ est un récital vivant et innovant narrant l’histoire de l’intégration européenne depuis la Seconde guerre mondiale. Il engage les spectateurs dans la légende d’une part peu connue et pourtant si importante de leur propre histoire, et dont le futur dépend de nos choix conscients comme inconscients. Un storyteller fait le lien, en voix-off, entre douze chansons européennes bien connues, représentant douze jalons d’une longue et turbulente histoire d’amour. Les chansons et les textes s’adaptent à l’approche transnationale et multilingue du projet artistique : différentes versions du spectacle s’adressent aux différentes audiences européennes. Dans toutes les versions, les douze étapes sont illustrées par des vidéos retraçant les principales étapes de la construction européenne au travers de textes et graphiques originaux.

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Counter-terrorism Press conference after committee vote

Posted by fidest press agency su martedì, 5 luglio 2016

StrasbourgStrasbourg On Tuesday 5 JULY 2016 09.30 Press room of the European Parliament in Strasbourg. Civil Liberties MEPs will vote their amendments to the draft directive on “Combatting terrorism” and on a mandate for Parliament’s lead MEP Monika Hohlmeier (EPP, DE) to open up negotiations with the Council. Following the committee vote, Mrs Hohlmeier will give a press conference on Tuesday morning at 9.30 in the press briefing room in Strasbourg.The draft directive on “Combatting terrorism” aims to step up the fight against terrorism by criminalising also preparatory acts.EU legislation of 2002, last updated in 2008, already criminalises certain terrorist acts, including the commission of terrorist attacks. However, the new proposal suggests also criminalising travelling abroad for terrorist purposes, receiving training or financing terrorist activities as well as specific measures to protect and assist victims of terrorism.The proposal for the Counter terrorism directive was presented by the Commission on 2 December 2015 in the wake of the November Paris attacks and is considered a key tool in the joint fight to prevent terrorism.

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LIBE meetings on 4/07 and 7/07 (Strasbourg): EU Border Guard / Counter terrorism / Safe countries of origin / Visas

Posted by fidest press agency su sabato, 2 luglio 2016

StrasbourgStrasbourg. Monday (19.00-19.45) European Border and Coast Guard – rapporteur Artis Pabriks (EPP, LV). Vote on the text informally agreed with the Council.
New directive on combating terrorism – rapporteur Monika Hohlmeier (EPP, DE). Adoption of draft report and on the opening of interinstitutional negotiations. Press conference with the rapporteur on Tuesday 5 July at 9.30.
Thursday (10.30-11.20)Establishing an EU common list of safe countries of origin for the purposes of common procedures for granting and withdrawing international protection – rapporteur Sylvie Guillaume (S&D, FR). Adoption of draft report and on the opening of interinstitutional negotiations.
Review of the visa suspension mechanism – List of third countries whose nationals must be in possession of visas when crossing the external borders and those that are exempted. Rapporteur Agustín Díaz De Mera (EPP, ES). Adoption of draft report.
Directive on legal aid for suspects or accused persons deprived of liberty and in European arrest warrant proceedings – rapporteur Dennis de Jong (GUE, NL). Vote on the text informally agreed with the Council.
Presentations and debates
Proposal of a visa waiver for Georgia – rapporteur Mariya Gabriel (EPP, BG). Presentation of draft report. Monday, 19.45-20.00

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New rules to attract non-EU students, researchers and interns to the EU – last steps

