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Home arrow newsitems arrow EU Parliament President Tajani to EuroFora : -"Dialogue with Citizens is On-Going"

EU Parliament President Tajani to EuroFora : -"Dialogue with Citizens is On-Going"

Written by ACM
Thursday, 14 December 2017
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*Brussels/EU Summit/Angelo Marcopolo/- Replying to our Question on "Eurofora"s project for Debates between EU Citizens and MEPs before Important Decisions, during his Press Conference, just after speaking at the EU Summit in Brussels, where Heads of State/Government are due to examine also Europe's and particularly €uroArea's foreseable Future, the experienced EU Parliament's President, former Twice EU Commissioner, Top MEP and f. Foreign Minister, Antonio Tajani, stressed that MEPs' "Dialogue with EU Citizens" is an "On-Going" Issue, particularly in the run up to the forthcoming May 2019 European Elections.

 

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 - "Mr. President, You are very Kean, as you said also earlier in this Press Conference, about what EU Citizens feel as Important Issues. Don't you think that Now, that Preparations for the 2019 Elections have Started, it would be Interesting to have, in Parallel with the Debates - and probably also in order to Help in/Add to those Debates - that you'll organize with the (EU) Heads of States, also other Debates, - if possible, in a quite shoft and easy (simple) way - with the (EU) Citizens and MEPs, about the Most Important Issues that you have in (EU) Parliament'"s Agenda ?, "Eurofora" asked Antonio Tajani.

 

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 - "On the (EU) Citizens : As You know, in (EU) Parliament, this Dialogue with Citizens is On-Going !", President Tajani stressed from the outset, in his Reply to "Eurofora"s Question, as a matter of General Principle.

 

 

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 - Because, already, "the European Parliament organizes a lot of Meetings with Citizens", at Various occasions :


 - F.ex., inter alia, "in All my Visits to (EU) Member Countries together with the Conference of Presidents (of MEPs' Political Groups), we organize Meetings with the Citizens".


- Thus, "during my Recent Visit to Cyprus, I organized a Meeting with the Students, in the "House of Europe", in Cyprus, in Nicosia", he reminded.


+ "And, during our Visit to Bulgaria, for Paving the Way to the New EU Bulgarian Presidency (for the period of 1 - 6/2018), the European Parliament organized a meeting at the University, for Exhanges of Views, between the Conference of the Presidents (of MEPs' Groups) and the Citizens", he added.

 

- On this occasion, there were Direct "Questions and Answers, withOut any (Intermediary) Network".


 - It was, indeed, "a real Debate : Free Questions - Free Answers. This is a New System for Better Communication", President Tajani observed, smiling, apparently Satisfied by such a Formula, (i.e. recognizing and appreciatiing the Value of Direct Debates between EU Decision-Makers and EU Citizens on Important Topical Issues, Before chosing one or another Solution).

 

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+ Moreover, "the (EU Parliament's) Communication System is Also Organizing a New System of Communication" : In particular "Meetings with the most Important European "You-Tubers", (at the Web) for a Better Communication with (EU) Citizens".


  ++ And, in fact, "We are using the Parliament's Election Campaign (preparing the Horizon 2019) to explain our work, in order to Reduce the Distance between (EU) Citizens and the European Institutions", he concluded, as a matter of overall Principle.

  + In Addition, spontaneously reacting to an "Eurofora"s suggestion for EU Citizens-MEPs Debates "Before the Plenary Sessions", on the most Important Decisions affecting their Lives and/or Society at large, President Tajani appeared Ready to Advance even Further Ahead :

 

 euparl._president_tajani__agg_eurofora_400

- Even if it's (naturally) impossible to invite all EU Citizens during the Plenary sessions", nevertheless, "we Invite the Most Important People, and we are Using the Plenary for Meetings with the Citizens, (f.ex.) on Tourism, on Africa, etc. There are a lot" of such Topical Issues open for Dialogue during the Plenaries, he concluded, leaving room for more eventual adequate moves on this key point for "Eurofora"s project, (See also Infra).
 

