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Accueil arrow In Brief arrow Yes, we could have prevented Ferguson riots says World Democracy Forum's Young American NGO to ERFRA

Yes, we could have prevented Ferguson riots says World Democracy Forum's Young American NGO to ERFRA

Ecrit par ACM
Tuesday, 04 November 2014
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*Strasbourg/CoE/Angelo Marcopolo/- Could a simple NGO for Teenagers have prevented the most serious, Deadly and Violent Social Crisis that America and the whole World witnessed recently, astonished and/or frightened, at USA's Ferguson in Missouri, which obliged USPresident Obama to exceptionaly order the National Guard to intervene in order to try to impose Order under Martial Law, among a local population apparently gone amoc and Policemen outpassed, while CNN gave the shivers to a Worldwide Public by adding the picture of demonstrators holding a panel with the words  : - "ISIS here !", an obvious reference to the Horrible BeHeaders of Islamic Extremist Terrorists of ISIS in Syria and Iraq who have recently terrified and revolted many Millions of People accross the World by their Brutal, Deadly Violence against defenseless persons, including Women, Elders, Children, etc., serving some exceptionally retrograde and Oppressive policies also against Religious, Ethnic and other Minorities ?

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A Young American woman, Noelle Cormier, from the USA NGO "Generation Citizens", presenting its project to "EuroFora" during the Poster Session of the 2014 "World Forum for Democracy", at the prestigious ante-chamber of the PanEuropean CoE's Committee of Ministers, appeared convinced and adamant :

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 - "Yes, we could !", she firmly claimed, after being initially surprised by our Topical Question on Ferguson, trying to overcome the first impressions inevitably left by her Too Young age and profile, suddenly adopting, instead a quasi-Professional style of an experienced expert, who would already know what it really means to work at some socialy "difficult", impoverished and/or neglected Suburbs, both in Europe and in the US or elsewhere in the World, and be actively present on the spot..


- Our main aim is to teach People about their Rights, as Citizens, and to Help them get involved and interact Collectively inside Local Communities in order to find Solutions to their most accute problems, and this, indeed, could have served also to prevent Crisis as that that we all saw at Ferguson, the "Generation Citizen"'s (US) representative replied, in substance, to "EuroFora" in this regard.


- For that purpose, our work, (which is addressed mainly to Teenagers between 14 and 18 years old), should have already developed in areas of Neighbourhoods where it's deemed necessary, so that it would have enough Time in order to be efficient, she added.


+ And to "EuroFora"s natural, subsequent Question on  - "How ?", her NGO might have succeeded to prevent Crisis as that which was recently seen at Ferguson, Cormier didn't shy out in her reply :  - F.ex. we would have Spoken with the Young People of the are about their Problems, and, among others, we would have Helped them to approach, get in touch and have a peaceful "Dialogue with the Law Enforcement Services", as well as for collective demarches inside that Community and vis a vis the Local Authorities for the solution of their "hottest" problems, as she said.


+ + Asked to tell : - "For How Long ?", i.e. "some Weeks, Months, or may be Years ?", the "Generation Citizen"'s representative, suddenly, took a serious, deep look, and surprised by her sharp reply :


- "Permanently !", the Young Lady stressed, looking right in front of the eyes, in a more serious and convinced way than initially expected...


=> It's true, that COE's Strasbourg-based Annual "World Forum for Democracy", after a previous year focused on "New Technologies"' potential, now added also a "Young People" factor, while its "Innovation" Prize (Comp. relevant NewsReport, herewith), persisted to look at a possible New Future, which, taken all together, naturally lead to an inevitable mixture full of Ambition and big Horizons !

After all, why not, particularly when one is still frresh and young, just after having heard even the inspiring, World-Famous Futurologist Jeremy Rifkin, launch certain vibrant calls for the incoming, new Generation to dare face and solve some among the greatest Issues in the History of Mankind ?... (See relevant NewsReport, hereby).

(../..)

***

("DraftNews", as already send to "EuroFora"s Subscribers/Donors, earlier. A more accurate, full Final Version, might be Published asap).

***

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Facing a 70% Abstention threat in 2009 Election, EU endorses EuroFora's idea for Citizens' debates on crucial EU decisions !

- Different views on "Europe's Future", should be debated among Citizens at June 2009 EU Elections, thanks to political Parties' "Manifestos", says EU Parliament's Report


                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                               
A main idea, initiated and promoted by EuroFora's founders since 1997: the vital need to develop European Citizens' democratic right to actively participate in multilingual debates on EU decisions, is formally endorsed by the EU from 2009 !

