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Home arrow newsitems arrow EU Parliament Maghreb Committee: Tunisian People deserve a Real Choice on Alternatives in 2019 Votes

EU Parliament Maghreb Committee: Tunisian People deserve a Real Choice on Alternatives in 2019 Votes

Written by ACM
Thursday, 14 June 2018

 

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*Strasbourg/EU-Parliament/Angelo Marcopolo/- Stressing the Importance of the forthcoming Parliamentary and Presidential Elections in Tunisia on 2019, EU Parliament's competent Committee on Maghreb Countries launched a stern Warning, in substance, that the People of one among the  Countries which are Closest to Europe, (Both Historically, GeoPoliticaly and by Recent Policy Decisions),  have an Urgent and Serious Need to Prepare Well the Crucial, forthcoming, Presidential and Pariamentarian, Elections of 2019, Because, Otherwise, in Practice, they Risk to have No Real Choice between Alternative Policies, (See Infra), Contrary to what is an elementary Principle in any real Democracy.

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Tunisia notoriously is the Cradle of "Arab Spring", the Country with a "Model" Constitution since 2014 (See Infra), Proud to have an Ancient Civilisation since the 8th Century Before Christ, which Spread at Both Sides : North and South of the Mediterranean Sea during the 3rd and 2nd Centuries BC, (f.ex. also in Sicily, Corsica, Balear Islands, Sardaigne, Gibraltar, Spain, etc), while Hannibal notoriously crossed the Swiss Alps Mountains, reaching even Rome's surrounding area. After becoming the Precious "Grenary" of the Roman Empire, in a Strategic position Later Revendicated even by the Byzantine Empire, the Normands, France, and various others in the Past, and, following National Independence and Modernisation under President Bourguiba, Tunis Hosted UNO's World Internet Forum (after Geneva, and before Athens) at the Beginning of 2000ies, while Tunisia recently Compeets with Morocco for the Most Linked to EU/CoE among South Mediterranean Countries, and its NGOs were Recently Awarded the prestigious NOBEL Peace Prize on 2015.

 

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So that several MEPs' Denunciations of current Risks for a "Silent", Abstentionist 2/3 Majority of Tunisian People to be Obliged to have No real Choice soon, but to Fall in the Hands of one or another, more or less Radical, "Islamist" Party, pushed by Less of a 1/3 Minority, linked to Controversial "Muslim Brotherhood" (often accused even for Terrorism), and reportedly subordinated to the Foreign Influence of the (even more Controversial) ...Turkish President Tayip Erdogan's oppressive regime, (etc), as if Tunisia had Fallen Back in the Medieval Era of a mere Subordinate Local Part of the Former Othoman-Turk Empire, naturally provokes serious Concerns to European politicians, who Urged Today for EU Help (including, mainly Economic) to a Democratic Tunisia, (See Infra).

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 - It all Started with an Announcement, by the EU Chief Observer on Tunisia, and EU Parliament's vice-President, Italian MEP Fabio Massimo Castaldo, from the Biggest Political Party in the New Government in Rome, (the "5 Stars Movement", Member of the "Freedom and Direct Democracy" Group in EU Parliament),  who spoke about a "Strong Will" by the Tunisian Parliament to "Ensure" an "Operational and Independent" Institutional Framework, particularly "for the Presidential Elections of 2019", in order "not to Call in Question the Trust on the Constitution"" :

 

-"A Model Text", of "High Quality", since the Historic Reform of "2014", in the Country which is the Birthplace of the "Arab Spring", he topically reminded.((omp., inter alia, f.ex. : the Replies to "Eurofora"s Questions by the President of the Tunisian Constituent Assembly, Ben Jafaar, as early as since already 2012, at : http://www.eurofora.net/newsflashes/news/tunisianrevolutionideasondemocracy.html, but also : http://www.eurofora.net/newsflashes/news/sarkozymediterraneanrenaissance.html + http://www.eurofora.net/newsflashes/news/egyptetunisiangos.html, http://www.eurofora.net/newsflashes/news/laurenstunisiamoroccodemocracyforum.html, http://www.eurofora.net/newsflashes/news/tunisiaconsuloneufaireconomyandconstitution.html etc)

 

 

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 => - For that purpose, among others,  a "Constitutional Court" is due to "be Up and Running" Soon, in order "to Ensure full Compliance" with the Constitution, and help for any relevant "Crisis to be Resorbed", while EU Chief Observer, EU Parliament's vice-President Castaldo has already scheduled to personally "Go to Tunisia on July" 2018.

