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CFE/Democracy Panel/Day 1: EU Chair Slovenia Minister to Press(+EF): For a Pluralist Debate

Written by ACM
Friday, 24 September 2021

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*Strasbourg/EU Parliament/Angelo Marcopolo/- KickStarting "the Most Popular" Citizens' Panel in the Coference on Europe's Future (CFE), as EU Parliament's Coordinator, Guy Verhofstadt, had called it (See: http://www.eurofora.net/newsflashes/news/eppressheadtoefoncitizenspanels.html + Statement to "Eurofora" at: http://www.eurofora.net/newsflashes/news/cfeverhofstadtoefcitizensmaychange.html, etc), i.e. that on Democracy, the Young EU-President-in-office, Slovenian Minister on EU Affairs, Gasper Dovzan, in a Message for the Press, including "Eurofora", called, Today in Strasboug, for "a Substantial Debate", where "All Views" should "be Included", in order to "Establish Dialogue".

    - He was, in fact, Referring to what the Experienced, Twice EU Council's President (2008 + 2022), Slovenian Prime Minister Janez Jansa, had Stressed, in his Press Conference at EU Parliament in Strasbourg, last July, together with the latter's Head, Italian MEP David Sassoli, i.e. that "We (EU) want All Voices to be Heard in the Debate on the Future of Europe", Because "only on this Basis will we be Able to Find Common Ground Ahead", (See : http://www.eurofora.net/newsflashes/news/euheadjansafordialogue.html).

    - "All Political Views, are Legitimate and Equal", Because "they are Part of a Democratic Process", "Part of a Debate that is Necessary for me, Even if we doN't Agree" on some points, Jansa had stressed from the outset in the Plenary, to the MEPs. -*

    - And Now, with the Conference on the Future of Europe", "We (EU) have to Open Spaces for Different Opinions, and, at the End, Find Common Grounds". Because, "If we Exclude, from the Beginning, it will Not lead to Positive Results". So, since "September, at least one Panel will have Discussions on Different Ideas. This will be the Beginning of a very Frank Dialogue between Various Political Forces", Jansa had announced. And "this Will Continue in the Future", because "Progress canNot be stoped !", he had Vowed.

    + In fact, Now "We Want that the whole Debate Moves really at the Substance", Added Today the Key EU Minister, Gasper Dovzan. - "Over the Summer, the Organisation (of the Conference) has been Ameliorated, and Now we are really Seing the Substantial Debate, with the Citizens at its Center".

    - "I Hope we'l Continue at this pace, and, at the End, we shall see the EU Institutions take these Proposals, Coming from the Citizens, and Seriously consider how to Improve European Policies, to the Benefit of Its Citizens and of course its Businesses". Because "I Hope we ll Close the Gap between European Citizens and EU Institutions, and Bring European Citizens Closer to EU Institutions, and, at the same time, the EU Institutions Closer to European Citizens", Dovzan wished. Since "Our Future is a European Future, and there is No Other Future for European Citizens than inside the EU", he stressed.

    => That's why, "We (the Slovenian EU Presidency 2021) have put the Conference on the Future of Europe, at the Center of our Priorities".

    + And "the Conference on Europe's Future is an Important Process", that "we Want to be as Open as possible, and... All Views to be Included. That is why we are Working also towards Establishing Dialogue, withIn the Conference", but "Also Between the Conference and ...some Other Stakeholders, who might not be Officialy Included", "such as the Partners from Western Balkans, and some Other Interest Groups. (Because) "it's really very Important that All Views are Included", the Co-Chair of the CFE Added, at this September's End.

    + "At the same Time, we (the Slovenian EU 2021 Presidency) are Preparing a couple of Events, in our Home Country, like the Bled Strategic Forum, (etc), where we offered a Platform for Both European Leaders, but Also Civil Society, and Business Representatives", he Announced, for an EU Process due to Develop Further until the End of this Year, and the Beginning of the Next (2022), when France takes over the Rotating EU Presidency, coinciding with the Time Scheduled for Conclusions.

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    >>> Nowadays, European People "Need to Fight for the EU" to be "Peaceful and Connected", "Strong Outside, and more Inclusive + Flexible Inside", the Slovenian EU Presidency's Minister stressed in the CFE's Plenary, providing a Wider Overall Picture.

    => Threfore, "Our Priorities are the Conference on Europe's Future, EU Resilience, Green and Digital Transfomation, Security in EU Neighbourhood, and Enlargement (at the Western Balkans)", he described.

    - On the "Conference for Europe's Future", we (EU) Need some Light for Next Year (2022), and "this Panel", concerning "the Foundations of the EU", relates also to "Citizens' Confidence on Institutions", through "Rule of Law, with Respct, Objectivity, and Participation", etc. So, "we (EU Council) shall Listen to Your Recommendations", he Promised.

