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Home arrow newsitems arrow EUCommission V.President Dombrovskis to EF: Citizens Dialogue + Alternat. SmartPhone OS not excluded

EUCommission V.President Dombrovskis to EF: Citizens Dialogue + Alternat. SmartPhone OS not excluded

Written by ACM
Tuesday, 17 December 2019

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*Strasbourg/EU Parliament/Angelo Marcopolo/- Experienced vice-President of EU Commission and former Long-Time Prime Minister, Valdis Dombrovskis from Latvia, replying to "Eurofora"s Questions in a Press Conference at EU Parliament in Strasbourg on the conclusions of the 1st Meeting of the New EU Commission (2019-2014) here, did Not Exclude, a priori, in view of the forthcoming "Conference on the Future of Europe", the possibility to eventually launch "Regular Dialogues" with EU Citizens before EU "Acts" affecting them, by activating Lisbon Treaty's Article 11 (See Infra), and, concerning EU's Wider "Digitalisation" Plans, he Agreed that, "Probably", EU would "have to Look at" the notorious China Offer for Cooperation with Europe for the eventual Creation of an Alternative SmartPhone Operation System, (able to Face the currently Global Dominance of Google's Android and/or Apple, which raises Questions even inside the USA), as part of the key "Topics" that these larger processes have just Started to explore.

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- In "Eurofora"s 1st Question, we observed that "President Dombrovski informed about EU Commission's First Discussion on the "Conference on Europe's Future", Today in Strasbourg, after relevant moves also by EU Heads of State/Governments latest Summit and EU Parliament's Constitutional Committee, last week in Brussels", (See, f.ex. : .., etc).

 - "Concerning the OPEN Question how to associate Citizens,  which might become one of the most innovative Socio-Political aspects, don't you think that, Nowadays, when we celebrate 10 Years of Lisbon Treaty, the Time has come to Activate one of its Articles : Number 11, which speaks about "Regular Dialogue", "Consultation" and "Exchanges", etc., with Civil Society and Citizens,  on "Acts" to be made by any among the 3 EU Institutions : Council, Commission or Parliament ?", "Eurofora" asked vice-President Dombrovskis.

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- "On the Conference for the Future of Europe", as You Know, right Now Discussions are Currently still On-Going, on What Exactly are the Best Forms of Engagement, both Inter-Institutionally, and with Citizens", he replied.

- "So, what we (EU Commission) had Today was an "Orientation Debate", introduced by vice-President Suica, and it's clear that it will follow 2 Distinct Strands :"

- "One is an Inter-Institutional Strand, where (EU) Commission will act as a Honest Broker, between EU Parliament and Council".

+ "And, the 2nd Strand, that You ("Eurofora") mentioned, is, indeed, to ensure a Broader Outreach, and to have a Debate with (EU) Citizens", (i.e. Not a mere Consultation).

- The later will be "Structured around (EU) Commission's 6 Priorities, and the (EU) Council's Strategic Agenda", he announced.

- "So, on the Exact Modalities of those strands, Work is Still On-Going. This was (just) the 1st Orientation Debate that we had in College", Dombrovskis stressed Carefully, but, also, withOut Excluding a priori what "Eurofora" had suggested around Lisbon Treaty's Article 11.

=> In consequence, "it will be Advancing in the Comming Weeks and Months", he foresaw, (while, this Same Day in Strasbourg, in parallel, EU Parliament Presidential Committee's "Working Group" on the CFE has Scheduled another special Meeting, Later this Afternoon, held "in camera").

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+ in the 2nd "Eurofora"s Question, we observed that EU Comission's vice-President "spoke about Digitalisation, and stressed that it's very Important, but, nowadays, when Citizens and Companies see what's happening in the Global Dimension, unfortunately, we are sometimes Sadened, because we do Not yet see the EU Present in certain Flagship Areas :"

- F.ex., considering Even the Demand of our Chinese Competitors but also Partners, about the Possibility for the EU to Help have (World-wide) an Alternative Operating System for SmartPhones (Comp. the Recent "Huawei" - "Google/Android" row) :

- "A Sector in which We (EU) already have some elements, while Europe was a Pioneer in SmartPhones, thanks to our Finnish friends, who (by a Timely Coincidence) hold the EU Presidency now", so that we (EU) might, eventually, be able to do something", "Eurofora" suggested.

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 - "On the 2nd Question, of Digitalisation, I think that it'not a coincidence : this is one of the Main Priorities of the New (EU) Commission (2019-2024): to Ensure that the EU is Fit for Digital Age", stressed Dombrovskis in his Reply.

 - "There, we (EU) have to look at a Number of Aspects : at Competitiveness in the Digital Age, at Companies, how succesfully they are Performing at the Digital Age, how could we Develop our own companies in the Digital Age", (etc).

- "I would not now Go to the Specific Issues for Topics, because there are, actually, Many of them", he warned.

+ However, "Probably, As You ("Eurofora") Mentioned, Operating Systems for SmartPhones, Could be just one of the Topics to look at", vice-President Dombrovskis agreed.

 - But, I would say, the Issue is Much Broader, Both from Competitiveness point of view, and also from the Social point of view : Because we have to adjust our Social and Labour Market Legislation to the Digital Age, to ensure what we already did in a previous Commission : - "Social Protection for All", i.e. regardless of the type of the Contract People are contributing to, and, then, eligible to the benefits of Social Systems, and, currently, also striving to improve the Working Conditions in the Platform economy, which is also relevant to this issue of Digitalisation".    

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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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