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Home arrow newsitems arrow CFE/EcoSoc+Digit.Panel/Day-2: Verhofstadt claims to EF that Citizens May Change Agenda

CFE/EcoSoc+Digit.Panel/Day-2: Verhofstadt claims to EF that Citizens May Change Agenda

Written by ACM
Saturday, 18 September 2021

 

cofoe_1st_panel_day_2_verhofstad__agg_eurofora_400


*Strasbourg/EU Parliament/Angelo Marcopolo/- This 2nd Day, Saturday, during the 1st Citizens' Panel on Economy-Social/Culture-Education/and Digitalisation, was Focused mainly on a particularly Extended Work about Concrete "Topics", Initialy and at the End Between the Participant Citizens, (only Partly aided by "Facilitants"), added to an Intermediary Phase, where "Moderators" and "Experts" had an Important Role to play. Such an Exceptional Overload in collective Work apparently Obliged even to Extend the initialy Scheduled Time-Frame for almost an Hour More, "Eurofora" was informed...

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cofoe_1st_panel2nd_day_at_4pm_cleaning_ladies_are_already_working..._eurofora_400 

But, nevertheless, since around 17.30, Both the Plenary and Working Rooms appeared Deserted, leaving Only ...Cleaning Ladies to work around, while Many Tourist Citizens, Visiting the Parliament on the occasion of the Day for European Cultural Heritage, were strolling on the Gallery, trying to Attract the attention of Paparatzi...

 cofoe_1st_panelday_2_at_4pm_tourists_catch_paparatzis_eye_in_empty_ep_eurofora_400

In Addition, Participant-Citizens of the Conference had been, reportedly, Invited to Socio-Cultural Events, mainly by Strasbourg's Mayor Barseghian, for the Rest of the Day, including a Visit of the Historic, Huge Cathedral, and a Boat-Trip accross its Rivers, from the 3 Towers of Ancient Strasbourg, up to the Modern Buildings of EU Parliament, the CoE and the ECHR, (etc)...

Nevertheless, "Eurofora" was Surprized to find out that, while Most People were piled up inside the ...Restaurant of EU Parliament, on the Contrary, some (including even a Young Lady still Working with a Computer) were striving to continue Building on the Conference's Issues, still until Late Evening, (probably Because Tomorrow, on Sunday Morning, it was going to be an Important Decision-Making moment !). I.e., "Eurofora"'s estimation that the Time is Tight, (Comp. Sura, at : ..., etc), seems Right.

cofoe_1st_panel_day_2__lady_working_in_pc__agg_eurofora_400

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And even that Restaurant, this Evening, appeared to be Rather a conveniant Meeting-Place for ..."Food for Thought !" Indeed, soon 3 or 4 Participants, one afte another, Kindly Invited "Eurofora" to enter Inside, Revealing that, in fact, there was something Exceptionaly Important going-on, particularly in the form of "a Speech", by a Leading European Personality, whose Name, Curiously, they did Not Disclose asap...

So, the Surprize was Great when, Suddenly, we saw ...Guy Verhofstadt, walk out of that EU Parliament's overloaded Restaurant, with a smile, Contrary to his Past Declaration, Yesterday Afternoon (Friday) at the Plenary, that it would be the Last Time that he adressed this Panel's 1st Meeting, since he was going to Leave Strasbourg, then !

=> "Eurofora" immediately Seized that Opportunity to Ask the EU Parliament's Chief Negociator on the Conference for the Future of Europe, and former Belgium's Prime Minister, whether he Believed that those Participant Citizens miht have Still Enough Time and Occasions to eventualy Rectify possible Ommissions or Deformations of Topics, on what they considered as the Main Issues that Should be Raised, Discussed and Settled in their Panel.

>>> Verhofstadt's Reply to the above-mentioned "Eurofora"s Question appeared Adamant :  - Yes, these Participant Citizens could, indeed, do so, Given, particularly, the Fact that they have 3 Meetings for their Panel, (1 in Strasbourg, Nowadays, anOther -Digital- on October, and a 3rd -at anOther EU City- on November 2021. +Moreover, Theoreticaly, anOther Possibility might be for someone to Raise such Issues During the subsequent, "Plenary" Meetings of the CoFoE, Later-on, (But, then, it would have to be one among the 20 "Ambassadors", that this Panel of 200 Participant-Citizens would Chose Tomorrow (Sunday, 19/9/2021).