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+ Meanwhile, in a "Press Briefing" where "Eurofora" was Invited, Earlier Today, Organizers stressed that such EU Citizens' Panels were "UnPrecedented" events, because 3 EU Institutions Work Together in them (EU Parliament, Commission, and Council), added to EU "Citizens' Involvement", as well as to their Aim to "Produce Concrete Results, in Panels' Recommendations for the Plenary which will make Proposals" for EU Reform.

This 2nd Citizens' Panel includes Democracy, Rule of Law, Values, and Internal Security, on which Participants would present their "Vision and Dreams", take into account also Other People's relevant Publications at the Conference's Web "Platform", as well as "Top Experts' Input", pursuing by Discussions between them, Before chosing Final "Topics and Streams", (in Addition to Electing 20 "Ambassadors" for the Plenary of the CFE). Most of that done in "MultiLinguism", allowing People to Speak in their Mother Tongue.

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>>> However, it was a Surprise to attest that, for the 1st (and may be Unique) Time, Despite the Notorious Big Popularity of those Issues (Comp. Supra), and their objective Importance for Nowadays' Europe, (since, inter alia, in fact, Any eventual Progress in EU Integration, should be accompagnied Also by More Democracy for EU Citizens, in order to Work well, (as Many Top EU Politicians had Already Aknowledged, since a Long Time Ago : F.ex., inter alia, Also the Franco-German couple Wolfgang Schäuble, currently Buntestag's President, and Joseph Daul, then President of the Biggest European Party : that of ChristianDemocrats/EPP, at a landmark Event hosted by the CoE in Strasbourg : See ..., etc),

Nevertheless, Exceptionaly, there was ...Not Any Question at all Raised by at least 1 Journalist, at the End of this Briefing, (Even if it was Transmitted Also by Video-Conference via "Webex" Invitations to the Press) !...

=> It's true that "Eurofora" (who Followed most of it) had an Exceptional Health Problem, and was Surprized by a Last-Minute announced Change of the Usual Timing, from Late Evening to Early Noon. But What happened to All Other Collegues ?

Was that Event a "Victim of its Success" ? I.e., perhaps some Organizers thought that a so Popular Issue as EU Democracy (Comp. Supra), did Not Need to be Boosted vis a vis Journalists, so that it was Left to be the Only one among 4 Panels, withOut Any Link to EU Parliament's Plenary week, Neither to anOther adjacent Big EU Event, (as f.ex. the forthcoming "EYE" Mega-Gathering for Young People here, Scheduled Near the 3rd Panel on Natural Environment and Climate ?

Or was it Something Else ?

 

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CFE/EcoSoc+Digit.Panel/Day-3: Citizens tell EF they can Debate+Change Agenda. Moves Start

Written by ACM
Sunday, 19 September 2021

 

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*Strasbourg/EUParliament/Angelo Marcopolo/- The 3rd and Concluding Day, of the 1st CoFoE Panel of Citizens, on Eco-Social and Digital Issues, this Sunday, left an UnExpected Feeling of...Resurrection !

Indeed, after some "Introductions" by "Moderators", the Participating Citizens had a "Discussion" Behind Closed Doors, among themselves, (only with "Facilitators"), about Whether they "Agreed", or had any "FeedBack", perhaps Wished "Changes", etc., Followed by a 30 Minutes Long "Break", where they were practicaly Free to have various Topical Dialogues with "Eurofora" and Other Independent Actors (f.ex. See Infra), Before Returning to the Arena (i.e. the "Plenary"), for a Final Stage, ...Marked by a Surprizing ...Revolt-like Spirit !

During that Special "Break", "Eurofora" had a First Real Chance to Freely Speak with several Participating Citizens or Independent Experts, from Various Key Countries, of Both Sexes, Different Ages, etc, contacted at Random. Those Dialogues were Brief, but more Substantial than expected.

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- A First Surprizing input was from a Young Lady, who Insisted that, at last, Now, Participating Citizens had quite "Enough" Time to Really Speak, Think and Debate between them, on almost All "Hot" Issues they Liked... This Last-Minute Optimism was apparently Supported also by anOther Young Girl and a Young Boy, who were previously Discussing with her...

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- A Youngster from Italy, appeared much More Serious and profound than expected at First Sight : Paolo Mauro, (No Relation to a former Long-Time Top ChristianDemocrat MEP from Italy), told "Eurofora" that, Instead of a Notoriously Bigger Number of Youngsters Under 24 y.o., (since those aged between 17-24 represented Even Small Kids or Babies (sic !), with the Result to Number almost 1/3 of the Total, (as Verhofstad had already Observed in his Press Briefing, Earlier on Wednesday in Strasbourg), he'd rather Prefer to have "Either a clear Event for Youngsters Only, (f.ex. as "EYE", etc), or Events Organized with All the People", represented Equally ! (By the way, Paolo said that he Dreamed to Study the Natural Science of Physics, but in a way Associated with Philosophy : almost Like the Ancient Greek "Atomic" Philosophers, from Ionia).

