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Home arrow newsitems arrow CFE/EcoSoc+Digit.Panel/Day-3: Citizens tell EF they can Debate+Change Agenda. Moves Start

CFE/EcoSoc+Digit.Panel/Day-3: Citizens tell EF they can Debate+Change Agenda. Moves Start

Written by ACM
Sunday, 19 September 2021

 

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*Strasbourg/EUParliament/Angelo Marcopolo/- The 3rd and Concluding Day, of the 1st CoFoE Panel of Citizens, on Eco-Social and Digital Issues, this Sunday, left an UnExpected Feeling of...Resurrection !

Indeed, after some "Introductions" by "Moderators", the Participating Citizens had a "Discussion" Behind Closed Doors, among themselves, (only with "Facilitators"), about Whether they "Agreed", or had any "FeedBack", perhaps Wished "Changes", etc., Followed by a 30 Minutes Long "Break", where they were practicaly Free to have various Topical Dialogues with "Eurofora" and Other Independent Actors (f.ex. See Infra), Before Returning to the Arena (i.e. the "Plenary"), for a Final Stage, ...Marked by a Surprizing ...Revolt-like Spirit !

During that Special "Break", "Eurofora" had a First Real Chance to Freely Speak with several Participating Citizens or Independent Experts, from Various Key Countries, of Both Sexes, Different Ages, etc, contacted at Random. Those Dialogues were Brief, but more Substantial than expected.

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- A First Surprizing input was from a Young Lady, who Insisted that, at last, Now, Participating Citizens had quite "Enough" Time to Really Speak, Think and Debate between them, on almost All "Hot" Issues they Liked... This Last-Minute Optimism was apparently Supported also by anOther Young Girl and a Young Boy, who were previously Discussing with her...

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- A Youngster from Italy, appeared much More Serious and profound than expected at First Sight : Paolo Mauro, (No Relation to a former Long-Time Top ChristianDemocrat MEP from Italy), told "Eurofora" that, Instead of a Notoriously Bigger Number of Youngsters Under 24 y.o., (since those aged between 17-24 represented Even Small Kids or Babies (sic !), with the Result to Number almost 1/3 of the Total, (as Verhofstad had already Observed in his Press Briefing, Earlier on Wednesday in Strasbourg), he'd rather Prefer to have "Either a clear Event for Youngsters Only, (f.ex. as "EYE", etc), or Events Organized with All the People", represented Equally ! (By the way, Paolo said that he Dreamed to Study the Natural Science of Physics, but in a way Associated with Philosophy : almost Like the Ancient Greek "Atomic" Philosophers, from Ionia).

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cofoe_1st_panel_day_3_finlands_guy_on_digital__agg_eurofora_400_01 

- A serious-looking, well-dressed, Middle-Age Man from Finland, (sitting Alone, as Most Middle-Aged People at this Event, since they are a Minority : See Above), told "Eurofora" that the Main thing for him was to Boost EU's role in Modern "Digital" Technologies, and particularly SmartPhones, Instead of letting various Other Countries in the World (as USA, China, Corea, Japan, Taiwan, sometimes the UK, etc) Dominate that Key Sector of Global Economy and Social Networks, even more... He appeared Glad to be reminded of the Fact that "Nokia", (when it was an Independent Finnish Company, and Not Yet a Secondary Branch of USA's "Microsoft"), had Created the 1st SmartPhones in the World, including even a Unique, Landmark Version of a ...HIgh-Tech "Spacecraft"-looking Device, that my Wife had bought me as a precious Gift, a (Too) Long Time ago...

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cofoe_1st_panelday_3_prof._godart__agg_eurofora_400_01 

- Last, but not least at all, Belgian-Italian University Professor Louis Godart, an Aged but Sportif Man, who had Spoken Yesterday (on Saturday) as an Expert, but was Today (Sunday) Discussing with several Citizens-Participants to the CoFoE with sincere Passion, Agreed with "Eurofora" that a Real, Fully-fledged Education and Culture on properly "European History", Values and Ideas was certainly Needed Nowadays, and Stressed that, in his View, the European Civilisation had Started with the Political Reforms of "Klisthenis", as Early as, Already "Since the 5th Century BC"...

