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Home arrow newsitems arrow French EU Affairs v.Minister Loiseau: Citizens Consulations on EU Future Spread in Europe

French EU Affairs v.Minister Loiseau: Citizens Consulations on EU Future Spread in Europe

Written by ACM
Tuesday, 29 May 2018
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*Strasbourg/Press Club/Angelo Marcopolo/- Speaking to Strasbourg's Journalists, including "Eurofora", during a Press-Lunch organized Today Noon by the Press-Club of Strasbourg/Europe, the New French State Secretary for EU Affairs, Nathalie Loiseau, ensured that the Movement of EU Citizens' "Public Consultations on Europe's Future", wished by new French President Emmanuel Macron, is currently Spreading in "All EU Member Countries".


- With the "Only Exception" of "the UK, Because of BREXIT", as she pointed out, (while, in fact, Hungary, finally, seems to participate, contrary to initial reports about a refusal, but focusing on a Different kind of Public Debates/Consultations on Europe's Future, at a Similar Time-Frame, including in a "Visegrad" Countries' format, as it results from other sources).


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  - The main Point is that, Until Now,  EU Citizens were, routinely Called to Express their Views "Only on Election-time" (i.e. Once in 5 Years), "or on a Referendum", she Reminded.


- But, on the Latter case, the "Questions" Really raised were usually "Complexe", while "the Reply" should be  "Only a Yes, or a No".


=> Therefore, those Well Known Results, which had Upset Europe, and Delayed EU Integration, (I.e., in particular, Since Turkey's Controversial and UnPopular EU Bid, After 1999-2004, those 3 Famous "No" from a Majority of People, in France, the Netherlands and in Ireland, between 2005-2007, which notoriously Affected a Draft EU Constitution then).


>>> In Fact, soon after that, at least for some, "the Fear of Referendums, had been Transformed into a Fear of the People", (with Obvious Anti-Democratic Risks, etc), and this Has to Change, the New French EU Affairs v.Minister Explained in substance.


 - So, Now, When a Time comes to ReStructure and ReNovate the EU  - as even EU Heads of State/Government have Decided, in Principle, especially at their Post-BREXIT Summits at Bratislava, 9/2016  and Rome on 3/2017 (See "Eurofora"'s NewsReports from the spot, in Bratislava and Rome, respectively, at: http://www.eurofora.net/newsflashes/news/bratislavasummitoutcome.html + http://www.eurofora.net/newsflashes/news/euromesummitonfuture.html , etc)- then, "we Need to Know which are the Priorities of the Population", she stressed.


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 - The above-mentioned Europe-Wide Movement for Public Consultations, is due to take place "from April up to the End of October 2018", she reminded, speaking at the End of May in Strasbourg, almost 1,5 Month after Macron officially Launched the 1st such EU Citizens' Consultation on 17 April 2018, set up by Loiseau's Staff at Nearby Epinal City, on the Vosges' Mountains, (See "Eurofora"s NewsReport from the spot, at Epinal : http://www.eurofora.net/newsflashes/news/macronlauncheseucitizenconsultations.html + http://www.eurofora.net/newsflashes/news/macronlsongmarchtoconsulciti.html).


+ Adding "European" Flavour, Brussels' Headquartered EU Commission is Helping such moves, particularly with "an EU-wide Enquiry", published "On-Line", at its own Website, "since the 9th of May" 2018, the French deputy Minister observed.


That Parallel move is made on the Basis of "a Questionaire established by a Panel" of people "Chosen by Drawing Lots", as she pointed out, (speaking of a Group of Persons Invited Earlier to Brussels for 2 or 3 Days, earlier on).


++ Elsewhere in Europe, until now, the French v.Minister already "assisted personaly in 5" such Events,
where I Opened the Process", as Loiseau said, including in Zagreb, already from April 6, Prague (earlier this May 2018, together with new Czech Prime Minister Andrej Babiš), at Madrid, and (nearby) Luxembourg, as well as in Berlin.


++ MEPs naturally could and should Participate, particularly in their respective Fields of activities, Each one where he/she Knows Best, while paying also Attention to have, as much as possible, a "Pluralist" Input from "All Sides" of the Political Spectrum, she advised.


- EU Parliament's President, "Tajani Supports that", Loiseau went on to add, (Comp. President Tajani's relevant Reply to a somewhat Different, but Relevant "Eurofora"s Question at his Press Conference during the December 2017 EU Summit in Brussels, at : http://www.eurofora.net/newsflashes/news/euparliamentpresidenttajanioncitizensdebates.html), while also pointing, Meanwhile, also to the forthcoming Annual Meeting of EU Young People at the European Parliament, (usually nicknamed "EYE"), where "a Part will be consecrated to Citizens' Consultations", as she said.


