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Home arrow newsitems arrow MEPs Vote Key Parts of EF Project on Citizens-Politicians Dialogue Before Decisions. Skip Essentials

MEPs Vote Key Parts of EF Project on Citizens-Politicians Dialogue Before Decisions. Skip Essentials

Parašė ACM
Wednesday, July 07, 2021

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*Strasbourg/Angelo Marcopolo/- EU Parliament's Votes this week in Strasbourg, Surprizingly Endorsed Key Parts of "Eurofora" co-Founder's 1981/1997/2006/2018 Ideas on Our Project for EU Citizens - Politicians' Dialogue Before Decisions affecting their Lives and/or Society at large, ...Skiping, However, several Essential Points, at least as things stand Nowadays.

The move comes just 1 Month After We Officialy Registered that Project at EU's "Conference for the Future of Europe"'s Platform, on the 19th of June 2021, i.e. the Same Day of this landmark Conference's 1st "Plenary" Session in Strasbourg, (See: https://futureu.europa.eu/processes/Democracy/f/6/proposals/32770, and http://www.eurofora.net/newsflashes/news/euroforaprojectpublishedateuconference.html, etc).

+ Shortly After that, at least the Basic Aspirations of European People, that "Eurofora"s Project notoriously seeks to Meet, were, in Addition, Backed, Also on June, by CoE's Assembly in Strasbourg, with the Adoption of a Different But Converging Resolution, (See at : ..., and Infra).

CoE took as Starting Point mainly Freedom of Medias and Information, while EU Parliament Focused More on Citizens, But Both, Naturaly, Eyed Nowadays' Need for such  a Key Transformation in Modern Democracies' Decision-Making Process.

Indeed, Both CoE's and EU's relevant Resolutions of June and July 2021 Clearly Back "Eurofora" Project's Main Ideas, all the way from the Initial, 1981, Analysis of its possible Legal Mecanism, (in a More than +1.000 Pages Research, chosen by Strasbourg's Faculty of Law for an Award normaly destinated to PhD Thesis, on a Written Proposal by Paris II University's Professor Paul Amselek, after having been also attributed a 18/20 "Tres Bien" verdict by a Jury here). This was Followed by a Relevant Collective Plan, at European Level, to Add Medias and Digital New Technologies, signed by a Group of European Journalists, Universitarians, etc., on 1997 and Coordinated by "Eurofora"s co-Founder, which was Officialy Admitted by EU Commission in Brussels in order to be Considered in the Framework of "ESPRIT" Program on Innovative Social Utilisations of New Communication Technologies, (Nick-Named, then : "EIW", for "Europe in the World"). Its Fully-fledged Public Presentation as a Project involving Medias, Citizens, and Debate at the Beginning of EU Institutions' Decision-Making Process, was Made by "Eurofora"'s co-Founder at a Key Press Conference with EU Paliament's and EU Commission's vice-Presidents competent for Medias, (Spanish University Professor Alejo Vidal-Quadras Roca, Top Christian-Democrat/EPP MEP, Founder of a New Party, and Swedish Margot Walstrom, Socialist future Foreign Minister), in Strasbourg on 2006, whose Positive Outcome Led in the Creation of the "Eurofora" specific Website, Immediately afterwards, from 2007. Finaly, Since 2018, "Eurofora"s Project Develops also a clearly Political Dimension, inter alia by Evoking that with  French President Emmanuel Macron, (See, f.ex., at : ..., etc), as well as in the Practical Framework of Strasbourg's EuroMetropol's Working Group on Citizens' Participation, leading to its Public Discussion and Formal Adoption with a Vote by a 2-Days-long Conference Organized on 2019 by Strasbourg's EuroMetropol, which Included that in its Official Report to the French Government in Paris, on the Occasion of the "Great Debate" Launched, then, by President Macron, (See, f.ex.: ..., etc). Meanwhile, "Eurofora" had Systematicaly Discussed that Project with All EU Parliament's Presidents, (including the Current : David Sassoli, see f.ex. in Brussels ..., and in Strasbourg ..., as well as the probably Forthcoming, Manfred Weber, f.ex. at ... + ..., etc), Added, Moreover, to Many and Various Other Top EU or CoE Senior Officers, the EU Ombudsman, competent Rapporteurs, key Experts, etc, (See relevant, Dated List, in a Note of Synthesis, in French).

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    Titled "Citizens' Dialogues and ...Participation in the EU Decision-Making", this Week's EU Parliament's Resolution was, in Principle, Welcomed, on Monday, by EU Commission's vice-President Dubravka Suica, competent for Democracy, with MEPs' Final Vote being casted on Wednesday, and Gathering a Large Majority of 537 Favorable Votes, Against 125, and 33 Abstentions.

    >>> Perhaps the Most Significant EU Parliament's Vote on that Resolution was to Firmly Maintain a landmark Call to "the Conference on the Future of Europe" (2021-2022+) in order to "ESTABLISH NEW, PERMANENT MECHANISMS for Citizens' Participation", (Instead of Limiting that Call Just to some, Unspecified "Effective Mechanisms", as an Opposed Amendment  had prefered, before being rejected by a Clear Majority of MEPs).

    - Starting by noting the Fact that in 2019 European Elections, EU Citizens took "an Increasing Interest in Developments at EU Level", since the "Turnout ...was 50,6% : The Highest Since 1994, and a Notable Increase from 2014, when turnout was 42,6%", Today's EU Parliament Resolution Adds, However, that "several EuroBarometer Surveys show that Citizens are Not Satisfied with the Way Democracy Works", Both "at EU level", and "Also at National Level", mainly Because "a Considerable proportion of EU Citizens do Not Feel Heard", (See, already : ..., etc).