Such ReEnsurances were given to "Eurofora" with a Kindly Smiling Face,

scofoen_1st_panel_day_2_people_at_the_ep_courtyard_eurofora_400

and While Many Other, simple EU Citizens had Inundated EU Parliament's Building Today, Often with all their Family, including Kids, proudly holding a European Flag, (one of the Gifts offered to Visitors by EU Parliament's staff, on the Occasion of this Day for European Cultural Heritage, that Even some Journalists Received, including "Eurofora", placing it at their Desk in the PressRoom)...

 european_flag_of_19.9.2021_day_for_european_cultural_heritage_eurofora_400_01

 

(../..)

 

("Draft-News")

 

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 sarko_merkel_mieux

The official presentation of a "Program" respecting People's choices voted in the June 7, 2009 EU Elections, to be debated in EU Council and EU Parliament during its 1st Session on July in Strasbourg, is the No 1 Priority, according to Democratic principles, for the Franco-German axis, said the main winners at the ballot box, French President Nicolas Sarkozy and German Chancellor Angie Merkel.

They stressed  that the New EU Commission's President must have a "Program" in favor of an EU which "protects" its Citizens, regulates financial markets and aims at a "Political" Europe" : a wording they have used as incompatible with Turkey's controversial EU bid.

They also declared ready for a "political" endorsment of "Mr. Barroso's candidacy" in June's EU Council, considering that an official decision would have to be made after EU Parliament's debates and votes, possibly from next month (July), with the legally necessary final acceptance shortly after Lisbon Treaty's entry into force, hoped for September or October.


- "A Program, and Mr. Barroso" : This resumes, in substance, the anouncements made by Sarkozy and Merkel, on the question of current EU Commission's President, Barroso's declared wish to succeed to himself for a second mandate, to be extended during the following 5 years.

 In their 1st meeting after EU Elections, they observed that "the Franco-German axis counted in European Elections' campaign... But, we both keep a realistic view : We saw the number of those who abstained, and we must absolutely give them an answer. We also see the disilusionment of an important number of Europeans vis a vis Europe, and we are aware of the responsibilities we have".

sarko

 - The "Duty" of the new EU Commission's President, after June 7, 2009 EU Elections' result, "is to act for a Europe which protects the Europeans, to commit himself into working for a better Regulation of Financial transactions, ... and to have a Political will for Europe", underlined Sarkozy.

Therefore, "we have asked M. Barroso... to clarify, to officialy present the intentions he has", he anounced.

- "We want to speak also about the Programme", explained Merkel.

- "It's important that for the next EU Parliament's mandate (2009-2014) we take the right Decisions for Europe.  Obviously on Persons, but mainly Decisions on Issues", she stressed.

- "It's not simply a question of a Person, it's also a question of a Programme". We are "really asking Mr. Barroso to commit himself on a Program, and on Principles, on Values", Sarkozy added.

EU President-in-office, Czech Prime Minister Jan Fischer, accepted the Franco-German stance :

- "Barroso must present his Programme. The Czech Presidency agrees with that", Fischer reportedly said later, after meeting Sarkozy.

But Press reports from Brussels claimed that Barroso had preferred to be officially appointed by EU Council since June, (i.e. next week), "because this was implied by the current Treaty of Nice, according to him", and considered any delay until the possible ratification of the new, Lisbon Treaty on September/October, as "undemocratic".

- "At any case, independently of what Germany and France ask, it's also EU Parliament's wish". "We shall propose Mr Barroso's candidacy... But even in the framework of Nice Treaty, EU Parliament has to be associated in this Decision", the French President observed.

If this is correctly done, then "we support Mr. Barroso's candidature", and "if the (EU) Parliament agrees, we might ratify this decision since July", (i.e. next month), they both said.

smerkem_400

- "France and Germany support Baroso's candidacy, But we want to speak also on the Program. We believe that this Program should be established in close cooperation with EU Parliament, and that's why we have followed an appropriate way", said Merkel.  - If EU Parliament wants, this election can take place on July,  but this must be done in full agreement.

- "We shall support Mr. Barroso's candidacy, without doubt", said Sarkozy. "But we have asked from Mr. Barroso, as I told him yesterday, to put into detail.. his intentions, at the eve of his 2nd mandate, if the situation avails itself.


    France and Germany "don't want to take an Official Legal Decision by writting" during "the next (EU) Council" (on June 18-19), declared Sarkozy.  Because they prefer, at this stage, only "a Political decision" on June, "so that we (EU Council) can work together with EU Parliament", which starts to meet only Next Month, since July in Srasbourg, "leaving a Legal decision by writting for later".