 

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The Occasion to Open a Debate in EU Parliament on the forthcoming, Crucial Parliamentary and Presidential Tunisian Elections of 2019 in Tunisia, was given, Today, by a scheduled Discussion of a "Report on the Local Elections", recently held in Tunisia on May 2018, which served as a real-time Testbed to take the pulse of the Political Life in that Key Country nowadays, (Comp. Infra).


- Thus, inter alia, f.ex., MEPs Observed that, while 42% of the Population is Under - 34 Years Old, and Many Young Candidates had been among those Standing to be Elected in 2018, Nevertheless,  at a National Level, Country-Wide, the Turnout of Young People in order to Vote in these Elections was particularly Low. This could be due also to the Fact that 30% of Young People in Tunisia are Graduates, but Jobless, and this might impact also on the Next Elections, as a French MEP pointed out.


+ But, Moreover, it was Only about 1/3 (One Third) of the Registered Voters who actually Casted their Vote in the Ballot Box on 2018, while the Tunisian "People are Fed up with the Political Class" of the Establishment in general, as EU Parliament's vice-President Castaldo had already observed from the outset.


- Even if he Noted, as far as the Conditions in which those Local Elections were held, that, despite "some" secondary problems, in general, they were "a Real Step Forward" for Democracy in Tunisia, (especially Compared to the Past, and  considering also the Fact that the relevant Law on Local DeCentralisation had been Just Adopted, Shortly Before the Elections).


=> But their Outcome presents "2 Problems", Critically observed another MEP : First, it shows that "Democracy is still Fragile" in Tunisia, Because "2/3 of the People Abstained". Moreover, those who Snaped Most of the Votes were from an "Islamist Party close to (the Turkish President) Erdogan", he pointed out. And this even included "a Preacher who has been OutLawed in France, Banned even in Egypt : his own Country, and put at a "Wanted" List by InterPol. I.e. something which "gives you the Shivers !"


>>> Therefore, "Tunisia, which is, perhaps, the Only Country in that area that has a Chance to Activate Democracy, Must get Help from EU Parliament", he concluded.


+ AnOther (Lady) MEP denounced also the Fact that a "Leading" Candidate in a Major List on 2018 had been "Campaigning Against the Celibacy of Women", while, "in the HeadQuarters" of a Major Political Party, "Only Men were visible", while, on the Contrary, "All Women were Hidden Behind a Screen !". In consequence, "we (EU) must be Carefull against any hypocritical Double-Talk" and "Vigilant", she urged.


=> That's why in Tunisia, "the Fight Against Political Islam" is linked with Efforts to Help its "Economy", and calls for "a New Economic Development", and this should, normally, "Incite EU Commission" to act, stressed in substance anOther MEP. But, "is EU Commission really Playing the Game", or, perhaps, "Tunisia might be the Victim" of 1 or 2 Commissioners' Policy ?, he Questioned, while Urging to "Re-Balance" EU's policies, in this regard.


- Indeed, even "in Europe, Democracy wasn't Built in just 4 Years" (i.e. as, for Tunisia, between the New Constitution of 2014 and the Local Elections of 2018 : Comp. Supra), "but We too Needed even several Decades", pointed out anOther MEP, Concluding that "EU must Help Tunisia", "particularly in Financial terms", and "Be Present in the Tunisian Economy".


- "EU Must be Vigilant", because we Already shaw Abstention Grow in Morocco on 2016, and now "Fragilise Democracy in Tunisia" on 2018, observed anOther MEP, who Urged for "Europe to Help Tunisia" on Time, in the current run up to the "Important Parliamentarty and Presidential Elections of 2019".


 - Particularly since a "Worrying Division" surfaces when State "Power is at Stake", especially by a "Political Islam", "Historically Close to "Muslim Brothers", close to Erdogan, i.e. Turkey", that MEP too Warned.


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>>> Thus, "those currently in Power in Tunisia, should Not be Afraid to have Other, Democratic Interlocutors", and, instead of "Muzzling" several parts of the Country's "Civil Society", they'd Better enter in Dialogue with them, (f.ex., "Trade Unions", "NGOs", etc).

 

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- In this regard, the Head of EU Parliament's Election Observation Delegation for Tunisia, Experienced Spanish ChristianDemocrat/EPP MEP Santiago Fisas Ayxela, observed, However, that "about 1.000 Electoral Lists" were made by "Small Parties", and "the Biggest Group (of Candidates) were Independents". (Even if several were "Not Really Independents", but, in Fact, linked to "Big Political Parties", which attempted to "get around" the Law about ..."Women's Participation", as also Castaldo had observed, who had called them "Fake Civil Society Lists").