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- A serious-looking, well-dressed, Middle-Age Man from Finland, (sitting Alone, as Most Middle-Aged People at this Event, since they are a Minority : See Above), told "Eurofora" that the Main thing for him was to Boost EU's role in Modern "Digital" Technologies, and particularly SmartPhones, Instead of letting various Other Countries in the World (as USA, China, Corea, Japan, Taiwan, sometimes the UK, etc) Dominate that Key Sector of Global Economy and Social Networks, even more... He appeared Glad to be reminded of the Fact that "Nokia", (when it was an Independent Finnish Company, and Not Yet a Secondary Branch of USA's "Microsoft"), had Created the 1st SmartPhones in the World, including even a Unique, Landmark Version of a ...HIgh-Tech "Spacecraft"-looking Device, that my Wife had bought me as a precious Gift, a (Too) Long Time ago...

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- Last, but not least at all, Belgian-Italian University Professor Louis Godart, an Aged but Sportif Man, who had Spoken Yesterday (on Saturday) as an Expert, but was Today (Sunday) Discussing with several Citizens-Participants to the CoFoE with sincere Passion, Agreed with "Eurofora" that a Real, Fully-fledged Education and Culture on properly "European History", Values and Ideas was certainly Needed Nowadays, and Stressed that, in his View, the European Civilisation had Started with the Political Reforms of "Klisthenis", as Early as, Already "Since the 5th Century BC"...

The very Name of Klisthenis, (who is personaly related also with the Famous Pericles, by Family and Political Ideas), Triggers a Series of Links with Democracy, particularly Direct Democracy, as well as Freedom of Speech, Social Reforms and large ConFederation plans, etc., which would certainly be Interesting Also for the Next, 2nd Citizens' Panel, focused on European Democracy, considered to be the Most Popular of all, and due to Start Next Week in Strasbourg (21-23/9/2021).

But, Professor Godart's immediate Aim, Nowadays, was rather to Focus on the Cultural/Education aspect, included in the Present, 1st Citizens' Panel. Indeed, this results clearly from his main Intervention to the Plenary as an Expert, Yesterday (Saturday, 18/9/2021), where he Stressed from the outset that the "1st Founding Cultural Value of EU is Democracy, Born at the 5th Century BC in Ancient Greece".

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+ Adding also "Christianity and Humanism", he Urged to "Look Back to Athens and Rome, among our (European) Founding Values", because "I firmly Believe that the EU Must absolutely encourage and contribute that we are feeling to be the Children of a Shared Same History !" "F.ex., inter alia, via promoting Major Exhibitions, including on Paintings, (f.ex. to teach that even Leonardo Da Vinci and/or Dante were European Citizens)". Indeed, "We are the Offspring of a Culture which has taken form over course of Millenia, and the main Leading Figures of this Culture, the Books they've written, the Artworks of this Culture, can make us Feel as Children of one and Same Culture. Here, the EU has an Enormous Role to play. Including by placing European Culture in our Education Systems, to show f.ex. that we are the Children of a Culture which Emerged before 3 Millenaries, mainly at the Aegean (Sea) area", Godart Concluded, (by a Symbolic Coincidence speaking the very "Day of the European Cultural Heritage", which Attracted a lot of People also to Visit with their Families the EU Parliament's Tower-Building here : Comp. Supra).

 ++ As for "Eurofora"s Input here, that we Discussed with Professor Godart, it was more Related Also to the 4th Panel, about European Defense : It consisted into Linking "European Education", particularly in "History", with the Most Important, Collective "Victories" of Multi-National European Armies, Bringing Together various Countries and Ethnicities of the European Continent, where simple People risked and even Sacrificed their Lives in order to Liberate and/or Saveguard our common Land from Foreign Military Invasions and Occupations accross the Centuries, while usual History Books either Omit, or Downgrade the Immense Importance of such pro-European events : F.ex. the Lepante Naval battle of 1571 after a Massacre of Venitians in Cyprus by the Turks, Decicive for the Mediterranean Sea; the "Holly League" of 1594-1606, Uniting the Vatican, Italians, Spain, Germans, Venice, Serbs, Polish, Russians, etc. in order to Help Liberate Europe from the Turkish-Ottoman Empire ; the Croatian Fortress Sisak, saved by Austrians, the Defense of Wien on 1683, the Liberation of all Budapest on 1696, the Serbian Revolution of 1804-1835, the Greek Revolution of 1921-1921, (including the landmark Naval Victory of the French, English and Russians against the Turks at Navarino on 1827, who seeked to Replace the Population of Moreas Peninsula by massively Imported Africans, while the Greek People were thrown to Slavery and Transfered to Africa, as mainly Bavarian Germans had Denounced); and many others, in various contexts through the Centuries.