    - But, (as "Eurofora"s co-Founder had Already Discussed with EU Ombudswoman O'Reilly, French President Macron, etc., Previously : See http://www.eurofora.net/newsflashes/news/euombudsmanoneurofforaproject.html + http://www.eurofora.net/newsflashes/news/euombudsmandecisionandeuroforaproject.html , etc), Articles 10 and 11 of the TEU (alias "Lisbon Treaty"),  offer a "Basis for Citizens to Participate in the Making of EU Policies and Legislation", MEPs observe. In particular, Article 10(3) ... lays down that every Citizen shall have the Right to Participate in the Democratic Life of the Union, and that Decisions shall be Taken as Openly and as Closely as possible to the Citizen". And "Article 11(1) and (2)...", requires the Institutions to give ...Citizens .... the opportunity to make Kand publicly Exchange their Views in All areas of Union Action, and to maintain an open, transparent and regular Dialogue".

    + In Addition, "0ther means, namely the European Citizens’ Initiative (ECI), Complaints to the European Ombudsman and Petitions to Parliament, which are important Supplements to Parliamentarism, must be Strengthened", (See "Eurofora"'s Criticism and Efforts to help Overcome Bureaucratic Obstacles to the ECI from the outset, f.ex., inter alia, by Proposing, at least, a Parliamentary Debate on every succesful ECI, as We had Suggested to Rapporteur Lamassoure, and he had Accepted : ..., + http://www.eurofora.net/newsflashes/news/debatesincitizensinitiatives.html, + ..., etc). In, at least, 1 case, EU "Parliament ...Overwhelmingly Supported" an ECI, "in December 2020, with 76% of the Votes cast". "Nevertheless, the Impact of ECIs is Low, Owing in part to the (EU) Commission's Lack of Follow-up", MEPs Denounce. Near to that point, "Eurofora" has Already Suggested, speaking to Key MEPs, that EU Parliament and Citizens Cooperate Together on ECIs, in a way which Might Give, in Practice, to MEPs a kind of Legislative Initiative, that, Until Now, they are the Only Parliament in the World to Lack... (See: ..., + ..., etc).

    - For the Rest, Citizens "Complaints to the European Ombudsman ...are Not Legally Binding", "Petitions" to EU Parliament are Not ensured to Settle Issues, and "On-Line public Consultations carried out by the (EU) Commission are mostly aimed at a Particular target Group, are Not Widely Disseminated, and are sometimes Too Brief", so that "they do Not Reach a significant proportion of the Population", and "the European Court of Auditors, ... in 2019, Recommended that the Commission should Improve the way it reaches out to Citizens, in order to Promote greater Participation". As for "Citizens’ Dialogues conducted by the (EU) Commission", in fact, they "are a way to provide Information to citizens, Rather Than to engage with them in a Debate about their Vision and what they would Like",  "and do Not provide a Feedback mechanism ... about the Outcomes of their participation", MEPs Criticized.

    => In Consequence, "the Current functioning of Existing Participatory Instruments, such as the ECI, public Consultations, and Citizens’ Dialogues (Comp. Supra), does Not provide Sufficient  means for Citizens to Influence EU Decision-Making", and "this is largely Due to the Lack of effective Follow-up in the Decision-Making process at Institutional level", (particularly by EU Commission). Therefore, "the Current Participatory Instruments do Not maximise the Potential of Citizens’ Participation", and "Insufficiently contribute to strengthening the Democratic Legitimacy of the EU", by "increasing Citizens’ sense of Ownership towards an EU that Reflects Their needs and Visions", EU Parliament Denounced. That's Why, "most (Existing) forms of Participation are  Rarely Used by individual Citizens", who "are largely Unaware of the Existing participatory instruments, and therefore UnderRepresented".

    >>> Thus, "Improving Citizens’ Participation  .... at EU level is Key to bringing the Union Closer to Citizens and ...Trust and Confidence in EU institutions, as well as achieving a real Multi-Level Democracy", with ...Public Debate on Any piece of Legislation", EU Parliament stressed,  Calling for  "Open, Transparent and Regular Dialogues with Citizens ....Ensuring that civil society can Participate actively in the Public Debate and has the capacity to Influence Policy and Decision-Making processes", where, in fact, "Citizens would like to be Included ... on a Regular Basis", (i.e. Heading towards "Eurofora" Project's Horizon).

    - In this regard, the current 2021-2022 EU "Conference on the Future of Europe should Involve as Much public Participation as possible", and offer "a Valuable Experience of Engaging with Citizens, in order to understand What they truly expect from the EU", MEPs urged, (Rightfully, But apparently Hard to achieve with the present Format that some Imposed on that landmark Conference, [See f.ex. : ... + ...,  + ..., etc] which, however, should Not become a Missed Opportunity, But, on the contrary, a unique Chance for Europe to seize asap)...

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    =>  For that purpose, EU Parliament's Resolution "stresses the Need to Reflect on How the Union can become More Effective in Engaging with Citizens".

    However, MEPs make it Clear that this should be done, Nowadays, Not by any kind of Direct Democracy, (as, f.ex., in Ancient Greek Civilisation's times), But while still  Remaining "under the Union's Core Principles of Representative Democracy". (I.e., in Practice, by Cooperating with EU Parliament, Commission, and Council, who should Keep the Responsibility of the Final Decision, as Politically Accountable to the People through Elections).