+ But it's also "Women (who) are an Important factor", he noted, Pointing at the potential "Role of Women" also "as a Guarantee of Democracy" : Particularly "Tunisian Women will Not let be Abused" by anyone !


 -  As for "the Army, it's pro-Democracy, and at the orders of the Government", Fisas Ayxela added.


- However, "the Problem is that Secular politicians are still Divided", while "some Personalities of the Ancient Regime re-surfaced' at the latest Vote, EU Parliament's Election Observation team's Head regretted.

 

- Meanwhile,  "the Situation is Not Easy at (Neighbouring) Libya", with more than "1 Million of Refugees", and "a List of Moderates, but also with Radicalized" politicians, in Addition to "Difficulties at the Borders of (the other Neighbouring Country) Algeria", including even Terrorism, he Warned.


=> Thus, we'd better see, in Tunisia, several "Real Independents", possibly, enter in some kind of "Coalitions", the Mainstream MEP concluded in substance.


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 - The President of EU Parliament's Delegation to Maghreb Countries, MEP Inés Ayala Sender, from the Governing Socialist Party in Portugal, observed, in fine, that "a Handicap" for the Latest, 2018 Local Elections was the Fact that too "Many People were Selected for numerous (Electoral) Lists", while, on the Contrary, they had "a Low Turnout".


>>> Moreover, "If Both the 2 Major Parties refer to a Religious Manifestos", then, in real practice, "there is No Alternative" for the People of Tunisia !", she Denounced.


=> Therefore, someone needs "to Give to the People a Real Choice" on 2019, ("if not, they would disengage" from mainstream Politics), President Ayala Sender urged.


- In this regard, she observed that, even if it had been proven in 2018 to be "Difficult for Young People to Mobilize" (Comp. Supra), Nevertheless, there was also an "Encouraging" Development, in the Fact that there were "Many Independent Lists" (Comp. Supra), and, therefore, "New Candidates may come in" on 2019, including "Many (former) Independents".


- Thus, in substance, "the Challenge is How We (i.e. the EU) can Support those People", she resumed.


>>> And, "Now, that we (EU) are currently Opening the Fight over the Multi-Annual Financial Perspectives", including with "New Aides extended during many Years", etc.,

 

=> in order to "Prepare for the (Tunisian, Presidential and Parliamentary) Elections of Next Year (2019), "it's Important for the EU to Give some Clear and Robust Signals to Tunisia !", the President of EU Parliament's competent Committee concluded.

 

 

(../..)



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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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3 EU Parliament votes to boost EuroGroup !

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After EuroZone Paris Summit's succes, Sarkozy calls to "think anew how to re-construct Europe !

"EuroZone and EU Institutional debates pave the way to 2009 discussions on EU Future, including Enlargment, Turkey etc. ?


23 October 2008

After EU Parliament strongly suppported in 3 successive Votes this week in Strasbourg French EU Chairmanship's move to boost Euro-Group at EU's core, while ideas on EU Institutional problems are awaited on December, "it's an open Question now" if this may lead to a debate on EU's Future, or not, told us French President, Nicolas Sarkozy''s Spokesman, Pierre-Jerome Henin.

MEPs voted on Thursday fresh Funds to support EuroGroup, after adopting on Wednesday a Resolution asking a "further Evolution" to "the 1st ever meeting of Heads of State and of Government of the Euro-Zone, taking decisions in that capacity", while earlier this week a Report asked "a stronger Institutional setting" for "EuroGroup", extended from "competitiveness/industry" to "environment, employment and education", with "increased powers for Political decision-making", according to a text drafted by French MEP Francoise Beres and German MEP Werner Langen, "10 Years after the creation of Euro" (1999 - 2009).

- Brussels' subsequent "EU Council ..(simply)..ratified the measures decided by EuroGroup on October 12" in Paris, which "were necessary to contain the current Financial Crisis", Resolution observes, expressing also support to the new process succesfully initiated by Sarkozy and due to be completed by agreements with USA and other countries at a Global level.

From now on, it's between two differend but parallel moves : EU's delay, and EuroZone's acceleration, that Enlargement and particularly Turkey's controversial EU bid, will have to search its way :

Indeed, EU's 27 expect a "Roadmap on how to deal with the Irish problem" on Lisbon Treaty ratification after December, risking to pass even 2009 Elections and next Commission with the old Nice Treaty of 2000, out-dated and unfit even for 2004's Enlargement...