    - "If the Conditions are fuillfiled in EU Parliament, we (EU Council) are ready to give the agreement and make it offficial", said Merkel

    - "But, now we are working in the base of Nice Treaty. If tommorow we want to work in the spirit of Lisbon Treaty, we have to find a proper way", she added.

    - "Of course it's Legally complicated, because we are going to make a Political proposal to the forthcoming Council, for an EU Commission's President, on the basis of Nice Treaty : So, we (EU Council) will not appoint the Commissioners. Only the President.  If EU Parliament agrees, it could endorse this position on July", explained Sarkozy.

    But, on Autumn, "if Ireland ratifies Lisbon Treaty, there will be, at any case, a 2nd Decision, to appoint the Commission's President, this time on the basis of Lisbon treaty, and then, we, the EU Member States, would have to appoint (also) the EU Commissioners", he added.

    As for the precise Timing :  - "Everything is suspended until the Irish vote... Now, we must all make everything possible to help Ireland to say "Yes"" to Lisbon Treaty... The Irish Referendum, ..will take place either on September or on October. It's a Question which depends on the Irish. And,  then, we shall have the Choice of the Candidates for the permanent Institutions of Europe".

    However, "if Ireland says No, we, French and Germans, have to assume our responsibilities, and we'll do so", he concluded.

    But British and Swedish governments were reportedly eager to have a final EU Council decision on Barroso since this month, on June's European Council. While the other EU Member Countries are divided, several of them preferring to wait until EU Parliament pronounces itself, on July, and/or until Lisbon Treaty might be ratified by Ireland at the beginning of the Autumn. Barroso's current mandate ends on November.

    There are also various, contradictory and/or unpredictable reactions inside EU Parliament vis a vis Barroso's wish to continue a 2nd mandate, because many MEPs are openly or secretly opposed, reluctant, or hesitating.

    In the biggest EU Countries, as France and Germany, EU Citizens voted on June 2009 EU Elections for a renovated, non-technocratic but Political Europe which cares for its Citizens, with an Identity, Values and Borders, declared incompatible with Turkey's controversial EU bid, by mainstream, pro-European Governing Parties. Similar choices were also supported in several other small or medium EU Countries.

    On the contrary, whenever, in other Countries, Governing and other mainstream Parties didn't make these choices or eluded them, EU Citizens massively voted for euro-Sceptics whenever they were the only ones to to promise anti-bureacratic change and oppose Turkey's demand to enter into the EU, (f.ex. in the UK, Netherlands, etc).

    It's seems to be an Open Question whether Sarkozy and Merkel's conditions will be really accepted by Barroso, who was appointed on 2004 in a different political context, (with Socialist Prime Ministers in Germany, France, etc), had rejected in the Past the idea of EU becoming "equal to the USA" as "ridiculous", and pushed for Turkey's contoversial EU bid, trying to "soften" or contain the changes desired by the People who voted for Merkel and Sarkozy with another policy vis a vis Turkey on 2005 in Germany and on 2007 in France, as they did all over Europe on 2009.

    In addition to many EPP Governments, it's 3 remaining Socialist Prime Ministers : Gordon Brown in the UK, Zapatero in Spain, and Socrates in Prortugal, who support Barroso, as well as Liberal Swedish Prime Minister Reinfeldt. But their Parties lost the June 2009 EU Elections.

    Questioned whether there was still "Time" for "other" possible "Candidates", Sarkozy and Merkel did not deny, nor made any comment on that, but simply said that "it's not for us to make publicity for any candidates. We anounced our choice ("A Program, and Mr. Barroso"). But we respect any other candidate".

    Among various other names cited are former Belgian Prime Minister Verhofstadt, former UNO's Human Rights Commissioner Mary Robinson of Ireland, Italian former EU Commission's vice-President Monti, etc. Meanwhile, Luxembourg's PM Juncker, (who had been unanimously accepted by EU Council for EU Commission's Presidency on 2004, but refused), announced his intention to resign from "EuroGroup"'s Chair. Thus, he might be available for another Top EU job.

    As "EuroFora"'s "opinion" said (See publication dated 9/6/09) : - "If the current candidates (i.e. Barroso, etc) to the Top EU jobs promise and guarantee to respect People's democratic choices, then, it's OK".

"Otherwise, Europe must find new candidates, really motivated and able to implement these democratic choices of the People."

    Because, "in Democracy, the forthcoming choices for EU's Top Jobs,...should be made according to EU Citizens' Votes in June 7, 2009 European Elections, and main EU Governments' strategic policies".
        

***

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