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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

Автор ACM
Saturday, 18 September 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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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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Facing a 70% Abstention threat in 2009 Election, EU endorses EuroFora's idea for Citizens' debates on crucial EU decisions !

- Different views on "Europe's Future", should be debated among Citizens at June 2009 EU Elections, thanks to political Parties' "Manifestos", says EU Parliament's Report


                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                               
A main idea, initiated and promoted by EuroFora's founders since 1997: the vital need to develop European Citizens' democratic right to actively participate in multilingual debates on EU decisions, is formally endorsed by the EU from 2009 !

The move is a key attempt to overcome "catastrophic" Polls which warn that only ...30% of Citizens are ready to vote in the forthcoming June 2009 EU Election !  This was revealed by EU Commission's vice-president, in charge of Communication policy, Margot Wallstrom, during a "hot" meeting of EU Parliament's Committee on Culture and Education, during the December 2008 Strasbourg session.

Wallstrom faced criticism, but also suggestions from various MEPs, naturally worried by Abstention threats which herself found even "worse" than in 1999 or 2004...

A Report on "Active Dialogue with Citizens",examined at the same time, presented some useful practical tips, on "facilitating Interviews"; etc., but also a  potentialy important call to "incorporate the conclusions of ...debates...into (EU) policies, and take into consideration the expectations that Citizens have of the EU when deciding". An amendment even implies that Citizens' participation in debates on EU decisions is a democratic "Right".

More importantly, it finds that  a Debate "on the Future of Europe", (as French President Nicolas Sarkozy has asked since 2007), would be a good idea " for the 2009 European parliamentary Elections", because "clarifying the political differences between the EU political parties would help citizens to identify themselves with, and choose between various concepts", for which "all parties (should) present their Manifesto".

A "Joint political declaration on Communicating Europe in Partnership", co-signed by "the European Parliament, Council and ... Commission", confirms that they "attach the utmost importance to improving communication on EU issues", by "enabling European citizens to exercise their right to participate in the democratic life of the Union, in which decisions are taken as openly as possible and as closely as possible to the citizens, observing the principles of pluralism, participation, openness and transparency".

This should "enable Citizens to exercise their right to express their views and to participate actively in the public Debate on European Union issues", while also "promoting the respect of multilingualism". In this regard, EU confirms its "wish to develop synergies with national, regional and local authorities as well as with representatives of Civil Society".

    It's since 1997 that a group of EuroFora's founders have officially presented a pioneer Project (then called "EIW", for "Europe in the World"), which aimed to develop Strasbourg's "Polyphonic music", by providing "Interactive information", on "main issues ... during the Decision-making process of European Organizations which engage in Transparent and Public Democratic Debates"

    This should be done, inter alia, by "exploring the potential of New Communication Tools (mainly Internet)", as well as classic-form debates, the 1997 EIW pioneer project's anounced in its "Synopsis". It was formally "accepted for evaluation" by EU Commission in Brussels in order to be examined for a grant in the framework of the "Research/Technology/Development (RTD) Programme in the field of Information Technologies", then called "ESPRIT", as a "Best Practice Pilot Project".

eiw_project_eu_program_esprit_ds_1997.._400

        But the vital, urgent Political need for EU to search new, efficient ways to reach the People and interact with European Citizens, was really felt in Brussels and elsewhere only after the unprecedented in History 1999 and 2004 Majority Abstention in EU Elections, followed by 3 "NO" in Referenda in France, the Netherlands and Ireland, on 2005 and 2008...
    In this New Political Landscape, we prepared a new, actualised and more developed version of our initial idea, in a simplified and more efficient form, thanks also to a large Experience accumulated during many years of EU/CoE/UNO Press work and Multi-lingual debates, with the New project "EuroFora" :

    On 2006 we presented in Public its main lines during Questions/Replies that we raised at two Press Conferences by EU Commission President, Jose Baroso, and mainly EU Commission's vice-President, in charge of Communication policy, Margot Wallstrom, together with EU Parliament's vice-president, Alejo Vidal-Quadras, in Strasbourg, (Videos available), and we reminded it at various brief contacts with Commissioner Wallstrom in 2007 and 2008.

    Meanwhile, a new Text was also presented for "EuroFora" Project mainly to certain Political and other personalities, at European, National or Regional/Local level, mainly in 2007, but also in 2008..

    Now, after the unexpected 2008 Irish "NO", and before the 2009 EU Elections, which are due to be of exceptionally crucial importance for Europe's Future, the moment has obviously come to launch that project, progressively, but in real practice.

    Whoever really cares for Europe and its Citizens is welcome to join, in one way or another. Only anti-European, anti-democratic, obscure or ignorant groups might oppose or attempt to "steal" and deviate the main idea.

    But European Citizens, incited by enlightened political leaders, are those who will finally write the real History.

Polls

2009 EU Elections were won by Parties against Technocracy and Turkey's controversial EU bid, while the 1999-2004 Majority Abstention trend decelerated. What should be done in 2009-2014 ?

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