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Home arrow newsitems arrow EUParliament Secretary General Welle to EF: Citizens-MEPs Debates before Decisions, on Study 1.2017+

EUParliament Secretary General Welle to EF: Citizens-MEPs Debates before Decisions, on Study 1.2017+

Written by ACM
Wednesday, 26 October 2016
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*Strasbourg/EU Parliament/Angelo Marcopolo/- Pioneer Ideas for EU Citizens - MEPs' interaction thanks to New Information/Communication Technologies are due to be Reviewed by EU Parliament from the Beginning of Next Year (2017), in the run up towards the crucial Next European Elections of 2019, said in substance its Secretary General, Klaus Welle from Germany to "Eurofora" yesterday here.


"Eurofora" reminded to Welle an interesting relevant Official Report that he has produced some years ago on such matters, which we had evoked together on the occasion of an Earlier Meeting in Strasbourg (Comp.: http://www.eurofora.net/newsflashes/news/euparliamentsecretarygeneralonmayelection.html), in relation also to our Initial 1997-2006/7  published Project for Public Debates with EU Citizens Before Final EU Institutions' Decisions which Affect their Lives and/or Society at large.


It was partly Combined with a Previous University original Research on Comparative Law in European Countries, Published as early as elready since 1980, main points of which are Recently gaining Momentum at Both en EU-Wide and even PanEuropean, CoE Legal developments' level, after some Steps during the 1990ies, particularly between 2010-2016, after the Entry into Force of EU "Lisbon Treaty", closely following Europe's ReUnification, with EU/CoE Enlargements, and ECHR case-law subsequent strengthening, etc., (Comp. f.ex.: http://www.eurofora.net/newsflashes/news/eucoeabdcitizensinpublicdecisionmaking.html).


- Klaus Welle "welcomed" now Eurofora's Interest on that matter, and Confirmed that he is Aware of its "Importance", especially at this Crucial Period for EU's Present and Future.


- Moreover, he Anounced his Intention for EU Parliament to relaunch a more thorough "Examination" of these Issues, "from January 2017", as he told us now, speaking on the sidelines of EU Parliament's Plenary Session in Strasbourg this week.

 

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- The Move would be done Both for its Own Value per se, but also in view of the forthcoming, 2019 EU Elections, just 2 Years later, which have obviously to be Prepared on Time, carefuly, adequately and efficiently.

 

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Significantly, Welle emerged, Smiling, from EU Parliament's Presidential Reception Room, walking on the side where stands a Picture of the Longest-Serving former MEP and f. President of EU Parliament (2007-2009), currently Head of the prestigious "Adenauer" Foundation headquartered in Berlin, Hans Gert Poettering, present at almost All European Elections in History, right from the Start, (i.e. when EU Citizens' Participation used to be much Higher than After 1999), all the way between 1979-2014, with whom he had a rare Chance to Work closely together .
 

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"Eurofora" had already Raised the question of EU Citizens' debates with MEPs before Final Decisions, via New Technologies, with the EU Commissioner in charge of Communication policy and EU Parliament's vice-President in charge of Media, as Early as since a Press Conference held back on 2006 in Strasbourg, and, subsequently, with the former President of EU Parliament, Jerzy Buzek, from Poland, back on 2009, at 2 successive occasions, (an Interview and a Press Conference : See http://www.eurofora.net/newsflashes/irish/buzekeurofora.html + http://www.eurofora.net/newsflashes/news/buzekcitizens.html ). Buzek (a former EU Rapporteur on Scientific Research and Technology Development pluri-Annual Programs) had initialy reacted Positively, as far as the main Principle is concerned, and had been incited, then, to take the Initiative to make a First Step towards a Necessary for that, Timely "Tranparency" during the EU Decision-Making Process, by Starting to Regularly Publish all EU Parliament Committees' Meetings, with Debates and Votes, etc., at the Internet, so that interested People could, at least, be Informed about the Preparation of forthcoming Final Decisions.


But such "an Old Question, in New Circumstances" appeared Ready to Gain a long overdue, Fresh and Further Momentum, after the Recent Political Developments, following the June 2016 "BREXIT" Referendum in the UK, amidst a notoriously Rising "Euro-Scepticism" among many European People throughout several EU Countries nowadays, as a Fresh, in Principle Positive, Reply by the current EU President, Martin Schulz from Germany, to another such Question raised by "Eurofora" during his Press Conference during the 1st EU-27 Heads of State/Government Summit in Bratislava, on September 2016, clearly revealed, (See : http://www.eurofora.net/newsflashes/news/euparliamentpresidentoncitizensandbratislavasummit.html).

