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Home arrow newsitems arrow PACE Vote to Build AntiEpidemic System after Hearing WHO+CoEMinisters Heads Ghebreyesus+Varvitsiotis

PACE Vote to Build AntiEpidemic System after Hearing WHO+CoEMinisters Heads Ghebreyesus+Varvitsiotis

Written by ACM
Friday, 26 June 2020

 

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*Strasbourg/Angelo Marcopolo/- PanEuropean, 47 Member States-strong (including EU, UK, Russia, etc) CoE's Parliamentary Assembly, after Debating with WHO's Chief, Dr. Tedros Ghebreyesus, and CoE's Committee of Ministers' Chairman, Miltiades Varvitsiotis Today, quasi-Unanimously Voted to "Build a Regional System" for "Effective Pandemic Preparedness and Reaction", "capable of Supporting the responsible International and EU Institutions" in that Task.

 

- Mainly Because of "the initial Inaction, subsequent Slow Response, overHasty Measures, and PreMature re-Openings", in several States, (against which "Eurofora" has often Warned, since January + February 2020),"which may well be paid in (Human) Lives lost", and/or "in ...Damage to our Political, Democratic, Social, Financial and Economic systems, and in the Non-Respect of several of the Rights guaranteed by the ECHR, ...UNO,...Rights of Persons with Disabilities" (etc), MEPs Criticized, shortly After the Publication of Polls showing that a Majority of European People are Upset by the way EU and/or some States Dealt with the Deadly Virus...

- "Lessons Learnt" from this Crisis, and relevant "Ideas for the Future", are, indeed, a main Direction in which CoE currently Prepares the Next Summit of his Top Political Body, its Committee of Ministers, scheduled for November 4, in Athens, as CoE's Secretary General, Marija Buric, recently underlined, while introducing, Together with Varvitsiotis, a Video-Conference with the Senior Officers of Strasbourg's Organisation earlier.

- Indeed, inter alia, there was also "a Lack of Equipment to Protect Human Health in Europe, so that we had to Buy it from China and elsewhere", Reminded, inter alia, Today, in Reply to MEPs' Questions at the PACE, the representative of the current, Greek Presidency of the CoE, Alternate Foreign Minister Miltiades Vavitsiotis, former Long-Time MEP and vice-President of the Biggest Political Group at the PACE, that of ChristianDemocrats/EPP.

- Varvitsiotis also announced that, in the Context of Europe's Will to Promote a New Vision, Both Efficient and Respectful of Human Rights/Democracy, the Greek Presidency (May-November 2020) had just Launched a Series of Video-"Discussions with Philosophers, Academics, a.o." on relevant topical issues. Among Others, f.ex. "we canNot Accept to have only some who can Afford Access to Health Care, while Others are Excluded", he stressed, (in an indirect but topical reference also to CoE's Social Charter, etc).

 - Indeed, "Public Health control Measures ... Must be Based on relevant Standards and on Public Trust, to be Effective", as well as, to be "Applied Fairly", warns PACE's Resolution, drafted by German EuroLeft MEP Andrej Hunko.

+ Concerning the "Timing" of Action against the Virus, it's true that it attracts most Criticisms, Acknowlegded WHO's Director General, Dr. Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, later-on.  But WHO Declared a "Public Health Emergency, of International Concern", on 30 January 2020, and "on Mid-February we said that this Virus was the "Public Ennemy Number 1", (something that some found then "Exagerated"), before declaring a "Pandemic on 11 March", (and Naming Europe as its current "EpiCenter" some Days Afterwards). Earlier, we had, once, "Only 98 Cases Out of China", and these affected mainly "Countries Neighbouring China", he complained.

"Eurofora" Remembers, however, Already a Critical Publication at our "Forum" on January 26 to 27 (http://www.eurofora.net/forum/index.php/topic,936.0.html), Followed by a clear Alert for Europe on "News" of February 22 to 23 (http://www.eurofora.net/newsflashes/news/deadlyvirusheadstoeucore.html), a Deception for the Lack of EU and/or Other Measures on February 24 (http://www.eurofora.net/newsflashes/news/virusriskbutnoeuprotection.html), and a Criticism for, apparently, "Too Late" EU+ Measures, on March 17 (http://www.eurofora.net/newsflashes/news/delaytoprotecteupeoplefromvirus.html), etc.

- At any case, already a First "OverSight" by Independent Experts on the WHO was Published on April 2020, and an Important "Independent Evaluation" is due to "Start ASAP", observed the Head of the International Organisation.

=> By the way, this Fothcoming "Evaluation" would Also offer an Occasion for any eventual Criticism of WHO's recent Action, (including, f.ex., by President Trump's USA), to be Presented, Examined, and may be, more or less, Taken into Account for due Changes, added Dr. Ghebreyesus.

- Indeed, Even if Trump has notoriously Announced his Intention to Withdraw from the WHO, Nevertheless, he hasN't yet send any Official Letter for that purpose, so that the USA for the Time being, Continue to be Still Considered as a Member of the Organisation, and, f.ex. we Cooperate with North American Experts, etc., he observed.

- In fact, the current "Division of the World", between USA and China, is Dangerous", Because, in order to Win the Fight Against the Virus, the World Needs to be United, versus such an Ennemy of the Humanity", WHO's Chief stressed.

-  As for "Europe", Nowadays, "the Risk Number 1 is Complacency !", Dr. Ghebreyesus Warned Against Hasty DeConfinements...

+ He Left to WHO's Top Experts on "Emergencies" and on "COVID-19" the Task to Develop Further Advise for Europeans :

The First focused on "EU's Problem that Measures are a matter of National Sovereignity", as he said, and gave a central Importance to People's "Trust".  

The Second stressed that "Lock-Down canNot be a Long-Time Solution", (mainly for Economic-Social reasons), and she Urged for "Extreme BALANCE" in Carefully planed DeConfinement Steps.

>>> Last, but not least, PACE's new President, Belgian Liberal Senator Rik Daems, eyed mainly towards how to Develop "Cooperation" with the WHO, in the foreseable Future, and this was Welcomed also by WHO's Chief, in a Global Framework.

- If necessary, We could even "Use Bikes" between Strasbourg and Geneva, which is Not so Far away, Jokingly but Practically observed Daems in fine...

In Addition to being Timely and Healthy, Bikes, indeed, are quite Easy to use Accross Rhine and Rhone Rivers' Bicycle PathWays, added to Rail, as "Eurofora" has Often Witnessed.

+ Meanwhile, as more Serious Practical Steps in order to "Build" Efficiently the Above-Mentioned "Regional System", "Capable of Supporting ...Pandemic Preparednss and ReAction" (Comp. Supra), MEPs also Voted to "Urgently" ask  CoE's Committee of Ministers (currently Chaired by Varvitsiotis) to "establish a Pan-European) Inter-Governemental steering Committee on Public Health", as well as to adequately "Associate" CoE's "European Directorate for the Quality of Medicine and HealthCare (EDQM)", Based in Strasbourg.

 

(../..)

 

("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.

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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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