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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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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".

eiw_project_eu_program_esprit_ds_1997.._400

        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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