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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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It's important to create a synergy between "mutually stimulating" EU Countries' moves in order to overcome an "Unjust" Crisis "imported from USA", stressed new French Minister for Economic Revival, Patrick Devedjian, in Strasbourg, warning also that, while hoping for a vigorous Obama US Plan, nevertheless, "Time" is of essence for Europe...

In fact, it's EU's own interest to act Fast, before June 2009 EU Election, since, with Lisbon Treaty not ratified yet, it cannot face again the risk of a Majority Abstention, as back in 1999 and 2004, nor another "anti-EU" mood among Citizens, as in the 2005 French and Dutch "No", followed by the 2008 Irish "No", without endangering rare Historic opportunities, currently open for the EU, whose future is at stake.

From Social issues up to High-Tech Scientific Research, concrete action for Economic revival started from Strasbourg and its European dimension, for the new super-Minister Patrick Devedjian, who visited a Popular Social Housing and Infrastructure project at nearby Hagenau village, before meeting new leaders of Strasbourg's unified mega-University in a Scientific Labo at the Campus, close to EU Parliament and CoE headquarters.

Devedjian, who met also with all the spectrum of Local Political  deciders of Alsace region, close to FrancoGerman borders, wants for deeds to meet the words, in real practice, whenever politicians speak about Strasbourg and Europe's development.

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Devedjan to "EuroFora" : "European coordination can act as a multiplicator by mutual stimulations"
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Devedjian was questioned by "Euro-Fora" on his expectations for reciprocal effects of coordinated European plans :

- "We are living in a (European and Global) system where borders are transparent : When we take measures in France, they produce effects also in Germany, in Belgium, Italy, Spain, or other EU countries, and vice-versa. "So, we can have mutually stimulating effects between national revival Plans, if they are somehow coordinated", ..."They can augment each other's effects, acting as multiplicators and levers". "As a State stimulates Local authorities and Private business, similarly, each EU country's economic revival plan may multiply the effects of other EU countries' actions", he told us.

- "F.ex., when I visited Strasbourg University's Scientific labos, they told me that part of the renovation, funded by France, is realized by German companies located only a few Kms away from the border. Thus, the French revival plan benefits also the German economy. And vice-versa : when Germany takes certain measures, they can have beneficial effects also for French companies"

In an era of Globalisation, "nobody can close and isolate himself inside a Fish-Bowl !", he concluded.
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Economy's revival starts from Strasbourg and Europe, for new French Minister Devedjian
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This could be one of the reasons for which the new French Minister for Economic Stimulus chose to make his 1st visit to Strasbourg, the headquarters of European and Paneuropean Institutions, in the Franco-German river borders at the heart of Europe.

- "It was President Sarkozy's idea", he revealed, adding also fresh "support to Strasbourg's European vocation, not only with words, but also with deeds" :F.ex., the completion of a High-Speed Train network, due to stimulate fast links with Germany, Austria, Italy, Hungary and other central EU Countries.

- "This Crisis is Unjust for Europe, because it wasn't its fault". The greatest part of the "Crisis was imported from the USA, where problems are deeper than here'', in the EU. The Crisis "wasn't due to a bad managment by Europe", who was affected by problems which emerged elsewhere. That's why Europe must be united and active enough to face this challenge. said Devedjian, who has just won +5% in popularity...

- "I hope that there will be an "Obama-effect" also on Economy, and that the Plan of the New American President will be substantial enough to face this crisis, which is worse in the USA than in our area", Europe, he added.

"Economic Revival overcomes political divisions : F.ex. Strasbourg's Socialist Mayor "Ries agreed that State actions funded by Public Debt are justified during such exceptional circumstances", noted the Center-Right republican Minister.

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"Zeitnot" for 2009 EU Elections ?

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"My problem is Time", stressed Devedjian from the outset, at Strasbourg's University. "I have to engage 75% of funds in 2009, out of a total of 29 Billion euros", he explained later. "Monitoring will be of essence", because we must "avoid bureaucracy or delays. No project should get lost or neglected in complex meanders of adminstrative offices' moving sands", he warned.

- "I must create activities in the middle of the Crisis", he added. Questioned by EuroFora whether he aims to start creating some "hopes before the June 2009 EU Elections", Devedjian, a former leader of the Governing Political Party in France: UMP, did not immediately reply, but revealed, later, that he "hoped to start at least some Projects on May 2009, even if the bulk of Revival Plan's effects are "expected from Autumn 2009".

However, with only 30% of EU Citizens currently aiming to cast a vote at the forthcoming EU Elections on June, (See other NewStory), the  coordinated moves' results are expected to be crucial for Citizens' participation and votes at the forthcoming June 2009 EU Elections throughout all 27 EU Member Countries...Thus, it's vital for all Europe's own Future that coordinated national Economic revival plans start to have concrete results and create hopes for new dynamics before the June 2009 EU Election...

A real challenge, since careful choices are needed : Our aim is to fund projects which "create activities", even "in the middle of the crisis", and have a "lever effect, attracting other investments", Devedjian said. Because the "Stimulus' Plan has 2 aims : A Tactical one : to create New Activities. And a Strategic one : Choose what can become efficient and useful also in the Long-term". 

- "Are you ready ?", he asked Strasbourg University's new President, professor Alain Beretz, with some 700 million euros in his pockets for Education-Research in France. - "We are !", he replied.

- "The Minister's initiative can accelerate funds, and Time is important for us. This concerns the entire renovation of all our buildings", said to "EuroFora" President, Beretz. "I showed some Scientific Research Labos to Mr. Devedjian. But, If we had more time, I could show him also some Education Amphis, whose condition needs to meet Strasbourg's new Mega-University's ambition" to reach the 10 best in the World, as Prime Minister Fillon earlier anounced here.

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(Devedjian kicks off his Economic Revival tour from Strasbourg University, meeting with its new chairman Beretz, at Scientific Institute Le Bel) 

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Regional Prefectures should gather and select projects to be presented for decision before the end of January 2009.

A well-known close friend of President Sarkozy, who succeeded as EU Chairman to launch, in agreement with German chancelor Merkel and even British prime minister Brown, vigorous EU actions against the Financial/Economic Crisis, (starting from the 1st Historic Summit of EuroZone's Heads of State/Government, October 12 at Elysee Palace, followed by Washington G20 Global Summit), Devedjan will have a key role in the realisation of National and EU plans recently agreed in Brussels.

President Sarkozy is expected to arrive himself in Strasbourg, on the occasion of the official inauguration of its brand New Mega-Hospital, on the 9th of January 2009, at the eve of EU Parliament's session here, Elysee confirmed shortly after Devedjian's visit.

EU is due to review its economic revival plans at March 2009 EU Council in Prague, before the April 2 London Global Summit.

***

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Multi-facet concrete activities at focus : Stimulus Minister Devedjian at the Political, Social and High-Tech fronts in Strasbourg...

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