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Home arrow newsitems arrow EUParliament Vote on Ombudsman backs EF project Key parts (1997-2019, incl. Historic Buzek 2009 act)

EUParliament Vote on Ombudsman backs EF project Key parts (1997-2019, incl. Historic Buzek 2009 act)

Written by ACM
Thursday, 17 January 2019

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*Strasbourg/EU Parliament/Angelo Marcopolo/- A strong Majority in EU Parliament's plenary backed a Key part of "Eurofora" project's (+1997-2019) Principles about Citizens' Participation, on which is based the Latest EU Ombudsman's, Emily O'Reilly's, Special Report (2017-2019), including an Historic move on Transparency of the Decision-Making process made by former President Buzek, just after -and according to- what we had discussed here, already as early as before a Decade now : since 2009 !

 

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Significantly, the overall EU Parliament's Resolution succesfully attracted 479 Votes in favor, against Only 18, (with 81 abstentions).

 

 

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On the Contrary, 225 MEPs (against 360 in favor) Contested (191 opposed + 34 abstaining) just a Part of a Paragraph, which Applied such General Principles also to a Specific, Controversial Issue, relevant to EU Member States' sovereignity, (about "Preparatory Bodies" linked to "€uroGroup" and other "Financial" organs), and/or to EU Council's rejected Demand for a 1,5 Month more Timeframe in order to Reply in what it considered as "Complex" Issues, requiring "in Depth Reflection", (until "Early July" 2018), that EU Ombudsman Refused, because it Exceeded the Standard 3 Months overall Deadline set by EU Parliament's Rules, while the matter was "Important ... to EU Citizens", as she stressed (on May 2018). 

 

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- But, concerning the above-mentioned General Principles, on which is Based both "Eurofora"s Project (+1997-2019) and this EU Parliament's 2019 Resolution on EU Ombudsman's latest Report (2017-2019), a Strong Majority of MEPs (Comp. Supra) stressed Today, in particular, that  "ensuring that (EU) Citizens are able to ... Participate in the Progress of Legislation is a Legal Requirement under the (EU) Treaties (See Infra), and a Basic requirement for a Modern Democracy".


- In this regard, MEPs point at the "Articles 1 and 10 (3) of EU Treaty, (which) establish that, at Union level, Decisions must be taken as Openly as possible, and as Close as possible to the (EU) Citizens".


+ In Addition, Lisbon Treaty's Article 11 speaks even for "Regular Dialogue", as well as the "Expression" of EU Citizens' Views, and "Exchanges", on the "Acts" of EU Authorities, including EU Parliament itself, EU Commission or Council, and others, as "Eurofora" has recently evoked both with EU Ombudsman, Emily O'Reilly herself, and her Director of Communication, etc, (See: http://www.eurofora.net/newsflashes/news/euombudsmanoneurofforaproject.html + http://www.eurofora.net/newsflashes/news/euombudsmandecisionandeuroforaproject.html , respectively).


=> That's one reason more, for which EU Ombudsman's latest Report "found that", as a matter of Principle, "the ... Lack of Transparency ...of (a) Decision-Making Process - specifically during the Preparatory Stage ...- constitute(s) Mal-Administration", MEPs pointed out.


I.e. practically endorsing, on 2019, former Twice EU Ombudsman, Professor Nikiforos Diamandouros' 2010 Anouncement to "Eurofora" of his Intention to use EU's "Charter of Fundamental Rights and Freedoms", (part of Lisbon Treaty package), and particularly the Principle of "Good Administration", (established by the Charters' Article 41), in a "Wide" way, including, in Addition to "Transparency" Issues, also f.ex. the Legal Principles of "Impartiality" and "Fairness", as well as of  "reasonably Timely" Public Administration's Decisions, added to Citizens' Rights to "be Heard", have "Access to ...Files" affecting their "affairs", as well as for a Motivation giving the "Reasons" of Decisions. With the Result to form a Coherent Series of Rules inciting for a kind of <<Dialogue>> between Citizens and Public Authorities, (since the "Reasons" of their Decisions should, normally, Reply to affected Citizens' previous "Hearing", as National Administrative Law often precsribes also in several EU Countries, etc), serving also as a Safeguard against eventual "Abuse of Discretionary Power", (See: http://www.eurofora.net/newsflashes/news/euombudsman.html), which are becoming, Taken Together also with PanEuroepan CoE's recent similar Legal Tools for  National Administration, (See : http://www.eurofora.net/newsflashes/news/coeruleoflawchecklistandeuroforaproject.html), Key Building Blocks applying"Eurofora"s Project's main Idea.


>>> Now, "especially in the run-up to the European Elections in May 2019", EU Parliament "is deeply convinced that Truly Democratic and highly Transparent Decision-Making ... is indispensable to increase Citizens' Trust, ...and is, therefore, determined to Enhance the Democratic Accountability of all EU Institutions", as the new Resolution stresses.