The very Name of Klisthenis, (who is personaly related also with the Famous Pericles, by Family and Political Ideas), Triggers a Series of Links with Democracy, particularly Direct Democracy, as well as Freedom of Speech, Social Reforms and large ConFederation plans, etc., which would certainly be Interesting Also for the Next, 2nd Citizens' Panel, focused on European Democracy, considered to be the Most Popular of all, and due to Start Next Week in Strasbourg (21-23/9/2021).

But, Professor Godart's immediate Aim, Nowadays, was rather to Focus on the Cultural/Education aspect, included in the Present, 1st Citizens' Panel. Indeed, this results clearly from his main Intervention to the Plenary as an Expert, Yesterday (Saturday, 18/9/2021), where he Stressed from the outset that the "1st Founding Cultural Value of EU is Democracy, Born at the 5th Century BC in Ancient Greece".

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+ Adding also "Christianity and Humanism", he Urged to "Look Back to Athens and Rome, among our (European) Founding Values", because "I firmly Believe that the EU Must absolutely encourage and contribute that we are feeling to be the Children of a Shared Same History !" "F.ex., inter alia, via promoting Major Exhibitions, including on Paintings, (f.ex. to teach that even Leonardo Da Vinci and/or Dante were European Citizens)". Indeed, "We are the Offspring of a Culture which has taken form over course of Millenia, and the main Leading Figures of this Culture, the Books they've written, the Artworks of this Culture, can make us Feel as Children of one and Same Culture. Here, the EU has an Enormous Role to play. Including by placing European Culture in our Education Systems, to show f.ex. that we are the Children of a Culture which Emerged before 3 Millenaries, mainly at the Aegean (Sea) area", Godart Concluded, (by a Symbolic Coincidence speaking the very "Day of the European Cultural Heritage", which Attracted a lot of People also to Visit with their Families the EU Parliament's Tower-Building here : Comp. Supra).

 ++ As for "Eurofora"s Input here, that we Discussed with Professor Godart, it was more Related Also to the 4th Panel, about European Defense : It consisted into Linking "European Education", particularly in "History", with the Most Important, Collective "Victories" of Multi-National European Armies, Bringing Together various Countries and Ethnicities of the European Continent, where simple People risked and even Sacrificed their Lives in order to Liberate and/or Saveguard our common Land from Foreign Military Invasions and Occupations accross the Centuries, while usual History Books either Omit, or Downgrade the Immense Importance of such pro-European events : F.ex. the Lepante Naval battle of 1571 after a Massacre of Venitians in Cyprus by the Turks, Decicive for the Mediterranean Sea; the "Holly League" of 1594-1606, Uniting the Vatican, Italians, Spain, Germans, Venice, Serbs, Polish, Russians, etc. in order to Help Liberate Europe from the Turkish-Ottoman Empire ; the Croatian Fortress Sisak, saved by Austrians, the Defense of Wien on 1683, the Liberation of all Budapest on 1696, the Serbian Revolution of 1804-1835, the Greek Revolution of 1921-1921, (including the landmark Naval Victory of the French, English and Russians against the Turks at Navarino on 1827, who seeked to Replace the Population of Moreas Peninsula by massively Imported Africans, while the Greek People were thrown to Slavery and Transfered to Africa, as mainly Bavarian Germans had Denounced); and many others, in various contexts through the Centuries.

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=> After all that, the overall Spirit of Citizens-Participants in the Concluding Sessions of this Sunday, 19/9/2021, "Plenary" Debates and Votes, concerning the "Discussion" and "Approval" of "Streams", appeared to have Radicaly Changed :

- Indeed, with a Series of Energetic, Vibrant, and quasi-Unanimous moves, a large Majority of Participating Citizens took the Initiative to Advance well Beyond what had been Already cited by the "Moderators", previously, and Spearheaded the Adoption also of several Added, New or More Developed Topics, such as, f.ex., on "Ethical, Inclusive and Democratic Digitalisation Technologies", "Scientific Research", "European Culture and Identity" (eventualy Boosted also by the Creation of EU Medias due to Promote those aspects), TransNational "European Education", "Agriculture" and "Food Safety", etc....

