Our Analytics 28 september — 12:54

Our call: Azerbaijan withdraw from Council of Europe! (Our editorial)

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BY EYNULLA FATULLAYEV

European legal scholars, political scientists and international affairs experts are still wondering: who needs an anachronistic international quasi-governmental organization of the Council of Europe, a remnant of the era of the condominium of Stalin and Truman?

After all, by and large, the Council of Europe has long fulfilled its historic mission: Churchill's Zurich theses about the creation of the United States of Europe found their embodiment in the formation of the Maastricht process, which culminated in the creation of the European Union. In 70 years, the European community has made a grand breakthrough, transforming the supranational organization into a subject of international law. The USSR and the Warsaw Pact fell, Germany united, Eastern Europe joined the Western European community...

And so, it would seem, the victory of the first world geopolitical liberal revolution was to transform both the structure and goals of the Council of Europe's task. The world has changed, and the Council of Europe has continued to coexist with the new world system according to the canons of the Cold War that has vanished into oblivion. The Council of Europe was more like a historical monument, a kind of a Triumphal Arch, built to commemorate former, illusory victories now defeated by time.

Imagine, to this day the aim of the Council of Europe is to promote cooperation between countries in the field of democracy and human rights. At the same time, most of the countries that are members of the Council are full members of the European Union. Exception: only a few countries that are part of the European geographical area around Russia. It turns out that the Council of Europe is entirely engaged in improving the institutions of democracy in only a few countries of the whole continent. Although two of these countries - Belarus and Russia - were expelled from the organization.

The Council of Europe, together with its enormous, expensive bureaucratic apparatus, fell into an embarrassing, if not to say stupid position. After all, for these few countries, including Belarus expelled from the Council of Europe, the Europeans came up with a new format for "Europeanization" - the so-called "Eastern Partnership".

Some nonsense! It turns out that in Europe there are as many as two formats for improving democracy and liberal institutions in a handful of countries around Russia. The question is, why is in this case the Council of Europe needed? Nobody can answer this question, it is rather difficult to find logical arguments with the help of which it is possible to explain the goals and tasks that oblige European politicians to maintain this senseless organization that has degenerated into some Western NGO defiling disagreeable governments.

Secretary General of the Council of Europe, former Norwegian Prime Minister Thorbjørn Jagland is one of those who have tried all these years to keep that meaningless organization alive. Jagland is completely far from ascetic motives and guidelines in his political activities. The analytical interpretation of the political portrait of the Norwegian ex-prime minister testifies to his rigid pragmatism and opportunistic bias. The Council of Europe for Jagland serves as a bridgehead for the struggle for the post of UN Secretary General, but the bet was made on the ex-prime minister of Portugal, the less ambitious and more functional Antonio Guterres. The strokes to the portrait of Jagland reveal his true motives for mobilizing all, albeit decorative, but still political institutions of the Council against Azerbaijan.

Jagland's departing car

The Council of Europe, leveled to the critical single voice of a small-caliber NGO, completely focused on criticizing the institutions of democracy in one country - Azerbaijan. On the other hand, the Council of Europe can be understood: there is no one else left, except for the inviolable "agent country", the Caucasian Armenia, patronized by a more influential global player - the world Armenianship. But this is a topic for another analysis.

You are mistaken if you think that at the last meeting of the Committee of Ministers of the Council of Europe, held from September 19 to September 21 in Strasbourg, at the initiative of T.Jagland, the shocking and no less deplorable situation surrounding the total violation of the rights of Ukrainian citizen Mikheil Saakashvili by the corporate oligarchy was discussed. The Committee of Ministers did not notice the arrests of children and family members of political prisoners in Armenia... At the meeting of the Committee on the personal initiative of Jagland, the issue of applying the procedure stipulated in the fourth paragraph of Article 46 of the European Convention in respect of Azerbaijan was discussed.

Jagland is convinced that Azerbaijan does not comply with the decision of the European Court in the case of prisoner Ilgar Mammadov, and therefore suggested that the Committee send a request to the European Court of Human Rights in connection with violation of the requirements of the Convention. The political motivation of Jagland's actions is unquestionable: literally a matter of days before the debate in the Committee, the secretary general, using his influence in the Norwegian establishment, pushed through in a notorious biased edition of Aftenposten a special article about initiating a legal procedure against Azerbaijan. A few days later a similar article appeared on the pages of another influential European newspaper Politico. However, unlike the engaged Norwegian newspaper, Politico more realistically commented on the possible outcome of Jagland's initiative.