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+ In this regard, the Fact that "Eurofora"s 1997-2017+ Project for Regular Public Debates between EU Citizens and MEPs before EU Parliament's Plenary Sessions' Final Decisions on the most Important Issues which affect their Lives and/or Society at large, is meant (already from its inception : almost at the "Birth" of the Web in the 1990ies) to be realized, in practice, mainly via Internet Forums easily connecting the concerned people by Digital means, withOut Need of "Invitations", physical "Meetings", etc., i.e. in the Simplest possible way, (as we Evoked also in our Question at Today's Press Conference : Comp. Supra), is due to be Discussed with President Tajani also by EU Parliament's experienced Long-Time Press/Media Head and New Director of Communication, Jaume Duch from Spain, as he told us.

 euparl._com._director_jaume_duch__agg_eurofora_400

 

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++ Meanwhile, concerning Technical Aspects of "Eurofora"s Project about Web Forums at the eve of the most Important EU Decisions, (Comp. Supra), EU Parliament's Secretary General, the experienced Klaus Welle from Germany, who was Present at Today's Press Conference, made to "Eurofora" an Interesting Suggestion to Use a Practical "Ap." recently prepared by EU Parliament's Scientific Research section, which precisely, helps to Highlight the main Issues due to be Discussed and Decided at Each Forthcoming Plenary Session.

Welle has already presented, some Years ago, as well as more recently, an Interesting General Strategy on the development of Internet's various Actors' Potential for MEPs' outreach to EU Citizens, and has already Discussed such Issues Previously with "Eurofora" (See, f.ex., among others, also : http://www.eurofora.net/newsflashes/news/euparliamentsecretarygeneralonmayelection.html + http://www.eurofora.net/newsflashes/news/euparliamentsecretarygeneraloncitizendebatesbeforedecisions.html , etc) also (working closely Together with President Tajani from January 2017) in view of the forthcming European Elections of 2019.


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+++  Earlier in Strasbourg, EU Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker's special Advisor, and Experienced former Chairman of the Biggest, ChristianDemocrat/EPP Group in the 47 Member Countries-strong PanEuropean CoE's Parliamentary Assembly, as well as f. Minister-President of the Flamish Region in Belgium, Luc Van den Brande, speaking to "Eurofora" during a meeting organized by the University of Strasbourg on Practical ways to Enhance "Horizontal" EU Democracy, did not exclude, but, on the contrary, found possible and interesting to eventually put in real practice a method as that which is suggested by "Eurofora"s project, certainly about Parliamentarian Decision-Making, but, perhaps, even on at least some among EU Commission's most important Decisions : - "Why not ? May be. We shall See", Van der Brande, carefully but positively, Replied in substance, after making sure about the main elements of the proposed schema in practice, (See : ...).

 

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Van den Brande naturally spoke, on those occasions, also about his relevant Report on "a New Opportunity" for "Reaching out to EU Citizens", (that he has shown to "Eurofora"), which was written on October and Published on November 2017 by EU Commission in Brussels, but Discussed also in Strasbourg, including certain very Interesting Key Points able to Usefully Interact with "Eurofora"s project, largely Facilitating eachother, while both serving one and same General European Interest and Democratic, Topical Aim, (Comp. : ...).

**** Meanwhile, "Eurofora" had an occasion to Highlight the Topical Importance of developing EU Politicians - Citizens' Debates on main Decisions also with the President of EU Commission, Experienced former Long-Time Prime Minister of Luxembourg and f. €uroGroup's Head, Jean-Claude Juncker himself, during a Meeting at Offenburg, in Germany, Together with Chancellor Angie Merkel, for the 75th Anniversary of Long-Time Finance Minister and Now Parliament's President in Berlin, Wolfgang Schäuble, (See : http://www.eurofora.net/newsflashes/news/schaublejunckerandmerkel.html), just after an interesting mention on such issues made by Juncker at his "State of the Union" Speech on September 2017 in EU Parliament in Strasbourg, almost in Synchrony with new French President Macron's landmark relevant speech for forthcoming Debates on Europe's Future with EU Citizens, symbolically made at the Historic Birthplace of Democracy,on Athen's Acropolis' hill at the Pnyx, (Comp.: http://www.eurofora.net/newsflashes/news/macronatthehistoricsourcesofdemocracy.html +...)

 

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Facing a 70% Abstention threat in 2009 Election, EU endorses EuroFora's idea for Citizens' debates on crucial EU decisions !

- Different views on "Europe's Future", should be debated among Citizens at June 2009 EU Elections, thanks to political Parties' "Manifestos", says EU Parliament's Report


                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                               
A main idea, initiated and promoted by EuroFora's founders since 1997: the vital need to develop European Citizens' democratic right to actively participate in multilingual debates on EU decisions, is formally endorsed by the EU from 2009 !