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Sometimes, Citizens had to Repeat, Insist, Argue, and Trigger an EnLarging Popular Support for their Proposals, in order to Convince certain recalcitrant "Moderators", (f.ex. also for "European Education and Research", for "Agricultural Development and Food Safety", etc), But they Succeeded, Most of the times, particularly when Solidarity among them was clearly Expressed in Public.

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However, these and Other "Topics" selected by the Citizens-Participants practicaly Depend on what will happen, Later at CoFoE's Plenary, concerning, in particular, those 20 "Ambassadors", that Each Panel of Citizens is due to Choose Randomly among its 200 Members, (i.e. a Total of 80), in order to Represent them during the most Crucial Part of the Conference, when Final Decisions will be taken.

Curiously, this 1st Panel of Citizens has Just Chosen, Already Today, its 20 "Ambassadors", withOut Waiting... And here, this has Nothing to do with Any Kind of so-called "Direct Democracy" tool, of the king used f.ex. in Klisthenis' Historic era (Comp. Supra). Indeed, then, it was All the Free People (Voting in the "Ecclesia" of their "Demos") who Chose f.ex. an MP for the Parliament ("Bouli"), with a Mandate Duration of Only about 1 Month ! And the Final Legislative Decisions were Not Taken by such "MPs" ("Bouleutes"), competent Only in order to "Prepare" them, But Only by All the Free PeopleVoting All Together, in the "Ecclesia" of their "Demos"... As for the "Executive, Public Officials" (as Ministers, etc), they were roportedly Elected in the Same Manner, But Only for ... One (1) Day ! Last, but not least, the Bulk of Administrative Bureucrats, Secretariat, Staff, Policemen, etc., they were reportedly Selected among ..."Slaves" ! Thus, Risks of Abuse of Power, and/or of Arbitrary Usurpation of Privileges, were Minimized.

But, on the Contrary, those CeFoE's "Ambassadors", are Not Elected by All the European People, (Only Chosen "Randomly" inside a Grouplet of Just 200 Participating-Citizens : Comp. Supra), Neither Limited in the Duration of their Mandate, (since they are reportedly due to Stay inside CoFoE's Plenary as long as the Conference will go on)...

=> Therefore, in real Practice, it seems that it will all Depend from the Authority that will be Recognized in Fact, to the "Resolutions" or "Recommendations" due to be made by the Panels of Citizens by Writting, (as long as they are still there).

 

(../..)

 

("Draft-News")

 

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Recent developments proved that Europe can suceed to overcome challenges by aiming at great objectives, and this is needed also in 2009, said EU chairman, French President Nicolas Sarkozy.

    - "It's in the name of Great Ideas, Projects, Ambition and Ideals, that EU can overcome" challenges, stressed Sarkozy at EU Parliament in Strasbourg, in conclusion of a dense 7 months EU Chairmanship. "It's even easier for Europe to have Great projects, able to overcome national egoism, instead of limiting itself only to small projects" (unable to do alike), he observed.     

- "Europe must remain Ambitious and understand that the World needs her to take Decisions". "The World needs a Strong Europe", which "thinks on its own, has convictions, its own responses, its imagination" : "A Europe which does not limit itself into following" others, (as it did in the Past, when it followed USA, f.ex. on Bosnia). On the contrary, "Europe should undertake its own responsibilities", he said, after a series of succes in stopping the War between Russia and Georgia, and organizing the 1st EuroZone's Summit in Paris, which incited the Washington DC G-20 Summit to extend similar decisions World-wide.  


    - "When you sweep it all under the carpet, prepare yourself for hard tomorrows", he warned. "What hinders decisions is the lack of Courage and Will, the fading away of Ideals", he stressed before EU Parliament's 2008 debate on Human Rights and Sakharov prize on Freedom of thought attributed by MEPs to Chinese cyber-dissident Hu Jia, followed by an EU - Turkey meeting on Friday.

    - "I don't abandon my convictions" and "I will take initiatives" on EU level also in 2009, Sarkozy announced later. "France will not stop having convictions and taking initiatives" on Europe. + "It's an Error to wish to pass over the Heads of those who are elected in their Countries" : "It's an integrism I always fought against"', he warned.
---------------------
French EU Presidency faced 4 unexpected Crisis :

- An institutional crisis, with the Irish "No" to EU Lisbon Treaty, just before it started. A geopolitical crisis, wth the threat of War between Russia and Georgia risking to throw Europe back to Cold-war divisions, on August. A World-wide Financial and Economic crisis, arriving at a bad moment before crucial 2009 EU elections. And even a Strasbourg's mini-crisis, with EU Parliament's roof curiously falling down, from unknown reasons, in a brand new building on August, provoking an unprecedented transfert of the 2 September Plenary Sessions...