That 2 Days Event, scheduled for Friday and Saturday, 1 and 2 June 2018, at EU Parliament's Building in Strasbourg, just after the current Plenary Session, and with the Participation of certain MEPs, as usual, among its Manifold Side-Events, contains, indeed, at least a 1,5 Hour-Long Meeting, on Saturday Afternoon, in the Louise Weiss' Tower's 3rd Floor, inside a 190-places wide Room, co-Organized by the European Movement's Youth section, as "Eurofora" read in the Official Program.


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- Concerning France, Loiseau said that the "Public Consultations" movement has Already Spread "throughout All the Territory" of the Country, "including even its Periphery Areas" ("DOM-TOM"), etc., with "around 200 Debates", out of which, she "assisted personaly on 20 among them", (i.e. 10%).


- The French Government is Both "Organizing such Events, as well as Facilitating Others to also do so", the EU Affairs v. Minister reminded.


- Other Organizers "could be, f.ex., Elected Politicians, Universities, Chambers of Commerce, Trade Unions, Associations, etc", Loiseau said, (Curiously forgetting or ommitting the Key Word : "by Citizens", while, on the Contrary, President Macron had Used it, including in the 1st such Public Consultation, when he Officially Launched the entire Process, at Nearby Epinal City, on the Vosges' Mountains, on April 17, 2018 : Comp. "Eurofora"'s NewsReport from the spot : http://www.eurofora.net/newsflashes/news/macronlauncheseucitizenconsultations.html).


- The v. Minister also reminded that "there are 3 Conditions", for such a French Government's Help to other Organizers, regarding the "Pluralism, the Transparency" of such Events, "and a Restitution of their main Outcome", at their End, (i.e., around November 2018 at the latest).


- For that purpose, the French Government can also "Support financially by Grants", those Other Organizers of EU Citizens' Public Consultations on Europe's Future, according to Public Administration's Decisions due to be taken by a specially Authorized Team, Loiseau added, while always insisting on the Political Pluralism of the overall Operation, officially due to "Involve Citizens from All Sides of Political Beliefs".


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"Eurofora", (which notoriously, and as even its own Name clearly indicates, supports a Similar, but not identical, Project, particularly, since, at the latest : +2006-2018), was Présent at the Official Launch of the 1st such EU Citizens' Consultation on Europe's Future by new French President Emmanuel Macron himself, on 17 April 2018, at nearby Epinal City, (See : ..., etc).


Immediately After which, we had a chance to receive a direct Positive Answer of President Macron himself to our relevant Question about his eventual Political Will to Activate also those EU Lisbon Treaty Articles which can help Develop, even After 2019 EU Elections, (and using also the Possibilities offered by Internet Forums, E-Communications etc), Regular EU Citizens' Public Debates with EU Decision-Makers (including, f.ex. EU Parliament's MEPs, but also, perhaps, EU Council, EU Commission, etc) Before they Take Measures Affecting People's Lives and/or Society at large, (See: http://www.eurofora.net/newsflashes/news/macronforcitizensdebatesalsoafter2019.html , Exchange made on 18 April 2018, in Saint Dié City, at Vosges' Mountains !).

Comp. also EU Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker's a priori Positive Answer to a Similar "Eurofora" Question, during a 2017 Meeting with German Chancelor Angie Merkel and new Bundestag's President Wolfgang Schäuble at nearby Offenburg on 9/2017, (at : http://www.eurofora.net/newsflashes/news/schaublejunckerandmerkel.html, etc)


Earlier, "Eurofora" has Published, inter alia, also Macron's landmark, relevant Speech at the Symbolic Rock of "Pnyx" facing Parthenon in Athens at the Historic Birth-place of Ancient Greek Civilisation's Direct Democracy, back on 9/2017 (See: http://www.eurofora.net/newsflashes/news/macronatthehistoricsourcesofdemocracy.html), and we also promoted a Question precisely on his Plans for EU Citizens' Consultations on Europe's Future during his Joint Franco-German Press Conference, Together with Chancelor Angie Merkel, at the Conclusion of the March 2018 EU Heads of State/Governments' Summit in Brussels, (See the French President's indirect but clear Reply, as given then at a subsequent occasion, in : http://www.eurofora.net/newsflashes/news/francogermanleadersappealtoeucitizens.html).