The move is a key attempt to overcome "catastrophic" Polls which warn that only ...30% of Citizens are ready to vote in the forthcoming June 2009 EU Election !  This was revealed by EU Commission's vice-president, in charge of Communication policy, Margot Wallstrom, during a "hot" meeting of EU Parliament's Committee on Culture and Education, during the December 2008 Strasbourg session.

Wallstrom faced criticism, but also suggestions from various MEPs, naturally worried by Abstention threats which herself found even "worse" than in 1999 or 2004...

A Report on "Active Dialogue with Citizens",examined at the same time, presented some useful practical tips, on "facilitating Interviews"; etc., but also a  potentialy important call to "incorporate the conclusions of ...debates...into (EU) policies, and take into consideration the expectations that Citizens have of the EU when deciding". An amendment even implies that Citizens' participation in debates on EU decisions is a democratic "Right".

More importantly, it finds that  a Debate "on the Future of Europe", (as French President Nicolas Sarkozy has asked since 2007), would be a good idea " for the 2009 European parliamentary Elections", because "clarifying the political differences between the EU political parties would help citizens to identify themselves with, and choose between various concepts", for which "all parties (should) present their Manifesto".

A "Joint political declaration on Communicating Europe in Partnership", co-signed by "the European Parliament, Council and ... Commission", confirms that they "attach the utmost importance to improving communication on EU issues", by "enabling European citizens to exercise their right to participate in the democratic life of the Union, in which decisions are taken as openly as possible and as closely as possible to the citizens, observing the principles of pluralism, participation, openness and transparency".

This should "enable Citizens to exercise their right to express their views and to participate actively in the public Debate on European Union issues", while also "promoting the respect of multilingualism". In this regard, EU confirms its "wish to develop synergies with national, regional and local authorities as well as with representatives of Civil Society".

    It's since 1997 that a group of EuroFora's founders have officially presented a pioneer Project (then called "EIW", for "Europe in the World"), which aimed to develop Strasbourg's "Polyphonic music", by providing "Interactive information", on "main issues ... during the Decision-making process of European Organizations which engage in Transparent and Public Democratic Debates"

    This should be done, inter alia, by "exploring the potential of New Communication Tools (mainly Internet)", as well as classic-form debates, the 1997 EIW pioneer project's anounced in its "Synopsis". It was formally "accepted for evaluation" by EU Commission in Brussels in order to be examined for a grant in the framework of the "Research/Technology/Development (RTD) Programme in the field of Information Technologies", then called "ESPRIT", as a "Best Practice Pilot Project".

eiw_project_eu_program_esprit_ds_1997.._400

        But the vital, urgent Political need for EU to search new, efficient ways to reach the People and interact with European Citizens, was really felt in Brussels and elsewhere only after the unprecedented in History 1999 and 2004 Majority Abstention in EU Elections, followed by 3 "NO" in Referenda in France, the Netherlands and Ireland, on 2005 and 2008...
    In this New Political Landscape, we prepared a new, actualised and more developed version of our initial idea, in a simplified and more efficient form, thanks also to a large Experience accumulated during many years of EU/CoE/UNO Press work and Multi-lingual debates, with the New project "EuroFora" :

    On 2006 we presented in Public its main lines during Questions/Replies that we raised at two Press Conferences by EU Commission President, Jose Baroso, and mainly EU Commission's vice-President, in charge of Communication policy, Margot Wallstrom, together with EU Parliament's vice-president, Alejo Vidal-Quadras, in Strasbourg, (Videos available), and we reminded it at various brief contacts with Commissioner Wallstrom in 2007 and 2008.

    Meanwhile, a new Text was also presented for "EuroFora" Project mainly to certain Political and other personalities, at European, National or Regional/Local level, mainly in 2007, but also in 2008..

    Now, after the unexpected 2008 Irish "NO", and before the 2009 EU Elections, which are due to be of exceptionally crucial importance for Europe's Future, the moment has obviously come to launch that project, progressively, but in real practice.

    Whoever really cares for Europe and its Citizens is welcome to join, in one way or another. Only anti-European, anti-democratic, obscure or ignorant groups might oppose or attempt to "steal" and deviate the main idea.

    But European Citizens, incited by enlightened political leaders, are those who will finally write the real History.

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2009 EU Elections were won by Parties against Technocracy and Turkey's controversial EU bid, while the 1999-2004 Majority Abstention trend decelerated. What should be done in 2009-2014 ?

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