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Home arrow newsitems arrow EU Rapporteur Bresso+Top MEP Brok to EF: EUParliament tackles Commission+Council. =>Citizens' role ?

EU Rapporteur Bresso+Top MEP Brok to EF: EUParliament tackles Commission+Council. =>Citizens' role ?

Written by ACM
Tuesday, 12 February 2019

*Strasbourg/EU Parliament/Angelo Marcopolo/- Various unprecedented, big Political Power Games are deploying in full, in the run up to May 2019 European Election, and one of them unfolds between EU Parliament and EU Commission+Council, where EU Citizens could play a Key Role, as it results from the Replies given to a relevant "Eurofora"s Question by EU Rapporteur on Lisbon "Treaty provisions"' about MEPs' "Power of Political Control over EU Commission",  Mercedes Bresso, vice-President of the Socialdemocrat Group, from Italy, and Experienced Top German ChristianDemocrat/EPP MEP Elmar Brok from Germany, (also Shadow Rapporteur here).

=> In fact, EU Parliament wants Commission + Council to Change the way they work, after 2019 Elections, and this is Related also with EU Citizens' potential role in the foreseable Future, particularly considering relevant Parallel Developments, (See Infra).


 - During the Press Conference which followed the Adoption of that Report with a very Strong Majority of 494 Votes in favour,

 "Eurofora" raised a Question on "EU Parliament's role in the European Decision-Making process, After the May 2019 Elections", observing the Fact that, already, "at the Last Plenary Session, on January 2019", another Report made "a similar Criticism, as well as Proposals, concerning the EU Council" (Comp: http://www.eurofora.net/newsflashes/news/euparliamentonombudsmanandeurofora.html, etc), and "Now, you go after EU Commission".


=> - "What will come Next ?", particularly concerning also EU "Citizens' (possible) role" in the foreseable Future, we asked.


- EU Parliament Rapporteur's reply to "Eurofora"'s Question, went straight to the main point :  - "It's for (EU) Citizens to Raise Questions on the Issues that they wish, and for us (MEPs) to Reply", she stressed.



 - Today, "We have adopted a Report on (EU) Citizens' Initiative, which aims to Ameliorate the situation, in relation to the question that You raised", replied vice-President Bresso to "Eurofora", pointing also at a recent (2017-2018) effort to Facilitate the launching of new European Citizens' Initiative.

+ And in this Report (of 2019), we insist that the Political Control (Monitoring) on the (EU) Executive must become Stronger, particularly by allowing to EU Parliament to augment Transparency, as Citizens want to know what is going on inside EU Institutions and Parliament", she added.

+ Now, "the Issue that You ("Eurofora") raised is Important", and "I think that it's related to the SpitzenKandidaten process":  EU "Citizens should know that by Voting for a Party, this can lead to his appointment of a Candidate (at EU Commission's Head) in order to implement a certain Policy. This makes more interesting the various Programs proposed by each Party".

- But, "Institutions canNot substitute themselves to (EU) Citizens" : In fact, "It's up to EU Citizens to Raise the Issues that interest them, and, afterwards, we (EU Politicians) can search to find Solutions", she suggested. Thus, "one of the most Frequent Questions raised by EU Citizens, when we meet with them, is why EU Parliament does not have a possibility of Legislative Initiative", Mercedes Bresso regretted.

=> Therefore, one can easily imagine, that EU Citizens might, eventually, Cooperate with EU Parliament, in the foreseable Future, in order to boost, helping eachother, a kind of Legislative Initiative, by joining forces Together...

F.ex. MEPs would Agree with EU Citizens which Measures should be prepared by the EU, so that the latter would present them as an European Citizens' "Initiative", while EU Parliament could also Monitor EU Commission's Response to such a MEPs-Backed EU Citizens Initiative, so that it will be taken seriously into consideration, and enacted in form of a new Legislative proposal.

Naturally, if EU Parliament, meanwhile, accepted also "Eurofora"s main Project, about EU Citizens' Debates with MEPs before taking Decisions affecting those People's Lives and/or Society at lage, this would broker an interesting Alliance boosting both EU Parliament's Democratic Legitimacy and practical Influence in EU's Decision-Making (Comp. Supra).



+ Moreover, Pointing at the Other Issue raised by "Eurofora"s Question, i.e. on EU Council, (Comp. Supra + http://www.eurofora.net/newsflashes/news/euparliamentonombudsmanandeurofora.html, etc ), experienced Top Christiandemocrat/EPP MEP Elmar Brok from Germany, observed, immediately Afterwards:

- "We (EU Parliament) Asked for a Genuine 2 Chambers' System. In fact, already the (EU) Council is a Legislative body, and, therefore, it should hold its meetings in Public, with Transparency so that EU Citizens would know how its Decisions are taken, and Who is Responsible for what".

=> So, it's for the (EU) Council to Change its Procedures, it should Change the way it works". This is absolutely Essential !" Otherwise, some Basic "Constitutional Principles are flauted in EU Institutions", he Criticized.

+ Also, Brok went on to add, vis a vis EU Commission : - "Compared to National Parliaments, there are some Differences with EU Parliament : F.ex. in the way that various EU Commissioners are Elected :  We (MEPs) have More Powers on the Appointment of EU Commissioners than the National Parliaments have (with Ministers). Thus, f.ex., we can exert Pressure on EU Commission's President about the choices of individual Commissioners, while the same is not possible f.ex. in Germany or the UK, where National Parliaments simply vote for a Prime Minister, who chooses afterwards his/her Government.

- Moreover, there are various "Views on whether we (MEPs) could oblige, or not, a Commissioner to Resign, afterwards", (etc).

- So, "We are currently discussing and Reflecting on these (open) Questions", he Warned for the foreseable Future, as far as MEP's Political Control is concerned.








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    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.
The precise Text :
    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...

     (Draft due to be updated).


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