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Inicio arrow newsitems arrow CFE/Democracy Panel/Day 2: EU Expert to EF : Agenda Modified to ease Citizens' various input ?

CFE/Democracy Panel/Day 2: EU Expert to EF : Agenda Modified to ease Citizens' various input ?

Escrito por ACM
25.09.21

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*Strasbourg/EU Parliament/Angelo Marcopolo/- An important in real Practice  Question, Earlier Raised by "Eurofora" to Organizers of EU's landmark "Conference on Europe's Future", (See: http://www.eurofora.net/newsflashes/news/cfepanel1cancitizenschangeagenda.html), seems to have Incited them to make a relevant Change in the Agenda of Citizens' Panels, on the Occasion of the Most Popular among them : That on EU Democracy, (See: http://www.eurofora.net/newsflashes/news/eppressheadtoefoncitizenspanels.html), according to these Days' new Developments and a Reply that gave us a Key EU Expert.

- "Eurofora" had Asked, at a "Press Briefing" on the 1st Panel, Earlier, whether an Obviously very "Tight" Daily Agenda, Divided into Many Short lapses of Time (15, 10 or Even 5 Minutes Each !), and Mostly Full of various Interventions by "Moderators", "Experts", "Facilitators", and Other EU Agents, might, Eventualy, Hinder, in real Practice, Citizens' Free and Thoughtful Analysis, Conclusions, and/or Formulations of their own Preferences, concerning the Measures to take for the Best possible Future of Europe.  

- So, we were, Naturaly, Surprized, when we saw, for this 2nd Panel, that the Usual Daily Agendas had Not been Distributed to the Press Yet, Not even Mentioned in the relevant Press Release, (Contrary to the Practice which had been followed at the 1st Panel).

- When "Eurofora" Asked to EU Parliament's competent Press Attachée, Sanne De Ryck, (a Dutch Lady), to Please Give us, if possible, a Copy of that Agenda, she Kindly Replied asap. by Sending us, such a Document, But our Surprize became even Greater, Because of the UnExpected Fact that this New Agenda was ...Largely Different from the Previous one !

>>> Indeed, instead of a 3 or 4 Pages-Long Document, as Before, this was, Now, Just a 1,5 Page Doc, (i.e. much Shorter), showing Only a Few "Plenary" or "Break Out" (in Special Rooms) Sessions, (With or WithOut "Moderators", respectively, WithOut Even always Explaining the precise Issue due to be Dealt with, Each Time, by this Citizens' Panel, Contrary to what had Happened for the 1st one...

+ "Eurofora" Also asked anOther EU Agent, dealing mainly with Daily Program matters, who Kindlt gave us a somewhat Longer Document, But withOut More Indications on the Substance of the matter, each time, (Except for having Added mainly some "Social Events", perhaps Useful for Contacts/Short Interviews, But Not for Work Agenda's matters on the most Important Political Issues).

=> In Consequence, we Asked several Other EU Agents, as well as Participating Citizens, about what was Really Going on, What had Changed, and Why, as well as how they Evaluated themselves such an Eventual Practical Modification...

- Some said that they had Not Noticed, or Denied any Importance to such a Change.

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>>> But, at least one, a Key EU Expert, went Crystal-clear about Both the Fact of such a Daily Agenda Change, and on its Substantial Importance ;

* Indeed, After some People made Critical Observations on the Initial Agendas, concerning the Time Available, and the Freedom to really use it, for Participating Citizens, withOut Too Much of "Moderators", "Experts", "Failitators", and Other EU Agents, on Each particular Point, it was Decided to Leave More Time for Citizens to Think, Discuss, and Make Choices among them, During somewhat Longer "Break Out" Sessions in their respective Rooms, and Shorter "Plenary" Sessions than Before, revealed to "Eurofora", in substance, a kind Lady, University Professor of Social Psychology from Spain.

+ And some Participating Citizens Aknowledged, indeed, that they Enjoyed, in Practice, to have some More Time to Think and Discuss Freely Between them, Before taking Decisions "Assisted" by "Moderators", "Experts" or "Facilitators", etc, (Despite their Evenual Usefulness).