 

I.e. something which was made more Clear in the Direct Reply that he Gave to Our Question, Afterwards, at Saint Dié on 18 April 2018, (Comp. Supra), in Addition to Following and Publishing also on Macron's relevant Declarations to MEPs at EU Parliament during the Morning of April 17, 2018 in Strasbourg, (See : http://www.eurofora.net/newsflashes/news/macronineuparliamentaskscitizensdebates.html , but also: ... ).

 


(../..)



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

 

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The official presentation of a "Program" respecting People's choices voted in the June 7, 2009 EU Elections, to be debated in EU Council and EU Parliament during its 1st Session on July in Strasbourg, is the No 1 Priority, according to Democratic principles, for the Franco-German axis, said the main winners at the ballot box, French President Nicolas Sarkozy and German Chancellor Angie Merkel.

They stressed  that the New EU Commission's President must have a "Program" in favor of an EU which "protects" its Citizens, regulates financial markets and aims at a "Political" Europe" : a wording they have used as incompatible with Turkey's controversial EU bid.

They also declared ready for a "political" endorsment of "Mr. Barroso's candidacy" in June's EU Council, considering that an official decision would have to be made after EU Parliament's debates and votes, possibly from next month (July), with the legally necessary final acceptance shortly after Lisbon Treaty's entry into force, hoped for September or October.


- "A Program, and Mr. Barroso" : This resumes, in substance, the anouncements made by Sarkozy and Merkel, on the question of current EU Commission's President, Barroso's declared wish to succeed to himself for a second mandate, to be extended during the following 5 years.

 In their 1st meeting after EU Elections, they observed that "the Franco-German axis counted in European Elections' campaign... But, we both keep a realistic view : We saw the number of those who abstained, and we must absolutely give them an answer. We also see the disilusionment of an important number of Europeans vis a vis Europe, and we are aware of the responsibilities we have".

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 - The "Duty" of the new EU Commission's President, after June 7, 2009 EU Elections' result, "is to act for a Europe which protects the Europeans, to commit himself into working for a better Regulation of Financial transactions, ... and to have a Political will for Europe", underlined Sarkozy.

Therefore, "we have asked M. Barroso... to clarify, to officialy present the intentions he has", he anounced.

- "We want to speak also about the Programme", explained Merkel.

- "It's important that for the next EU Parliament's mandate (2009-2014) we take the right Decisions for Europe.  Obviously on Persons, but mainly Decisions on Issues", she stressed.

- "It's not simply a question of a Person, it's also a question of a Programme". We are "really asking Mr. Barroso to commit himself on a Program, and on Principles, on Values", Sarkozy added.

EU President-in-office, Czech Prime Minister Jan Fischer, accepted the Franco-German stance :

- "Barroso must present his Programme. The Czech Presidency agrees with that", Fischer reportedly said later, after meeting Sarkozy.

But Press reports from Brussels claimed that Barroso had preferred to be officially appointed by EU Council since June, (i.e. next week), "because this was implied by the current Treaty of Nice, according to him", and considered any delay until the possible ratification of the new, Lisbon Treaty on September/October, as "undemocratic".

- "At any case, independently of what Germany and France ask, it's also EU Parliament's wish". "We shall propose Mr Barroso's candidacy... But even in the framework of Nice Treaty, EU Parliament has to be associated in this Decision", the French President observed.

If this is correctly done, then "we support Mr. Barroso's candidature", and "if the (EU) Parliament agrees, we might ratify this decision since July", (i.e. next month), they both said.

smerkem_400

- "France and Germany support Baroso's candidacy, But we want to speak also on the Program. We believe that this Program should be established in close cooperation with EU Parliament, and that's why we have followed an appropriate way", said Merkel.  - If EU Parliament wants, this election can take place on July,  but this must be done in full agreement.

- "We shall support Mr. Barroso's candidacy, without doubt", said Sarkozy. "But we have asked from Mr. Barroso, as I told him yesterday, to put into detail.. his intentions, at the eve of his 2nd mandate, if the situation avails itself.


    France and Germany "don't want to take an Official Legal Decision by writting" during "the next (EU) Council" (on June 18-19), declared Sarkozy.  Because they prefer, at this stage, only "a Political decision" on June, "so that we (EU Council) can work together with EU Parliament", which starts to meet only Next Month, since July in Srasbourg, "leaving a Legal decision by writting for later".

