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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

Pisac ACM
24. 09. 2021.

 cfe_demo_panel__slovenia_eu_minister__ebs__urofora_400_01

*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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cfe_demo_panel__day_1_mef_dovanmizaprava_slov__eurofora_400 

    >>> 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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press_briefing_euparl_cfe_24.9.2021_eurofora_400

+ 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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 slovenian__croatian_presidents_at_coe_400

    The recent paradox of freezing EU Talks with front-runner Croatia, while continuing controversial EU - Turkey talks, despite Zagreb's acceptance of Refugees' Human Rights to return, that Ankara refuses fex. in Cyprus, while both have "Good Neighborhood" problems vis a vis Slovenia, or Greece, Cyprus and Armenia respectively, can it be justified by the non-fullfilment of EU criteria, as Slovenia says, or, is it "Double Standards" ?    

The question became unavoidable after statements by Presidents of Slovenia and Croatia, Tuerk and Mesic, respectively, to "EuroFora", exclusively or among Strasbourg's journalists this week at the CoE, on the sidelines of its 2009 Summer University for Political Schools, which topically brought them together as successive key-note speakers.


    Comming only a few Months before EU checks Turkey's compliance to its commitments on Cyprus, etc., scheduled for December 2009, this obviously has a special importance for the coherence of EU Enlargement's principles.

     Suspension of EU Negotiations is a normal consequence in case of a Candidate Country's failure to fullfil EU Conditions, such as "Good Neighborhood relations", stressed at first Slovenian President Danilo Tuerk, current CoE's chair.

    But, regarding EU's Criteria,  there shouldn't be any "Double Standards",  reacted Croatian President Stjepan Mesic, commenting the fact that Turkey's controversial EU negotiations continue, while they were recently "freezed" in the case of Croatia, an "unquestionably European Country", which oficially accepts to respect Refugees Human Rights, contrary to Ankara's notorious refusals or reluctance.                                       

imag0475_400
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                           - "EU itself has set as a Criterium (for EU Enlargement) the "Good Neighborhood relations",  and their absence justifies the "Suspension" EU Negotiations, (f.ex. with Croatia), because of a Border dispute affecting the territorial integrity of an EU Member Country, stressed Slovenian President, Danilo Tuerk, CoE's Chairman in office (May - November 2009), speaking to Journalists in Strasbourg including "EuroFora".    

Questioned earlier what "consequences on EU's Enlargement policy" can have the "Ban on EU Membership Negotiations", imposed to Croatia, Tuerk replied that "this question comes down to the fulfillement of (EU) Criteria for membership. One has to look at each Candidate Country ., from the point of view whether it fullfils the Criteria that EU has set. One of them are Good Neighborhood Relations, I'd like to remind. And also, there are other factors, such as Justice, Home affairs, Rule of Law, and others".


    - "Now, ..Candidate Countries are at Different Levels of fulfillement of Criteria", he observed.

    - " Croatia is obviously the closest to that. I'm rather optimistic : I think that in the coming Months we'll have an opportunity to look at all these issues constructively and hopefully we'll be able to make progress". "My main concern, at this point, is the situation in Bosnia : We haven't seen enough progres domesticaly. We haven't seen enough during ..political parties within their country.We need a New Energy, a new energetic move towards the Candidature for EU membership. "Other (Western Balkan) Countries (Serbia, Montenegro, FYROM, Albania) have been making soaring Progress, and I think that they should be ready, in a few Years, for the Candidate status".

    - "As far as the Western Balkans are concerned, .. nobody should be left outside" the EU, Slovenian's President concluded, ommitting to mention Turkey's controversial EU bid.

    - "This process may be seen as Slow, but..  Slovenia has also has also been exposed to various "Booms of Slowness" in our accession period. But now we can say that the process was relatively quick, because changes which occur after becoming EU member, are quite large, and they require proper Preparations before the (EU) membership becomes a new factor, an impacting line for a new (EU) member country".
----------------------------

EU "Solidarity" ?
------------------------------   

Slovenian statements made some participants from certain 3rd Countries as FYROM, etc. claim that "the Principle of EU Solidarity" would "produce a.. rising European Union Nationalism (sic !), against Non-EU Countries", as they said, asking unhappy foreign countries to form a "bloc" to exert pressure on the EU...    

But Croatian President Stjepan Mesic dismissed that, supporting "EU Integration", "after the Economy also in Political" issues, as "the achievement" of our times. In EU there is "diversity, but it's United", he stressed, "EU has to be United so that it can become a central factor of Peace" also at the surrounding areas, he replied.

croatian_president_mesic_ 

Speaking later exclusively to "EuroFora", the experienced twice President of Croatia, former President of the International "Non-Aligned" movement, denounced "Double Standards" in the way EU treats recently Croatia compared to Turkey :   

 - "I think that there shouldn't be Double Standards", stressed the Croatian President, in reply to a Question comparing the freeze of EU - Croatia talks, with the continuation of EU - Turkey talks, despite the fact that Croatia is an "unquestionably European country", while Turkey's EU bid is notoriously controversial.


    Mesic was reacting to the observation that, even if he confirmed his "respect of Refugees' Human Rights to return, etc. (See infra), nevertheless, EU talks are suspended with Croatia.. While for oher, controversial candidates, who refuse to respect Refugees' Rights to return, etc., as fex. Turkey does in occupied Cyprus and elsewhere, EU negotiations continue".

    - "I believe that Croatia's accession will confirm that all European Countries who fulfill all of the Conditions and achieve European Standards, have to join the EU. There shouldn't be any Double Standards", went on to add in reply President Mesic.

    In this relation, Croatia's President found "of paramount importance", CoE's "mechanisms enforcing ECHR's judgements"
    
    - "On Refugees and Displaced persons, the process will be completed only after the last person demanding to return will be allowed to do so !", President Mesic Croatia stressed earlier, setting a general standard of obvious importance also for otherr candidates, as f.ex. Turkey, often accused to exclude or heavily restrict Greek Cypriot Displaced persons' return to their Family Homes and ancestral land, provoke difficulties to Turkish-Kurd IDPs return to their home regions at the South-East, etc.

    Some "2.000 People are still reported Missing" in former Yugoslavia, for some Years, (as in Cyprus, modern Europe's oldest case, for 3 Decades. Nagorno-Karabach, Tcecnya in Russia, etc, more recently), and Investigations "will only be completed after establishing the fate of the last one of them", he added.
    
    Speaking earlier on "War Crimes", President Mesic stressed that "Leaders are responsible for (the) Wars (of the Past), not the People", and called against Impunity :  "Individuals have to be held Responsible for Crimes. International Penal Tribunals have to persecute those individuals", perpetrators of War Crimes, he underlined.

    Such statements naturally made Mesic rather popular at ECHR, whose President, French EuroJudge, Professor Jean-Paul Costa, looked particularly smiling when he welcomed him later on Wednesday afternoon, after Slovenian President Daniko Tuerk earlier this week.
           

***

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