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Home arrow newsitems arrow CoE Anti-Corruption body GRECO grows 20 y.o. and eyes +EU Parliament ?

CoE Anti-Corruption body GRECO grows 20 y.o. and eyes +EU Parliament ?

Written by ACM
lundi, 17 juin 2019
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*Strasbourg/CoE/Angelo Marcopolo/- While Political Support for CoE's PanEuropean (Russia included) Anti-Corruption Watchdog "GRECO", even by the EU, appeared quite Strong, in its 20th Anniversary Conference in Strasbourg, attended by 5 Ministers of Justice from France (current CoE's President-in-office, for the Period of May-November 2019), the UK, Georgia (Next CoE's rotating Chair, from November 2019 to May 2020), including Member Countries so Different as Albania and Monaco, as well as CoE's Leadership (Secretary General Thornbjorn Jagland and CoE Assembly's President Liliane Maury Pasquier), even EU Commission's 1st Vice-President, Frans Timmerman, etc), on the Contrary, the Horizon of its foreseable Future Missions, even if certainly Ambitious, nevertheless, looked still subject to Discussion, as it also seemed to raise some UnExpectedly "Spicy" and Topical Areas or Issues...

Just after Timmermans concluded his landmark Speech, significantly placed right at the Middle of that Conference, Between an Experts' concrete Demonstration of "Systemic Challenges" faced by GRECO Nowadays in "Preventing Corruption" and "Promoting Integrity", and a Different, Prospective Session, due to reply to the Question : - "Where to, Next ?", alias "Visions for the Future", Nobody could yet Guess Where this all might Lead to, in Fact, neither Why the Frontrunner Candidate of the Socialist Group in EU Parliament, (currenly amidst Exceptionally Intense InFight for EU's Top 5 Jobs during the Crucial Period of 2019-2024), would be interested into making an all Round Trip from Brussels to Strasbourg and back, only in order to Support an EU Commission's demand to Become an "Observer" inside CoE's PanEuropean Anti-Corruption body asap.

 

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- But, here, Experienced Professor Michele Nicoletti, from Italy's University of Trento, former President of CoE's PanEuropean Parliamentary Assembly, and Chairman of the Socialist Group of MEPs, makes a very Energetic Intervention, Focused on "a ReNewed Perspective", where, inter alia, he stigmatises also some "Nationalists"' (or "Sovereignists"') Politicians' alleged trend to generally DisTrust such International Anti-Corruption Bodies, by accusing them to be, in Fact, Tools of a "Global Elite !"... But he Welcomes the Active role that GRECO Recently played in an Exceptional "Corruption Crisis" even inside CoE's PaEuropean, 47 Member Countries' wide, Parliamentary Assembly's (PACE) MEPs, (which notoriously Resulted also in the Dismissal of a Suspended PACE's President, of a Chairman of the Biggest Political Group : that of ChristianDemocrats/EPP, and of several important MEPs from various Countries, according to a concluding Report published by former ECHR's President, Sir Nicolas Bratza, from the UK.

+ Even More Concrete, GRECO's vice-President Agnès Maitrepierre, adds also some Wider Perspectives, inter alia, also by Observing, f.ex., the Fact that various Other International Organisations, as the EU, the WTO, etc, have Already started to make appeals to CoE's GRECO in order to prepare "Guidelines" for Civil Servants vis a vis alleged "Lobbyists", or the Legal Basis of "Deontology", etc., Raising the Question whether it would, indeed, "develop a kind of Consulting role", as she said, with a Wider Outreach.

++ So that, when even GRECO's President himself, Martin Mrcela from Croatia, (Comp. various Mrcela's Replies to "Eurofora"s Questions, at other occasions, f.x., at : ..., +... , etc), feels necessary to Add also a vibrant Defence of GRECO's alleged trend to "Use too much the Press" Medias, as some National Government Officials have reportedly Complained, then, by Simply Adding all those Above mentioned Dots, "Eurofora" Guesses that, perhaps, a Time has come to at least raise a Question, to Emmanuel Faraht, an Expert of the brand new Anti-Corruption Agency of France (current CoE's President for the Period of May - November 2019), whose Director, Charles Duchaine, has just Concluded this International Conference's Debates with a vibrant Call for "a ReinForced Cooperative approach", about Whether GRECO might usefuly serve also in order to Check and Advise, on Anti-Corruption Issues, inside the New EU Parliament itself...

=> The spontaneous Reply of that Young French Expert is Diplomatic, but Positive : - As a matter of General Principle, naturally, "More Organisations feel the need to Fight against Corruption, the Better it is !". And this is made even Crystal-clear by the Experienced Italian Professor Nicoletti, former PACE's President (Comp. Supra), himself, who, Questioned also by "Eurofora" on that Same Issue, Replied Explicitly, withOut any hesitation, but just a Smiling "Yes !", about the above-mentioned matter concerning, eventually, EU Parliament !

+++ Now, when, to all that, is even Added the Fact that the Key, former "Liberal", renamed "ReNew Europe", Group of MEPs in the New EU Parliament, (where, among others, were also included French President Emmanuel Macron's MEPs), has just Decided to Elect as its New President, the well known former EU Commissioner, and former Prime Minister of Romania, Dacian Siolos, (who, notoriously considers as one of his most Important Achievements recently the "Fight against Corruption", and holds in addition, very Close Relations with the "Anti-Corruption" Political Party of Romania, which has Endorsed him several times), [+Partly UPDATED], then, "Eurofora"s above-mentioned Question, obviously becomes absolutely Logical...

+ However, in the meantime, it's not only France and othes, but Also the UK which seems Interested at CoE's GRECO, (in line, however, about UK's naturally Extended Interest for the CoE, since the "BREXIT" developments vis a vs the EU, as ilustrates also the diligent and active Presence, Today in that CoE's Conference, of the British Ambassador/Permanent Representative, who spoke with "Eurofora" on this occasion.

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++ This is Added also to ...USA's recent Accession to CoE's AntiCorruption Body, probably presaging some Interesting developments in the foreseable Future !

 

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(../..)
 

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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".

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        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.

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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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