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Home arrow newsitems arrow EU Commission vice-President Sefcovic to EuroFora: Citizens Initiative to revitalize Decision making

EU Commission vice-President Sefcovic to EuroFora: Citizens Initiative to revitalize Decision making

Written by ACM
Tuesday, 22 May 2012
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*Strasbourg/EU Parliament/Angelo Marcopolo/- Particularly after EU Parliament adopted, today, a brand new procedure for Public Hearings by the competent Committees on EU Citizens' Initiatives, the recent entry into force of this big innovation of EU Lisbon Treaty could bring Changes able to revitalize the EU Decision making process, replied in substance EU Commission's vice-President Sefcovic to "EuroFora's questions, welcoming the move, during and after a Press Conference organized by the prestigious French High-level Civil Servants' School of State and EU Governance "ENA", together with Strasbourg University and the German Federal School on Administrative Science from nearby Karlsrhue, gathered together in a grouping for "Public Administration in Europe" (PEAP), headed by the experienced long-time Manager of several Key, Big Public and Private Entities, Dr. Weber, invited in EU Parliament by mainstream ChristianDemocrat/EPP MEP Santiago Fisas Ayxelo.

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    - "EuroFora" observed that, "by a coincidence, today EU Parliament has just adopted an Essential Innovation in the New EU Mechanism of EU "Citizens' Initiative, as agreed with EU Commission, consisting in a possibility to add also a Public Hearing", of representatives of the People involved, "by an EU Parliament's Committee",  as it had been initially suggested by "EuroFora", particularly in an INTW with EU Rapporteur on Citizens' Rights, former Minister and current Budgets Commitee's Chairman, French ChristianDemocrat/EPP MEP, Alain Lamassoure, and already discussed earlier with EU Commission's vice-President Maros Sefcovic himself (Comp, f.ex., our Questions and Replies received at a previous, key Press Conference : See : therelevant "EuroFora"s NewsReport : ... ). + -"Do you think that it would be useful if Top European Governance Education bodies or Universities, as f.ex. the ENA, etc. were associated, in one way or another, to these new type of Hearings, which are due to become more and more Frequent, and eventually to hold most of them during EU Parliament's Plenary sesssions in Strasbourg ?", we suggested in addition..                                                          

- "Thank you for that Question, because EU Citizens Initiatives are something New which, I believe, can bring a Civic mobilization , but also Democratic movements, while we see, around us, also what can be done by mobilizing Citizens f.ex. through Social Media and can be actively motivated by the issues of Internet Liberty", started to reply to "EuroFora"s question Sefcovic, from a wider point of view.


=> "I think that all that is a proof that EU Citizens should be included in the Debates of Important Political Decisions from the start of Negotiations, as well as that we (EU) must better Explain our Policies, not only by the classical means, but also by using f.ex. Social Media (at the Internet), etc", EU Commission's vice-President went on to add, almost endorsing a main Idea suggested many times earlier by "EuroFora".

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    + "That's why I believe that EU Citizens' Initiative will Democratize the traditional way of Decision-making in Europe, and that New Level of Participative Democracy will ameliorate the way that the Representative Democracy works", he optimistically pointed out.


    => "I'm sure that, when we shall revise this new tool, in 2 or 3 Years, we shall need some Serious Studies, with profound Expertise on this issue, that f.ex. ENA, the Universites and other participants in the PEAP, as well as several other similar actors, will certainly have studied carefully", having a very useful role to play, Sefcovic positively reacted to a part of "EuroFora"s suggestion (Comp. supra).


    For the time being, "as you know, we (EU Commission) have already registed 6 or 7 such EU Citizens' Initiatives, up to now, and we have received more than 10. So, this has really started, and we shall see how it will evolve during the following years", he noted.

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+ Meanwhile, "I am  glad of the Agreement that we (EU Commission) made with EU Parliament on these Hearings by MEPs, because, even if the competent EU Commissioner, or his assistants, will Receive beforehand the organizers of such EU Citizens' Initiatives, nevertheless, it is important that they can be heard also by a collective, politically pluralist body destinated to work regularly with EU Citizens as the EU Parliament, observed later-on EU Commission's vice-President Sefcovic, speaking anew to "EuroFora" after the Press Conference.
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- The Questions raised are, in susbtance, whether the way that EU Citizens' Initiatives might develop in Future, could affect the way that European Governance and public administrations, Civil Servants, etc., are actually working, observed earlier on "EuroFora"s question also PEAP's President Dr. Weber, who underlined previously the relevant fact that PEAP's object of study and research is "the Public Administration which works at the interface between Political Decisions and Citizens".