But it wasn't enough to stop Sarkozy ! On the contrary, it stimulated him...
---------------------------------------

- "The better way to deal with the recent problems of EU institutions (as the "3 NO" by France, the Netherlands and Ireland) is to take them as a "Test" in order to find solutions closer to Citizens' concerns", said later in Strasbourg Sarkozy's new choice as Ministe for EU affairs, Bruno Le Maire.

- On the Institutional front, Sarkozy gave Time to the Irish to think about it, and stroke on December a deal including a New Referendum after the June 2009 EU Elections, in exchange of a promise to keep the rule of "one EU Commissioner for each EU Member Country", and some opt-outs on Defence and Fiscal EU policies, Abortion, etc. If the Irish get a "Yes" Majority, then the institutional package could be completed in 2010 or 2011 on the occasion of Croatia's probable EU accession.

He was accused in Strasbourg to upgrade EU Council and downgrade EU Commision, but he replied that "strong Political initiatives by EU Council reinforce also the more technical role of EU Commission, under the political-technical leadership of its President", all 3 "working together with EU Parliament".


- But, meanwhile, Sarkozy energetically spearheaded an Historic 1st Summit of EuroZone's 15 Heads of State and Government at EU's core, exceptionally enlarged to a partial participation of British Prime Minister Gordon Brown, on October 12 in Paris' Elysee palace, which started to tackle succesfully the growing world Financial crisis.

    It also paved the way for its endorsement by a subsequent Brussels' 27 EU Member States' gathering, before it all come to Washington's G-20 Summit. And "Europe was united, it asked for the 1st G-20 Summit, and it will also organise the next G-20 Summit on April in London", he observed.   

 But a Conference with EU, Russia, African and other Developing Countries, hosted in Strasbourg shortly after Washington G-20 Summit by the French EU Presidency, took a Resolution asking to enlarge participation to Global Economic Governance. Many found, indeed, illogic and unacceptable that f.ex. states as Turkey were given a seat at G-20 level, while all African Countries, and even the African Union itself, representing the greatest Continent on Earth, were excluded...


    Meanwhile, even USA''s "Paulson No 3" Plan, was, in fact, inspired by Europe's No 1 Plan", Sarkozy observed, largelly applauded by MEPs.

    And "Europe showed Solidarity" by mobilizing some 22 Billion credit for Hungary, 1,7 billion for Ukraine, as we do nowadays for Baltic States, etc., he added.

    The move on Economy was extended on December by an EU stimulus' plan totalling some 200 billion Euros, including 5 Billions released by EU Commission for big Projects, as well as various parallel National plans for Economic revival, (fex. 26 billions in France alone). They might appear limited, compared to USA President-elect Obama's reported plan to boost the American economy with 800 billion $, but at least succeded to overcome Europe's divisions for the first time on Economic governance, opening new horizons.

- The French President stressed even harder the unique role of an active EU Council's chairmanship, when he moved swiftly and efficiently, at the beginning of August, to succesfully stop War between Russia and Georgia, at the last minute, which threatened to bring Europe back to Cold War division.

"We (EU) also wanted to avoid a situation like in Bosnia, in the Past, when EU was absent, so that our American friends took their responsibilitues, and EU only followed", despite the fact that the conflict took place in Europe. Now, it was the EU who took its responsibilities".

A roadmap towards a new PanEuropean Security policy, before which all unilateral moves to place new Missiles (from USA or Russia) would be freezed, was proposed by Sarkozy after a meeting with Russian president Medvedev, at the eve of Washington DC's G-20 Summit.

Ukraine's "European" character was stressed at a Sarkozy - Jushenko Summit, September in Paris, while EU adopted on December an "Eastern policy", in which, "I'm convinced that our (EU's) future is to find with our Neighbours the conditions for Economic Development. Peace and Security, by explaining them that.. they must respect (Human Rights') Values, and adopt behaviors different from the Past", explained Sarkozy in Strasbourg.

