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Home arrow newsitems arrow Sarkozy proposes EU Parliament debates on Europe's Identity in the ranup of 2009 Election

Sarkozy proposes EU Parliament debates on Europe's Identity in the ranup of 2009 Election

Written by ACM
Thursday, 10 July 2008


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In a last-minute, surprise move, New EU Chairman, French President Nicolas Sarkozy, anounced a proposal in Strasbourg to open an EU Parliament debate on Europe's Identity in the ranup to 2009 Election :

    - "I am conscious of the fact that there is, today, a real Crisis on Europe's
Identity", he replied earlier to a question by Greek MEP Ioanis Varvitsiotes, who had asked him to "advance beyond those who don't really want a Political Europe",

    - "Why not a real Debate on what is Europe's Identity ?", proposed
Sarkozy, in this regard.

    -  "EU Parliament could organize such Debates", he suggested :"It's
better for EU Parliament, than for National Governments, or EU Commission, to
define what is the European Identity", the French President proposed.

    A diplomatic way to avoid obstacles by some Governments and/or some Brussels' bureacrats, reportedly opposed to really free and popular, critical European debates on hot political issues..

    Sarkozy brillantly won the 2007 Presidential and Parliamentary Elections in France in 2007, in the line of the principles anounced at an important Speech in Strasbourg, February 2007, about a Political Europe, and a European Identity on issues which matter to the People.

   

The French President later referred anew to his Historic February 2007 Speech,
at another meeting on Europe, July 2007 in Strasbourg, and this was followed, since
September 2007, by a formal proposal to the EU to start a Debate on Europe's
Future.

    But this was reportedly watered-down, after a usual Brussels "compromise", into a mere establishement of a "Wisemen"'s Committee, headed by former Spanish Prime Minister, Gonzales...

    Thus, MEP Joseph Daul, the Chairman of EU Parliament's largest Group : ChristianDemocrats/EPP, agreed, smiling, with EuroFora, that it would be a very interesting development if 2009 EU Elections were inspired by the way 2007 French Elections unfolded, with real political debates, boosting Popular participation...

    The move points, in fact, to 2009 :

    - "We (EU) have to know on which basis will take place the forthcoming European Elections in 2009", warned earlier Sarkozy. This was said on the occasion of the EU Treaty issue, after the Irish "No", but obviously includes also the question of the political substance of the 2009 electoral debates.

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     The Political, Economic and Cultural dimension of Europe, as well as Enlargement (including Turkey's controversial EU bid) ,etc., "naturally are part of this Debate on the European Identity", confirmed to EufoFora Sarkozy's Spokesman for International News, Pierre-Jerome Henin.

    Sighificantly, Sarkozy mentioned, earlier in Strasbourg, the Western Balkans, and even Ukraine, despite difficulties, among "European countries", while carefully ommitting to add the "T" word..

    Current Events give "as all heavy responsibilities" for Europe's Future, the Frendh Preident stressed from the outset in Strasbourg : -"But I see that Difficulty also as a Chance", he added.

    Part of its strategy to "protect Citizens", is French EU Presidency's wish to
boost concrete progress on issues such as Climat and Envrionment, Immigration,
Security and Defence, Agriculture, as well as promotion of certain Social
aspects and European Culture, Sarkozy said earlier to MEPs.

    But the most important for "EuroFora" is his declared wish to open new possibilities for Citizens' participation to political European debates.

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    - "Europe must be liberated from this undermining "wooden talk" of a "unique thought" which hampers democratic debates", stressed incoming EU Chairman, French President Nicolas Sarkozy, speaking to Journalists after his official meeting with EU Commission's President, Jose Barroso, at Elysee Palace in Paris

    - "It's precisely because there are not enough Debates, that EU hasn't managed yet to make it clear to European citizens what is really at stake", he added, in an obvious reference to the latest Irish "No" in 2008, after a long series of similar, unprecedented events, from the 1st Majority Abstention to EU Parliament's Elections in 1999, repeated in 2004, to the Dutch and French "No" in 2005, etc.


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          In fact, "there is no time to lose for Europe, and that's why we decided to start the French EU Presidency right away, from the first day", he explained, on France's exceptional choice to schedule the usual meeting with EU Commission from the 1st day of the 1st month, instead of the 5th, 6th, 7th, 8th, 9th or even 10th or 11th, as it had been done by others in the Past..    


    - "This is not an easy period, but we shall act with determination, while also listening to Citizens' views", he promised.

    Sarkozy's move came shortly before his opening Speech, next week in EU Parliament in Strasbourg, for the first Public Debate on the Priorities of the French EU Presidency (July - December 2008), and that's one of the reasons for which he significantly opened his EU Council's Chairmanship by welcoming at Elysee palace EU Parliament's President, German MEP Hans Gert Poettering at first..

    The incoming EU Chairman was replying to Press Questions about rumours that controversial British EU Commissioner on Trade, Mandelson, was alone to drop an invitation to have a working Diner at Elysee palace, together with all other EU Commissioners and the French Government, only because he would have been upset for some critical points made earlier by President Sarkozy in defense of European Agriculture vis-a-vis its Foreign competitors.

    But, as smiling Sarkozy played down Mandelson's reported refusal to debate, saying that he had to visit Marseille for a Ministerial meeting on Trade the next morning, and that "all our British friends are always welcome to taste a nice diner" in France, perhaps at another occasion..

    - "It's urgent to win anew the trust of the People" : Lately, "the European ideal lost its momentum. Since several years, whenever Citizens are questioned on Europe, they react with reserves : They even have .. a tendency to reply "NO".. After this 3rd "No" of a People in some years, there is an Urgency to convince", added French Prime Minister Francois Fillon, after a meeting earlier the same day of all Ministers with EU Commissioners, followed by an interview with Barroso

    "According to recent Polls, only 30% of French people believe that the European construction is a source of hope. It's only a poll, but we all now quite well, that, since 2005, it's dangerous to neglect these alarming signals, as it would be dangerous to treat with contempt the Irish "No", Fillon warned.

    "We all have a common duty to prove to the European Citizens who have doubts, that EU is more useful, more necessary, than ever" : And "that EU can take decisions needed in order to respond to European or Global challenges", the Prime Minister concluded.

    - "We believe, together with President Sarkozy, that EU should open debates on all issues of direct, concrete interest to Citizens", confirmed later to EuroFora the Head of France's governing party (UMP), Patrick Devedjan, after his speech to the European People's party (EPP) Study Days in Paris (2 - 4 July 2008).

    He didn't deny that one of them is Turkey : - "Public Opinion in France is very much unfavorable to Turkey's EU bid, and President Sarkozy has said that several times", he told EuroFora.

    From European Central Bank's controversial policies on Euro's value, to EU Enlargement Strategy, etc., issues of obvious importance to EU Citizens will be plenty, next week in EU Parliament in Strasbourg, before President Sarkozy launches the debates on EU 2008 French chairmanship's priorities on Thursday.

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