    - To achieve that aim, EU "Treaty Change should Not be Precluded, although it should Not be a Goal in itself", MEPS say, (almost Agreeing with what appeared, indeed, to be the Main Trend in the Debates during the 1st Plenary Session of the Conference for Europe's Future, last June 19, 2021, in Strasbourg, in this regard : Comp. Supra, and ..., etc).

    + But, a point of Key Political and Oractical Importance is the fact that "any Reform of the Union, in order to make it More Social, Equitable, Cohesive, United, Focused, Capable, Sovereign and Accountable, is Strengthened by Directly engaging with Citizens, through (Efficient)Participatory Mechanisms", since, Until Now, "there is an underlying Tension, between the vision of an EU Centred around Member States, and an EU centred around EU Institutions, which can be (Dialectically) Surpassed by Developing an approach and instruments for a European Union of Citizens", the adopted Resolution Interestingly incites. Indeed, EU Citizens Can Both Participate in EU Parliament's and EU Commission's as well as EU Council's Decision-Making processes, while Also Voting in the Elections which choose Their Representatives in All those concerned Institutions, (at EU and National levels)... European People are a Unique, Until Now "Silent", But Potentialy Effective, big Political Factor, who May exert a Coordinated and perhaps Decisive Pressure for an Overall Move on European Affairs. It still Remains to get a real Chance to be adequately Activated , Becoming Free to unlease its Huge Potential !

    >>> But, for doing so, "the Existing Participatory Instruments have various Shortcomings (Comp. Supra), and Should therefore be Improved", as well as, some "New ones Developed, to make citizens’ participation More Accessible, Inclusive, Meaningful and Effective", EU Parliament observes, on a Key Issue, on which MEPs Voted Massively to clearly Reject an Opposed Amendment, (Comp. Supra). In order, for such "New" Mechanisms, "to Facilitate public Participation in Wider political Debates, and equip citizens with the Opportunity to Influence political outcomes, with synergies in existing mechanisms, it is Imperative that citizen engagement is Structured in a way that Responds to Citizens’ Expectations", and, for that purpose, obviously make a Good Use of the Chance offered by the current Conference on Europe's Future (2021-2022), But Also well Beyond that, (given its Current practical Limitations, concerning mainly the Number and the Ways for about 500 Millions of EU Citizens to get Actively Involved and Heard : See, f.ex., inter alia, Also ...., etc).

    - At any case, once Again, MEPs ensure that "This Bottom-Up Participatory Agenda should Complement Representative Democracy in the EU", (and Not Replace it by any kind of Direct Democracy at all : Comp. Supra).                                                                 

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    => Concerning the various Practical, Concrete Mechanisms, through which, such an Important overall Political Aim Could be Achieved asap., EU Parliament Starts with the Necessary Reforms in the relevant Already Existing EU Instruments, (Comp. Supra) :

    -  In particular, on the ECI ("European Citizens' Initiative", introduced by Lisbon Treaty), it almost Endorses a strikingly Similar Version of a Key Proposal, whose Main Substance had Already been Presented by "Eurofora" much Earlier, including, in particular, during Discussions that We had in the Past with certain Top MEPs Involved in the Conference on Europe's Future, Based on a kind of unprecedented ...Cooperation between Citizens and MEPs :

    >>> In case of "Succesful" and Legal ECIs, the EU Parliament, (going Beyond the simple MEPs' "Debate" that "Eurofora" had succesfully Suggested, Initialy, when the Legal Regime of that Tool had been Prepared : Comp. Supra), Now Calls Also for "the adoption of a Parliamentary Resolution", "Each" Time, and Even for a "Legislative own-Initiative Report (INL)" by MEPs, When EU Commission has "Failed", "within the given (Time) Deadlines", "to Publish its Intentions", or said "that it Intends Not to take Action", (particularly withOut "Stating Sufficient Reasons for Why it did" so). In such cases, EU Parliament "Urges the (EU) Commission to Commit itself to submitting a Legislative Proposal", (if necessary, "Modifying the current framework Agreement between Parliament and Commission"), and "Asks that the ECI Regulation be Amended to Incentivise the (EU) Commission" to do so....

    In other words, to put it in a nutshell, EU Citizens can Cooperate with EU Parliament, by such and Even Wider Agreements on certain Concrete Issues, in a way which, Practicaly, might Give to MEPs, in fact, a Power of Legislative Initiative, that their Assembly is, perhaps, the Only one in the World to be still Deprived from ! Precisely, that was "Eurofora"s original Idea, Already Presented and Discussed with Top Key MEPs in the Recent Past, as, inter alia, f.ex., also with French MEP Pascal Durand, from the mainstream "Renew/Liberal" Group, (notoriously Supported by President Macron), and Representative at the Conference on Europe's Future, to whom We Presented such a Suggestion on "Citizens+MEPs' Alliance" for the ECI, as Early as Since Both on February and December 2020, during a Press Interview and a Video-Conference, where We were Invited by the "European Movement", respectively, (See: http://www.eurofora.net/newsflashes/news/mepdurandeuroforaonfutureconf.html + http://www.eurofora.net/newsflashes/news/topmepdurandforefprojectineuconference.html, etc).

    + For the Rest, among Other "Existing" Participation Tools, Nowadays' EU Parliament's Resolution (5-7 July 2021), Moreover Asks to "Improve" EU "Commission's Public Consultations", in a way which would "Promote Greater Citizens' Participation, and to Better monitor and Assess their Contributions", as well as to "ReinForce and UpDate" the "current ... (EU) Citizens' Dialogues", (Comp. Supra).

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    => But, Interestingly, EU Parliament Advances much Further than that, by "underlying the Benefits of Engaging with Citizens and Civil Society" (i.e. NGOs) Also "in the Development of a European Public Sphere", (apparently, of a New Kind).

