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Home arrow newsitems arrow Prof. Cutajar candidate Strasb. Mayor to EF: Dialogue Citizens-MEPs before Decisions=EU Policy Base

Prof. Cutajar candidate Strasb. Mayor to EF: Dialogue Citizens-MEPs before Decisions=EU Policy Base

Written by ACM
Monday, 09 March 2020


*Strasbourg/Angelo Marcopolo/-
A Key Candidate in the forthcoming Municipal Elections for the New Mayor of Strasbourg, Professor Chantal Cutajar, replying to an Eurofora's question, declared her Wish to place Citizens - Politicians interaction, including Dialogue Before Final Decisions, (as "Eurofora"s Project also for EU Parliament, etc) "at the Foundations of the future European Policy" of the City which regularly hosts MEP's full Plenary Sessions, the PanEuropean CoE, (with its Parliamentary Assembly, INGOS, Standard-Building Conferences, etc), as well as ECHR, EU Ombudsperson, Schengen secretariat, etc., which all directly concern Citizens.

Cutajar is a fully-fledged University Professor in Strasbourg, who has got EU Backing for a Pioneer Program of European Cooperation in the Fight against Corruption and Financial Crime (as scourge undermining Democracy, according also to CoE's "GRECO" Anti-Corruption Watchdog), throughout the Continent, (See, among others, also : http://www.eurofora.net/newsflashes/news/eucommissionerredingoneuprosecutorandtraining.html + http://www.eurofora.net/newsflashes/news/cyberattaksandeurules.html + http://www.eurofora.net/newsflashes/news/eusciencefundsimpact.html + http://www.eurofora.net/newsflashes/news/professorcutajaronparadisepapers.html, etc), but, as former Deputy Mayor, she has also Developed (2017-2019) a brand New Policy in Strasbourg City on Citizens' Participation in Public Decision-Making processes, in a way Succeeding to attract a rare Quasi-Unanimity of All Political Parties, (to which "Eurofora" was partly Involved, since a Conference at the CoE, until its Final Official Adoption, and well Beyond : See, f.ex., inter alia, also http://www.eurofora.net/newsflashes/news/euroforaideasendorsedbystrasbourggreatdebate.html, etc), and extended that even to a 2 Days-Long and Popular  Citizens' Conference contributing by a Report on the "Big Debate" launched in France by President Emmanuel Macron on 2018-2019, (who is also a Notorious Supporter of the forthcoming EU Conference on Europe's Future on 2020-2021, due to be ear-Marked by an Unprecedented "EU Citizens" dimension).



She was speaking at a Meeting of the "Cathedral's Circle" (in the run-up to March 2020 Municipal Elections), chaired by its President Henri Mathian, who Concluded that event by Characteristically estimating that "finally, it seems well that, in order to have a Socio-Political Peace, we should, indeed, use that <<Building Together>> dimension in Public Decision-Making... He referred to what Cutajar had just called "Co-Construction" (in the original in French), and had Added to the "Fraternity/Solidarity", as well as "Probity/Ethics", in a Series of Basic Principles for her Policy. She explained that she was Not particularly in favour of "Direct Democracy", but rather for a ReVitalisation of the so-called "Representative Democracy", which, as various converging events notoriously showed recently, both in Local, National and European level, should and could Work Better.

Mathian said that just After Cutajar, as part of her reaction to a relevant "Eurofora"s Question (Comp. Supra and Infra), had Praised its substance (Public Dialogue between Citizens and Politicians Before Final Decisions affecting their Lives and/or Society) as an "Intelligent Project", which also "can Present forthcoming European Decisions in a Clear and Attractive way" for the People, particularly at the eve of EU Parliament's Plenary Sessions, (while also noting our Involvement in Strasbourg City's "Citizens Participation" Policy building : Comp. Supra).

"Eurofora"s Question consisted, precisely, into Reminding our Project, (on the Occasion also of the forthcoming EU's "Conference on Europe's Future" - Comp. Supra - which might give a real Chance to Activate "Lisbon Treaty"s provisions for "Regular Dialogue" between "Civil Society" and "EU Institutions" on all "their Acts"), observing that it goes in a Similar Direction with Professor Cutajar's "Building Together" policy (Comp. Supra), and that all this could Stimulte Citizens' and Medias' Interest for Topical European Issues, as well as MEPs' and Other EU/CoE Politicians' Desire to interact with the People in Public before taking Final Decisions, asking her if she really intended to help put it into practice if she was Elected, either as Mayor or at another Top Post of relevant responsibility.

