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

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 ?

 

(../..)

 

("Draft-News")

 

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3 EU Parliament votes to boost EuroGroup !

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

After EuroZone Paris Summit's succes, Sarkozy calls to "think anew how to re-construct Europe !

"EuroZone and EU Institutional debates pave the way to 2009 discussions on EU Future, including Enlargment, Turkey etc. ?


23 October 2008

After EU Parliament strongly suppported in 3 successive Votes this week in Strasbourg French EU Chairmanship's move to boost Euro-Group at EU's core, while ideas on EU Institutional problems are awaited on December, "it's an open Question now" if this may lead to a debate on EU's Future, or not, told us French President, Nicolas Sarkozy''s Spokesman, Pierre-Jerome Henin.

MEPs voted on Thursday fresh Funds to support EuroGroup, after adopting on Wednesday a Resolution asking a "further Evolution" to "the 1st ever meeting of Heads of State and of Government of the Euro-Zone, taking decisions in that capacity", while earlier this week a Report asked "a stronger Institutional setting" for "EuroGroup", extended from "competitiveness/industry" to "environment, employment and education", with "increased powers for Political decision-making", according to a text drafted by French MEP Francoise Beres and German MEP Werner Langen, "10 Years after the creation of Euro" (1999 - 2009).

- Brussels' subsequent "EU Council ..(simply)..ratified the measures decided by EuroGroup on October 12" in Paris, which "were necessary to contain the current Financial Crisis", Resolution observes, expressing also support to the new process succesfully initiated by Sarkozy and due to be completed by agreements with USA and other countries at a Global level.

From now on, it's between two differend but parallel moves : EU's delay, and EuroZone's acceleration, that Enlargement and particularly Turkey's controversial EU bid, will have to search its way :

Indeed, EU's 27 expect a "Roadmap on how to deal with the Irish problem" on Lisbon Treaty ratification after December, risking to pass even 2009 Elections and next Commission with the old Nice Treaty of 2000, out-dated and unfit even for 2004's Enlargement...

On the contrary, EU's core launches a real "Economic Governance for EuroZone at the highest level of Heads of State/Government" of the 15, which started in Paris on October 12 and was strongly supported this week in Strasbourg by Sarkozy and EU Parliament.
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- "It's a good idea, to launch such a debate ("on EU's Future") in EU Parliament in view of 2009 Euro-Election : Perhaps some MEPs will seize an opportunity", told us mainstream French MEP Alain Lamassoure, former EU Minister and EU Spokesman for France's governing party UMP.

- "All MEPs' debates on such EU Councils are also part of the larger debate on Europe's future : Now with EuroZone, and even more when, on December, Irish Prime Minister is due to table proposals in Strasbourg on how to deal with EU Treaty's ratification", replied earlier to our question EU Parliament's Press Director and Spokesman, Jaume Duch.
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Sarkozy has formally anounced his intention to open EU Debates on Economy, Identity/Enlargement (i.e. mainly Turkey), etc. both linked to a popular Political view of Europe, since his Historic speeches on EU in Strasbourg, on February and July 2007, when he stressed that "Europe needs a New Renaissance". At the beginning of the French EU Presidency, on July 2008, replying to a MEP, he suggested that EU Parliament takes an active part in Debates on EU's Future.

- Now, in 2008, "Crisis are an opportunity to re-think how to re-construct Europe", Sarkozy stressed. At any case, the Historic 1st EuroZone Summit of Heads of State/Government, which started replying to the Financial crisis,"is a Turning Point : After that, Europe cannot be governed as before, but differently" : People "like a Europe with Strong Will".

- "We must make the System move !", "Europe needs Innovation" and free political debates. EU "Elections are in a few Months", Sarkozy warned.

He invited EU Parliament to fully play its role as "the Democratic Heart of the Europe we want : United, Independent and Voluntarist, because the World needs Europe's voice".

- "It's no more possible for Euro-Zone to continue without an Economic Government" at the Highest Level of Heads of State/Government, who provide "Democratic Legitimity" and can take important decisions, he announced, strongly supported by EU Parliament's Economic Committee which just voted to boost the "Institutional" aspects of "EuroGroup".

Plasticity offered by the current absence of a special Treaty on EuroZone's Institutions "made it easy to adapt the organization of the 1st Summit with imagination, to efficiently meet urgent needs", he observed, on the occasion of Brittish Prime Minister's exceptionnal presence at the greatest part of EuroGroup's Paris Summit.

- "In EuroZone we have the same Bank, the same Money, and, thus, a same duty for Unity" : "By bringing together EuroGroup's 15 members States we suceeded to find a solution and prepare a Giant Plan of 1.800 Billion euros", Sarkozy reminded of Paris' 1st Historic EuroZone's Summit.

Afterwards, Brussels' EU Council followed the move, and USA's Paulson II Plan was inspired from that. "Europe must promote the idea of Global Economy's Refoundation", he stressed.

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- "I was frankly astonished when I found, at the EU, a rigid system, where any New Idea was seen from the outset as a sacrilege, while, on the contrary, Europe needs Innovation !", he described.

F.ex. ,"'When we first spoke about the "Union for the Mediterranean", it was misunderstood as something extraordinary.. When later we had the Russia -Georgia crisis, it seemed against EU's custom to act "in the middle of August", instead of staying a passive spectator ! And when, in front of the Financial ciris, we gathered the 1st EuroZone Summit of the "15", some thought of it as a lese-majesté", he denounced.
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On Geo-Political Principles :
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- But, by moving resolutely, "EU obtained the ...withdrawal of Occupation Troops in 2 Months !", reminded Sarkozy, observing that Russia "fulfilled its commitments", in the Georgian crisis, where a "disroportionate reaction" from Moscow followed a "totally inappropriate action" from Tbilisi's troops. "It would be crazy to reply by military means : EU should not become accomplice of another Cold War, imposed by lack of cool heads".. as he said.

