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Home arrow newsitems arrow EU/CoE Digital Resistance project=Double-Edged say Experts to EF among Vote/Data/CitizenConsultation

EU/CoE Digital Resistance project=Double-Edged say Experts to EF among Vote/Data/CitizenConsultation

Pisac ACM
16. 04. 2018.
20180416_121402_400


*Strasbourg/CoE/Angelo Marcopolo/- Replying to an "Eurofora"s Question, the Leading Experts of a Pioneer EU/CoE's New Joint Program "Digital Resistance", Richard Heise and Bastian Vasen, from the Leibniz University of Hannover (Germany), agreed, in substance, that Internet is not only a vehicle of Challenges, (such as "Fake News", Spying on Personal Data, Bullying, Discrimination, Indoctrination/Manipulation, etc, but Also a potentialy Wonderful Tool Facilitating Verifications, Fack-Checking and Search of Truth, key Discoveries, World-wide Publications, Access to Knowledge, Overcome InEqualities, Fight against Censorship and for Freedom of Expression as well as Press/Medias' Freedom, etc.

 
eucoe_project_digital_resistance_eurofora_400 


Significantly, that Pioneer EU/CoE Project, backed by Teams from 5 Universities accross the EU (Austria, Germany, Italy, Romania and Greece), was officialy introduced during a PanEuropean Conference in the 47 Member Countries strong CoE (including Russia, etc), at the Beginning of EU Parliament's Plenary Session of April 2018 this week in Strasbourg, where MEPs are due to Discuss on Wednesday, April 18, 2018, also Topical Issues on Private/Personal Data Protection and Elections' Manipulation, with EU Commission and EU Council's Representatives, and just at the Eve of new French President Emmanuel Macron's official visit and Speech in EU Parliament, Tomorrow Morning, Tuesday, Aprl 17, before Launching, later-on, during the Afternoon, at the Vosges' Mountains, (See : ...), the 1st EU Citizens' Consultation in a 6 Months-Long Series (April - November 2018) on Europe's Future, (where Web's use was explicitly underlined, in Addition to actual Meetings, also in a Press Briefing organized by the Elysée Palace for Journalists including "Eurofora", during the Week-End).


- Indeed, that Education Project is due to Focus mainly on Young Students "up to 18" Years of Age, while Macron's Citizens Consultations (due to Extend throughout almost All EU Member Countries), reportedly would Start since 16 y.o.

And, even if the Bottom-Line seems still UnClear, as far as Age is concerned, on the contrary, at least one thing is certain : - F.ex., "among by 3 Sons, it's only the Youngest one who is really a fully-fledged "Internet Native !", as told "Eurofora" CoE's Experienced, Education Manager Christopher Reynolds (from the UK), in charge of all "Digital Citizenship Education" projects. Moreover, in fact, Internet Use, Nowadays Starts already from Small Kids of no more than 4 or 5 Years old, even Before they get into mainstream School, added Reynolds...


So that, even if it's true that the CoE had Previously Worked on some kind of "Digital Citizenship" and/or Internet Education projects, (f.ex. alreeady since 2014, etc, as he reminded to "Eurofora"), nevertheless, it's also a Fact that, as, f.ex., EU Commission's Policy and Investment's Strategist, at the Education/Culture DG, colorfully said, Smiling,: - "It's the 1st Time that I come to the COE in Strasbourg for such kind of projets"...


- However, this is Part of a much Wider, and quite Older Category of the PanEuropean Organization's "Cooperation" projects in the Human s"Capacity Building" sector, as the Compoetent CoE's Senior Official, Ms Arzu Burcu Tuner reminded to "Eurofora".


=> Indeed, a Brand New and Extended 2018 Edition of a relavant CoE's older Capacities Toolkit "Box", whose imminent Publication was Announced Today by Reynolds, surprinzingly, got, in just a few Minutes-Time, an overwhelming Majority among the Participants of this Conference from various European Countries, spontaneously Interested to Ask ... where, when and how could they have themselves at least one precious Copy asap !


