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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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    The incoming Swedish EU Presidency (July-December 2009) may still remain in favour of Turkey's controversial EU bid, despite June 2009 EU Elections' results, but it has "very strong demands on Turkey"'s obligation to respect EU Rules, said the Head of Swedish Foreign Ministry's Press Service, Cecilia Julin, to "EuroFora", reacting to critical Press reports.

    - "I know (that) the link is often made also to Sweden's position on Turkey"'s controversial EU bid. Indeed, "we (Swedish EU Presidency) are very much engaged in the future membership of Turkey, but not without fullfiling all the Criteria".

    - "It's very clear that we (Swedish EU Presidecny) have very Strong Demands on Turkey, in a sort of concept for Future membership of the Union, ...which will be a Long Process...", she stressed.

    This means, in particular, "the Copenhagen Criteria (on Human Rights, Democracy and Rule of Law), and also the adaptation to the Acquis of the European Union".

     - "If you listen to what Mr. Bildt (the Swedish Foreign Minister) says on Turkey at different occasions, it's very clear : We want Turkey to become part of the Union, in the Future. But we want it to fullfil all the Criteria : The Acquis of the European Union. That's very clear", she concluded.

    The Senior Official of the Swedish Foreign Ministry was reacting to critical Press Reports, from Brussels' Journalists invited by EU Commission's secretariat to Stockholm, who claimed that Bildt was abusing of a ..."Whip" (sic !) against Cyprus, by "threatening" the presence of UNO's Peace-keeping force at the "Green line" which separates the island's Government-controlled areas from the territories occupied by Ankara's army, if Nicosia didn't accept any political solution, regardless of Turkey's demands, before the end of 2009.

        Governing AKEL Party's new Secretary General, Andros Kyprianou, reacted by declaring that no-one can threat the People of Cyprus : -"We shall decide for our Future, and nobody else",  he reportedly said, asking to "keep calm". "In order to find a Solution soon, certain basic Principles must be respected", he stressed, calling those who feel an urgency to use their influence on Turkey. Other Political Parties were more critical.

    This was a reference to recently reported statements by Turkish Minister Bagis, Prime Minister Tayip Erdogan and Turkey's National Security Council (a Military-Political body), accused to push towards a partitionist "2 States" solution, contrary to UNO SC Resolutions for Cyprus' reunification.

    December 2009 is a crucial moment for EU's appraisal of Turkey's controversial EU bid, because EU Council has decided to review then Ankara's compliance with the European position on the recognition of Cyprus' Government, which was clearly set out by an EU reply of 21 September 2005 to Turkish Prime Minister Tayip Erdogan's claims, refusing to recognize even the existence of EU Member Cyprus, in controversial statements he made to London (former EU chair) on July 29, 2005.

    EU Parliament's latest Resolution on Turkey, adopted on March 2009 in Strasbourg, warned Ankara that "the non-fulfillment of Turkey's commitments... by December 2009, may further seriously affect the process of Negotiations" with the EU.

    In practice, the issue boils down to Ankara's "embargo" against Ships and Airplanes using Cyprus' seaports or airports at the strategic EU island, which traditionaly hosts one of the World's biggest Shipping flags. EU has already "freezed" 6 relevant Chapters in EU - Turkey Negotiations since December 2006, after Ankara refused to fullfil a commitment it had undertaken when EU had decided to open controversial "accession" negotiations with Turkey, back on December 2005.

    - "As far as EU - Turkey relations are concerned, it's clear that Turkey needs to fullfil its obligation of full, non-discriminatory implementation of the additional Protocol (to "EC-Turkey Association Agreement"),  This is an important issue....and should be addresseed as soon as possible as it clearly affects the pace of the accession negotiations.Issues covered by the Declaration of September 2005 will continue to be followed up, and progress is urgently awaited", warned earlier in Strasbourg the out-going Czech EU Presidency (former vice-Prime Minister Alexander Vodra).

    But the Head of the Swedish Foreign Ministry's Press Service, Cecilia Julin, dismissed "interpretations" by "some" that Foreign Minister Carl Bildt was reportedly "threatening" Cyprus with consequences on the UNFICYP, if it doesn't accept any solution until December 2009, while Turkey is reportedly delaying in an attempt to impose a partitionist "2 States" solution.