Posted by fidest press agency su sabato, 30 aprile 2016

strasburgo-parlamento-europeoHarmonised EU entry and residence rules that will make it easier and more attractive for students and researchers from third countries to study or do research at EU universities were endorsed by the Civil Liberties Committee on Thursday. The new rules also have provisions to clarify and improve conditions for non-EU interns, volunteers, school pupils and au pairs, so as to facilitate cultural exchanges. An informal agreement on the new rules to attract non-EU students, researchers and interns to the EU was reached with Council in November last year. Thursday’s vote on the Civil Liberties Committee’s recommendation for second reading brings the new directive one step closer to its final adoption which is scheduled for early May in Strasbourg. The new rules merge two existing directives (one on students and one on researchers) to ensure that:
• students and researchers will have the right to stay at least nine months after finishing their studies or research in order to look for a job or to set up a business, which should also ensure that Europe benefits from their skills. Today, it is individual EU member states which decide whether students and researchers from third countries may stay on after their studies or research have ended,
• it will be easier for students and researchers to move within the EU during their stay. Under the new rules, they will have to notify only the member state to which they are moving, for example to do a one-semester exchange, instead of having to submit a new visa application and wait for it to be processed, as is the case today. Researchers will also be able to move for longer periods than those currently allowed.
• researchers will have the right to bring their family members with them, also when they move within the EU, and these family members will also have the right to work during their stay in Europe, and
• students will have the right to work at least 15 hours a week
In addition to the rules on students and researchers, the new directive also has provisions for interns and volunteers under the European Volunteer Scheme, who will benefit from uniform conditions to enter Europe and increased protection once there, as well as optional provisions for other volunteers, school pupils and au pairs. This is the first time that third-country au pairs have been included in an EU law.
The final plenary vote is expected to take place in Strasbourg in May. The directive enters into force the day after its publication in the European Official Journal. After that, member states will have 2 years to transpose the new provisions into their national laws.

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EU Agenda on Migration / Emergency relocation mechanism / Holistic approach to migration

Posted by fidest press agency su sabato, 4 luglio 2015

Strasbourg -Monday 6 July 2015, 19.00 – 21.00 Room Louise Weiss (LOW) N1.4 The European Agenda on Migration will be discussed in the Civil Liberties, Justice and Home Affairs Committee on 6 July, in Strasbourg. Particular attention will be given to, amongst others, the provisional international protection measures for Italy and Greece, a European resettlement scheme, the action plan against migrant smuggling and the guidelines on fingerprints. The committee will also continue discussing the situation in the Mediterranean and the need for a holistic approach to migration. European Agenda on Migration – presentation of the first measures by Matthias Ruete, Director General, DG HOME, European Commission:
– proposal for a Council decision on provisional measures in the area of international protection for the benefit of Italy and Greece;
– Commission recommendation on a European resettlement scheme;
– EU action plan against migrant smuggling 2015-2020;
– guidelines on the implementation of the Eurodac regulation as regards the obligation to take fingerprints;
– revised operational plan of joint operation Triton.

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The Civil Liberties Committee will hold an extraordinary meeting

Posted by fidest press agency su domenica, 8 marzo 2015

strasbourgStrasbourg Monday 9 March, 19.00 – 19.45 in Room: Salvador de Madariaga (SDM) 1. European Public Prosecutor’s Office – vote on a draft interim report by Monica Macovei (EPP, RO)The proposed European Public Prosecutor’s Office (EPPO) would have the exclusive competence for investigating, prosecuting and bringing to judgment crimes against the EU budget. Every year, around €500 million in EU expenditure and revenue is lost due to suspected fraud.The European Commission tabled the proposal to create a EPPO in July 2013. The Council will have to approve it by unanimity after obtaining the European Parliament’s consent. This new interim report aims to outline the political priorities of the European Parliament and underline principles and conditions under which Parliament might consent to the proposal. In its EPPO resolution of 12 March 2014, Parliament made a number of political suggestions addressing some of the most crucial aspects at stake: structure, independence, decision making process, competence, investigation tools, admissibility of evidence, judicial review and legal protection.

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Collective complaint to the European Committee of Social Rights

Posted by fidest press agency su venerdì, 12 luglio 2013

The Committee of the European Social Charter of the Council of Europe (Strasbourg) has declared admissible a case on the situation of undocumented migrants in the Netherlands, presented by the Conference of European Churches (CEC). Upon request of the Protestant Church in the Netherlands (PCN), the Conference of European Churches (CEC) has submitted on 17 January 2013 a “collective complaint” to the European Committee of Social Rights (called below “the Committee”) of the Council of Europe (CoE), which seat is in Strasbourg.
CEC is one of the organisations authorized to lodge a collective complaint under the Revised Social Charter.”If a country really lacks resources, the international community must step in. The Netherlands is however a rich country. Expensive medical assistance is in principle available, whilst food and shelter is denied. Rejection of the destitute has nothing to do with the public recourses of the Netherlands. The State refuses to meet international standards to which it has voluntarily decided to bind itself, complying not even with the minimum core obligations.” told Rev. Richard Fischer from the Church and Society Commission of CEC

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The return of religion in Europe

Posted by fidest press agency su sabato, 10 marzo 2012

European flags in front of the Council of Euro...