    This Reminds "Eurofora" co-Founder's Iniial Legal/Political Research, since the above-mentioned 1.000 Pages Strasbourg University Study of 1981 (Comp. Supra), that nearby Frankfurt University's World Famous Philosopher Jurgen Habermas, (currently living at Ober-Bayern, near the Alpes), had basicaly Inspired, for a Key Part, with his landmark "Struktur-Wandel der Öffentlichkeit" (Structural Changes in the Public Space) work, Added, Later, mutatis-mutandis, to the "Dialogue" between Habermas and Pope Emeritus Benedict XVI, (alias Professor and afterwards Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger, at nearby Tubingen University, then) : In Brief, to put it in a Nutshell, a recent Trend to Develop Public Debate in the Socio-Political Sphere, including in the Relations between Citizens and State Power, etc. I.e., exactly the Contrary of Kafka's famous Nightmare "the Castle", towards Spenser's Liberal "the Man versus the State"...

    - Naturally, once Again, MEPs ensure, in Nowaday's July 2021 Resolution, that this is in order tio "Complement the Democratic Legitimacy of the EU, (already) Provided by its Representative Institutions", (and Not to Replace or make any kind of Competition to them : Comp. Supra).

    >>> However, EU Parliament Clearly Voted, in this regard, for "the Establishment of New, Permanent Mechanisms, for Citizens' Participation", by Rejecting an Amendment which seeked to Limit it Just to some kind of (UnNamed, i.e. Possibly Old, simply Refurbished) Simply "Efficient Mechanisms", and No More... Indeed, MEPs stressed that they "Expect that the Conference on the Future of Europe will Bring an Important Contribution ... and Pave the Way" for "the Furher Development" of a kind of Novel Stage, by "providing an Opportunity to Discuss Possible Mechanisms for the Active Participation of Citizens in the Consultation Process, in order to Influence" EU Decisions.

    F.ex., they aim Even at ..."the Annual Work Programme ... and the State of Union Address" by "the (EU) Commission", with "a Mechanism (that) could wok on an Annual Basis, Starting in the First Months of each Year, with National and Regional Citizens Agoras, that should Prepare the Priorities to be discussed in a transnational European Citizens Agora, which could be Concluded on Europe Day" (i.e. on Each May)...

    + Other such Suggestions include "Citizens' Agoras" due to be, Eventualy,"Institutionalized" in "Future", "as a Permanent Mechanism of Citizen Participation in (also Various Other) Key Debates", according to the Adopted Resolution.

    ++ But, somewhat Closer to "Eurofora"s Project is a "proposal (for) the Introduction of Citizens' Participation Mechanism for Pilot Projects", in order, inter alia, Also "to EnAble Citizens to be Involved in the Co-Creation (sic !) of Policies, With EU Decision-Makers". as MEPs, quite Ambitiously, Claim...

    +++ However, EU Parliament goes as Far as to "underline the Importance of Fostering Civic Engagement and Active Participation", Even ..."at Local, Regional, National, and EU Level", All Together, "in a Coordinated ... way".

    >>> Most Important for "Eurofora" is MEPs' Wish for an "Expansion of Citizens' Dialogues", including with "a Permanent Mechanism for ...a formally Binding Follow-up Process", (which, for Our Project, could be Ensured, Simply by an adequate Implemention of certain Key Administrative Law Rules, Already widely present in Many EU Member States : F.ex., Public Administration's Obligation to Inform, Hear, and Reply to Citizens Affected by a forthcoming Decision, using Sufficient Motivation, with Real Facts and Legal Points, Aiming at an appropriate General Interest Target, on the basis of a Not Excessively Erroneous Discretionary Appreciation by the Competent Authority, all these Points being placed Under a possible Control by a Court of Justice, where Citizens may Lodge a Legal Complaint, if they Challenge the Legality of a Measure).

    - EU Parliament, Unfortunately, still remains quite Silent on such a Crucial Point, But, at least, it "encourages the Seting up of an Independent, Civil Society, Academic (i.e. including University Research), ...Forum in order to Monitor the (Decision-Making) Process, and its Follow-up by the EU Institutions". While clearly pointing at "the Importance of Academia, Researchers and Universities in the ...Know-how of Citizens about Participatory Mechanisms in the EU". + MEPs Also "Call for the Creation of a Standard for Open Government", (i.e. Transparency and Open Data"), at EU Level, which could serve as a Basis for Other Levels of Government". ++ More Important, as a matter of Principle, the Resolution "Highlights the Need to establish a Framework for the Follow-up to Citizens' Dialogues, in order to Take Citizens Input Effectively into Account", (i.e. Seeks an Adequate new EU Legal Tool). +++ In particular, it "Underlines that, at the End of the (Decision-Making) Process, its Outcome Must be Clearly Defined, so that it Can be Subject to an OBLIGATORY RESPONSE", which "provides Participants with a Written Feedback, on Each Proposal or Recommendation, in Clear Language, at the End of such Exercices, in which the EU Institutions Clarify their Intention to Implement that Proposal ..., Or Justify their Decision Not to do so", (Comp. "Eurofora"s Project, as Highlighted Supra). Indeed, "EU institutions must Commit themselves to Following up on their Outcome, in the light of their Competences and Legislative Procedures, since  Citizens’ Disappointment Often stems from a Lack of Follow-up", so that, "Otherwise", such "Dialogue tructures" face "a Risk of Disenfranchising Citizens". Also "Purpose, Rules and Timeframes of any Participatory Process Must be communicated (and)Effective; ... Otherwise, Failing to meet Expectations will Reduce (Citizens') Participation, and in turn (EU's) Legitimacy", MEPs Warned. That's why "it is Important that Citizens have a Clear understanding of engagement Outcomes, ... with Appropriate and Transparent Follow-up Procedures". "EU Institutions" should be "Attentive and Responsive to Citizens' Concerns", by "Gathering Input and Providing appropriate Follow-up, in the ensuing Decision-Making process, stress MEPs, "Call(ing) for Participatory Mechanisms to enable Citizens Participation to have a Meaningful Impact".

