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Pagina principale arrow newsitems arrow EU Ombudsman O'Reilly on EF project (Citizens - EU Decision-Makers Debates Before Acts): BIG ISSUE !

EU Ombudsman O'Reilly on EF project (Citizens - EU Decision-Makers Debates Before Acts): BIG ISSUE !

Scritto da ACM
Friday, 01 June 2018
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*Strasbourg/EU-Parliament/Angelo Marcopolo/- A Key EU Personality : the EU Ombudswoman (alias : EU Defensor of Citizens' Rights), Emily O'Reilly, from Ireland, Replying to an "Eurofora" Question about Our Project for mainly Web-Based EU Citizens' Public Debates with EU Decision-Makers (as, f.ex. MEPs, etc) Before Taking Measures which Affect their Lives and/or Society at large, observed that it's, indeed, "a Huge Issue", but also "a Matter of Political Will", for which, Nowadays, the Doors "May be Open !", (See Infra).

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(Exceptionaly Long Queu waiting to Enter EU Parliament's Building in Strasbourg for 2018 EYE Event, after a RainStorm Hindered to use an initially prepared Campus)

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    O'Reilly was speaking in Strasbourg, between the conclusion of EU Parliament's May Plenary Session and the Beginning of "EYE" Annual Event, with the participation of Thousands of Young People from all over Europe, President Tajani and other MEPs, EU Experts, etc., in EU Parliament's Building here for 2 Days, Friday and Saturday, 1+2 June 2018, which is the last Big Event before the Electoral Campaign for the forthcoming May 2019 European Elections : I.e. amidst such an ambiant noise (given the Popular Success of this Event, as a relevant Photo clearly shows, that she had to Carefully concentrate her Attention in order to clearly hear what "Eurofora" had to say)...


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  - In "Eurofora"s Question to EU Ombudswoman, we observed that O'Reilly has "Recently spoken very much about the Transparency of the (EU) Decision-Making process, and, also, about the Participation of Citizens and Civil Society", (already since Early February 2018: See "Eurofora"s NewsReport at ...). But, as you know, onOther Aspect of Lisbon Treaty's Article 11, speaks about a Possibility for "Regular Dialogue", as well as about the "Expression" of EU Citizens' Views, and "Exchanges" on the "Acts" of the EU Authorities, including, f.ex., EU Parliament, and others.


=> - "Do you think that it would be Good, on this (Legal) Basisn to Initiate, (in the "Softest" and Easier posssible way for all), Public Debates between EU Citizens, Civil Society, etc., and, f.ex., EU Parliament's key MEPs, Before Decisions are taken, which may Affect their Lives, and/or All the Society ?", we queried.


 "In this way, f.ex. EU Parliament could have a View of EU Citizens' opinions on the Issues on which it might Debate and/or Vote. It could also give an Opportunity to EU Decision-Makers to Explain the Reasons for which they might take one or another Decision", "Eurofora" observed.


 - "F.ex., a Week Before the Plenary, EU Citizens might have a Chance, thanks also to Digital Technologies, to Express their Views and hold a Debate, eventually we practicaly observed.


- New French President Emanuel Macron has just Told Us that he would be in Favour of such a Development, extending even After the forthcoming EU Parliament's Elections of May 2019, as well as some Others. But You (as EU's Ombudswoman/Defensor of EU Citizens) are at a Key EU Position for that.


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- "Yeah", O'Reilly spontaneously reacted, particularly on the "Regular Dialogue" point of the above mentioned Lisbon Treaty's Article 11...


 - "I take the Overall Point, about People to be Able to Engage (in Dialogue with EU Decision-Makers), Before Decisions are made", the EU Ombudswoman told "Eurofora" at the Beginning of her Reply.


 - "That's a Huge Issue !", Emily O'Reilly observed from the outset, with a Serious look.


- "Obviously, there are All Sorts of Ways in which this could be Attempted to be done, f.ex., via Public Debates, Consultations, etc., she pointed out.


- Recently, "what I've been Trying to do is to make EU Council more accountable for Transparency, because People doN't yet known what Positions the EU Member States are Taking", she reminded, (Comp. : ..., etc).


 - On what you ("Eurofora") said, "sometimes, the Responsibility is, of course, also on Brussels (i.e., f.ex., EU Commission, etc) to Engage" (in Dialogue with EU Citizens on forthcoming Decisions), she Acknowledged.


-  "But it's also on (EU) Member States (i.e. EU Council, etc), as well, in relation to Their Citizens, their Parliaments, etc", she observed, in Reply to "Eurofora"s Question, i.e Interestingly pointing at a Wider Dimension of this matter, including also the National Public Administrations' relations with Citizens, (a Topical aspect on which "Eurofora"' co-Founder has been notoriously working in the framework of an original Legal Research at a "Doctorat d'Etat" level in the French University, since a Long Time ago, but also Nowadays).