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=> After all that, the overall Spirit of Citizens-Participants in the Concluding Sessions of this Sunday, 19/9/2021, "Plenary" Debates and Votes, concerning the "Discussion" and "Approval" of "Streams", appeared to have Radicaly Changed :

- Indeed, with a Series of Energetic, Vibrant, and quasi-Unanimous moves, a large Majority of Participating Citizens took the Initiative to Advance well Beyond what had been Already cited by the "Moderators", previously, and Spearheaded the Adoption also of several Added, New or More Developed Topics, such as, f.ex., on "Ethical, Inclusive and Democratic Digitalisation Technologies", "Scientific Research", "European Culture and Identity" (eventualy Boosted also by the Creation of EU Medias due to Promote those aspects), TransNational "European Education", "Agriculture" and "Food Safety", etc....

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Sometimes, Citizens had to Repeat, Insist, Argue, and Trigger an EnLarging Popular Support for their Proposals, in order to Convince certain recalcitrant "Moderators", (f.ex. also for "European Education and Research", for "Agricultural Development and Food Safety", etc), But they Succeeded, Most of the times, particularly when Solidarity among them was clearly Expressed in Public.

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However, these and Other "Topics" selected by the Citizens-Participants practicaly Depend on what will happen, Later at CoFoE's Plenary, concerning, in particular, those 20 "Ambassadors", that Each Panel of Citizens is due to Choose Randomly among its 200 Members, (i.e. a Total of 80), in order to Represent them during the most Crucial Part of the Conference, when Final Decisions will be taken.

Curiously, this 1st Panel of Citizens has Just Chosen, Already Today, its 20 "Ambassadors", withOut Waiting... And here, this has Nothing to do with Any Kind of so-called "Direct Democracy" tool, of the king used f.ex. in Klisthenis' Historic era (Comp. Supra). Indeed, then, it was All the Free People (Voting in the "Ecclesia" of their "Demos") who Chose f.ex. an MP for the Parliament ("Bouli"), with a Mandate Duration of Only about 1 Month ! And the Final Legislative Decisions were Not Taken by such "MPs" ("Bouleutes"), competent Only in order to "Prepare" them, But Only by All the Free PeopleVoting All Together, in the "Ecclesia" of their "Demos"... As for the "Executive, Public Officials" (as Ministers, etc), they were roportedly Elected in the Same Manner, But Only for ... One (1) Day ! Last, but not least, the Bulk of Administrative Bureucrats, Secretariat, Staff, Policemen, etc., they were reportedly Selected among ..."Slaves" ! Thus, Risks of Abuse of Power, and/or of Arbitrary Usurpation of Privileges, were Minimized.

But, on the Contrary, those CeFoE's "Ambassadors", are Not Elected by All the European People, (Only Chosen "Randomly" inside a Grouplet of Just 200 Participating-Citizens : Comp. Supra), Neither Limited in the Duration of their Mandate, (since they are reportedly due to Stay inside CoFoE's Plenary as long as the Conference will go on)...

=> Therefore, in real Practice, it seems that it will all Depend from the Authority that will be Recognized in Fact, to the "Resolutions" or "Recommendations" due to be made by the Panels of Citizens by Writting, (as long as they are still there).

 

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CFE/EcoSoc+Digit.Panel/Day-2: Verhofstadt claims to EF that Citizens May Change Agenda

Written by ACM
Saturday, 18 September 2021

 

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*Strasbourg/EU Parliament/Angelo Marcopolo/- This 2nd Day, Saturday, during the 1st Citizens' Panel on Economy-Social/Culture-Education/and Digitalisation, was Focused mainly on a particularly Extended Work about Concrete "Topics", Initialy and at the End Between the Participant Citizens, (only Partly aided by "Facilitants"), added to an Intermediary Phase, where "Moderators" and "Experts" had an Important Role to play. Such an Exceptional Overload in collective Work apparently Obliged even to Extend the initialy Scheduled Time-Frame for almost an Hour More, "Eurofora" was informed...

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But, nevertheless, since around 17.30, Both the Plenary and Working Rooms appeared Deserted, leaving Only ...Cleaning Ladies to work around, while Many Tourist Citizens, Visiting the Parliament on the occasion of the Day for European Cultural Heritage, were strolling on the Gallery, trying to Attract the attention of Paparatzi...

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In Addition, Participant-Citizens of the Conference had been, reportedly, Invited to Socio-Cultural Events, mainly by Strasbourg's Mayor Barseghian, for the Rest of the Day, including a Visit of the Historic, Huge Cathedral, and a Boat-Trip accross its Rivers, from the 3 Towers of Ancient Strasbourg, up to the Modern Buildings of EU Parliament, the CoE and the ECHR, (etc)...