- Otherwise, nowadays' "common Criticism", "of the EU" (and/or National States) as being "Democratically Deficient", can become "Detrimental" to any "Ambitious ... European (and/or National) Project", EU Parliament warns, expressing "Deep Concern".


=> Therefore, the Resolution adopted Today, formally "Demands" that EU Institutions, including the Council, "Align (their) Working Methods with the Standards of a ... Participatory Democracy, as required under the Treaties", (Comp. Supra).


- During Today's Debates, Dutch former Minister and currently vice-President of EU Parliament's Delegation to Palestine,, "Green" MEP Margrete Auken, rightfully pointed at the fact that "We are here with the very Core of what is called the <<Democratic Deficit>> in the EU", which appears as "a kind of Ghost (sic !) story", that "is too Far Away"...


- She referred to an expression used by experienced EU Parliament's co-Rapporteur for Ombudsman's work, German SD MEP Jo Leinen, who had just Warned that "Citizens" have important "Expectations" on "the whole Decicion-Making Process" of Public Authorities, and what "they expect at Home, inside the Nation States, they expect it, all the More, from the EU, because, (otherwise), Brussels is bound to be (perceived as) More and More Away from the People ! That is why we need (f.ex.) More Transparency at the European level, than perhaps at National level" : Here, the Decision Making Process must Not look as "a Black-Box", where "Much is happening Behind Closed Doors", he Warned.


- But, both EU Ombudsman's and EU Parliament's relevant Reports clearly show that "we have some very Good Tools" in order "to Deal with that Problem", optimistically stressed MEP Auken. A key part of "the Problem is", in fact, that various Obstacles to Transparency and/or Participation in EU Decision-Making Process "have Kept entire important National Layers Out of (the European) Democracy", as she characteristically Denounced, instead of inter-Linking them, (f.ex. via Citizens', Medias', and/or Political Parties' Access to what is happening at EU Level, so that they could Act also through the National Level, by Holding their Representatives Accountable of what they are doing here).


=> It's Interesting to note that the Most Important such "Tool", in order to Find a Solution to those Problems, according to Both relevant EU Ombudsman's Report and EU Parliament's Resolution of 2019, (Comp. Supra), Focus mainly on "Transparency" at the "Preparatory Stage" of EU's Decision-Making Process, i.e. for Information of Citizens a.o. Before Measures are taken, f.ex. by Opening Access to what is happening inside EU Parliament's Committees which Prepare the Final Decisions due to be taken, Sooner or Later, by the Plenary.


>>> That's precisely a Key Point of "Eurofora"s wider Project (+1997-2019), with which We have Helped to Deal, in real Practice, by Inciting the former President of EU Parliament, ex-Prime Minister of Poland, Professor Jerzy Buzek, (current Chair of Industry-Transports-Research-Energy Committee), to be Insprired by a Discussion that we held, the same Day of his Election as EU Parliament's Head, as Early as since 2009, in order to take the Historic Decision to "Innovate" then, by Starting to Open all the MEPS' Committees' Meetings' Events and Documents for "Live" Transmission, Registration and Permanent Access through the New Communication Technologies of Digital Tools and the Internet, already before a Decade (2009 - 2019) !


- The Crystal-Clear and Locacious Dialogue between "Eurofora" and President Buzek, in an Exclusive Interview that we had the chance to take then, just after his Election and Press Conference, in EU Parliament in Strasbourg, back on July 2009, speaks itself about the Importance of that Exceptionaly Important Event, which obviously Triggered the Web-Transmission and Publication of EU Parliament Committees' Events and Documents, for the 1st Time in History, systematically, until now (2009-2019) : See the Original NewsReport at  http://www.eurofora.net/newsflashes/irish/buzekeurofora.html.


- It also Reveals the Fact that, by doing so, President Buzek was initially Motivated mainly by "Eurofora" Project's central Idea to Help Debates between EU Citizens and MEPs Before Decisions which affect their Lives and/or Society at large, i.e. a kind of "Dialogue" with concerned Citizens in the EU Decision-Making Process, by using Modern Communication Technologies.


+ In consequence, Nowadays, since this 1st Part of "Eurofora"s Project has been almost Realized in Practice, (i.e. as far as Prior Information and Transparency Before Decisions is concerned, mainly in EU Parliament, mostly in EU Commission, and at a Lesser degree, Partly even in EU Council, where it seems on its way, mutatis-mutandis : Comp. Supra), then, from now on, the main Focus should, normally, be placed on the 2nd -and Most Important- Part of our Idea of +1997-2019, which notoriously was from the Start, and still is Today, to Help Develop Citizens' Debates and Dialogue with EU Politicians/Deciders Before they take impotant Measures affecting People's Lives and/or Society.