Reynolds, trying to keep a Solid British "Cool" Temper, (since, anyway, as a CoE's Officer us Not persobally concerned by EU's "BREXIT" Time-Deadline related matters), diplomatically promised to inform all of them asap, but carefully declined to explicitltly name a precise Date/Hour of actual Delivery...

 

(../..)

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  imag0573_400

    An "Eugenic" loophole Amendment, which might expose to Dangers reminiscent of "3rd Reich's" notorious Genetic Abuses, hidden at the last minute inside an otherwise Good, larger Health policy Package scheduled to be voted on Thursday, was strongly denounced by a coalition of MEPs from various Political Groups and Countries, in a Press Conference held this afternoon at EU Parliament in Strasbourg.

    Mainly calling to "Select Human Embryos", via "Genetic Counselling" and "pre-implantation" Techniques including "Genetic Tests", in order to "Eradicate Hereditary rare Diseases", it might open ways to Dangerous Practices in Future, they denounced in substance.

    But they also made it clear that a much larger Report inside which this Controversial Amendment "No 15" was added in dubious circumstances, officialy destinated to struggle against "Rare Diseases", and drafted by Professor Antonios Trakatellis, was otherwise "an Excellent Report", aiming at a "completely Uncontroversial target" of Health policy on which "all MEPs and Experts are united, believing that Europe should act" to protect People's Health (See "EuroFora"'s earlier News).

    The controversy came at a particularly delicate moment for the EU in relation to Citizens, at the eve of June 2009 EU Elections, and shortly before Ireland re-votes for "Lisbon Treaty"..    

- Denouncing risks of "an Eugenic demand, very similar to what we had during the 3rd Reich in Germany, but now coming from some Scientisists themselves", German ChristianDemocrat/EPP MEP Dr. Peter Liese stressed that critical MEPs were against "Eugenic" engineering with "Selection of Human Embryos", and anything which might ultimately lead up to to a "Selection of Human Race". It doesn't help to "eradicate" Human Lives, he added.


    Several Experts and NGOs expressed "Deep Concern", as f;ex. DR M.C. Cornel of the "European Society of Human Genetics", which stressed, on this occasion, that "the importance of Non-Directiveness in Reproductive issues is a Central characteristic of Human Genetics, after the Atrocities committed in the name of Genetics in the first half or the 20th Century".

     - "This is completely Unacceptable", stressed Italian Liberal MEP Vittorio Prodi, on the Controversial Amendment, also because pushes to "eliminate early Human Life", as he noted.

     - "This opens a Dangerous Road, rather a Motorway", denounced Danish MEP Mrs Margrette Auken, from the "Greens", observing that various similar attempts were made in the Past "not only in Germany, but also in several other Countries, "even at the 1970ies", "f.ex. on forced Sterilisation of Roma" People, and other criticisable situations f.ex. in the UK, in Sweden, etc. as she said.

    + Other NGOs, as f.ex. "LebenHilfe" from Berlin, added that, among various other Risks, could also be that, by exploiting the pre-implantation Genetic Diagnostics and the Selection of "healthy" Embryos, some may "propagate" several "Eugenic" aims, starting f.ex. by pushing to eradicate Human Livies which might "Cost too much" to preserve, ultimately exposing to dangers reminiscent of the "3rd Reich"'s atrocious abuses.

    In consequence, ChristianDemocrats/EPP and "Green" MEPs "decided by Majority to vote against" this Controversial Amendment, anounced to Journalists the 5 MEPs who participated in the Press Conference, representing a wide spectrum, from Liberals to "Greens" and ChristianDemocrats, and from Hungary, Italy, Germany and Danemark up to Ireland (Gay Mitchell), etc.
----------------------------------
    Hungarian ChristianDemocrat MEP Laszlo Surjan said "that it was "Suddenly, at the End of the Procedure" in Committee, that "appeared this (Controversial) Amendment, which has nothing to do" with the main purpose of the Report, on which all agreed.

    He denounced an "Unhonest" move, and called to "avoid this kind of unacceptable situations". Nobody should "Select People", Surjan stressed.