Nevertheless, "Eurofora" was Surprized to find out that, while Most People were piled up inside the ...Restaurant of EU Parliament, on the Contrary, some (including even a Young Lady still Working with a Computer) were striving to continue Building on the Conference's Issues, still until Late Evening, (probably Because Tomorrow, on Sunday Morning, it was going to be an Important Decision-Making moment !). I.e., "Eurofora"'s estimation that the Time is Tight, (Comp. Sura, at : ..., etc), seems Right.

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And even that Restaurant, this Evening, appeared to be Rather a conveniant Meeting-Place for ..."Food for Thought !" Indeed, soon 3 or 4 Participants, one afte another, Kindly Invited "Eurofora" to enter Inside, Revealing that, in fact, there was something Exceptionaly Important going-on, particularly in the form of "a Speech", by a Leading European Personality, whose Name, Curiously, they did Not Disclose asap...

So, the Surprize was Great when, Suddenly, we saw ...Guy Verhofstadt, walk out of that EU Parliament's overloaded Restaurant, with a smile, Contrary to his Past Declaration, Yesterday Afternoon (Friday) at the Plenary, that it would be the Last Time that he adressed this Panel's 1st Meeting, since he was going to Leave Strasbourg, then !

=> "Eurofora" immediately Seized that Opportunity to Ask the EU Parliament's Chief Negociator on the Conference for the Future of Europe, and former Belgium's Prime Minister, whether he Believed that those Participant Citizens miht have Still Enough Time and Occasions to eventualy Rectify possible Ommissions or Deformations of Topics, on what they considered as the Main Issues that Should be Raised, Discussed and Settled in their Panel.

>>> Verhofstadt's Reply to the above-mentioned "Eurofora"s Question appeared Adamant :  - Yes, these Participant Citizens could, indeed, do so, Given, particularly, the Fact that they have 3 Meetings for their Panel, (1 in Strasbourg, Nowadays, anOther -Digital- on October, and a 3rd -at anOther EU City- on November 2021. +Moreover, Theoreticaly, anOther Possibility might be for someone to Raise such Issues During the subsequent, "Plenary" Meetings of the CoFoE, Later-on, (But, then, it would have to be one among the 20 "Ambassadors", that this Panel of 200 Participant-Citizens would Chose Tomorrow (Sunday, 19/9/2021).

Such ReEnsurances were given to "Eurofora" with a Kindly Smiling Face,

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and While Many Other, simple EU Citizens had Inundated EU Parliament's Building Today, Often with all their Family, including Kids, proudly holding a European Flag, (one of the Gifts offered to Visitors by EU Parliament's staff, on the Occasion of this Day for European Cultural Heritage, that Even some Journalists Received, including "Eurofora", placing it at their Desk in the PressRoom)...

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("Draft-News")

 

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CFE/EcoSoc+Digit.Panel/Day-1: EF raises Question of Citizens' Freedom to Change Agenda

Written by ACM
Friday, 17 September 2021

 

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*Strasbourg/EU Parliament/Angelo Marcopolo/- Right from the very Beginning of the 1st Attempt in Europe's History to actively Associate Citizens in Shaping its Future, (See: http://www.eurofora.net/newsflashes/news/eppressheadtoefoncitizenspanels.html, etc), while Other Journalists repeated Queries about the Political Views' Fairness in the Selection of Participants by a Private Company of alleged Experts, (as some EU Politicians had Already done), instead, "Eurofora" Focused on a "Technical" but Crucial critical Question about Whether they Really had a Fair Possibility, in real Practice, to make notable Changes in the Scheduled Agenda of that unique process, and/or Add Key Input (i.e. f.ex. Backing certains Key Proposals, perhaps Neglected by some "Experts"), or not.

An Obvious Problem was the Fact that this First "Citizens' Panel", (out of 4 in Total), Focused on Economic and Social Issues, including Education, Culture and Sport, as well as Digitalisation, had a so "Tight" Draft Daily Programme, during 3 Crucial Days, (17-19/9/2021), that it appeared, a priori, Practicaly very Difficult, if not Impossible, for them, to Seriously Examine all key Facts, Notice eventual Ommissions or other Errors, Discuss, Revendicate, and Obtain any Important Change...

 

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Indeed, f.ex., inter alia, the 1st and 3rd Days were Cut in a Half, (i.e. Only Afternoon or Morning, respectively), the 2nd (apparently the Most Serious Working Day) was Reduced for 1/3 by Social Events and various Invitations, Added to the Fact that the 1st Day (Friday) was practicaly consumed into Welcoming, Meeting, and Organisation matters, while almost All the Rest was Ostensibly Full of Partial or even Total Interventions by Various Other Actors : "Moderators", "Experts", "Facilitators", MEPs, etc, accompagnied Also by a numerous (and apparently Hard-Working) Secretariat or "NGOs" from Brussels, etc, so that the mainly InExperienced 200 Citizens, from Dispersed Origins, most of whom didn't even know where were located EU Parliament's basic Meeting Places inside a Huge Building, inevitably Risked to feel Lost amidst Only ...5, 10 or 15 Minutes' Time-Slots often assigned by the Draft Programme for Debating and Making Hard Choices even at some Thorny and Complicated Issues... A fotiori when Only "Plenary" Debates were Accessible to Journalists and the Public via EBS), while, on the Contrary, crucial "WorkShop" Meetings between Participant Citizens were kept Closed, (Opposite to what happens with MEPs' "Committee" Debates, at least Since "Eurofora" succesfuly Suggested an Internet Direct Links, when we had Met with then New EU Parliament's President Buzek, in the Past, (See: ..,, etc).