=> It's precisely in Reply to such an "Eurofora"s Query that Professor Cutajar Advanced even Further by clearly Announcing her Intention to place, all that, "at the Foundations of our (Strasbourg City's)  European Policy" in the future ! (Comp. Supra).

Cutajar is an Italo-Maltese a.o. Mediterranean origin Personality who has endorsed EU's mainly Franco-German Core, to the point to Support, Nowadays, a Strong "European entity" of Strasbourg's Traditional dimension as Capital also of the "Alsace" former Region, as well as the Development of a relevant "Bi-Linguism" here, (i.e. something which makes her more popular). Even if, currently, the scarce Latest Polls don't seem to accerredit her with enough intentions of vote in order to ensure to become Strasbourg's New Mayor, nevertheless, she has already attracted several Interesting Personalities among her Supporters, and, very probably, as a Centrist, is due to play a Key Role as possible "King Maker" in a Winning Alliance at the 2nd Round of the forthcoming Elections of this March 2020 :

In the Past, she served as a Centrist Deputy Mayor with the Socialists, (particularly with the Out-going Long-Time Mayor Roland Ries, who splited out of the Socialist Party, and does Not Participate in these Elections), who are Now represented by former Long-Time Mayor, MEP and Minister Catherine Trautmann. But, Recently, some Medias cited her in a Possible Alliance with Frontrunner Alain Fontanel (briefly Socialist, in the Past, but Nowadays engaged in President Macron's New Political Party of Liberals : "en Marche", i.e. "Walkers"), perhaps Together with Jean-Philippe Vetter (from the mainstream Center-Right Party of the "Republicans"), etc.







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    The recent paradox of freezing EU Talks with front-runner Croatia, while continuing controversial EU - Turkey talks, despite Zagreb's acceptance of Refugees' Human Rights to return, that Ankara refuses fex. in Cyprus, while both have "Good Neighborhood" problems vis a vis Slovenia, or Greece, Cyprus and Armenia respectively, can it be justified by the non-fullfilment of EU criteria, as Slovenia says, or, is it "Double Standards" ?    

The question became unavoidable after statements by Presidents of Slovenia and Croatia, Tuerk and Mesic, respectively, to "EuroFora", exclusively or among Strasbourg's journalists this week at the CoE, on the sidelines of its 2009 Summer University for Political Schools, which topically brought them together as successive key-note speakers.

    Comming only a few Months before EU checks Turkey's compliance to its commitments on Cyprus, etc., scheduled for December 2009, this obviously has a special importance for the coherence of EU Enlargement's principles.

     Suspension of EU Negotiations is a normal consequence in case of a Candidate Country's failure to fullfil EU Conditions, such as "Good Neighborhood relations", stressed at first Slovenian President Danilo Tuerk, current CoE's chair.

    But, regarding EU's Criteria,  there shouldn't be any "Double Standards",  reacted Croatian President Stjepan Mesic, commenting the fact that Turkey's controversial EU negotiations continue, while they were recently "freezed" in the case of Croatia, an "unquestionably European Country", which oficially accepts to respect Refugees Human Rights, contrary to Ankara's notorious refusals or reluctance.                                       

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                           - "EU itself has set as a Criterium (for EU Enlargement) the "Good Neighborhood relations",  and their absence justifies the "Suspension" EU Negotiations, (f.ex. with Croatia), because of a Border dispute affecting the territorial integrity of an EU Member Country, stressed Slovenian President, Danilo Tuerk, CoE's Chairman in office (May - November 2009), speaking to Journalists in Strasbourg including "EuroFora".    

Questioned earlier what "consequences on EU's Enlargement policy" can have the "Ban on EU Membership Negotiations", imposed to Croatia, Tuerk replied that "this question comes down to the fulfillement of (EU) Criteria for membership. One has to look at each Candidate Country ., from the point of view whether it fullfils the Criteria that EU has set. One of them are Good Neighborhood Relations, I'd like to remind. And also, there are other factors, such as Justice, Home affairs, Rule of Law, and others".

