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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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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".

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        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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