Meanwhile, the "Union for the Mediterranean" was created, since July's Summit if 45 Heads of State and Government in Paris, as "an organisation for a permanent Dialogue, that we need", mainly in order to tackle the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, by bringing together, for the 1st time, Israelis and Arabs, where "Europe must be present, in order to avoid a frontal clash".

- "If Europe doesn't take its part for Peace in the Middle-East, nobody else will do that in our place", Sarkozy stressed.
-----------------------
    Meanwhile, other EU Agreements were brokered during the French EU Presidency on Immigration, (fex. common Asylum rules, etc), and Climat- Energy :

    - On Climat-Energy, the 2007 German EU Presidency had fixed a triple 20% aim for 2020 (20% renewable Energies, 20% reduction of CO2 emmission, 20% energy efficience/economies), and the 2008 French EU Presidecny realized that, making the necessary compromises in order to modernize EU's industry, but without throwing some former Central-Eastern European Countries into abrupt Economic break down risking "social explosion".

    - Defence-Security EU policy was mainly postponed for April 2009, since both German chancellor Merkel and French president Sarkozy want to strike a deal with the new American president Obama in Strasbourg's NATO Summit.

    However, with all these 4 unexpected Crisis diverting attention to other urgencies, People wil wonder now, what happened to the famous deal proposed by freshly-elected French President Sarkozy on Turkey's controversial EU bid, back on August 2007, to continue EU - Turkey negotiations, but on the double condition that core chapters, intrinsequally linked with EU Membership, will be excluded, and that a collective Reflexion and Debate on Europe's future would start before the end of 2008.

    It was meant to reply to the crucial question : What kind of Europe do we want in 10 or 20 Years from now : A large Market, or a Political Europe, with a popular identity ? In Sarkozy's thinking, presented in his 2 landmark speeches on Europe in Strasbourg, shortly before and after the 2007 Elections, (on February and July 2007), Turkey's controversial EU bid would be incompatible with the second choice.

    It's true that EU Commision's Chairman, Jose Barroso, (who had notoriously declared, as former Portuguese Prime Minister, that he found "nonsense" the idea that Europe might become equal to the US), had repeatedly tried to avoid that Sarkozy's criticism on Turkey might start winning a larger audience in Europe, preferring a discrete "wismens' committee" work. And that most of the personalities later chosen in order to participate in a Committee on Europe's Future, are too much linked with Socialist parties and/or American policies, to be really critical of USA's notorious wish to impose Turkey to the EU, as Sarkozy had noted himself since March 2007..

     - "It's on EU Council's presidency to take political initiatives. EU Commission has other competences", stressed Sarkozy. The "European Ideal" is to "build Europe with the States, not against them". "Ask Europeans to chose between their countries and Europe won't work. You don't choose between your two parents : We must add them together".

    "France and Germany have an Historic Duty to work together, precisely because of what happened to the Past. We have to work hand by hand. We cannot be separated.It goes beyond me and Mrs Merkel today, Mr Schroeder and Mr. Chirac yesterday. It's not a choice, it's a duty to Europe and to the World".  "We need Germany, as Germany needs Europe". Compromise is inevitable, here as everywhere, and each one made some steps towards eachother's positions.

    But "it's true that Mrs Merkel didn't chose her Socialist partners, while I chose mine", Sarkozy said, in an indirect hint that the Socialist Minister of Finance in Germany might be a cause of minor past disagreements in Economy, which were overcome in recent negotiations.

    "We (France and Germany) have particular duties in Europe", but "in a Europe of 27 Member States, it's not enough for France and Germany to agree between them.

    "I always thought that Great Britain has a special role to play in Europe. ... Now, everybody "saw what it cost payed the UK for having been too exclusively open towards the US (and) Financial services. Europe needs the UK, but also the UK needs Europe" :- "We were able to face the hardest moment of the Financial crisis because the UK clearly chose Europe", stressed Sarkozy, reminding Gordon Brown's exceptional participation to the Historic 1st Heads of State/Government Summit of EuroZone, October 12 in Paris (See EuroFora's Reportage from Elysee Palace then).

     - "Some look at Europe with old glasses aged 30 years ago. While we must look at her in relation to what it will be in 30 years" in the Future, Sarkozy concluded.

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