The move is a key attempt to overcome "catastrophic" Polls which warn that only ...30% of Citizens are ready to vote in the forthcoming June 2009 EU Election !  This was revealed by EU Commission's vice-president, in charge of Communication policy, Margot Wallstrom, during a "hot" meeting of EU Parliament's Committee on Culture and Education, during the December 2008 Strasbourg session.

Wallstrom faced criticism, but also suggestions from various MEPs, naturally worried by Abstention threats which herself found even "worse" than in 1999 or 2004...

A Report on "Active Dialogue with Citizens",examined at the same time, presented some useful practical tips, on "facilitating Interviews"; etc., but also a  potentialy important call to "incorporate the conclusions of ...debates...into (EU) policies, and take into consideration the expectations that Citizens have of the EU when deciding". An amendment even implies that Citizens' participation in debates on EU decisions is a democratic "Right".

More importantly, it finds that  a Debate "on the Future of Europe", (as French President Nicolas Sarkozy has asked since 2007), would be a good idea " for the 2009 European parliamentary Elections", because "clarifying the political differences between the EU political parties would help citizens to identify themselves with, and choose between various concepts", for which "all parties (should) present their Manifesto".

A "Joint political declaration on Communicating Europe in Partnership", co-signed by "the European Parliament, Council and ... Commission", confirms that they "attach the utmost importance to improving communication on EU issues", by "enabling European citizens to exercise their right to participate in the democratic life of the Union, in which decisions are taken as openly as possible and as closely as possible to the citizens, observing the principles of pluralism, participation, openness and transparency".

This should "enable Citizens to exercise their right to express their views and to participate actively in the public Debate on European Union issues", while also "promoting the respect of multilingualism". In this regard, EU confirms its "wish to develop synergies with national, regional and local authorities as well as with representatives of Civil Society".

    It's since 1997 that a group of EuroFora's founders have officially presented a pioneer Project (then called "EIW", for "Europe in the World"), which aimed to develop Strasbourg's "Polyphonic music", by providing "Interactive information", on "main issues ... during the Decision-making process of European Organizations which engage in Transparent and Public Democratic Debates"

    This should be done, inter alia, by "exploring the potential of New Communication Tools (mainly Internet)", as well as classic-form debates, the 1997 EIW pioneer project's anounced in its "Synopsis". It was formally "accepted for evaluation" by EU Commission in Brussels in order to be examined for a grant in the framework of the "Research/Technology/Development (RTD) Programme in the field of Information Technologies", then called "ESPRIT", as a "Best Practice Pilot Project".

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        But the vital, urgent Political need for EU to search new, efficient ways to reach the People and interact with European Citizens, was really felt in Brussels and elsewhere only after the unprecedented in History 1999 and 2004 Majority Abstention in EU Elections, followed by 3 "NO" in Referenda in France, the Netherlands and Ireland, on 2005 and 2008...
    In this New Political Landscape, we prepared a new, actualised and more developed version of our initial idea, in a simplified and more efficient form, thanks also to a large Experience accumulated during many years of EU/CoE/UNO Press work and Multi-lingual debates, with the New project "EuroFora" :

    On 2006 we presented in Public its main lines during Questions/Replies that we raised at two Press Conferences by EU Commission President, Jose Baroso, and mainly EU Commission's vice-President, in charge of Communication policy, Margot Wallstrom, together with EU Parliament's vice-president, Alejo Vidal-Quadras, in Strasbourg, (Videos available), and we reminded it at various brief contacts with Commissioner Wallstrom in 2007 and 2008.

    Meanwhile, a new Text was also presented for "EuroFora" Project mainly to certain Political and other personalities, at European, National or Regional/Local level, mainly in 2007, but also in 2008..

    Now, after the unexpected 2008 Irish "NO", and before the 2009 EU Elections, which are due to be of exceptionally crucial importance for Europe's Future, the moment has obviously come to launch that project, progressively, but in real practice.

    Whoever really cares for Europe and its Citizens is welcome to join, in one way or another. Only anti-European, anti-democratic, obscure or ignorant groups might oppose or attempt to "steal" and deviate the main idea.

    But European Citizens, incited by enlightened political leaders, are those who will finally write the real History.

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2009 EU Elections were won by Parties against Technocracy and Turkey's controversial EU bid, while the 1999-2004 Majority Abstention trend decelerated. What should be done in 2009-2014 ?

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