In Addition, as some among the Organizers reminded to "Eurofora", it's, also, a well known Fact that there had Not been a Full Unanimity, inside all EU Parts, for Trying to give a Say to Citizens, (Even if a Majority really Believed that EU should and could Associate Citizens in a Modern and more Democratic Decision-Making process, if it really Wanted a more Ingrated and Stronger Europe in the World : See, already, inter alia, f.ex., also from Strasourg's area Franco-Germann core Couple of Daul and Schaüble at the CoE, earlier, etc). - "But you Remember that, Already Shortly before that Virus, such a Project Risked to be pacticaly going towards a Dead End", an EU Parliament's staff membe Rihtfully Reminded to "Eurofora". So that it's Not Excluded a priori that Some might, perhaps, even, be Secretly Glad if Any such Modern EU Democracy potential Failed, by putting Spokes in EU's Wheels...

This was in Bright Contrast particularly with People apparently Motivated by a Real pro-European Aspiration, including, f.ex. a Collegue Journalist who came to Strasbourg by Air-Flight from Tallin, and/or a Young Lady, Citizen-Participant, who "Eurofora" shaw Working with a Computer, even Alone, until Late Evening, while Most Others were Eating at the Restaurant or Dispersed in various Social Events' Invitations, an Aged but Experienced "Expert" eager to Stimulate an Ambitious pro-European Ambiance, or Press Attaché Kyriakos Closides claiming that Participant-Citizens "did Not Quarell, among them, But, on the Contrary, strived to Find Common Ground for real European Solutions, (etc). Mylti-Active Head Press Attaché Sanne De Ryck, who strived to Help Press Contacts in general, while Admitting that Many Plenary Events were, in fact, "Experts"-driven, nevertheless, pointed at Citizens' "Workshops" and/or "Breaks", for Journalists' INTWs, particularly Later-on, (righfully : See ..., etc UPDATED).

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=> EU competent Officials' feeling on the above-mentioned "Eurofora"s Query, Today, appeared to be a somewhat "Balanced" one : Essentialy, they too felt that, Indeed, there was "a Challenge" here, since there was a Limited Time, but for Broad Issues, and an Equilibrium to Find between Input from the Web (i.e. the rest of 500 Millions of European People), Experts, etc, while Also Letting Participants Free to Reflect, Propose, etc., since they should have some Time to reach their own Conclusions, as part of this Process' added Value...

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(Meanwile, concerning at least the Fact that Participant Citizens are really Eager to Speak and Exchange with Each-Other around the CoFoE's Issues, including among themselves,  this became Immediately Obvious when, Earlier this 1st Day at the Plenary, the Organizers Allowed them to "Know Each Other" during ... Ten (10) Minutes, as an "Eurofora"'s relevant Photo clearly indicates)...

cofoe_1st_panelday_1_people_eager_to_meet_each_other_12_m_ebs__eurofora_400 

In consequence, they Claimed Both that, in order to be Politicaly Efficient, this Conference's Approach would strive to "Narrow-down" the Number and Scope of Various Questions raised here, and that at any case, the 200 or 800 Participant Citizens, as well as All Other EU's 500 Miliions Citizens, would have Opportunities to UpDate and/or Complete their Queries, (using Various Practical Astuces),  during the Rest of the Time Available, (particularly during the Next 2 Panels and/or Following "Interim Reports", due on October + November), until Before the Conference on Europe's Future concludes on Early 2022...

A Preference for "Narrowing down" Issues to Debate, was Also Backed by Brussels-based NGO "European Policy Center"'s envoy, Johannes Greubel, speaking to "Eurofora" Later-on, under Pretext that this would Provoke Sharper Reactions from Participants, in general.