 - "They (People) very Often Don't even Know what really Europe has done, (by Radio, TV, Newspapers, etc), while they know about EveryDay Life Politics", and so on, she observed, (also as a former Experienced, Long-Time Journalist).


 - Usually, "It Seems that it's Very Hard" for EU News to reach out to the People. "But, actually, one of the Good points about it, (i.e. Dialogue between EU Authorities and Citizens : Comp. Supra), is that", even without being "Dramatic", "I think that (EU) "Citizens are going to Consider this, (i.e.) to Learn something (in Reply) from the Politicians who are Making important (EU) Decisions here", O'Reilly observed Positively. speaking about EU Parliament's Building.


- Otherwise, in the Past, Statistics indicate that, in some Countries, only a Small Percentage of Young People Voted in EU Elections. And, in general, Often these People "do Not Relaize the Power that EU Organisations have got in recent years, Not even the Power that they have themselves, as Voters, to collectively choose this or that Political Majority, of the Right, the Left, or Center, etc, by Voting in EU Elections.


Obviously, as a matter of normal Democratic way of functioning, EU Citizens' Votes could, afterwards, logically Reward or Sanction, this or that Political Group, according to the Outcome of a previous Dialogue with them on EU Decisions affecting their Life and/or Society at large, as "Eurofora" suggested (Comp. Supra).


- But, the concrete Developpement, or not, of such Exchanges between EU Decision-Makers and EU Citizens, according also to Liisbon Treaty's Article 11, as "Eurofora" had hinted (Comp. Supra), in fact, it's a Matter of Political Will !", O'Reilly stressed in Reply.


+ However, Questioned, subsequently, by "Eurofora", if she Felt that, "Nowadays, the Door is Open, or Closed", in this regard, the EU Ombudswoman, after a Thoughtful moment, chose to Enigmatically, but quite Optimistically, Reply, with a Smile : - "I think that it May be Open !"...



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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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 imag0972_400


    Scientific innovation joined to Faith for Human Rights, Eastern Partnership and fight against the Crisis, but above all, the need to overcome the "Crisis of Trust" from EU Citizens, are the main priorities for new EU Parliament's President, Polish Jerzy Buzek, that a 555-votes-strong majority of MEPs on July 14,  Strasbourg made a living symbol of the fact that, 20 years after the fall of Berlin Wall (1989 - 2009) there is no more an Eastern or Western Europe, but only one Europe, as the head of the largest group of MEPs, ChristianDemocrats/EPP, Joseph Daul, stressed after the event.

    Speaking later to a group of Strasbourg's Journalists, including "EuroFora", the new EU Parliament's President clarified his stance on concrete topical issues, as f.ex. that of Turkey's controversial EU bid, which was one of the main issues of the June 2009 Electoral campain, clearly won by his party of ChristianDemocrats/EPP :  - "At present, Turkey does not fullfil none of EU conditions", he stressed, (See infra).

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    Buzek is well known in Strasbourg and to "EuroFora" as EU Rapporteur for the Framework Program of Scientific Research and Development of Technologies. A Natural Science Professor from the Historic and Religious landmark Polish City of Częstochowa, active in the famous Solidarnosk grass-roots social movement, he served 4 years as Prime Minister (1997-2001), before being elected as MEP in 2004 and 2009, after he brillantly won the latest EU Election at the head of his party (EPP) almost doubling the number of its MEPs from 15 to 28 !

    - "Innovation" and "Energy safety", as well as fight against the "Cimat change", but also "Eastern Partnership", the "Mediterranean", "Strategic partnerships" with Russia, the USA, etc, and the search for "solutions to the Economic Crisis" that EU Citizens "expect" from us, will be his "priorities", announced from the outset the new EU Parliament's President, reminding also that the quest for "Human and Civic Rights" played an important role in his experience with the Solidarnosc grass-roots social movement in Poland's History

    But, the most important of all, is the urgent need to overcome the "Crisis of Trust" between EU Institutions and the People he stressed : - EU "Citizens often don't understand us", denounced Buzek, launcing a call to "do anything for EU Citizens to understand our work" in EU Parliament : "We (MEPs) need to make EU Citizens involved" in "what we are doing every week, in Strasbourg and Brussels", he proposed. Pointing f.ex. to the hot "Debates" with "strong arguments" exchanged between MEPs during the preparation of their Legislative Decisions, in Committees, delivering often hard struggles between initially opposed points of view, long before forging a majority at the final vote, sometimes more than a year..

    Therefore, EU Parliament will be "open to your criticism, for discussion and exchange of views", he promissed to Journalists in Strasbourg.

