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Accueil 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

Ecrit par ACM
samedi, 18 septembre 2021

 

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*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...

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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.

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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,

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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)...

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(../..)

 

("Draft-News")

 

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Swedish Foreign Minister, Carl Bildt, speaking  to "EuroFora", denied rumors on Turkey's attempts to avoid an EU check of its obligations on Cyprus on December 2009 by blackmailing Nicosia to either accept any deal with intransigeant Turkish claims contrary to EU values on the island's political issue, or face threats against the territorial integriy of the EU island, semi-occupied by Ankara's army.

On the contrary, the incoming EU President-in-office, speaking exclusively to "EuroFora", promissed that he will act for EU Council's decisions on December 2009 assessment of Turkey's commitments on Cyprus to be kept.


    Bildt was asked to react to Cyprus' President Christofias' denunciation, earlier this week, that some want to exert "pressure" on Cyprus in order for Turkey to escape from its obligations.

    Avoiding to mention any precise Deadline, Bildt, however, warned about "Consequences" in case of "failure" to reunite Cyprus, but without saying whose responsibility an eventual deadlock might be.  

 Asked by "EuroFora" if there is a risk for "Turkey's commitments to "be forgotten or downgraded", "despite crystal-clear EU Council decisions and EU Parliament's latest Resolution on the assessment to make at the end of this year on Turkey's obligations", according to rumours that, instead of pressing Turkey, on the contrary, there might be "pressure on Cyprus", even "blackmail", as Media reported and President Christofias denounced this week, Bildt denied :

- "No ! ", he clearly replied.


- On the contrary, invited by "EuroFora", to "reassure that the Swedish EU Presidency (7-12/2009) will keep a fair stance, based on principles",  Bildt promised that "we (Swedish EU Presidency) will be very clear on all of the decisions taken by the (EU) Council".

He added, however, that "we have very numerous decisions that have been taken" by EU Council, as if he warned, also, on something else.

- "'I am not aware of any sort of statements coming out today''", Bildt started to say, on our reference to Cyprus' President Christofias" denunciation of Turkish lobby's manoeuvers this week, replying earlier to 'another"EuroFora"'s question during a Press Conference at EU Parliament in Strasbourg.


 - '"I know the issues that you' are concerned with'", he added, remembering  the statements he gave us when Sweden was chairing the PanEuropean CoE on 2008.

- "But, obviously, .. I think that Cyprus' Peace negotiations are extremenly important".

- And "'I think that we are at a unique moment in History, in the sens that both (Cyprus') President Christofias and Mr. Talat (the Turkish Cypriot leader), are personally convinced of the need to overcome the division".

 - "It's 20 Years since the fall of Berlin Wal, but we still have a Capital in Europe (Nicosia) that's divided". ,

- 'I don't that we should loose any time in overcoming that"..

 - ''We should be aware of the fact that success will bring great benefits, but failure, will also have major consequences. There will not be Status Quo' " It's a question of seeking a solution, or entering another situation, which is somewhat difficult to see exactly how that could evolve", he warned.

- "That being said, this is a negotiation for Cyprus itself", Bildt admitted.

 - ''We (EU) can support, the (EU) Commission primarily, be technically helpful, and then, of course, there is a specific role for the UN, when it comes to the Cyprus' situation".  

- "At least so far. It might not be for ever'. Certainly not for ever, but for this period of time", Bildt added, skiping now any reference to concrete threats on UNO's Peace keeping force in face of more than 40.000 Ankara's soldiers, contrary to some Press claims, (See previous NewsReports).


     Replying to another "EuroFora"'s Question,  if anyone might attempt to "impose a Deadline for the conclusion" of Cyprus' Talks on December 2009, Bildt avoided to speak of any precise Time-frame, and indirectly evoked the fact that  35 Years of Turkish Invasion/Occupation obviously durated too long :

'- "If I was from Cyprus, I would say that the Deadline was Yesterday ! '",
Bildt concluded.

Cyprus' Government Spokesman, Stephanou, reportedly pointed out that "a settlement is possible on December if Turkey changes its stance", accepting a solution for the reunification of the island based on UNO resolutiona and EU principles.

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Earlier, EU Chair, Swedish Prime Minister Fredrik Reinfeld, highlighted an "historic opportunity" to "re-Unite" Cyprus according to EU's "basic Values"' (i.e. Human Rights) and 'Rules'", in a last-minute change of his draft speech to EU Parliament in Strasbourg.

    The initial Draft spoke only about "healing" the island.

    Significantly, Reinfeldt linked Cyprus' reunification with Turkey's obligations to respect EU's "Values" and "follow" EU's "common Rules" :

    - What is "called Membership Negotiations" should lead, "at- the end of the day", into "sharing a set of common Basic Values (i.e. Human Rights, Democracy, etc), and following common Rules", stressed Reinfeld from the outset.
    
    - "This is something that those on the Outside (of the EU), are now  contemplating", up "to Ankara", for "a solution" on "Cyprus", observed the EU Chairman, immediately afterwards..  

    - "Both sides of Cyprus have been granted a historic opportunity to together reach an agreement on a solution to re-Unite the island, that has been divided for far too long", said Reinfeldt, modifying his draft text.


-  "The Swedish Presidency will act ...in accordance with Commitments EU has made, on the basis of Criteria that apply", "as a Honest Broker", he promised.    

- "To those on the inside (of the EU), allowing the membership process to become an opportunity to solve protracted disputes, can be tempting", he added.


    "In such cases, we must find solutions that can benefit both sides, and open up a way forward. Otherwise, it would jeopardize the progress we have made towards EU integration", Reinfeldt said.

***

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