However, there was Not Yet any Crystal-clear Answer to the Crucial, in real Practice, Question, whether the Next 2 Editions of the "Interim Reports" on the various "Proposals" made by EU Citizens at the Website Platform of the Conference for the Future of Europe during the Forthcoming few Months might be Entirely UpDated, i.e. Including Also several interesting Proposals that had Not Been Spoted yet, Nor Cited, or not even Made Earlier, as "Eurofora" suggested...

cofoe_1st_panel_day_1__eptranslation_in_24_languages_eurofora_400 

Indeed, to judge, f.ex., by the 1st "Interim Report" on the CoFoE, just Published on September 15, and due to cover the previous Period of April-August 2021 only, as EU Parliament's Chief Negociator, MEP Guy Verhofstadt, had announced on 14/9/2021, (See : http://www.eurofora.net/newsflashes/news/eppressheadtoefoncitizenspanels.html + ..., etc), in Fact, several Key, Originl Proposals made by Registered EU Citizens at the Official Website Platfotm of the Conference, were, Surprizingly, Not even Mentioned in that Report, while, on the Contary, a lot of Other, sometimes Less Relevant, Repetitive, Superficial, or even of Doubtful Elligibility, are uselessly occupying Many Pages of that "Report", giving a Missleading and Troncated Image of the Real Situation about EU Citizens' pertinent Proposals, so that it Risks to Push towards Errors, UnJustified Ommissions, Arbitrary Rejections, Loss of Rare Opportunities to Efficiently Settle Issues, Legitimate Frustrations, and a Stern Image of European People's Capacity to Imagine and Propose Interesting Solutions...

And such Curious Shortcomings are Obvious Even at the Notoriously Most Important and Popular segment of this Conference on Europe's Future : That which concerns European DEMOCRACY, as Verhofstadt observed !  Indeed, you can Find in that "1st Interim Report", a lot of clumsy Suggestions Favoring some "Lobbies" or Oligarchies, possibly More Dangerous than the Already Existing ones, (as several Observers pointed already out, at Critical Comments made there), or, for the Rest, Only a Repetitive Litany of Countless ...Remakes of the Notorious "Citizens' Initiative", in one way or another, Again and Again..., while, at the Same Time, some really New and Original Ideas, (Even if they might have been Welcomed by Heads of State/Government, EU Parliament's President, Top Key MEPs, etc) are Curiously 100% Ommitted, Hidden and Muzzled !

But, thus, a great Part or all the Good Work done by Honest, Active and Creative EU Parliament's and Other Staff, as well as several Fresh Ideas, sincere EU Aspirations, Useful Proposals, by Motivated European People, Risks to be Undermined and Lost, at an Obviously Crucial Juncture for possible and Necessary Developments able to Boost Europe's Present and foreseable Future, in a Hard World... All EU Citizens' Potential must be saveguarded and developed according to its real value, without any irresponsible abuse.

 

(../..)

 

("Draft-News")

 

----------------------------------------

 



EUParliament Press Head Duch to EF: Citizens Start Preparing Historic Deal with States/MEPs/EUCom

Written by ACM
Thursday, 16 September 2021

 

 ep_presscom_director_duck_on_barometer__citizens_ep__eurofora_400

*Strasbourg/Angelo Marcopolo/- The Beginning of an "UnPrecedented in History" process : "Citizens Negociating with States, MEPs, EUCommissioners", etc, will Start to be meticulously Prepared during the Next 3 Days, by Citizens' Panels, at EU Parliament in Strasbourg, during the Weekend : Friday to Sunday, 17 - 19 September 2021, as the Experienced EU Parliament's Press/Communications' Director, Jaume Duch-Guillot, stressed to "Eurofora".


- Several Dozens of Journalists are due to Carefuly Scrutinize a Long and Detailed Process, according to which, EU Citizens' Panels will strive to Build their Positions on the Future of Europe, Starting by the "Economy, Social Justice, and Jobs", Following with "Education, Youth, Culture, Sport", and Concluding, for this 1st Step, with "Digital Transformation", (according to a Draft Programme).


The Participants are mainly invited to Find concrete "Visions" for Europe's Future in those areas, Build operational "Topics" from them, and Conclude with what is called active "Streams", for the Plenary, apparently due to be Transmitted by  "Ambassadors", elected among them.


Their 1st Half of a Day (Friday) is mainly Dedicated into Meeting and Knowing Each other, as well as the Procedure, and Organizing. It's during the 2nd Full Day (Saturday) that Citizens' Panels are due to Focus on their proper Work, by Finding EU Citizens' "Visions", formulating "Topics", and preparing "Streams". Finaly, at a Last Half of a Day (Sunday), they are due to Discuss, Change, or Aprove their "Streams", as well as "Ambassadors", before a Final family-Photo (re-Named "Group-Photo", since there will be about 200 EU Citizens here, out of a Total of 800)...


------------------------


- In fact, what is "Essential, is that it's the 1st Time in History, for a Process of Discussions on Europe's Future, there is a Direct Debate Between Citizens  themselves, at the Beginning, and Afterwards between Citizens and MEPs, Ministers, EU Commissioners, etc. That is to say, it's the 1st Time that a Citizens' InPut is Accepted at the Institutional Discussions", Jaume Duch stressed to "Eurofora".


