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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"

Parašė ACM
Thursday, December 14, 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.

 

 

eu_parl_president_tajani_replies_to_aggs_question_b_on_citizens_eurofora_400

 


 - 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).

 

 eu_parl._president_tajani_reply_eurofora_400


+ 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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    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.
----------------------------------
    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".

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

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...
 

      ***     
 
     (Draft due to be updated).
 
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