In fact, even Strasbourg's particular characteristics, (as Host of EU Parliament's full week Plenary Sessions, CoE's PanEuropean Assembly's Debates and even ECHR Public Hearings, added to EU Ombudsman's "Good Administration" principles on EU's Decision-Making process after the "Lisbon Treaty", etc), seem to Fit exceptionaly Well something like "Eurofora"s project, in ordet to allow for "EU Citizens' Voice to be Heard" just before "voting Final Decisions here", as New , mainstream MEP Anne Sander spontaneously replied to a relevant Question that we raised Recently, (10/2016, See : http://www.eurofora.net/newsflashes/news/annesanderoneuroforaprojectideas.html).


The main Idea is, indeed, Popular among European Citizens Today, as it was Timely revealed,  inter alia, also by Last Week's (October 2016) astonishing Electoral Results in Iceland, (an undeniably culturaly European, peaceful and developed Country, and CoE Member, most probably due to Decide soon anew about its Accession into the EU), where People just Voted to Multiply by 3 Times (X 300% !), the MPs of a so-called "Pirate" Party, (notoriously present and quite Influential also in Sweden, Germany, etc), at the Same Time with a brand New, Center-Right "ReGeneration" Party, favorable to EU Accession, only a Few Years After the Head of the First one, MP Birgitta Jonsdottir, succeeded to Collectively Build a Program in whose "Core" lies something very Similar to "Eurofora"s main Idea, about Citizens' Right to have a Say on Public Authorities' Decisions which Affect their Lives and/or Society at large, thanks also to New Digital Technologies and Internet, (as she did since 2012, i.e. just 1 Year after Our Meeting and relevant Conversation at a CoE's PanEuropean Conference in Strasbourg, back on 2011 : See, then http://www.eurofora.net/newsflashes/news/internetcoejonsdottir.html , and Now : http://www.eurofora.net/newsflashes/news/iceland2016electionresultsrightbutnew.html).


=> Who might become that Leading EU Politician who, at last, will succeed to harness that "Spirit of the Times", and adequately translate it, into a fully-fledged, live Reality ?

(../..)

 

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    Scientific innovation joined to Faith for Human Rights, Eastern Partnership and fight against the Crisis, but above all, the need to overcome the "Crisis of Trust" from EU Citizens, are the main priorities for new EU Parliament's President, Polish Jerzy Buzek, that a 555-votes-strong majority of MEPs on July 14,  Strasbourg made a living symbol of the fact that, 20 years after the fall of Berlin Wall (1989 - 2009) there is no more an Eastern or Western Europe, but only one Europe, as the head of the largest group of MEPs, ChristianDemocrats/EPP, Joseph Daul, stressed after the event.

    Speaking later to a group of Strasbourg's Journalists, including "EuroFora", the new EU Parliament's President clarified his stance on concrete topical issues, as f.ex. that of Turkey's controversial EU bid, which was one of the main issues of the June 2009 Electoral campain, clearly won by his party of ChristianDemocrats/EPP :  - "At present, Turkey does not fullfil none of EU conditions", he stressed, (See infra).

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    Buzek is well known in Strasbourg and to "EuroFora" as EU Rapporteur for the Framework Program of Scientific Research and Development of Technologies. A Natural Science Professor from the Historic and Religious landmark Polish City of Częstochowa, active in the famous Solidarnosk grass-roots social movement, he served 4 years as Prime Minister (1997-2001), before being elected as MEP in 2004 and 2009, after he brillantly won the latest EU Election at the head of his party (EPP) almost doubling the number of its MEPs from 15 to 28 !

    - "Innovation" and "Energy safety", as well as fight against the "Cimat change", but also "Eastern Partnership", the "Mediterranean", "Strategic partnerships" with Russia, the USA, etc, and the search for "solutions to the Economic Crisis" that EU Citizens "expect" from us, will be his "priorities", announced from the outset the new EU Parliament's President, reminding also that the quest for "Human and Civic Rights" played an important role in his experience with the Solidarnosc grass-roots social movement in Poland's History

    But, the most important of all, is the urgent need to overcome the "Crisis of Trust" between EU Institutions and the People he stressed : - EU "Citizens often don't understand us", denounced Buzek, launcing a call to "do anything for EU Citizens to understand our work" in EU Parliament : "We (MEPs) need to make EU Citizens involved" in "what we are doing every week, in Strasbourg and Brussels", he proposed. Pointing f.ex. to the hot "Debates" with "strong arguments" exchanged between MEPs during the preparation of their Legislative Decisions, in Committees, delivering often hard struggles between initially opposed points of view, long before forging a majority at the final vote, sometimes more than a year..

    Therefore, EU Parliament will be "open to your criticism, for discussion and exchange of views", he promissed to Journalists in Strasbourg.