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- But, at least as matters stand until now, and as it often happens with many Other Good Things in Life, it seems that there is also a "Catch", in that Change :

=> Indeed, such much Longer Periods of Time for "Break Outs" in Citizens' "Working Rooms", and Shorter "Plenary" Sessions, Together with EU Agents, in fact, ...Reduced also the Transparency of Panels' Work !

Indeed, Journalists and the Public, etc., can Only Attend to Panels' "Plenary" Sessions, (normaly at EU Parliament's Hemicycle), while, on the Contrary, they are Practicaly Excluded from doi,ng so, as far as the Panels' "Break Outs" in various "Working Rooms" are concerned...

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- To the Point that, as "Eurofora" was Told by the Father of an Under-Age Young Girl from France, 15 or 16 Years old, Even himself, who was there precisely in order to Look After his Too Young Daughter, (as the CFE's Rules Allowed for Parents to do, in such cases), Nevertheless, was Obliged to Limit his own Presence Only inside the Hemicycle during the "Plenaries" Sessions, But was Excluded from entering, on the Contrary, a "Working Room", during those, apparently Longer "Break Outs" !

+ Probably, Even More : For the 1st Time, "Eurofora" saw a Lot of Various EU Agents Dealing with Substantial Aspects of the Panels, apparently Work until Too Late at the Evening, or almost OverNight, Crossing EU Parliament's Corridors often with a somehow Concerned, or, at least Thoughfull, Expression on their Faces... +Sometimes, this went as Far as to, at least Partly, reach the Building's Exit Doors so Late at Night, that some had Just Closed, and we had to either Call by Phone the Security's Center, and/or Speak to some Experienced Security Agents, (who were all Kindly Helpful), in order to Open, for them too, all the way out...

- Was it just Because of, apparently, Shorter "Plenary" Sessions and/or Interventions to Settle all things during the Day, or, Perhaps, Also due to a some times quite "Hard" character of the Issues at Stake, Doubled, maybe, even by Eventual DisAgreements on Serious Political Matters ?

- A Spontaneous Ironic Laugh, by 3 EU Agents' Ladies, when we simply reminded that the EU Democracy Issues were considered to be quite "Popular" among EU Citizens, (and Knowing the Contradictions still existing, between some, at least on the way to use certain "Rule of Law" called Mechanisms vis a vis one or two EU Member States' Governments, gave the Impression that the Latter Might, Indeed, be True, at least in some cases...

Finaly, it's Even until the very Last Minute : Sunday Afternoon, that some EU Agents appeared still Discussing about, at least, the "Consensus" Issue in EU Council's Decision-Making, as a Group of Young Experts told "Eurofora", while Leaving EU Parliament.

"Eurofora"'s Friends Position on that Issue, is that Small/Medium EU Member Countries should, in Principle, adhere to an Efficient Majority Decision-Making, with the Exception, mainly, of Crucial National Security Issues, as well as When their Society's Cultural and/or Moral core Identity is at Stake, (as it has been Published even at CFE's Web Platform). Both under a Fair Judicial Monitoring, to Prevent Abuses. This shouldN't, normaly, disrupt EU's main Development.

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Last, but not least : Exceptionaly, some Unexpected practical upheavals, and/or a strange Problem with our Dictaphone, Unfortunately Lost the precious Audio-Registrations of the Short but Interesting Interviews that "Eurofora" made at least with 2 Kind Couples of Participant Citizens from Finland, and Spain plus Romania...

WithOut enough Written Notes, Neither Audio Registrations, it would be Irresposnible to Publish some Approximate traces of Memory, and Press Deontology Obliges us to Abstain. The infamous "Scalfari" Method, (from the Founder of Italian Newspaer "Republica", Famous for Publishing withOut Notes, even on the Pope), is Not "Eurofora"s Preference...

We just Remember well that those from Finland had Plans about Digital High-Tech, while those from Romania and Spain appeared Interested in History and Culture... But, Both of them appeared Sincerely pro-European, and that's, Naturaly, the main point... As for the Main Issues, in this Article, All that Obviously Underlines the practical Importance to Ensure, at any case, Also enough Time and Means for Transparency vis a vis the Press too.

 

(../..)

