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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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ECHR's President to "EuroFora" on Journalists Gongadze and Adali murders : Principles must apply to all States, without discrimination.


+ ECHR's Statistics on Freedom of Expression (See below).


 European Court of Human Rights' President, Jean-Paul Costa, questioned by "EuroFora" on Journalists' murders, as in Gongadze and Adali's cases etc., strongly stressed all CoE Member States' obligation to make efficient Investigations to find and punish those responsible, and underlined that ECHR's case-law's principles must apply to all without any discrimination.

His call was clearly supported by various Top MEPs who denounced a risk of "Double Standards" if some Journalists' murders are investigated, while others don't.

To avoid such risks, CoE's Parliamentary Assembly adopted a Resolution, on the occasion of Ukranian Journalist Gongadze's murder, "stressing", as a matter of general Principle, "the importance it attaches to the safety of Journalists and political activists, especially those linked to opposition groups, in ALL member states of the CoE". All "crimes against journalists and political activists must be investigated ... as a matter of priority, without political interference".

Costa was replying to "EuroFora"s question on the fact that, after CoE's Committee of Ministers, also CoE's Assembly had just adopted a Resolution on Gongadze murder case, based on an ECHR's judgement of 2005, asking a full Investigation from Ukraine, who has found and condemned  in 10 years of jail 2 executants, but not yet the instigators.

While nothing similar was yet done for dissident Turkish Cypriot Kutlu Adali's murder, with 5 bullets shot at his head out of his Family's home in the territories of Cyprus occupied by Ankara's army, despite another ECHR's judgement of the same year 2005, and despite Turkey's claim that nobody was found among those responsible for the murder, and that there was nothing more to do..

In order to be credible and efficient, CoE's mechanisms shouldn't find a way to at least ask for full investigations of all Journalists' murders anywhere they might be committed, without exceptions ?

adali_gongadze


- "On the larger question that you raised, I'd like to say, since we are in a period of stock-taking on ECHR's 50 Years, that the Court's case-law developed certain concepts ....such as the Positive obligations of States, part of which are also the procedural obligations", started to reply ECHR's President.

 - "Whenever Journalists, Lawyers, Defenders of Human Rights, or even simple Citizens are murdered, the States are held responsible, not only if its their own security forces' agents who committed these murders, but also if they didn't make sufficiently substantial and efficient Investigations", he stressed.

- "I want to strongly underline that we (ECHR) have found in many cases numerous violations of Articles 2 and 3 against States, ....(about) murders or torture, ...because they didn't make enough Investigations in order to try to find and punish those responsible".

- "We (ECHR) do that vis-a-vis all 47 (CoE) Member States, without any discrimination".

"Naturally, the circumstances in each particular case may be differend, and we can't ommit to apply the rules of proof, or the rules of criminal procedure".

"But we try, by all means, to apply these principles of our case-law, to all States", he concluded.

imag0335_400


      Costa's call was strongly supported by several Top CoE MEPs, from various Political areas


- "To investigate the murder of one Journalist, and not of another, looks like Double Standards", denounced the President of EuroLeft Group in CoE's Assembly, Dutch MEP Tiny Cox.  

- "What is the reason ? Politics or specificity of a case ? Of course, if Cyprus and Turkey are involved, it's always a Political case"..

- "Murders of Journalists should always be fully investigated, because killing Journalists is not only killing persons, but also killing Free Press".  "We (CoE's Assembly) should do our outmost to help People who are working on Free Press and they are under threat or murdered".

Because for Free Politics, Free Press is a pre-requisitive : Parliamentarians  cannot  function without a Free Press. Not investigating, is not protecting ourselves".

So we should investigate all Journalists' murders : We are talking about Gongadze, about the Cypriot man (Adali), about the Journalist murdered in Moscow one week ago, etc", Cox concluded

- "CoE can' look at these cases differently. CoE can't wear Blinckers  !".
- "If the one is investigated, so has to be also the other. Why there wasn't full investigation ? Why's that ?", wondered British  Socialist MEP, Alan Meale.

- "A good idea" would be to "make a Motion for Resolution", and "join all Journalists' murders. Adali and Gongadze etc", said to "EuroFora" EU Parliament Political affairs Committee's President, Goran Lindbland, ChristianDemocrat MEP from Sweden.


(See also earlier News at "EuroFora" on similar issues).
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ECHR's Statistics on Freedom of Expression :


    Almost Half of condemnations by ECHR for violations of Freedom of Expression in 2008, concern Turkey : 20 out of a total of 48 for all CoE's Member States.

    Russia, Poland, France and Moldova were condemned only 3 times. Romania, Greece, Portugal, 2 times, and the other CoE Member States only 1 time, or none.
--------------------
    During the last Decade : 1998 - 2008, Turkey was condemned for violating Freedom of Expression in ..169 cases, while Austria only in 24.

    France and Moldova in 14 and 13, respectively, closely followed by Russia and Poland with 11 and 10, respectively. The rest of CoE Member States had less than ten condemnations.    
    

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