On the contrary, EU's core launches a real "Economic Governance for EuroZone at the highest level of Heads of State/Government" of the 15, which started in Paris on October 12 and was strongly supported this week in Strasbourg by Sarkozy and EU Parliament.
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- "It's a good idea, to launch such a debate ("on EU's Future") in EU Parliament in view of 2009 Euro-Election : Perhaps some MEPs will seize an opportunity", told us mainstream French MEP Alain Lamassoure, former EU Minister and EU Spokesman for France's governing party UMP.

- "All MEPs' debates on such EU Councils are also part of the larger debate on Europe's future : Now with EuroZone, and even more when, on December, Irish Prime Minister is due to table proposals in Strasbourg on how to deal with EU Treaty's ratification", replied earlier to our question EU Parliament's Press Director and Spokesman, Jaume Duch.
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Sarkozy has formally anounced his intention to open EU Debates on Economy, Identity/Enlargement (i.e. mainly Turkey), etc. both linked to a popular Political view of Europe, since his Historic speeches on EU in Strasbourg, on February and July 2007, when he stressed that "Europe needs a New Renaissance". At the beginning of the French EU Presidency, on July 2008, replying to a MEP, he suggested that EU Parliament takes an active part in Debates on EU's Future.

- Now, in 2008, "Crisis are an opportunity to re-think how to re-construct Europe", Sarkozy stressed. At any case, the Historic 1st EuroZone Summit of Heads of State/Government, which started replying to the Financial crisis,"is a Turning Point : After that, Europe cannot be governed as before, but differently" : People "like a Europe with Strong Will".

- "We must make the System move !", "Europe needs Innovation" and free political debates. EU "Elections are in a few Months", Sarkozy warned.

He invited EU Parliament to fully play its role as "the Democratic Heart of the Europe we want : United, Independent and Voluntarist, because the World needs Europe's voice".

- "It's no more possible for Euro-Zone to continue without an Economic Government" at the Highest Level of Heads of State/Government, who provide "Democratic Legitimity" and can take important decisions, he announced, strongly supported by EU Parliament's Economic Committee which just voted to boost the "Institutional" aspects of "EuroGroup".

Plasticity offered by the current absence of a special Treaty on EuroZone's Institutions "made it easy to adapt the organization of the 1st Summit with imagination, to efficiently meet urgent needs", he observed, on the occasion of Brittish Prime Minister's exceptionnal presence at the greatest part of EuroGroup's Paris Summit.

- "In EuroZone we have the same Bank, the same Money, and, thus, a same duty for Unity" : "By bringing together EuroGroup's 15 members States we suceeded to find a solution and prepare a Giant Plan of 1.800 Billion euros", Sarkozy reminded of Paris' 1st Historic EuroZone's Summit.

Afterwards, Brussels' EU Council followed the move, and USA's Paulson II Plan was inspired from that. "Europe must promote the idea of Global Economy's Refoundation", he stressed.

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- "I was frankly astonished when I found, at the EU, a rigid system, where any New Idea was seen from the outset as a sacrilege, while, on the contrary, Europe needs Innovation !", he described.

F.ex. ,"'When we first spoke about the "Union for the Mediterranean", it was misunderstood as something extraordinary.. When later we had the Russia -Georgia crisis, it seemed against EU's custom to act "in the middle of August", instead of staying a passive spectator ! And when, in front of the Financial ciris, we gathered the 1st EuroZone Summit of the "15", some thought of it as a lese-majesté", he denounced.
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On Geo-Political Principles :
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- But, by moving resolutely, "EU obtained the ...withdrawal of Occupation Troops in 2 Months !", reminded Sarkozy, observing that Russia "fulfilled its commitments", in the Georgian crisis, where a "disroportionate reaction" from Moscow followed a "totally inappropriate action" from Tbilisi's troops. "It would be crazy to reply by military means : EU should not become accomplice of another Cold War, imposed by lack of cool heads".. as he said.

In future, "the creation of a common European Economic Area with EU and Russia, would also obtain a raprochment on our Human Rights and Democratic Values", added Sarkozy, in a statement which should logically be applied, a fortiori, to controversial EU "candidate" Turkey..

Particularly when, the same week that EU Parliament voted 2009 EU Funds for Turkey's controversial EU bid, ECHR took a series of judgements condemning Turkey for grave Violations of Human Rights, such as : Torture, death of a political prisoner in unclear circumstances followed by failure to conduct a proper Investigation, "enforced Disappearance" of a youngster aged 17, Killing of a sepherd with Tank Shells, persecuting Journalists for articles on "Missing" People, even a former President of Human Rights' Association, (etc)

- "We (EU) can defend our ideas on respect of Sovereignity and territorial Integrity, on Human Rights and other differences ... without confrontation", Sarkozy stressed, on the occasion of Russian/Georgian conflict, reminding that : "we were only 2 steps from catastroph", when a Peace agreement brokered in Moscow prevented, at the last minute, Russian troops' advance towards Tbilisi.

