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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

Parašė ACM
Tuesday, May 29, 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 incoming Swedish EU Presidency (July-December 2009) may still remain in favour of Turkey's controversial EU bid, despite June 2009 EU Elections' results, but it has "very strong demands on Turkey"'s obligation to respect EU Rules, said the Head of Swedish Foreign Ministry's Press Service, Cecilia Julin, to "EuroFora", reacting to critical Press reports.

    - "I know (that) the link is often made also to Sweden's position on Turkey"'s controversial EU bid. Indeed, "we (Swedish EU Presidency) are very much engaged in the future membership of Turkey, but not without fullfiling all the Criteria".

    - "It's very clear that we (Swedish EU Presidecny) have very Strong Demands on Turkey, in a sort of concept for Future membership of the Union, ...which will be a Long Process...", she stressed.

    This means, in particular, "the Copenhagen Criteria (on Human Rights, Democracy and Rule of Law), and also the adaptation to the Acquis of the European Union".

     - "If you listen to what Mr. Bildt (the Swedish Foreign Minister) says on Turkey at different occasions, it's very clear : We want Turkey to become part of the Union, in the Future. But we want it to fullfil all the Criteria : The Acquis of the European Union. That's very clear", she concluded.

    The Senior Official of the Swedish Foreign Ministry was reacting to critical Press Reports, from Brussels' Journalists invited by EU Commission's secretariat to Stockholm, who claimed that Bildt was abusing of a ..."Whip" (sic !) against Cyprus, by "threatening" the presence of UNO's Peace-keeping force at the "Green line" which separates the island's Government-controlled areas from the territories occupied by Ankara's army, if Nicosia didn't accept any political solution, regardless of Turkey's demands, before the end of 2009.

        Governing AKEL Party's new Secretary General, Andros Kyprianou, reacted by declaring that no-one can threat the People of Cyprus : -"We shall decide for our Future, and nobody else",  he reportedly said, asking to "keep calm". "In order to find a Solution soon, certain basic Principles must be respected", he stressed, calling those who feel an urgency to use their influence on Turkey. Other Political Parties were more critical.

    This was a reference to recently reported statements by Turkish Minister Bagis, Prime Minister Tayip Erdogan and Turkey's National Security Council (a Military-Political body), accused to push towards a partitionist "2 States" solution, contrary to UNO SC Resolutions for Cyprus' reunification.

    December 2009 is a crucial moment for EU's appraisal of Turkey's controversial EU bid, because EU Council has decided to review then Ankara's compliance with the European position on the recognition of Cyprus' Government, which was clearly set out by an EU reply of 21 September 2005 to Turkish Prime Minister Tayip Erdogan's claims, refusing to recognize even the existence of EU Member Cyprus, in controversial statements he made to London (former EU chair) on July 29, 2005.

    EU Parliament's latest Resolution on Turkey, adopted on March 2009 in Strasbourg, warned Ankara that "the non-fulfillment of Turkey's commitments... by December 2009, may further seriously affect the process of Negotiations" with the EU.

    In practice, the issue boils down to Ankara's "embargo" against Ships and Airplanes using Cyprus' seaports or airports at the strategic EU island, which traditionaly hosts one of the World's biggest Shipping flags. EU has already "freezed" 6 relevant Chapters in EU - Turkey Negotiations since December 2006, after Ankara refused to fullfil a commitment it had undertaken when EU had decided to open controversial "accession" negotiations with Turkey, back on December 2005.

    - "As far as EU - Turkey relations are concerned, it's clear that Turkey needs to fullfil its obligation of full, non-discriminatory implementation of the additional Protocol (to "EC-Turkey Association Agreement"),  This is an important issue....and should be addresseed as soon as possible as it clearly affects the pace of the accession negotiations.Issues covered by the Declaration of September 2005 will continue to be followed up, and progress is urgently awaited", warned earlier in Strasbourg the out-going Czech EU Presidency (former vice-Prime Minister Alexander Vodra).

    But the Head of the Swedish Foreign Ministry's Press Service, Cecilia Julin, dismissed "interpretations" by "some" that Foreign Minister Carl Bildt was reportedly "threatening" Cyprus with consequences on the UNFICYP, if it doesn't accept any solution until December 2009, while Turkey is reportedly delaying in an attempt to impose a partitionist "2 States" solution.