    - "If the Conditions are fuillfiled in EU Parliament, we (EU Council) are ready to give the agreement and make it offficial", said Merkel

    - "But, now we are working in the base of Nice Treaty. If tommorow we want to work in the spirit of Lisbon Treaty, we have to find a proper way", she added.

    - "Of course it's Legally complicated, because we are going to make a Political proposal to the forthcoming Council, for an EU Commission's President, on the basis of Nice Treaty : So, we (EU Council) will not appoint the Commissioners. Only the President.  If EU Parliament agrees, it could endorse this position on July", explained Sarkozy.

    But, on Autumn, "if Ireland ratifies Lisbon Treaty, there will be, at any case, a 2nd Decision, to appoint the Commission's President, this time on the basis of Lisbon treaty, and then, we, the EU Member States, would have to appoint (also) the EU Commissioners", he added.

    As for the precise Timing :  - "Everything is suspended until the Irish vote... Now, we must all make everything possible to help Ireland to say "Yes"" to Lisbon Treaty... The Irish Referendum, ..will take place either on September or on October. It's a Question which depends on the Irish. And,  then, we shall have the Choice of the Candidates for the permanent Institutions of Europe".

    However, "if Ireland says No, we, French and Germans, have to assume our responsibilities, and we'll do so", he concluded.

    But British and Swedish governments were reportedly eager to have a final EU Council decision on Barroso since this month, on June's European Council. While the other EU Member Countries are divided, several of them preferring to wait until EU Parliament pronounces itself, on July, and/or until Lisbon Treaty might be ratified by Ireland at the beginning of the Autumn. Barroso's current mandate ends on November.

    There are also various, contradictory and/or unpredictable reactions inside EU Parliament vis a vis Barroso's wish to continue a 2nd mandate, because many MEPs are openly or secretly opposed, reluctant, or hesitating.

    In the biggest EU Countries, as France and Germany, EU Citizens voted on June 2009 EU Elections for a renovated, non-technocratic but Political Europe which cares for its Citizens, with an Identity, Values and Borders, declared incompatible with Turkey's controversial EU bid, by mainstream, pro-European Governing Parties. Similar choices were also supported in several other small or medium EU Countries.

    On the contrary, whenever, in other Countries, Governing and other mainstream Parties didn't make these choices or eluded them, EU Citizens massively voted for euro-Sceptics whenever they were the only ones to to promise anti-bureacratic change and oppose Turkey's demand to enter into the EU, (f.ex. in the UK, Netherlands, etc).

    It's seems to be an Open Question whether Sarkozy and Merkel's conditions will be really accepted by Barroso, who was appointed on 2004 in a different political context, (with Socialist Prime Ministers in Germany, France, etc), had rejected in the Past the idea of EU becoming "equal to the USA" as "ridiculous", and pushed for Turkey's contoversial EU bid, trying to "soften" or contain the changes desired by the People who voted for Merkel and Sarkozy with another policy vis a vis Turkey on 2005 in Germany and on 2007 in France, as they did all over Europe on 2009.

    In addition to many EPP Governments, it's 3 remaining Socialist Prime Ministers : Gordon Brown in the UK, Zapatero in Spain, and Socrates in Prortugal, who support Barroso, as well as Liberal Swedish Prime Minister Reinfeldt. But their Parties lost the June 2009 EU Elections.

    Questioned whether there was still "Time" for "other" possible "Candidates", Sarkozy and Merkel did not deny, nor made any comment on that, but simply said that "it's not for us to make publicity for any candidates. We anounced our choice ("A Program, and Mr. Barroso"). But we respect any other candidate".

    Among various other names cited are former Belgian Prime Minister Verhofstadt, former UNO's Human Rights Commissioner Mary Robinson of Ireland, Italian former EU Commission's vice-President Monti, etc. Meanwhile, Luxembourg's PM Juncker, (who had been unanimously accepted by EU Council for EU Commission's Presidency on 2004, but refused), announced his intention to resign from "EuroGroup"'s Chair. Thus, he might be available for another Top EU job.

    As "EuroFora"'s "opinion" said (See publication dated 9/6/09) : - "If the current candidates (i.e. Barroso, etc) to the Top EU jobs promise and guarantee to respect People's democratic choices, then, it's OK".

"Otherwise, Europe must find new candidates, really motivated and able to implement these democratic choices of the People."

    Because, "in Democracy, the forthcoming choices for EU's Top Jobs,...should be made according to EU Citizens' Votes in June 7, 2009 European Elections, and main EU Governments' strategic policies".
        

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