 

("Draft-News")

 

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Speaking exclusively to "EuroFora", the New EU Parliament's President, former Polish Prime Minister, ChristianDemocrat/EPP MEP Jerzy Busek, welcomed proposals by EuroFora about innovative ways for EU Citizens to attend EU debates before important final decisions which affect people's lives.

- "We (EU Parliament) must be transparent", Buzek stressed from the outset.  "We must have clear answers also for delicate questions. If we don't touch a problem, you must know why, and when shall we decide in the nearest future".. "Because "we (EU) must think about Europeans, first of all : They don't understand well what is going on in the EU. So, it's our duty to inform them, to make discussions here more interesting".

"EuroFora" congratulated President Buzek for the anouncement he made, from the 1st day of his election in Strasbourg (on Tuesday, 14 July 2009), on his intention to make  transparent debates, exchanges of views, etc. before the final adoption of decisions in EU Parliament's Plenary, when issues are evolving inside Committees, (See earlier publication).

And we reminded, in this regard, that "EuroFora" has been advocating a project for EU Citizens' active involvement in pluralist EU debates before important EU decisions, since more than a Decade : 1997-2007+

- "Thank you. We (EU Parliament), indeed, have exciting debates", Buzek replied. But, in practice, "without a possibility for our Citizens to see them, not even by the Press, the Radio or TV, etc., because it is in Committees", he regreted.

- "But, they (i.e. Media, Citizens, etc) might interact with you, with MEPs, etc, May be we can imagine something", "EuroFora" proposed.

- "Yes, (but) it needs, a quite new idea", Buzed observed.

- "Why not through some innovations ?", "EuroFora" suggested.

- "Innovation ? That's it. Fantastic  New Information Technologies !", Buzek realized.

- "Precisely, "EuroFora" has such a project, since more than a Decade (1997-2009), to use new technologies for public debates before major EU decisions are taken", we reminded.

- "If you have such proposals, please come to us, come to us. We must" do something, agreed the new EU Parliamen's President.

buzek_chairing_400 

    This fits with Buzek's main stance, expressed at EU Parliament's plenary earlier this week in Strasbourg, that the European Union must succeed to overcome a "Crisis of Trust" vis a vis EU Citizens. (See previous EuroFora publication).

    For that purpose, obviously information and debates are valuable, but purely instrumental, procedural means which can help focus on, and highlight a substantial content, attractive to EU Citizens, which needs to be determined by other, political, and not mediatic factors.  

    Buzek spoke about the urgent need to overcome the Global Economic Crisis,  the struggle for Human and Civic Rights, Democracy, etc., the Eastern Partnership, links with Russia, strategic partnership with USA and emerging countries, etc.

    But he also used (while speaking both to "EuroFora" and other Media) the expression : "The Europeans", for EU Citizens. This points right towards what several important EU leaders (including French President Sarkozy, German Chancellor Merkel, etc) have started to highlight particularly during the recent years : That there is a vital need, and an historic opportunity, for the development of a European Conscience, to stimulate e renaissance of a European Identity able to attract Popular support, for the EU to become a strong player in a Multopolar World : In other words, the revitalisation of a project for a "Political Europe".

    By a coincidence, this was indirectly but surely reminded, earlier in Strasbourg, by another ... Busek (this time with a "s") : 

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    Speaking to more than 650 participants from CoE's member countries, at the conclusion of the 2009 Summer University of its Political Schools, Erhard Busek, (with an "s"), former vice-Chancellor of Austria and EU Coordinator for South-Eastern Europe, pointed at the current need to revitalize Europe's "Identity", forged by Greek philosophy and Roman Law, Christian values and Enlightment's ideas, etc. through the ages.     

- "We have almost the same name with Jerzy Buzek (EU Parliament's new President, who is a former Polish Prime Minister), because both our Families come ...from  the same village, located at the Heart of Europe, which was often shared between Poland, Germany and the Czech Republic. But my family emmigrated a long time ago to Austria, while Jerzy Buzek's family remained in Poland", explained f. vice-Chancellor Erhard Busek to "EuroFora".   

 An astonishingly concrete and simple example of European Integration from the grassroots : Starting by EU Citizens, i.e. those "Europeans", that EU Parliament's new President, Jerzy Buzek (this time with a "z"), wants to bring alongside MEP's decision-making proces, (according to "EuroFora"'s main idea : Comp. supra)...

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