    Indeed, "Participatory Tools" are "a Good Response to the Democratic Deficit", (which "Results from a Perceived Lack of Agency, in EU Decision Making, by EU Citizens), the European Parliament stressed, as a matter of Principle.

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    => For that Purpose, "EU Participatory Democracy Requires supporting UnOrganized Citizens", (and Not Only NGOs), MEPs acknowledge Nowadays, eyeing some 500 Millions of European People, and stressing that "Participatory Mechanisms ...should Provide a means for Individuals to express their ideas and concerns". Indeed, "Eurofora"s Project is conceived on the Lines of an EU Citizen's Personal Rights vis a vis the EU Public Institutions, (and Not at all as any kind of Collective Group Lobbying.

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    - Concerning the Practical Context in which such a Dialogue between Citizens and EU Institutions should evolve, Before Decisions Affecting their Lives and/or Society at large, EU Parliament also Endorses "Eurofora"s Choices for the Important Potential of New "Digital" Technologies, (See, Mainly, Our 1997 Texts on EU's "ESPRIT" Programme : Comp. Supra), and "Multi-Lingual" Formats, (See, Mainly, "Eurofora"'s WebSite and MultiLingual Forum Project, Created on 2007, as well as, f.ex, http://www.eurofora.net/forum/index.php/topic,25.0.html and subsequent Relevant Interviews of Key EU Officials, etc.) :

    a) Indeed, on the 1st Point, EU Parliament "Calls" (in 2021) "on the (EU) Commission and the Member States to Develop accessible, innovative and inclusive Tools for Citizens’ Participation and Dialogues, making Better use of Digital Technologies to allow All Citizens ... to Play an Effective part in EU Decision-Making, building (even) on the Lessons from the way the COVID-19 Pandemic has acted as an Accelerator for the use of Digital tools".

    Indeed, Today's Resolution "Underlines the Potential of New Technologies which can provide New Avenues to Engage with Citizens, to ensure an Effective Bottom-Up approach, and improve the capacity of citizens to Hold (EU) Institutions Accountable".

    In particular, MEPs ask for "a Non-Bureaucratic and Comprehensive (EU) WebSite providing citizens with information about All European Participatory Initiatives",  "Stressing" that "such Innovatie Tools should ...Support Representative Democracy" too (Comp. Supra), "and ...Transparency at all levels".

    However, they also "stress that Digital Technologies should be a Complement to Face-to-face participation instruments, and ... especially ...Encourage participation among Populations that have Difficulties ... in Traditional ...Instruments", (Including  "People with Disabilities", and/or "Living in Rural or Less-Populated Areas", etc).

    + Moreover, MEPs "See Further Opportunities that Digitalisation Offers for Citizens to Participate more Quickly, Widely, and Inclusively in (EU's) Decision-Making", particularly After "the COVID-19 Pandemic has Encouraged the use of Digital Media and OnLine Conference systems", (Added to former or current German, Italian, Scandinavian, or Czech "Pirate"-like Political Parties' input, as well as Estonia's and/or Other Countries' Boost on Digital Electoral Voting and Other Relevant Innovative Developments). Among Many Others, See also, f.ex.: http://www.eurofora.net/newsflashes/news/eupiratepartyseipenbuschworlddemocracyforum.html, http://www.eurofora.net/newsflashes/news/edemocracyandcitizenparticipation.html, http://www.eurofora.net/newsflashes/news/coefornewjournalismindigitalera.html, etc.

    Even "European Commission Representations and European Parliament Liaison Offices (EPLOs) in the Member States should ...Facilitate ... direct Dialogue with Citizens, ... through broad and well-coordinated use of Communication Tools for the Digital and Physical Participation", the Resolution says.

    "Eurofora"s Wider View is that New Digital Technologies might Even offer a Chance to evenually, more or less Revive at least some Key Utilisations, Nowadays, of the Historic Ancient Greek Civilisation's "Direct Democracy" by Citizens' collective Decicions, in one or another way, totaly or partialy, sooner or later.

    However, Nowaday's EU Parliament's Resolution focused, rather, on Digital Tech.'s Potential also on Pacticaly Heling Solve a Particular Practical Issue in European Debates, which is to Considerably Facilitate "Multi-Linguism", (anOther Key "Eurofora" Project's Tool) :

    

    b) Indeed, EU Parliament on 2021 (as "Eurofora" since, at least 2007), "Believes that (European People's) Participation could be Enhanced by ensuring ... Multi-Lingual Processes, and tools of Consultation".

    => Therefore, MEPs consider that "the EU Should Promote New and Innovative Ways for Citizens' Participation, Enabling the use of Digital Technology Tools, that Facilitate Multi-Lingual Dialogue with Ciizens". There, "Documents Should be Published in All EU Official Languages", and "Citizens' Dialogues should use a Single, MultiLingual OnLine Platform".     

    - "For (EU) Ccitizens to be actively Engaged, the availability and accessibility of Information in their Mother Tongue is of the utmost Importance", Because Language Barriers Limit Citizens’ engagement and Participation in the Political process". So that, since "Technology ... can Help to Overcome these Language Barriers", MEPs "Ask that the EU Institutions make Use of Them".

