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Home arrow newsitems arrow EUParliament President Schulz to EF: OK to Citizens say before Decision, No National Referenda But..

EUParliament President Schulz to EF: OK to Citizens say before Decision, No National Referenda But..

Pisac ACM
16. 09. 2016.
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*Bratislava EU27 Summit/Angelo Marcopolo/- EU Parliament President, Martin Schulz, (an Experienced German Socialist MEP), Replying to an "Eurofora" Question, during his Press Conference at the First in History, Post-BREXIT Summit of 27 EU Heads of State/Government at Bratislave, (Slovakia, the current EU Council Chair for the Pseriod of July - December 2016), accepted EU Citizens' closer involvement in EU Decision-Making process, but Rejected isolated National Referenda which "might Block" EU moves, as he said, after Meeting with the Prime Minister of Hungary, Victor Orban, as well as EU Council's President, Donald Tusk, when he reacted to rumours about a so-called "Cultural Counter-Revolutio" inside the EU, leaving, nevertheless, Room for eventual Compromise Solutions by Various Views.

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- "Eurofora" raised "an Old Question, but in New Circumstances", speaking to Martin Schulz, who has "one of the Longest Experiences of EU Parliament", as we noted : 


 - Indeed, it's "a Simple Question, that you know very well, but with a New Meaning Now, at this Special Historic Moment" of Bratiskava EU Summit, "as you said". After which, "Whatever happens, whether there might be an Agreement, or not, at any case, the EU Parliament, which speaks on behalf of EU Citizens, will have an Important role to Play, in the foreseable Future".

 

schulz_hearing_agg__euroforas_question_at_his_press_conference_at_bratislava_eu27_summit_400_02

 


 >>> In this perspective, - "Do you think that, New, or even Old, but Efficient ways at any case, in order to Associate, in one way or another, with all Imaginative Possibilities, the EU Citizens Before the Decisions will be taken, and/or During the Debates, would be something Good and Fruitful, in order to really come Closer to the Citizens ?", we asked.  - It's "Not just" about "that Slogan, that we've All being saying", also in the Past, "But in order to Really Try to Do it Now", "Eurofora stressed.

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    Martin Schulz, replying, at first, from the pure point of view of General Principles, Agreed that,  - "As much as possible (EU) Citizens can influence directly Political Decision-Making,  as (Better) it is" already now, he Started.


    - Indeed, f.ex., "My Experience, (also) as former Mayor of a Small German City, is that as Nearer the Decision Makinng (process) is to the (EU) Citizens, as High is the Acceptance". On the Contrary, - "As Farer it is, as Lower the Understading, the Support", he regretted.

eu_parliaments_president_replying_to_agg__euroforas_question_at_his_press_conference_in_bratislava_eu_summit_400 

=> "Therefore, to integrate as much as possible (EU) Citizens in the Process of (EU) Decision Making, as (the) Better it is", EU Parliament's President supported "Eurofora"s main point.


 - "But EU is Not a Federal State, in which a Binding Referendum could Lead to a Kind of Common Decision", he also observed.


 - On the Contrary, "We are a Union of Sovereign States, and If a Referendum in 1 State Blocks Everything in all the Other (EU) Countries, this is, for sure, No Meaningful", Schulz Criticized.        

                     
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    => -  "Therefore, I'm of the Opinion that we (EU) have to Include, as much as possible (EU) Citizens" to the EU Decision Making process, EU Parliament's President replied Positively, in principle, to "Eurofora"s main Question, (Comp. Supra)


    - "But if your Question goes in that Direction, (i.e.) for more (National, Isolated) Referendums, (then) I'm very Reluctant", he clarified, as far as his particular remark, made previously, was concerned.


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    That wasn't, certainly, Not at All "Eurofora"s initial Intention, (which, given our General Principles, was naturaly Focused mainly on EU Citizens' consultation during EU Decision Making, as a whole).


    But, after all, then : - "Why not Popular Referendum(s) Europe-wide ?", (given what Schulz had just said against only "1 Country Blocking All Others", as, f.ex., France and Netherlands did back on 2005 ), we Wondered.


    And, in fact, didn't Schulz acknowledge, at the Beginning of his Press Conference, that, at any case,  "I felt that, even with Victor Orban, the Will to Comme to Conclusions is there", as he had characteristicaly said ?