    In this way, Buzek, in fact, highlighted "EuroFora"s main idea, that we strongly advocate since 1997-2007, to systematicaly and actively involve EU Citizens in public debates during the decision-making process of important EU measures, which affect their lives and the society in which they live, (and not only just a few weeks each 4 or 5 Years at the eve of EU Elections)...
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    This is related also to the symbolic gift that Buzek chose to give to the out-going former EU Parliament's President, Hans Gert Poettering, (2007-2009), his collegue in the ChristianDemocrats/EPP, who brillantly won 2009 EU Elections in Germany : A genuine statute of sainte Barbara crafted in Silesia's black Coal by Polish Miners : Those simple but strong people who fought for social change against some technocrats and bureaucrats disguissed into so-called "real-socialists" of old times. (PHOTO).

    It's enough to have seen a popular open air mass, at Warsaw's center, with many thousands of people, old and young, simple workers and intellectuals mixed together, with references to Poland's history and struggles for survival and liberty, through various ages, (as fex. that organized at the eve of CoE's 2005 panEuropean Heads of State and Government for the beatification of late Pope John-Paul II), in order to understand what such symbols mean..

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    But, overcoming the "Crisis of Trust" with EU Citizens obviously implies also to rectify any errors done in the past, fex. on Turkey's controversial EU bid, with controversial decisions taken in 1999 and 2004 to give a "candidate" status and to start EU negotiations, provoking an unprecedented series of 3 "No" to EuroReferenda and 3 Majoriy Abstentions in EU Parliament Elections : 1999, 2005 and 2009, (even if the latest one succeeded to decelerate and almost stop the drop of participation rates, opening hopes for vote's revival after an electoral campaign clearly critical to Turkey's claims in several mainstream EU countries)
    
    Therefore, Buzek was faced with manifold critical Questions on EU Enlargement, most of them citting concrete examples of certain political problems  :  But his replies were almost always given as a matter of general principle :

    F.ex. Questioned on the suspension of EU - Croatia talks because of a Border conflict with EU Member Slovenia, Buzek prefered to speak about principles :

- "We know that during Enlargement, the process can be blocked by failure to resolve this kind of issues",  This concerns also other enlargments' cases", and "these rules are always in force" he warned.


But Buzek avoided to directly reply to a queston on "French and German EPP' calls to define the Borders of Europe", as a German journalist asked him by making a reference to French President Nicolas Sarkozy, and German Chancellor Angie Merkel's, critical statements on Turkey at the June 2009 Electoral campain.    

- "Concerning Enlargement, there's always the same rules : There have to be Criteria, which have to be respected if a Country wants to join the EU", he started to simply reply.

- "For my country (Poland) it took us 15 Years to fullfil these Criteria", Buzek reminded, indicating, if proportions are kept, that Turkey, fex. would have to spend some 25 years before eventually joining the EU..

- "Countries wishing to join the EU need to Change their Systems", as we (Poland and other former Eastern European Countries) did, he stressed.

- "'For me, meeting the condition of Human Rights is one of the Key conditions for membership in the EU", preferring again to speak from the point of view of General Principles, on the occasion of an untimely question on Serbia (which is not even a candidate yet)...

- "Turkey" has, "first of all", to fullfil (EU) Copenhagen criteria". Bevause, currently, none of them is fullfiled by Turkey", New EU Parliament's President, denounced, speaking later to a group of Journalists, including "EuroFora".

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In particular, on Human Rights :  - "We (EU) can never forget Human Rights", because "this is at the very Foundations of the EU", Buzek added.

On the contrary, when he referred to EU Enlargment for the  "Western Balkans Countries ", Buzek appeared upbeat, finding "promising situations", despite "difficulties" in the Past, since "Countries are queuing to become EU members", and this "generated changes", as he said.

As for Russia, Buzek observed that it was a "very important" country, located "in the same Continent", Europe,  "close to our borders", and "we need eachother". "But Russia' has 'differend poblems : "They claim that their system is Democratic, but rules are differend", and we must be "aware of such differencies", fex. "on Human Rights", that we can't ignore, as he said;

Concerning China, where a journalist observed that the recipient of EU Parliament's latest "Sakharov prize" for freedom of thought is "still in prison", Buzek found that since the 1999 events in Tien Amin square, "we see differencies on Human Rights still today", and expressed his "support" for those who try to ameliorate the situation.

On the contrary, speaking recently to "EuroFora" he strongly supported the idea for an EU - Ukraine cooperation, fex. between Airbus and Antonov, in order to build a  less costly but more performant than the old and problematic A400M, new Military Transport Airplane : - "They (Ukranian Antonov Company) can certainly do it. I'm sure they can. It's a good Idea, and I'd be glad if it was done", he told us. (See : http://www.eurofora.net/newsflashes/news/airbusantonov.html )


(../..)

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