    Already several Years Earlier, "Eurofora" has Extensively Evoked, in particular, the "On-Line Automatic Translations' New Technologies, in a "Multi-Lingual Internet", at the service of EU Citizens-Politicians Debates Before Decisions Affecting them, and Discussed that Fast-Evolving Issue with UNESCO's Director General, until "PanEuropa" International Secretary General, as well as various Competent EU Commissioners, Key Top CoE's PanEuropean Officers, etc., in several relevant Publications, (See, f.ex. : http://www.eurofora.net/newsflashes/news/unescobokovainternetautomatictranslation.html, http://www.eurofora.net/forum/index.php/board,17.0.html, etc).

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+ DIVERGING POINTS :

    >>> But, this Resolution, Drafted by a Leftist German MEP, Son of a former DDR Politician and himself former DDR Diplomatic Staff, which, Curiously, wasN't "Discussed" in EU Parliamen's Plenary but Only "Briefly", between just himself and EU Commissioner Suica, during ... Ten (10) Minutes (sic !), Also Bears the Marks of several Controversial Points, InCompatible with "Eurofora" Project's main approach, that we find more or less Doubtful, Controversial, Criticable and/or Even UnAceptable...

    - 1) First of all, among Various Others such Negative Points, is also the Crucial Issue of the EU Institutions' concrete Obligations vis a vis EU Citizens, during such kind of "Participation" or "Dialogue" :

    - What Exactly are these Obligations ? Who Controls their Realisation, or not ? How Citizens can Ensure their Implementation ? (Etc)...

    - In the case of "Eurofora"s Project, this Key Point is Crystal Clear (Comp. Supra) : There is a Substantial List of Public Administration's concrete Obligations vis a vis Citizens, in such a "Dialogue" Procedure; they Can be Controled by a Judge ; Citizens may Lodge a Legal Complaint ; And a Public Measure Decided via an Irregular Procedure Risks to be Cancelled by a Court.

    - But, on the Contrary, in this (apparently Too Hasty) MEPs' Report, almost Nothing seems Clear, Except from a Unique and Vague Mention of a kind of "Reply" due to be Given to the concerned Ciizens by the competent Public Adinistration... What Exactly should be its Content ? How Citizens Could Oblige a recalcitrant Administration to do so ? Who Checks such Conflictual Matters ? What eventual Sanctions might, perhaps, be pronounced ? Nobody Knows !... (Comp. Supra).

    - 2) Second Controversial Point : Which Citizens have the Right to "Participate" and "Engage" in "Dialogue" with the competent Public Administration, in a concrete case ?

    - For "Eurofora"s Project, again, it's Crystal Clear : Every EU Citizen who is Affected, by a forthcoming Public Decision, either Directly, in his/her own Life, or by the Consequences of a Change to the Society at large, in which he is living.

    - But, on the Contrary, for that Hasty MEP's Report, there are Many UnCertainties, Question Marks, or Even Controversial if not UnAcceptable Points ! F.ex., Among Others :

- Initialy, there were a Lot of References to "Young People", in General, Concerning almost ...All Kinds of EU Issues. It's Only Thanks to the Adoption of a Critical Amendment, that, at the Last Minute, the Scope was Focused on EU's "Youth Policy" Only, (as it's Normal for Youngsters).

+ Moreover, there are, Also, Vague Mentions of "Medias", "Journalists", and ...Even "Artists" (sic !), as well as ..."Children" (re-sic !!). This can be considered as InAppropriate for a Serious Citizens - Politicians' Dialogue in EU's Decision-Making Process.

++ Moreover, that Leftist MEP's Report Insists that it's Not Only EU Citizens, But Even Any Non-European Foreigners, Simple "Residents", who should have a Full Say in such "Dialogues" with EU Authorities. In such a case, then, obviously, this is No more a Privilege of EU Citizenship, and it has Nothing to do with that. But, such a Conclusion would Probably Provoke Controversy... Among others, it's even the Core Idea of Political "Accountability" of EU Authorities (Comp. Supra) which Risks to Suffer, at least as far as it's Based on Democratic Elections... (where Participation Requires EU Citizenship).

+++ Surprizingly, tha Hasty Resolution, even speaks about a so-called ..."SELECTION [sic !] of Participants" (Among Citizens), which "should ensure a ...balanced REPRESENTATION [re-sic !!] of the Population, ... so that ...Diversity is fully respected"... In Other Words, this Obviously Means that there are Not All Affected Citizens who Could Participate to such Dialogues with EU Authorities, But Only a Few among them, "Chosen" by God Only Knows what Kind of "Experts", in order to be "Representative" (Again !) of the Real Population... I.e., to the Representation by Transparent, Democratic Elections' Votes, is Substituted a so-called "Representativity" through some Obscure Technocrats' Calculations, so that the Real People are Still Kept Far Away, Even More than Before... No, this is Not "Eurofora"s conception of Citizens' Dialogue with EU Politicians Before Decisions Affecting their Lives or Society at large ! For us, it's a Human and Democratic Right of Every EU Citizen facing an imminent Measure by a Public Authority.

------------------------------------------

+++ Last, bt not least : This is a Serious Matter, concerning the Modern Democratic Structure of the Society in which we live, as well as the capacity for each Citizen to Defend his elementary Rights and Personal Freedom. In Consequence, we can Hardly  Follow MEP Scholz's Claim that "Youth Engagement Tools (should) be Promoted, with a Special Focus on ...Mobile Games (sic !), or Quizzes" (re-sic !!)... Such Attitudes (added to Calls even for "Children" to engage, "Artists", etc. : Comp. Supra), are simply Out of Tune...