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=> Thus, later-on, the Press Spokesman of the Prime Minister Beata Szydło of Poland, Biggest member of the"Visegrad" Group of EU MemberCountries, speaking also to "Eurofora" after that, did not exclude EU-wide Referendum(s) on the currently most "Hot" Issues.

 

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President Schulz (and the Polish Government Spokesman) gave those Replies to the above mentioned "Eurofora" Questions at the Aftermath of the International Day for Democracy, (Yesterday, Thursday, September 15).

 

eu_parliaments_president_schulz_400 

The EU Parliament's Chief was accompagnied at the crucial Bratislava 1st EU-27 Summit, by his New Press Spokesman, Goacomo Fascino, a Young Italian, for the 1st Time. 

 

(../..)

 

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("DraftNews", as already send to "Eurofora" Subscribers/Donors, earlier. A more accurate, full Final Verion, might be published asap).

 

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  imag0573_400

    An "Eugenic" loophole Amendment, which might expose to Dangers reminiscent of "3rd Reich's" notorious Genetic Abuses, hidden at the last minute inside an otherwise Good, larger Health policy Package scheduled to be voted on Thursday, was strongly denounced by a coalition of MEPs from various Political Groups and Countries, in a Press Conference held this afternoon at EU Parliament in Strasbourg.

    Mainly calling to "Select Human Embryos", via "Genetic Counselling" and "pre-implantation" Techniques including "Genetic Tests", in order to "Eradicate Hereditary rare Diseases", it might open ways to Dangerous Practices in Future, they denounced in substance.

    But they also made it clear that a much larger Report inside which this Controversial Amendment "No 15" was added in dubious circumstances, officialy destinated to struggle against "Rare Diseases", and drafted by Professor Antonios Trakatellis, was otherwise "an Excellent Report", aiming at a "completely Uncontroversial target" of Health policy on which "all MEPs and Experts are united, believing that Europe should act" to protect People's Health (See "EuroFora"'s earlier News).

    The controversy came at a particularly delicate moment for the EU in relation to Citizens, at the eve of June 2009 EU Elections, and shortly before Ireland re-votes for "Lisbon Treaty"..    

- Denouncing risks of "an Eugenic demand, very similar to what we had during the 3rd Reich in Germany, but now coming from some Scientisists themselves", German ChristianDemocrat/EPP MEP Dr. Peter Liese stressed that critical MEPs were against "Eugenic" engineering with "Selection of Human Embryos", and anything which might ultimately lead up to to a "Selection of Human Race". It doesn't help to "eradicate" Human Lives, he added.


    Several Experts and NGOs expressed "Deep Concern", as f;ex. DR M.C. Cornel of the "European Society of Human Genetics", which stressed, on this occasion, that "the importance of Non-Directiveness in Reproductive issues is a Central characteristic of Human Genetics, after the Atrocities committed in the name of Genetics in the first half or the 20th Century".

     - "This is completely Unacceptable", stressed Italian Liberal MEP Vittorio Prodi, on the Controversial Amendment, also because pushes to "eliminate early Human Life", as he noted.

     - "This opens a Dangerous Road, rather a Motorway", denounced Danish MEP Mrs Margrette Auken, from the "Greens", observing that various similar attempts were made in the Past "not only in Germany, but also in several other Countries, "even at the 1970ies", "f.ex. on forced Sterilisation of Roma" People, and other criticisable situations f.ex. in the UK, in Sweden, etc. as she said.

    + Other NGOs, as f.ex. "LebenHilfe" from Berlin, added that, among various other Risks, could also be that, by exploiting the pre-implantation Genetic Diagnostics and the Selection of "healthy" Embryos, some may "propagate" several "Eugenic" aims, starting f.ex. by pushing to eradicate Human Livies which might "Cost too much" to preserve, ultimately exposing to dangers reminiscent of the "3rd Reich"'s atrocious abuses.

    In consequence, ChristianDemocrats/EPP and "Green" MEPs "decided by Majority to vote against" this Controversial Amendment, anounced to Journalists the 5 MEPs who participated in the Press Conference, representing a wide spectrum, from Liberals to "Greens" and ChristianDemocrats, and from Hungary, Italy, Germany and Danemark up to Ireland (Gay Mitchell), etc.
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    Hungarian ChristianDemocrat MEP Laszlo Surjan said "that it was "Suddenly, at the End of the Procedure" in Committee, that "appeared this (Controversial) Amendment, which has nothing to do" with the main purpose of the Report, on which all agreed.