An EU Parliament Resolution adopted Wednesday in Strasbourg on the occasion of Russia - Georgia conflict, outlines a set of Principle which apply elsewhere too, (particularly when EU Rapporteur for Russia and Turkey is one and same person ; Dutch MEP Ria Oomen-Ruijtanen !)

Clearly rejecting any "military solution to the conflicts", MEPs "condemn ..all those who resorted to force and violence". They denounce a "disproportionate military action", "as well as (an) unilateral decision to recognise the independence" of brekaway regions, "calling.. to respect the sovereignty and territorial integrity" of the concerned country, "and the inviolability of its borders recognised by all EU Member States". They warn that "EU must review its policy towards" a 3rd Country, "should .(it)...not comply with its commitments", and "stress that the withdrawal of.... troops from the areas ....is an essential additional step".

EU Parliament "calls for the safe and quick return of refugees, (accepted by Russian President Medvedev) accompanied by the deployment of EU observers on the ground", and "regrets ...that ..EU Monitoring Mission (EUMM) is not allowed to enter the ...breakaway regions". Moreover, "It's important to ensure that persons and NGOs ..engaged in defending human and civil rights can operate". "Until ...all remaining issues (are) resolved..., and notably the continuing ...Military presence", "relations with the EU ..cannot be fully normalised", MEPS warned.

As nobody likes to be accused to practice "Double Standards", this should be regarded as "Principles" applicable to any Third Country at EU's Neighborhood.. No ?

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On Economy :

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- "When Financial crisis shook US and EU's Banks, without result from the 1st (American) Paulsen plan, it was the common reply of the 1st EuroZone's Summit, involving some 1800 Billion euros, which started a positive move in the markets, soon strengthened by the follow-up of the US Paulson 2 Plan, noted Sarkozy.

- "Europe should not be only on the defensive, but, if necessary, know also how to take an offensive", he said, brushing away hesitationsto act on Economy: - "I'm for a refondation of Capitaliism, but against Speculators, who betray its values" : "Lack of Rules was profitable to speculators, Not to businessmen !" We must make sure to prevent any such crisis in future". "We, the rest of the World, cannot continue to bear the deficits of the 1st World power without saying anything !", the French President said, applauded by EU Parliament. All this needs "a New Global Governance", on which EU Parliament must debate. That's why "we proposed together with USA, several Summits from mid-November", to which G-8, enlarged to China, India a.o. countries, should participate. UNO's SG; Ban Ki Moon, the IMF, etc.

Financial crisis lowered shares' prices even for healthy companies, sometimes to 1/3 of their initial price, so that strangers might buy EU industries for only a portion of their real value, and Europeans may wake up one day with their main industries sold out to foreigners !

That's one of the reasons for which EU should debate about creating "Golden Shares" for States to jointly take Strategic participations to help European Industries until the end of the Crisis, particularly against distording competition, he suggested, pointing at USA's 35 billion $ plan for American Car Industry."We shall struggle for Europe to be able to build Airplanes, Ships, Trains, Cars, because we need a strong Industry", he concluded.

"F.ex. as we did back in 2004, when as Finance Minister, we bought Alsthom's shares for 800.000 euros, and, after restructuring, we sold them for 2 Millions : Help a company and make money is not so bad"...

As for the UK, "when Ireland announced that it would guarantee only Irish Banks, London City emptied from liquidities in 24 hours : It's the EU which helped to restore the situation, Not the UK alone !", reminded Sarkozy to nationalist British MEP Nigel Farage.

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On the contrary, in a last-minute attempt for the EU to catch-up with its Institutional delay "before the European Elections" of June 2009, MEPs simply voted a call for a "set of proposals" to be made for the "Irish public opinion" at the end of the year...

- "As long as Lisbon Treaty is not ratified by all 27 EU Member States, there is an unanimous decision to stop Enlargement, reminded Wednesday in Strasbourg the French Minister for EU affairs, Jean-Pierre Jouyet..

Added to an indirect but clear warning that, without Lisbon Treaty, all 27 EU Member Countries may not have a Commissioner in the 2009 resuffle, MEPS in the Constitutional/Foreign affairs Committees applauded hoping that this might motivate their Irish friends..

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