 

 

(.../...)


("Draft-News")


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 politkovskaya_gongadze_adali_400

Hu Jia's prize brings SAKHAROV's wife to "EuroFora" on murders of Journalists Politkofskaya, Gongadze and Adali :

- Elena Bonner : "All Journalists' murders must be fully investigated", without Double Standards.                                                                                    

During a special Mega-Event to celebrate 20 Years of SAKHAROV Prize for "Freedom of Thought", attributed in 2008 by EU Parliament to jailed Chinese Cyber-Dissident Hu JIA, the move was reinforced by strongly criticizing the persisting impunity in three cases of Journalists' Murders, such as POLITKOVSKAYA in Russia, GONGADZE in Ukraine, and ADALI in Turkish-occupied part of Cyprus.

Any bureaucratic doubt about whether Cyber-dissidents like Hu JIA might have, or not, a right to be protected as all Journalists must be, particularly when they take risks to search, find and publish original and critical News on issues of general interest to the society, could not resist to the emotion provoked by the message of his Wife, Zeng JINYAN spectacularly transmitted at a big screen in EU Parliament's hemicycle :

- "The most important and most interesting thing he did was to ... say the Truth :.. to write about the phenomena he observed... He never stopped Publishing.. on websites, so that the Public could learn about the reality .. and understand it.  In my view, this has been his greatest contribution", stressed the young wife of the jailed man, eager to cite also the cases of other critical journalists who faced various kinds of "harassment".

 - "Welcoming all those who have suffered for defending Human Rights", EU Parliament's President, German MEP Hans Gert POETTERING, who had invited to Strasbourg all former Sakharov prize-winners from various Countries throughout the World, said that "China needs Europe, and Europe needs China : A great nation" with which "we want to have a good relationship", "association and ..friendship". "But we are never going to stop our fight for Human Rights, and No Government can expect this from us".

    - "It's impossible  to achieve goals of Peace, if Human Rights are left out. In fact, Peace and Human Rights are intrinsequaly linked", added POETTERING.

    It's in this spirit that MEPs adopted, on Thursday, a Resolution denouncing that "the criminal
investigation and trial following the murder of (a) Journalist ...raises serious concerns with regard to transparency and respect for the rule of law", when a "brutal killing has not yet been fully investigated and solved in a satisfactory way".

    The text refered to dissident Journalist "Anna POLITOVSKAYA", a critic of Tchechen conflict, killed some years ago in Moscow, where Russian Authorities have found, arrested and are currently judging two executants, while also searching to arrest also a 3rd one, allegedly escaped in Belgium. But they have not yet found the instigators.

     Similar texts were adopted recently also on dissident Ukranian Journalist Georgiy GONGADZE's murder, for which Ukranian Authorities have at least found, arrested and condemned 2 executants to 12 and 13 Years of jail, but not yet the instigators. For that purpose, they recently accepted an International Experts team to participate to the investigations.     

But, it's only for the Murder of dissident Turkish Cypriot Journalist ADALI, in the occupied territories of Cyprus, that Turkey has NOT yet found ANYONE responsible, and even claimed recently inside CoE that it would be "impossible" to do so !    

These astonishing differences exist despite the fact that ECHR condemned alike Ukraine and Turkey with 2 Judgements on the same year : 2005, for the murders of  Journalists GONGADZE and ADALI, strong critics of Corruption in Ukraine, and of Ankara's policies on mass-influx of Turkish Settlers in the Occupied Territories of Cyprus, respectively.    

Regarless of that, CoE's Committee of Ministers, who is entrusted with the duty to supervise execution of ECHR's judgements, has just asked Ukraine's Government to reply to further questions on Gongadze's murder before March 2009, while Turkey, curiously, got a longer postponement for answering questions on Adali's murder, until June...   

A comparison of these cases, raises serious questions about Double Standards :

------------------------

On TRANSPARENCY :
--------------------------
    On Gongadze's murder, CoE's body speaks even about the participation of
"an INTERNATIONAL group of Experts" in the Investigation, (f.ex. of "Tape Recordings"), accepted by Ukraine.
    On the contrary, on Adali's murder, CoE is obliged to repeatedly ask (for a 2nd
time) Turkey whether, at least, it informed the victims' Family, or not...
------------------------------
- On EFFICIENCY :
-----------------------
On Gongadze's murder, CoE formally "recalls that the Committee (of Ministers) ..URGED the Ukranian authorities.. to TAKE ALL NECESSARY INVESTIGATIVE STEPS TO ACHIEVE CONCRETE and VISIBLE RESULTS in the INVESTIGATION, aimed at the Identification of the INSTIGATORS and Organisers of the Murder", and "STRONGLY INVITED the Ukranian Authorities to provide information on the PROGRESS IN THE INVESTIGATION", before MARCH 2009.

But, on Adali's murder, on the contrary, CoE's body merely .. "took note" of the "arguments presented by" Cyprus, which denounce the absence of any proof of new "investigation" by Turkey. Following Turkey's own suggestion (!), it simply "noted" that there is "no limitation period" for "any new element" to "lead potentialy (sic !) to a Re-Opening of the Investigation". Without saying who might find any such "new" fact, since Turkey stoped searching... It also POSTPONED the issue until .. JUNE  !
-----------------------
 - On the PUNISHMENT OF THOSE RESPONSIBLE :
----------------------
 -  On Gongadze's murder case, Ukranian Authorities already arrested and condemned, at least 2 suspects, to 12 and 13 Years of jail. And on Politkovskaya's murder at least 2 suspects are judged, and a 3rd one "wanted".