    In this way, Buzek, in fact, highlighted "EuroFora"s main idea, that we strongly advocate since 1997-2007, to systematicaly and actively involve EU Citizens in public debates during the decision-making process of important EU measures, which affect their lives and the society in which they live, (and not only just a few weeks each 4 or 5 Years at the eve of EU Elections)...
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    This is related also to the symbolic gift that Buzek chose to give to the out-going former EU Parliament's President, Hans Gert Poettering, (2007-2009), his collegue in the ChristianDemocrats/EPP, who brillantly won 2009 EU Elections in Germany : A genuine statute of sainte Barbara crafted in Silesia's black Coal by Polish Miners : Those simple but strong people who fought for social change against some technocrats and bureaucrats disguissed into so-called "real-socialists" of old times. (PHOTO).

    It's enough to have seen a popular open air mass, at Warsaw's center, with many thousands of people, old and young, simple workers and intellectuals mixed together, with references to Poland's history and struggles for survival and liberty, through various ages, (as fex. that organized at the eve of CoE's 2005 panEuropean Heads of State and Government for the beatification of late Pope John-Paul II), in order to understand what such symbols mean..

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    But, overcoming the "Crisis of Trust" with EU Citizens obviously implies also to rectify any errors done in the past, fex. on Turkey's controversial EU bid, with controversial decisions taken in 1999 and 2004 to give a "candidate" status and to start EU negotiations, provoking an unprecedented series of 3 "No" to EuroReferenda and 3 Majoriy Abstentions in EU Parliament Elections : 1999, 2005 and 2009, (even if the latest one succeeded to decelerate and almost stop the drop of participation rates, opening hopes for vote's revival after an electoral campaign clearly critical to Turkey's claims in several mainstream EU countries)
    
    Therefore, Buzek was faced with manifold critical Questions on EU Enlargement, most of them citting concrete examples of certain political problems  :  But his replies were almost always given as a matter of general principle :

    F.ex. Questioned on the suspension of EU - Croatia talks because of a Border conflict with EU Member Slovenia, Buzek prefered to speak about principles :

- "We know that during Enlargement, the process can be blocked by failure to resolve this kind of issues",  This concerns also other enlargments' cases", and "these rules are always in force" he warned.


But Buzek avoided to directly reply to a queston on "French and German EPP' calls to define the Borders of Europe", as a German journalist asked him by making a reference to French President Nicolas Sarkozy, and German Chancellor Angie Merkel's, critical statements on Turkey at the June 2009 Electoral campain.    

- "Concerning Enlargement, there's always the same rules : There have to be Criteria, which have to be respected if a Country wants to join the EU", he started to simply reply.

- "For my country (Poland) it took us 15 Years to fullfil these Criteria", Buzek reminded, indicating, if proportions are kept, that Turkey, fex. would have to spend some 25 years before eventually joining the EU..

- "Countries wishing to join the EU need to Change their Systems", as we (Poland and other former Eastern European Countries) did, he stressed.

- "'For me, meeting the condition of Human Rights is one of the Key conditions for membership in the EU", preferring again to speak from the point of view of General Principles, on the occasion of an untimely question on Serbia (which is not even a candidate yet)...

- "Turkey" has, "first of all", to fullfil (EU) Copenhagen criteria". Bevause, currently, none of them is fullfiled by Turkey", New EU Parliament's President, denounced, speaking later to a group of Journalists, including "EuroFora".

buzek_close_a_400 

In particular, on Human Rights :  - "We (EU) can never forget Human Rights", because "this is at the very Foundations of the EU", Buzek added.

On the contrary, when he referred to EU Enlargment for the  "Western Balkans Countries ", Buzek appeared upbeat, finding "promising situations", despite "difficulties" in the Past, since "Countries are queuing to become EU members", and this "generated changes", as he said.

As for Russia, Buzek observed that it was a "very important" country, located "in the same Continent", Europe,  "close to our borders", and "we need eachother". "But Russia' has 'differend poblems : "They claim that their system is Democratic, but rules are differend", and we must be "aware of such differencies", fex. "on Human Rights", that we can't ignore, as he said;

Concerning China, where a journalist observed that the recipient of EU Parliament's latest "Sakharov prize" for freedom of thought is "still in prison", Buzek found that since the 1999 events in Tien Amin square, "we see differencies on Human Rights still today", and expressed his "support" for those who try to ameliorate the situation.

On the contrary, speaking recently to "EuroFora" he strongly supported the idea for an EU - Ukraine cooperation, fex. between Airbus and Antonov, in order to build a  less costly but more performant than the old and problematic A400M, new Military Transport Airplane : - "They (Ukranian Antonov Company) can certainly do it. I'm sure they can. It's a good Idea, and I'd be glad if it was done", he told us. (See : http://www.eurofora.net/newsflashes/news/airbusantonov.html )


(../..)

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