+ Meanwhile, it's significant of progressively developing EU Integration that even ENA itself is evolving into a  MultiNational, European Governance School, with French, German, Spanish and other EU Countries components, observed mainstream MEP Ayxelo of Spain.                                                                 

 

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(NDLR : "DraftNews", as already sent earlier to "EuroFora"s Subscribers/Donors. A more accurate, full  Final Version is due asap).

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Speaking exclusively to "EuroFora", the New EU Parliament's President, former Polish Prime Minister, ChristianDemocrat/EPP MEP Jerzy Busek, welcomed proposals by EuroFora about innovative ways for EU Citizens to attend EU debates before important final decisions which affect people's lives.

- "We (EU Parliament) must be transparent", Buzek stressed from the outset.  "We must have clear answers also for delicate questions. If we don't touch a problem, you must know why, and when shall we decide in the nearest future".. "Because "we (EU) must think about Europeans, first of all : They don't understand well what is going on in the EU. So, it's our duty to inform them, to make discussions here more interesting".

"EuroFora" congratulated President Buzek for the anouncement he made, from the 1st day of his election in Strasbourg (on Tuesday, 14 July 2009), on his intention to make  transparent debates, exchanges of views, etc. before the final adoption of decisions in EU Parliament's Plenary, when issues are evolving inside Committees, (See earlier publication).

And we reminded, in this regard, that "EuroFora" has been advocating a project for EU Citizens' active involvement in pluralist EU debates before important EU decisions, since more than a Decade : 1997-2007+

- "Thank you. We (EU Parliament), indeed, have exciting debates", Buzek replied. But, in practice, "without a possibility for our Citizens to see them, not even by the Press, the Radio or TV, etc., because it is in Committees", he regreted.

- "But, they (i.e. Media, Citizens, etc) might interact with you, with MEPs, etc, May be we can imagine something", "EuroFora" proposed.

- "Yes, (but) it needs, a quite new idea", Buzed observed.

- "Why not through some innovations ?", "EuroFora" suggested.

- "Innovation ? That's it. Fantastic  New Information Technologies !", Buzek realized.

- "Precisely, "EuroFora" has such a project, since more than a Decade (1997-2009), to use new technologies for public debates before major EU decisions are taken", we reminded.

- "If you have such proposals, please come to us, come to us. We must" do something, agreed the new EU Parliamen's President.

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    This fits with Buzek's main stance, expressed at EU Parliament's plenary earlier this week in Strasbourg, that the European Union must succeed to overcome a "Crisis of Trust" vis a vis EU Citizens. (See previous EuroFora publication).

    For that purpose, obviously information and debates are valuable, but purely instrumental, procedural means which can help focus on, and highlight a substantial content, attractive to EU Citizens, which needs to be determined by other, political, and not mediatic factors.  

    Buzek spoke about the urgent need to overcome the Global Economic Crisis,  the struggle for Human and Civic Rights, Democracy, etc., the Eastern Partnership, links with Russia, strategic partnership with USA and emerging countries, etc.

    But he also used (while speaking both to "EuroFora" and other Media) the expression : "The Europeans", for EU Citizens. This points right towards what several important EU leaders (including French President Sarkozy, German Chancellor Merkel, etc) have started to highlight particularly during the recent years : That there is a vital need, and an historic opportunity, for the development of a European Conscience, to stimulate e renaissance of a European Identity able to attract Popular support, for the EU to become a strong player in a Multopolar World : In other words, the revitalisation of a project for a "Political Europe".

    By a coincidence, this was indirectly but surely reminded, earlier in Strasbourg, by another ... Busek (this time with a "s") : 

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    Speaking to more than 650 participants from CoE's member countries, at the conclusion of the 2009 Summer University of its Political Schools, Erhard Busek, (with an "s"), former vice-Chancellor of Austria and EU Coordinator for South-Eastern Europe, pointed at the current need to revitalize Europe's "Identity", forged by Greek philosophy and Roman Law, Christian values and Enlightment's ideas, etc. through the ages.     

- "We have almost the same name with Jerzy Buzek (EU Parliament's new President, who is a former Polish Prime Minister), because both our Families come ...from  the same village, located at the Heart of Europe, which was often shared between Poland, Germany and the Czech Republic. But my family emmigrated a long time ago to Austria, while Jerzy Buzek's family remained in Poland", explained f. vice-Chancellor Erhard Busek to "EuroFora".   

 An astonishingly concrete and simple example of European Integration from the grassroots : Starting by EU Citizens, i.e. those "Europeans", that EU Parliament's new President, Jerzy Buzek (this time with a "z"), wants to bring alongside MEP's decision-making proces, (according to "EuroFora"'s main idea : Comp. supra)...

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