On the contrary, on Adali's murder case, the Turkish authorities simply claim that "it had not been possible to obtain new .. information .. on the basis of which criminal charges could be brought against ANY person" !...

Moreover,  a LETTER sent by Turkey ...2 Years after CoE's 2006 call to re-investigate anew Adali's murder case, is totally EMPTY of Facts ! As Cypus' Delegation denounced earlier, Turkey's Letter ONLY CLAIMS that a "New Investigation" was made without any result, but does NOT even cite ANY FACT to prove it :

F.ex.,on the crucial issue of the "MOTIVATIONS" behind Adali's murder, noted by ECHR, Turkey MERELY CLAIMS that "all allegations  were investigated; without result", but OMITS ANY FACT TO PROVE IT !..(It doesn't even remind which were these "allegations").. .

+ On ECHR's astonishment that the Turkish Occupation regime didn't produce any "BALLISTIC REPORT" on the Shots which murdered Adali, Turkey again repeats, 12 years later, that, still, even until now, "it  was not possible to obtain the BalisticReport"...

- As for the astonishing absence of key-WITNESSES' Testimonies, denounced by ECHR, Turkey agains repeats various pretexts avoiding to reveal anything, (Fex. that a person "left" the Occupied Territories  "on 2002", or that another witness was heard, but without revealing nothing of what he said, etc).

Turkey obviously "FAILS TO MEET THE CRITICISM made BY THE COURT" for lack of any efficient Investigation in Adali's case, concluded Cyprus' Government.
---------------------------------------------
Replying to our Question which COMPARED these 3 outstanding cases of "JOURNALISTS MURDERS", Adali, Gongadze and Politkovskaya, in order to avoid "Double Standards" by asking from Ukraine and Russia more than what is asked EU candidate Turkey, many European personalities were critical /

They criticised Ankara's recent claim at the CoE to stop investigating, because it would be "impossible to find anyone" responsible for the 5 bullet shots which killed Kutlu ADALI in front of his Family Home, contrary to the other two Journalists' murders, where Ukraine and Russia at least arrested the executants, searching now for the instigators :
----------------------------------

imag0103_400

    - "Where was that ? In Turkish Occupied Cyprus ? WITHOUT ANY DOUBT : Any murder of Journalist should be investigated in full ! All these Murders must be investigated !", replied the famous SAKHAROV's wife, Elena BONNER to our question on Adali's case, compared to Gongadze and Politofskaya.

    Elena Bonner spoke us EXCLUSIVELY shortly after being honored by the President
of EU Parliament on the occasion of 20 Years of her husband's SAKHAROV Prize.

    A strong personality, Sakharov's wife even had to struggle against an anonymous EU staffer who, astonishingly, tried to stop her speaking when h heard our question on "Turkey" (!) : - "Please, let me translate, she continues
speaking, don't stop us !", had to cry Sakharov's daughter, (a Journalist
herself), who was translating her mothers' reply, (obliged to speak louder to
make her voice heard despite the harassment).. (= + Audio Proof !)

    Earlier, Elena Bonner also fustigated "Double Standards" at another case, on
Western countries' attitude vis a vis Kosovo and the Kurds : -F.ex. "You have
recognized a few 400.000 Kosovars as an "independent" country, but you still
deny that to 30 millions of Kurds in Turkey !", she denounced.
-----------------------------
    - "This (ADALI's murder) is an issue which should be pursued by the Committee
for Human Rights. That's why we have one, and it's its duty to examine cases of
Journalists' murders as the one you referred to. You should bring the case in
front of that Committee", suggested in reply to our question on Adali, EU
Parliament's President, German MEP Hans Gert POETTERING.

    - "It's impossible  to achieve goals of PEACE, if HUMAN RIGHTS are left out :
in fact, Peace and Human Rights are intrinsequaly linked", added POETTERING.
--------------------------------------
    + "For us (European/International Federation of Journalists) it's clear :
Whenever a Journalist is Murdered, the Investigation should continue until
those Responsible are found !", replied earlier to another question on ADALI
EFJ/IFJ's Secretary General, Aidan WHITE.

    Speaking as a matter of General Principle, White asked us for "concrete data"
on the execution of ECHR's judgement on Adali case, in order to "look at it in
depth" and "make a formal statement", in comparison with the other Murdered
Journalist case, also pending at CoE's  Ministers for completing its execution,
on Ukranian Gongadze.
----------------------------------------------------
     From EU Rapporteur on Human Rights, vice-President of EU Parliament Liberties' Committee, MEP Giusto CATANIA, we were told that, since there is an ECHR judgement in both Adali and Gongadge's cases, "Turkey must naturally execute the judgement and make a full and efficient investigation, until those responsible for the Journalist's murder are found and punished".

    Even if "we (Catania's "EuroLeft" Group) support Turkey's EU perspectives, this does not mean that Ankara should not behave properly. On the contrary, it means that they have to meet tough conditions, particularly on Human Rights", was added on the occasion of Adali's murder case.

    Moreover, "since you raise the issue of Mr. Adali's muder as a part of a Series of Journalist's murders, including fex. Gongadze, Politkovskaya, ao., tthen we (EU) could also act together with CoE's Commissioner on Human Rights, Thomas HAMMARBERG, it was suggested.

    - "We (EU) must step up efforts against the problem of IMPUNITY : Real Peace cannot exist without Justice",  stressed also this week at EU Parliament in Strasbourg, French Minister on Human Rights, Mrs Rama YADE.
------------------------
                     

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