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Religion as an advocate of social cohesion is the object of renewed interest on the part of the Council of Europe. Besides the principles of human rights, democracy and the rule of law, the issue of religious freedom challenges the experts in Strasbourg more and more. Christ bursts onto the European scene through his faithful who clearly demonstrate not accepting the dimension of their faith being relegated to the private sphere.
The Presidents of the Bishops’ Conferences of South-east Europe this year accepted the invitation of the Holy See’s Permanent Observer at the Council of Europe, Mgr Aldo Giordano, to meet in Strasbourg to deepen their knowledge of the European institutions, to discuss and share together with some officials from Strasbourg’s institutions the mutual concern for the true spiritual, political and social good of the peoples of the continent.Participating in the meeting were the Presidents of the Bishops’ Conferences ….
In the various meetings with officials from the European institutions, inter alia the following issues were tackled.
The Church and the Council of Europe share together the same concerns about the current increase in the cases of violation of freedom of religion in European nations which often result ….
The bishops present examined carefully the Council of Europe’s renewed interest in the religious dimension of its citizens. The role of religion appears …
The fact that religion is assuming ever greater public importance in the lives and consciences of European citizens is extensively demonstrated by ….
Reconciliation, in charity and justice, remains a concern and priority which the Churches of South-east Europe must pursue and promote. It is aimed

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Nine Bishops’ Conferences

Posted by fidest press agency su sabato, 3 marzo 2012

Strasbourg, France, 5-8 March 2012 Nine Bishops’ Conferences will be represented by their Presidents: Albania, Bosnia Herzegovina, Bulgaria, Cyprus, Greece, Moldova, Romania, the International Bishops’ Conference of Saints Cyril and Methodius, and Turkey. “I believe that this meeting can be very significant for both bodies, especially for the mission of promoting and protecting human rights, the rule of law and democracy at the basis of the Council of Europe”, said Mgr Aldo Giordano, the Holy See’s Permanent Observer at the Council of Europe. “It is sufficient just to glance at some of the issues tackled at a European level to become aware ….”. In Strasbourg, the participating bishops will be able to discuss the themes on the Council of Europe’s agenda in a series of meetings with Council officers, including the General Director of Programmes, Ms Gabriella Battaini-Dragoni; Judge Jean-Paul Costa, former President of the European Court of Human Rights; and the President of the Venice Commission, Dr Gianni Buquicchio. “The decision to conclude this first cycle of discussions about our social and ecclesiastical bodies in Strasbourg this year with an examination-dialogue with some representatives from the Council of Europe came very naturally because this European body is the primary international inter-governmental organisation of which all our governments are members”, emphasised Mgr Franjo Komarica, President of the Bishops’ Conference of Bosnia Herzegovina. “At the same time, we know how much the work undertaken in the offices of Strasbourg has a very important impact not just in political, but …”.A particularly important moment for the Presidents of the Bishops’ Conferences will be the Mass for Europe, scheduled for Wednesday 7 March at 1830 in Strasbourg Cathedral. Invited to the celebration, presided over by the local Archbishop Jean-Pierre Grallet, will be a number of people working in the European institutions: Ambassadors and officials from the Council of Europe, judges from the European Court of Human Rights, as well as members of the church communities and organisations which take part in the European journey from close quarters.

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Vital role for churches

Posted by fidest press agency su martedì, 11 ottobre 2011

Council of Europe Palais de l'Europe aerial vi...

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The Conference on Education for Democratic Citizenship – a role for the churches? took place from October 5-7 in Strasbourg. Organised by the Church and Society Commission (CSC) of the Conference of European Churches (CEC), the conference brought together members of churches and church organisations, clergy, lay, NGOs and academics, to discuss and debate how the church can act as a responsible part of civil society. This was confirmed through a dialogue with representatives of the institutions of the Council of Europe and a member of the cabinet of the EU Commissioner responsible for education. The timing of this dialogue is right, in view of the pending launch of the budget for education, which will be raised by 75% to 15,2 bn € (see note 1). One very encouraging outcome of the conference was the achievement of openness on the part of the officials of the EU and of local government to keep the dialogue with the churches going. That is a promise for the future.

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