    On the contrary, Julin, stressed that "Sweden has strong demands on Turkey'"s respect of "Copenhagen Criteria and EU Acquis".

    Meanwhile, Sweden  is "concerned" about the risk of "Stalemate" in Cyprus' Talks, but is well aware that "the main responsibilities lie with the two leaders and the UNO", Europe playing only a role of "facilitator".

    After carefully verifying, the Head of Swedish Foreign Ministry's Press Service, stressed to "EuroFora" that Bildt's reference to UNFICYP "was not linked to a Threat", and dismissed those who "interpreted" it so.

    On the contrary, the Swedish EU Presidency acknowledged the fact that Peace Talks are mainly for the UN and the leaders of the Cypriot communities, EU's role being limited into that of a "facilitator".

    As for Turkey's reported attempts to impose a "2 States' solution", the Head of the Swedish Foreign Ministry's Press Service sharply replied by stressing that Turkey must respect the "EU Acquis" rules.

    In particular :

    - "Basically he (Bildt) underlined that it's the leaders of the two communities in Cyprus and the UN that have the main responsibilities for solving the problem", started to say the Swedish Senior Official to "EuroFora", referring to the above-mentioned "briefing".

    - "But the EU had a role in sort of pointing out the benefits and facilitating a little bit the outcome for the settlement of the whole Cyprus' issue", she added.

    - "And he did state the Fact, that the rest of the World (i.e. USA, etc) will, of course, look at the differend issues which are at the table, and the future of the UN Peace keeping force is part of what is at the table", she admitted.

    - "I understand that some have interpreted that as a Threat, by the Swedish Minister" "But", in reality, "it's a statement of a Fact, that, when we'll look at the differend issues, one of the issues on which we shall have to take a stand on, is the future of the UN Peace keeping force in Cyprus".

    Indeed, one of the questions usually raised for a Solution of Cyprus' issue is what International and/or European or other Guarantees, by a Peace-keeping force, might be needed afterwards, eventually for a transitory period.

    Questioned anew by "EuroFora" whether (according to critical Press Reports) this could be taken as a veiled warning that, if Cyprus didn't accept any Turkish demand for any solution whatever, it might be left alone to face Ankara's Military Invasion/Occupation, she denied :

    - "He (Bildt) didn't say it in that way"... "It was not linked to a threat, or anything like that", the Head of the Swedish Foreign Ministry's Press Service stressed.

    On the contrary, "he (Bildt) underlined that the main responsibility lies with the parties concerned on the island". "The EU can try to facilitate and show the benefits of reaching a settlement. But also, when the EU and the rest of the World (i.e. USA) will have to look at it, they will look at all the Facts on the table, and the presence of the UN Peace-keeping force is one".

    And "he (Bildt) didn't speak about that at all", she replied to "EuroFora" question on Turkey's reported attemps to impose, in one way of another, a partitionist "2 States solution".

    Asked whether Bildt's aim was to incite both parties to move forward efficiently, she agreed :

    - In fact, "the EU is really very concerned with the Stalemate in the situation. Yes !", the Head of Sweden's Foreign Ministry's Press Service anounced. That's why Bildt "was hoping for the two parties (i.e. for Turkey's also) to engage and break, a little-bit, the present stalemate, come to a solution of the issue" of Cyprus.

    But, replying  to a "EuroFora"s question on the risk, denounced by several politicians in case of strict Time Deadlines, for Turkey to provoke a stalemate and wait for the time to come to impose a partitionist "2 States' solution", she reacted by pointing at Turkey's obligation to respect "EU Acquis" :

    - "Turkey must fullfil the EU Acquis : That's clear !", the Swedish Senior Official stressed.

    More details are expected when Swedish Prime Minister Reinfeldt will debate his Programme with new MEPs at EU Parliament's plenary mid-July in Strasbourg, that he has visited already in 2008.

    Foreign Minister Carl Bildt became familiar with Strasbourg's CoE last year, when Sweden chaired the PanEuropean organization of Human Rights. As EU chairman-in-office, he will also chair the 27-member States strong EU Group inside the 47-member States strong CoE.

    Minister for EU affairs, Cecilia Malmstrom is well known at EU Parliament, where she has been an active MEP of the Liberal Group for many years, following also Press Freedom issues.

    Both have already made various statements at "EuroFora", on differend topical matters.



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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