    He denounced an "Unhonest" move, and called to "avoid this kind of unacceptable situations". Nobody should "Select People", Surjan stressed.

    - "We (MEPs) had No Chance to Discuss" this last-minute Amendment earlier added at a Committee's level, said German MEP Peter Liese

    Speaking to "EuroFora", Dr. Liese, the Spokesman of the ChristianDemocrat/EPP Group in EU Parliament, said that MEPs didn't oppose other references of the Report f.ex. on "Genetic Tests", because they were "no proposals" to impose them, while, on the contrary, there was "a Problem" if anyone attempted to "impose" f.ex. this or that Genetic Technique and "Genetic Counselling", etc. to the People on human reproduction.
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The precise Text :
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    Controversial parts of Amendment No 15 ask mainly "to lead finally to the Eradication" of "Hereditary" "rare diseases", "through Genetic Counselling .., and ..pre-Implantation Selection of healthy Embryos".

    But  EU Rapporteur Professor Trakatellis, said to "EuroFora" that fears should be alleviated by Guarantees that all this should be done only "where appropriate", when it's "not contrary to existing National Law", and "always on a Voluntary basis", according to other Parts of the Amendment.

    He stressed that the main aim was to allow "a free and informed choice of persons involved", without imposing them anything :  - "It's not an obligatory, but advisary" text, he said.

    To make that point clear, he was ready, in agreement with many MEPs, to eventually drop at least that part of the controversial Amendment which initially called for "efforts to ..lead finally to the Eradication of those rare diseases" "which are Hereditary".

    But, until late Wednesday evening, reportedly together with many other MEPs, he stood by all the rest of the controversial Amendment, (fex. on the "Genetic Counselling" and the "pre-implantation Selection of healthy Embryos"), so that critical MEPs, going from ChristianDemocrats as Dr. Liese, to "Greens" or "Ind/Dem", observed to "EuroFora" that "this was not enough" to close the dangerous loophole.

    Particularly since, as Professor Trakatellis noted himself, "this is already allowed to the U.K.", and "other National Legislations would probably follow, sooner or later" in a similar direction. As for a general call to "Eradicate Hereditary rare Diseases", this "should happen, at any case, in practice, de facto", to protect public Health.

    On the contrary, "our goal should be to help patients suffering from rare diseases, not to eradicate the patients. In case of genetic disease risk, the decision should not be guided by scenarios" made by politicians. "Perents who may decide to accept a child, even if handicapped or with genetic disease, must be respected and supported with solidarity", critical MEPs stated.

    - "Any Pressure" to "a patient or couple (who "should be able to make an informed choice consistent with their own values"),"from health Professionals, Public Health Policies or Governemental Institutions, or Society at large, should be avoided", stresses the "European Society for Human Genetics".

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Each MEP's vote will be registered !

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

The Socialist Group requested a "Split vote" on the Amendment 15, first without, and afterwards with the words "lead finally to the Eradication" etc.


    But the first "split vote" leaves intact all the other parts of the Controversial Amendment, (i.e. "Genetic Counselling", "Selection of healthy Embryos", etc).

    That's why, 3 Groups of MEPs : ChristianDemocrats/EPP, "Greens/EFA", and "Ind/Dem", have asked for "Roll Call Votes", on everything regarding the Controversial Amendment No 15, and on the final outcome of the resulting Report as amended, which will register all the individual positions to be taken by each MEP.   

Something which will obviously make each MEP think twice before voting for one or another choice, to be sure that he/she will make the right choice in front of EU Citizens, particularly at these pre-Election times...


    Crucial Votes were scheduled between 12 Noon and 1 p.m. local Strasbourg time, in the middle of a long series of various other Reports, and after a long Public Debate on the larger Health policy package, from 9 to 11.50 am.

    The specific Report inside which was hidden the controversial Amendment is due to be debated between 11 and 12 am.

    So that more last-minute Surprises may not be excluded a priori...

    Particularly at the present Historic moment, when even the Institutional Future of the EU depends on the result of a second Referendum on "Lisbon Treaty", later this year, in ...Ireland, a mainly Catholic country, where People are particularly sensitive in such kind of socio-cultural and values issues...
 

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     (Draft due to be updated).
 
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