    On the contrary, Julin, stressed that "Sweden has strong demands on Turkey'"s respect of "Copenhagen Criteria and EU Acquis".

    Meanwhile, Sweden  is "concerned" about the risk of "Stalemate" in Cyprus' Talks, but is well aware that "the main responsibilities lie with the two leaders and the UNO", Europe playing only a role of "facilitator".

    After carefully verifying, the Head of Swedish Foreign Ministry's Press Service, stressed to "EuroFora" that Bildt's reference to UNFICYP "was not linked to a Threat", and dismissed those who "interpreted" it so.

    On the contrary, the Swedish EU Presidency acknowledged the fact that Peace Talks are mainly for the UN and the leaders of the Cypriot communities, EU's role being limited into that of a "facilitator".

    As for Turkey's reported attempts to impose a "2 States' solution", the Head of the Swedish Foreign Ministry's Press Service sharply replied by stressing that Turkey must respect the "EU Acquis" rules.

    In particular :

    - "Basically he (Bildt) underlined that it's the leaders of the two communities in Cyprus and the UN that have the main responsibilities for solving the problem", started to say the Swedish Senior Official to "EuroFora", referring to the above-mentioned "briefing".

    - "But the EU had a role in sort of pointing out the benefits and facilitating a little bit the outcome for the settlement of the whole Cyprus' issue", she added.

    - "And he did state the Fact, that the rest of the World (i.e. USA, etc) will, of course, look at the differend issues which are at the table, and the future of the UN Peace keeping force is part of what is at the table", she admitted.

    - "I understand that some have interpreted that as a Threat, by the Swedish Minister" "But", in reality, "it's a statement of a Fact, that, when we'll look at the differend issues, one of the issues on which we shall have to take a stand on, is the future of the UN Peace keeping force in Cyprus".

    Indeed, one of the questions usually raised for a Solution of Cyprus' issue is what International and/or European or other Guarantees, by a Peace-keeping force, might be needed afterwards, eventually for a transitory period.

    Questioned anew by "EuroFora" whether (according to critical Press Reports) this could be taken as a veiled warning that, if Cyprus didn't accept any Turkish demand for any solution whatever, it might be left alone to face Ankara's Military Invasion/Occupation, she denied :

    - "He (Bildt) didn't say it in that way"... "It was not linked to a threat, or anything like that", the Head of the Swedish Foreign Ministry's Press Service stressed.

    On the contrary, "he (Bildt) underlined that the main responsibility lies with the parties concerned on the island". "The EU can try to facilitate and show the benefits of reaching a settlement. But also, when the EU and the rest of the World (i.e. USA) will have to look at it, they will look at all the Facts on the table, and the presence of the UN Peace-keeping force is one".

    And "he (Bildt) didn't speak about that at all", she replied to "EuroFora" question on Turkey's reported attemps to impose, in one way of another, a partitionist "2 States solution".

    Asked whether Bildt's aim was to incite both parties to move forward efficiently, she agreed :

    - In fact, "the EU is really very concerned with the Stalemate in the situation. Yes !", the Head of Sweden's Foreign Ministry's Press Service anounced. That's why Bildt "was hoping for the two parties (i.e. for Turkey's also) to engage and break, a little-bit, the present stalemate, come to a solution of the issue" of Cyprus.

    But, replying  to a "EuroFora"s question on the risk, denounced by several politicians in case of strict Time Deadlines, for Turkey to provoke a stalemate and wait for the time to come to impose a partitionist "2 States' solution", she reacted by pointing at Turkey's obligation to respect "EU Acquis" :

    - "Turkey must fullfil the EU Acquis : That's clear !", the Swedish Senior Official stressed.

    More details are expected when Swedish Prime Minister Reinfeldt will debate his Programme with new MEPs at EU Parliament's plenary mid-July in Strasbourg, that he has visited already in 2008.

    Foreign Minister Carl Bildt became familiar with Strasbourg's CoE last year, when Sweden chaired the PanEuropean organization of Human Rights. As EU chairman-in-office, he will also chair the 27-member States strong EU Group inside the 47-member States strong CoE.

    Minister for EU affairs, Cecilia Malmstrom is well known at EU Parliament, where she has been an active MEP of the Liberal Group for many years, following also Press Freedom issues.

    Both have already made various statements at "EuroFora", on differend topical matters.

    ***

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