    - "Now, ..Candidate Countries are at Different Levels of fulfillement of Criteria", he observed.

    - " Croatia is obviously the closest to that. I'm rather optimistic : I think that in the coming Months we'll have an opportunity to look at all these issues constructively and hopefully we'll be able to make progress". "My main concern, at this point, is the situation in Bosnia : We haven't seen enough progres domesticaly. We haven't seen enough during ..political parties within their country.We need a New Energy, a new energetic move towards the Candidature for EU membership. "Other (Western Balkan) Countries (Serbia, Montenegro, FYROM, Albania) have been making soaring Progress, and I think that they should be ready, in a few Years, for the Candidate status".

    - "As far as the Western Balkans are concerned, .. nobody should be left outside" the EU, Slovenian's President concluded, ommitting to mention Turkey's controversial EU bid.

    - "This process may be seen as Slow, but..  Slovenia has also has also been exposed to various "Booms of Slowness" in our accession period. But now we can say that the process was relatively quick, because changes which occur after becoming EU member, are quite large, and they require proper Preparations before the (EU) membership becomes a new factor, an impacting line for a new (EU) member country".

EU "Solidarity" ?

Slovenian statements made some participants from certain 3rd Countries as FYROM, etc. claim that "the Principle of EU Solidarity" would "produce a.. rising European Union Nationalism (sic !), against Non-EU Countries", as they said, asking unhappy foreign countries to form a "bloc" to exert pressure on the EU...    

But Croatian President Stjepan Mesic dismissed that, supporting "EU Integration", "after the Economy also in Political" issues, as "the achievement" of our times. In EU there is "diversity, but it's United", he stressed, "EU has to be United so that it can become a central factor of Peace" also at the surrounding areas, he replied.


Speaking later exclusively to "EuroFora", the experienced twice President of Croatia, former President of the International "Non-Aligned" movement, denounced "Double Standards" in the way EU treats recently Croatia compared to Turkey :   

 - "I think that there shouldn't be Double Standards", stressed the Croatian President, in reply to a Question comparing the freeze of EU - Croatia talks, with the continuation of EU - Turkey talks, despite the fact that Croatia is an "unquestionably European country", while Turkey's EU bid is notoriously controversial.

    Mesic was reacting to the observation that, even if he confirmed his "respect of Refugees' Human Rights to return, etc. (See infra), nevertheless, EU talks are suspended with Croatia.. While for oher, controversial candidates, who refuse to respect Refugees' Rights to return, etc., as fex. Turkey does in occupied Cyprus and elsewhere, EU negotiations continue".

    - "I believe that Croatia's accession will confirm that all European Countries who fulfill all of the Conditions and achieve European Standards, have to join the EU. There shouldn't be any Double Standards", went on to add in reply President Mesic.

    In this relation, Croatia's President found "of paramount importance", CoE's "mechanisms enforcing ECHR's judgements"
    - "On Refugees and Displaced persons, the process will be completed only after the last person demanding to return will be allowed to do so !", President Mesic Croatia stressed earlier, setting a general standard of obvious importance also for otherr candidates, as f.ex. Turkey, often accused to exclude or heavily restrict Greek Cypriot Displaced persons' return to their Family Homes and ancestral land, provoke difficulties to Turkish-Kurd IDPs return to their home regions at the South-East, etc.

    Some "2.000 People are still reported Missing" in former Yugoslavia, for some Years, (as in Cyprus, modern Europe's oldest case, for 3 Decades. Nagorno-Karabach, Tcecnya in Russia, etc, more recently), and Investigations "will only be completed after establishing the fate of the last one of them", he added.
    Speaking earlier on "War Crimes", President Mesic stressed that "Leaders are responsible for (the) Wars (of the Past), not the People", and called against Impunity :  "Individuals have to be held Responsible for Crimes. International Penal Tribunals have to persecute those individuals", perpetrators of War Crimes, he underlined.

    Such statements naturally made Mesic rather popular at ECHR, whose President, French EuroJudge, Professor Jean-Paul Costa, looked particularly smiling when he welcomed him later on Wednesday afternoon, after Slovenian President Daniko Tuerk earlier this week.



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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