In future, "the creation of a common European Economic Area with EU and Russia, would also obtain a raprochment on our Human Rights and Democratic Values", added Sarkozy, in a statement which should logically be applied, a fortiori, to controversial EU "candidate" Turkey..

Particularly when, the same week that EU Parliament voted 2009 EU Funds for Turkey's controversial EU bid, ECHR took a series of judgements condemning Turkey for grave Violations of Human Rights, such as : Torture, death of a political prisoner in unclear circumstances followed by failure to conduct a proper Investigation, "enforced Disappearance" of a youngster aged 17, Killing of a sepherd with Tank Shells, persecuting Journalists for articles on "Missing" People, even a former President of Human Rights' Association, (etc)

- "We (EU) can defend our ideas on respect of Sovereignity and territorial Integrity, on Human Rights and other differences ... without confrontation", Sarkozy stressed, on the occasion of Russian/Georgian conflict, reminding that : "we were only 2 steps from catastroph", when a Peace agreement brokered in Moscow prevented, at the last minute, Russian troops' advance towards Tbilisi.

An EU Parliament Resolution adopted Wednesday in Strasbourg on the occasion of Russia - Georgia conflict, outlines a set of Principle which apply elsewhere too, (particularly when EU Rapporteur for Russia and Turkey is one and same person ; Dutch MEP Ria Oomen-Ruijtanen !)

Clearly rejecting any "military solution to the conflicts", MEPs "condemn ..all those who resorted to force and violence". They denounce a "disproportionate military action", "as well as (an) unilateral decision to recognise the independence" of brekaway regions, "calling.. to respect the sovereignty and territorial integrity" of the concerned country, "and the inviolability of its borders recognised by all EU Member States". They warn that "EU must review its policy towards" a 3rd Country, "should .(it)...not comply with its commitments", and "stress that the withdrawal of.... troops from the areas ....is an essential additional step".

EU Parliament "calls for the safe and quick return of refugees, (accepted by Russian President Medvedev) accompanied by the deployment of EU observers on the ground", and "regrets ...that ..EU Monitoring Mission (EUMM) is not allowed to enter the ...breakaway regions". Moreover, "It's important to ensure that persons and NGOs ..engaged in defending human and civil rights can operate". "Until ...all remaining issues (are) resolved..., and notably the continuing ...Military presence", "relations with the EU ..cannot be fully normalised", MEPS warned.

As nobody likes to be accused to practice "Double Standards", this should be regarded as "Principles" applicable to any Third Country at EU's Neighborhood.. No ?

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

On Economy :

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- "When Financial crisis shook US and EU's Banks, without result from the 1st (American) Paulsen plan, it was the common reply of the 1st EuroZone's Summit, involving some 1800 Billion euros, which started a positive move in the markets, soon strengthened by the follow-up of the US Paulson 2 Plan, noted Sarkozy.

- "Europe should not be only on the defensive, but, if necessary, know also how to take an offensive", he said, brushing away hesitationsto act on Economy: - "I'm for a refondation of Capitaliism, but against Speculators, who betray its values" : "Lack of Rules was profitable to speculators, Not to businessmen !" We must make sure to prevent any such crisis in future". "We, the rest of the World, cannot continue to bear the deficits of the 1st World power without saying anything !", the French President said, applauded by EU Parliament. All this needs "a New Global Governance", on which EU Parliament must debate. That's why "we proposed together with USA, several Summits from mid-November", to which G-8, enlarged to China, India a.o. countries, should participate. UNO's SG; Ban Ki Moon, the IMF, etc.

Financial crisis lowered shares' prices even for healthy companies, sometimes to 1/3 of their initial price, so that strangers might buy EU industries for only a portion of their real value, and Europeans may wake up one day with their main industries sold out to foreigners !

That's one of the reasons for which EU should debate about creating "Golden Shares" for States to jointly take Strategic participations to help European Industries until the end of the Crisis, particularly against distording competition, he suggested, pointing at USA's 35 billion $ plan for American Car Industry."We shall struggle for Europe to be able to build Airplanes, Ships, Trains, Cars, because we need a strong Industry", he concluded.

"F.ex. as we did back in 2004, when as Finance Minister, we bought Alsthom's shares for 800.000 euros, and, after restructuring, we sold them for 2 Millions : Help a company and make money is not so bad"...

As for the UK, "when Ireland announced that it would guarantee only Irish Banks, London City emptied from liquidities in 24 hours : It's the EU which helped to restore the situation, Not the UK alone !", reminded Sarkozy to nationalist British MEP Nigel Farage.

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On the contrary, in a last-minute attempt for the EU to catch-up with its Institutional delay "before the European Elections" of June 2009, MEPs simply voted a call for a "set of proposals" to be made for the "Irish public opinion" at the end of the year...

- "As long as Lisbon Treaty is not ratified by all 27 EU Member States, there is an unanimous decision to stop Enlargement, reminded Wednesday in Strasbourg the French Minister for EU affairs, Jean-Pierre Jouyet..

Added to an indirect but clear warning that, without Lisbon Treaty, all 27 EU Member Countries may not have a Commissioner in the 2009 resuffle, MEPS in the Constitutional/Foreign affairs Committees applauded hoping that this might motivate their Irish friends..

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