As the influential newspaper notes, Jagland's initiative is doomed to failure, since this legal procedure is a vicious circle: the European Court's conclusion will again return to the Committee of Ministers with the instruction "to take appropriate measures". However, all decisions of the Committee are purely recommendatory. The Council of Europe does not have effective legal measures to compel a country to implement a decision. A vivid example is the unfulfilled resolutions of another institution of the Council - the Parliamentary Assembly, which obliged Armenia to liberate the occupied Azerbaijani territories.

Here are the consequences of the absence of conceptual and systemic reforms in the Council of Europe, not adapted to the new world order. The organization was preserved, but the role and place of the institutional European community with the appendage of the semi-European countries in the new world was not determined. Theoretically, the Committee of Ministers, of course, can raise the issue of excluding Azerbaijan from the Council of Europe. But, as the same European publication Politico notes, this will lead to disastrous consequences for the organization itself.

11 thousand complaints to the European Court are not executed to this day

First, what did the earlier sanctions against Belarus and Russia turn out to be? The Council of Europe facilitated the activities of the governments of these countries, who easily dropped nominal and meaningless commitments and strengthened the system of sovereign national democracy. Secondly, the Council of Europe will deprive Azerbaijani citizens of the right to apply to the European Court of Human Rights. Thus, the political game of Jagland is directed against the rights of the 10 million population of the whole country!

If the secretary general of the Council of Europe manifests such a fierce adherence to principles, why doesn't he touch upon the problem of non-fulfillment of the decisions of the European Court of Human Rights in full-fledged members of the European Union? Is it known to Mr. Jagland that since 2010 Italy has not executed 2350 decisions of the European Court of Human Rights? Or take, for example, another country from the post-Soviet region - Moldova. Jagland's colleague - Human Rights Commissioner Nils Muiznieks sounds the allarm: "In Moldova, the decisions of the European Court are enforced within 10 years". Imagine, 10 years! But Jagland does not react. To date, there are 11 thousand unimplemented decisions among the countries of the Council of Europe, and we are talking about such developed democracies as Great Britain, France, Spain... But for some reason the Secretary General of the Council of Europe does not raise any of these problematic issues, focusing on one example from Azerbaijan, to deprive one of the most important and largest states of a place, albeit in a nominal, but still an international organization!

But, faced with such a screaming injustice, Azerbaijani President Ilham Aliyev himself can choose the tactic of boycotting the Council of Europe. Indeed, at the culmination of frankly engaged attacks and tough political raids by the European Parliament in 2015, the President of Azerbaijan completely turned off cooperation with the "Eastern Partnership". Then the European parliamentarians had to persuade Azerbaijan to return for a long time, but the position of the head of state remained unchanged: Ilham Aliyev was demanding satisfaction!

Does Azerbaijan need the Council of Europe?

Why does the organization that lost its former influence and role in world politics need to lose one more important state? Where is the logic of the behavior of this strange European politician? However, it seems that Jagland does not leave any other way for official Baku. The question is, 11 thousand unimplemented cases, flagrant violations of human rights in many countries and even in the European Union, including the recent politically motivated arrests in the center of Europe in Barcelona and the violent dispersal of the demonstration in Hamburg, but for some reason Azerbaijan is again being targeted? And this is in the light of President Aliyev's recent successful visit to Brussels at the invitation of the President of the Council of the European Union, Donald Tusk? And this is on the eve of the implementation of strategic transnational geo-economic projects on the initiative of President Aliyev? And this is in the midst of a new round of geopolitical fights and clashes for the future fate of Azerbaijan? According to available information, Jagland often visits Russia and is connected with certain circles of this country through corruption ties. And this is on the eve of the strategic visit of President Ilham Aliyev to Brussels for the Eastern Partnership summit, which will be held on November 24? It turns out that Jagland is trying to frustrate President Aliyev's talks with Brussels?

There is an outright treacherous political action against Azerbaijan, and the political leadership of the country, apparently, should think about a worthy political and legal response: what is the point of remaining in the Council of lost guidelines? What does this give us? Or maybe it's better to get ahead of the likely decision of the Committee, initiating the withdrawal of Azerbaijan from the Council of Europe? I call on the authorities and the society to start open discussions!

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