    - "We (MEPs) had No Chance to Discuss" this last-minute Amendment earlier added at a Committee's level, said German MEP Peter Liese

    Speaking to "EuroFora", Dr. Liese, the Spokesman of the ChristianDemocrat/EPP Group in EU Parliament, said that MEPs didn't oppose other references of the Report f.ex. on "Genetic Tests", because they were "no proposals" to impose them, while, on the contrary, there was "a Problem" if anyone attempted to "impose" f.ex. this or that Genetic Technique and "Genetic Counselling", etc. to the People on human reproduction.
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The precise Text :
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    Controversial parts of Amendment No 15 ask mainly "to lead finally to the Eradication" of "Hereditary" "rare diseases", "through Genetic Counselling .., and ..pre-Implantation Selection of healthy Embryos".

    But  EU Rapporteur Professor Trakatellis, said to "EuroFora" that fears should be alleviated by Guarantees that all this should be done only "where appropriate", when it's "not contrary to existing National Law", and "always on a Voluntary basis", according to other Parts of the Amendment.

    He stressed that the main aim was to allow "a free and informed choice of persons involved", without imposing them anything :  - "It's not an obligatory, but advisary" text, he said.

    To make that point clear, he was ready, in agreement with many MEPs, to eventually drop at least that part of the controversial Amendment which initially called for "efforts to ..lead finally to the Eradication of those rare diseases" "which are Hereditary".

    But, until late Wednesday evening, reportedly together with many other MEPs, he stood by all the rest of the controversial Amendment, (fex. on the "Genetic Counselling" and the "pre-implantation Selection of healthy Embryos"), so that critical MEPs, going from ChristianDemocrats as Dr. Liese, to "Greens" or "Ind/Dem", observed to "EuroFora" that "this was not enough" to close the dangerous loophole.

    Particularly since, as Professor Trakatellis noted himself, "this is already allowed to the U.K.", and "other National Legislations would probably follow, sooner or later" in a similar direction. As for a general call to "Eradicate Hereditary rare Diseases", this "should happen, at any case, in practice, de facto", to protect public Health.

    On the contrary, "our goal should be to help patients suffering from rare diseases, not to eradicate the patients. In case of genetic disease risk, the decision should not be guided by scenarios" made by politicians. "Perents who may decide to accept a child, even if handicapped or with genetic disease, must be respected and supported with solidarity", critical MEPs stated.

    - "Any Pressure" to "a patient or couple (who "should be able to make an informed choice consistent with their own values"),"from health Professionals, Public Health Policies or Governemental Institutions, or Society at large, should be avoided", stresses the "European Society for Human Genetics".

----------------------------------

Each MEP's vote will be registered !

-----------------------------------   

The Socialist Group requested a "Split vote" on the Amendment 15, first without, and afterwards with the words "lead finally to the Eradication" etc.


    But the first "split vote" leaves intact all the other parts of the Controversial Amendment, (i.e. "Genetic Counselling", "Selection of healthy Embryos", etc).

    That's why, 3 Groups of MEPs : ChristianDemocrats/EPP, "Greens/EFA", and "Ind/Dem", have asked for "Roll Call Votes", on everything regarding the Controversial Amendment No 15, and on the final outcome of the resulting Report as amended, which will register all the individual positions to be taken by each MEP.   

Something which will obviously make each MEP think twice before voting for one or another choice, to be sure that he/she will make the right choice in front of EU Citizens, particularly at these pre-Election times...


    Crucial Votes were scheduled between 12 Noon and 1 p.m. local Strasbourg time, in the middle of a long series of various other Reports, and after a long Public Debate on the larger Health policy package, from 9 to 11.50 am.

    The specific Report inside which was hidden the controversial Amendment is due to be debated between 11 and 12 am.

    So that more last-minute Surprises may not be excluded a priori...

    Particularly at the present Historic moment, when even the Institutional Future of the EU depends on the result of a second Referendum on "Lisbon Treaty", later this year, in ...Ireland, a mainly Catholic country, where People are particularly sensitive in such kind of socio-cultural and values issues...
 

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     (Draft due to be updated).
 
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