 - "And this will Start here, in Strasbourg, Tomorrow !", he Highlighted. In fact, "they (Citizens) will Start, at First, Discussing Between them, but Afterwards, when they will have Reached at Conclusions, they will Discuss also with all the Others, the Institutional representatives", he analysed.

eu_conf_on_future_of_europe__timeline_ep__eurofora_400


- Thus, "During the Next 2 Months, they (Citizens' Panels) will Discuss mainly Between them. But Afterwards, they will Discuss also with the Others", (i.e. "Institutionals"). "It's all in a Draft Agenda, that you should ask to be provided with", Duch advised.


------------------------------


- I.e. it all Starts with the (Web) Platform, Follows with Panels of Citizens, and then at the Plenary, where it becomes Crucial, resumed, earlier this week in a Briefing (14/9/2021), Guy Verhofstadt, Head of EU Parliament's Delegation to the CFE.

 

verhofstadt_briefing_on_cfe_ep__eurofora_400

- Meanwhile, 3 Interim Reports on Citizens' Proposals in the Conference's Web Platform are due to be Distributed this week, as well as on November 15, and before the End of the Year (2021), he added, (Hopefuly Not Blocking with an Intermediary, EU Citizens' Original Publications, visible at CFE's Website)...


Until Now, the Most Popular Issue seems to be "Democracy", (i.e. there where the Main "Eurofora"s Project has been Notoriously Published, Before being Supported, on main Principles, by Both EU and CoE MEPs, See: .., etc). Surprizingly, However, the 1st Question allowed to the Press came from ...Outside the EU (the BREXIT's UK), and from a ..."Financial" Paper ("FT"), Instead of an EU Human Rights/Democracy-focused Media... (it was about Hindering Victor Orban's Supporters to use the CFE's Website for Discussing their Ideas).


- However, at any case, "this is a quite Short Conference, since it would be Over at about March 2022", (with a Huge Pressure on the French EU Presidency to Act, then : i.e. rather Before the Final Round of the crucial French Presidential Election), Verhofstadt Warned...


- And, to a Question whether he wouldn't like to have, precisely, a much Longer EU Conference, particularly for People's Debates, he reacted by Pointing mainly to the Fact that, what is Important is that such a Novel Procedure, for the 1st Time, incites the Politicians of Representative Democracy "to Reply" to Citizens' critical Observations, Proposals or Queries : I.e. practicaly pointing at ..."Eurofora"s main Project's Idea about "Dialogue" between Citizens and Politicians Before Decisions !
 

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    EU-educated charming young Chinese presence started to be felt in Council of Europe's corridors in Strasbourg at the aftermath of an Historic Resolution adopted by its Parliamentary Assembly in favor of opening the possibility to give China a special "Status" in the PanEuropean Organization.

    - "My proposal to offer to China an official status as "Observer", in short term, under conditions, was welcomed" by the CoE : "The road to Dialogue between China and the CoE has now been opened", declared after Strasbourg's debates and votes the Head of France's delegation, MEP Jean-Claude Mignon.

mignon

    "Neither complacency, nor a mere condamnation of China", but a "wise approach of a political issue of great importance", advised Mignon to all those who'd either overload claims on Democracy, Human Rights or Minorities, or close their eyes to anything, there as elsewhere... A balance which was not exactly followed during debates, contrary to Mignon's personal stance, which appeared rather even-handed.

    China is the only UNO Security Council permanent member which has not yet any status at the CoE, being still obliged to be represented in Strasbourg by a General Consul : USA and Canada, even Japan and .. Mexico, have already got a special Status at the CoE, following Strasbourg's decision, back in 1995, to counter-balance the accession of Russia (1996) by creating special links to traditional "Western-world" allies.

pace_400

    All former "Socialist" Eastern European countries started to have relations whith the CoE through its former sector on Culture and Education, before becoming full Members of Strasbourg's paneuropean organization. Speculations were unfolding recently about establishing a probable concrete link with China through the topical issue of anti-doping in Sport, on the occasion of the 2008 Olympic games.

    More spectacular, a meeting co-organized a few years ago in Strasbourg, by EuroFora and the International Space University between EU Parliament's long-time Rapporteur for EU's Satellite Navigation system "GALILEO", German MEP Brigitte Langenhagen, and a group of postgraduate students, attracted special interest from Chinese experts, and was followed, in less than a month, by the anouncement of China's intention to support EU's GALILEO project with a participation of 200 million €.

    Compared to that, revendications of .. "Turkish" Minorities, by Turkish MEPs, this week in Strasbourg, spreading through a wide area extended ...from Greece up to China, appeared less worrying, than pittoresque...

    Meanwhile, France's political will to start involving China and other important countries in European and Global affairs was due to be raised also at the forthcoming G-8 Summit in Japan by President Nicolas SARKOZY, (NDLR  : confirmed on July 5)

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