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Inicio arrow newsitems arrow CoE Experts to EF on Social Charter compared to Other Tools v. Poverty (Basic Income, US MedicAid +)

CoE Experts to EF on Social Charter compared to Other Tools v. Poverty (Basic Income, US MedicAid +)

Escrito por ACM
24.01.18

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*Strasbourg/CoE/Angelo Marcopolo/- Some First, but Interesting Comparisons between CoE's PanEuropean Social Charter and Other Tools to Fight against Poverty Today, (as Basic Income, USA's MedicAid, etc), started to be made during the Annual Press Conference for the Year 2017, thanks to the Replies given to relevant "Eurofora"'s Questions by the President of the European Committee of Social Rights, Giuseppe Palmisano, and its General Rapporteur, Eliane Chemla.

 

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The main Focus of this January 2018 CoE's Press Conference on Social throughout more than 33 European Countries,, was about Medical Assistance, and Protection against Poverty/Social Exclusion, together with Social Welfare, Social Protection of Elderly People, etc.

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- Initially, "Eurofora" asked President Palmisano's view about the Topical Issue of "Basic Citizens Income", on which CoE's Parliamentary Assembly had just Debated and Voted a new Report, Yesterday in Strasbourg, after several quite "Hot" Exchanges, and in the middle of a Strong Controversy.

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- Palmisano's first reaction was quite Positive, welcoming, in substance, a tool like the Basic Citizens' Income that CoE's Assembly had just Adopted, as another tool which could Respond to several Needs covered by the Social Charter, and provide some Satisfactory Answers in real Practice.

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- But, at the same time, he carefully added that, in fact, such a move wasn't always absolutely Necessary, since CoE's Social Charter was, in his view, able to Meet many among those Needs also by Different Mechanisms, according to its own prescriptions.

 

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+ More Complex appeared, a priori, anOther Topical comparative Question raised by "Eurofora", (this time to the General Rapporteur, Eliane Chemla), about the European Social Charter's "Right to Medical Assistance", etc., and the well-known current "Hot" Debate in the USA on "MedicAid", in the Wider Context of Attempts to Reform the American "MediCare" System in general, (similar to Europe's "Social Security" and/or "Right to Protecion of Health", etc:

 

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- Initially, Chemla focused on a rather Classical Distinction between a very Different European Model of Social Security, and an American one, much more related to Private schemas, estimating that the respective situations would be beyond any comparison, on those key points.


>>> But, interestingly, when she Discussed with "Eurofora", Later-on, in more concrete details, a Comparison between USA's "MedicAid" and CoE's "Socio-Medical Assistance", including "Social Protection" for the "Elderly" (a very Topical Issue Nowadays even in Germany, it seems, but Similar to what exists in the USA since the Late 1960ies), and/or USA's "Food-Stumps" compared to CoE's wider "Protection against Poverty", etc., Chemla appeared more Thoughtfull :


- Indeed, her subsequent estimation was, in substance, that what exists in Europe, but not yet in the USA, was an Elementary Right to Social Security in general, which helped also prevent risks of extreme poverty in this regard. But, in Fact, when it really came to cases of real Extreme Poverty and/or Social Exclusion risks, the situation did Not necessarily seem to be so Radically Different between CoE's and USA's relevant tools, as some hasty comparisons used to claim...


=> In Conclusion, CoE's Social Rights' General Rapporteur agreed with "Eurofora" that, Nowadays, a Serious and concrete Comparative Analysis between various Different Approaches of the common but MultiFacet Fight against Poverty, had become Necessary and useful, in order to Better Clarify the real Situations, Choose the more Efficient Solutions, in full Knowledge of the main Facts.

- Sometimes, there might be certain Unexpected "Surprises", at First Sight, as, f.ex., the Fact that a so  Important European Country as Germany, has Not yet Ratified CoE's "Collective Complaints" Procedure, for the Protection of Social Rights, while, on the Contrary, several Less Rich and Powerfull European Countries have already done so, as President Palmisano critically observed, in Reply to anOther Question by a German Collegue Journalist, during that same Annual 2018 Press Conference in Strasbourg...

 

(../..)


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(NDLR : "DraftNews", as already send to "Eurofora"s Subscribers/Donors, Earlier. A more accurate, full Final Version, might be Published asap).


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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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