As also various converging Recent Events clearly indicate, (f.ex. in France and several Other European Countries, as well as at an overall EU Level), a Complete Application of that "Eurofora"s main Project (+1997-2019) - i.e. Also of its 2nd (and Crucial) Pilar - could Help Face, Alleviate and/or Solve most of current notorious Problems faced by the EU in its relation to Citizens, while also contributing to Open some New Horizons for a really Modern, Developed, Popular and more Democratic Europe.


 

(../..)

 

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    Before the end of 2009, France and Germany will take strong initiatives to open "new Horizons" needed by Europe and the World, going well beyond the current Crisis' management, anounced French President Nicolas Sarkozy and German Chancellor Angie Merkel, reassuring that both a judgement on Lisbon Treaty by nearby Karlsruhe German Federal Court, and the forthcoming National Elections in Germany would confirm their capacity to act.    

They were replying to Press questions in Berlin, after key-regional elections on Sunday, where Merkel's ChristianDemocratic party kept everywhere a strong 1st and won the possibility to forge a New Majority with Liberals at the largest of 3 Landers : Saxony (4 millions inhabitants), while its main competitor, the Socialdemocrat party fell to unprecedented lows : Tackled by the small "Linke" (left) party in Saarland (1 million inhabitants), it became even smaller than it in Saxony and Thuringen (3 million inhabitants), where SPD arrived only third. While its usual partners, the "Greens" also fell down, contrary to CDU's new partners, the FDP Liberals, who go up.

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    - "At any case, at the end of the year (2009), if things go as scheduled, we shall take strong initiatives, showing that Europe needs a Franco-German axis, as well as the World, even if it never excludes other" countries to join, replied Sarkozy to a question if France and Germany will revive the "European dream", by "relauncing the EU motor" for the Future, with actions going further than the mere management of the global crisis, (as it was done fex. in the Past with the creation of the "Euro" Monetary zone, etc).

    - "I am convinced that the Franco-German friendship must be constantly nourished by New Projects", he added."There are many areas of cooperation where we intend to take, very soon, some Franco-German initiatives, which will allow to open more Horizons" to the EU, Sarkozy stressed.

    But if "we don't speak about that now, it's only in order to avoid interfering in important elections coming in Germany", he observed. However, "we have already started to consider the Future with the (German) Chancellor, and what we can do in order to honour our predecessors". "We are already speaking about that, and we are preparing things". "I am working very well together with Mrs Merkel, and I wish that it goes on", Sarkozy concluded.

merkel_sarkozy_eu_flag_400

    - "It's important for EU's credibility that France and Germany advance forward together", stressed Merkel from the outset. "Don't worry about Germany's capacity to undertake initiatives" with France, she added. "France and Germany will be perfectly able to make proposals" for the EU.

    -  "After-crisis" plans must be prepared, meanwhile, with measures "advancing progressively", Merkel anounced. And, for the short term, we must deal also with EU Citizens' dismay since they feel that it's a Scandal for some in the Financial Markets to be paid with excessive "Bonuses", etc, she agreed with Sarkozy.

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    Moreover, "Global Trade cannot be correctly dealt, without taking into account also Environmental and Social rules", Sarkozy added, referring to recently expressed positions against Unfair Competition via Environmental and/or Social Dumping, (See earlier "EuroFora"'s publications).

    Such moves are obviously linked to the need to ensure at least an elementary respect for Human Rights by Third Countries, (f.ex. exploitation of Children's work, etc) in order to avoid, precisely, any such Social Dumping.

    - "EU has Values, protecting Human Rights and Human Dignity", and "it cannot close its eyes" in front of grave violations, particularly "Torture and/or killings", added, indeed, Sarkozy.

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    Expressed on the occasion of recent developments in Iran, the same principles should logically apply also to other similar cases, including fex. that of Hundreds of ECHR judgements' condemning f;ex. Turkey for grave crimes, (as Torture, brutal Killings, Enforced "Disappearances", Destruction of Family Homes, harassments and oppressive violations of Freedom of Speech, etc).

    Meanwhile, questioned on (EU Commission's chair)  Barroso's bid to succeed himself for a second mandate, they both expressed a "wish" or a "feeling" that "EU Parliament"'s various political Groups might fix a date for decisions "during September". However, is he is endorsed before the entry into force of the Lisbon Treaty, it will be legally necessary to re-vote anew for a full term of office afterwards, according to EU Legal Experts, revealed recently in Strasbourg the experienced former President of EU Parliament's Constitutional Committee, German Socialist MEP Jo Leinen. And Germany will not vote for Lisbon Treaty's ratification but only "on September 8 and 18", revealed Merkel, ( i.e. after EU Parliament's plenary session in Strasbourg).

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