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Home arrow newsitems arrow European Movement Head Maydell to look at Eurofora project on Citizen Web Debate before EU Decisions

European Movement Head Maydell to look at Eurofora project on Citizen Web Debate before EU Decisions

Written by ACM
Monday, 05 February 2018
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*Strasbourg/Angelo Marcopolo/- While EU Parliament's plenary session is due to Debate and Vote, later this week here, on the way that EU Citizens may have a Say in the Choice of Future MEPs and/or EU Leaders, at the forthcoming 2019 European Elections, crucial for EU's Future, in parallel, "Eurofora" spoke with the new International President of the European Movement, ChristianDemocrat/EPP MEP Eva Maydell, on how Citizens might, in parallel, Find some New Ways to be Heard before Final EU Decisions.


Maydell, who is from Bulgaria, the Incoming EU's rotating Presidency for the Period of January - June 2018, had just made an original presentation of the Program of the Bulgarian Chairmanship at EU Council, chosing to point, inter alia, also at the Issues of "Digital" Society, as well as of "Citizens" role.       

 

- She even said that her own Party, under Prime Minister Boyko Borisov, (significantly Named : "Citizens for a European Development"), had also tried to Ask the People, (including also Expats), about their Preferences and Ideas, BEFORE Final Decisions on the Official "Program" of the Bulgarian EU Presidency, (using various kinds of meetings in order to do so)...

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 During a Brief but Topical and Concrete Encounter, "Eurofora" asked Maydell if she found interesting to Join the Digital and Citizens' matters, by helping Develop Web Debates, between EU Citizens and EU Decision-makers (f.ex. EU Parliament's MEPs, etc), Before the latter take Important Decisions affecting People's Lives and/or Society at large : I.e., to put it in a nutshell, our Long-Time 1997-2017+ Project (Comp., among many others, also, f.ex.: http://www.eurofora.net/walstrom.html + ..., etc).

 

It's well known, indeed, that Many People have recently expressed regrets for the current Lack of any real "European Space for joint Public Discussion" on Key Political and other Key Topical Issues concerning all the Continent and EU's Future. 


The Young MEP's spontaneous Reply was, in brief, to say : - Yes, Why Not ? However, we (i.e. the European Movement) have Already Tried something like that, but most People didn't seem so much interested, and it didn't work well enough, as she honestly found.


However, when "Eurofora" asked Maydell what kind of Web Tools had used those who told her that it didn't work, she merely replied by citting only the use of ... "Tweeter", "FaceBook", and so on !


- "But these are Only useful for some Short Notes on Brief "Events", and Not at all for Serious, Fully-Fledged and Complete, Continuous Debates on Important Issues !", objected "Eurofora".


- Because for real Political Debates you need to be able to always see what were the full Arguments of Each Party, which were the Replies of their Opponents, publish your own claims and react to other People's refusal or acceptance, or demands for explanations/clarifications, etc, with  the possibility to always easily find anew what was said, and what's the situation of the overall  Discussion, etc, we added, in this regard.


=> Therefore, you need a Real Internet "Forum" Software, which is the only one able to do so and more, at any moment, we suggested, in conclusion.


- President Maydell appeared Surprized, but Thoughtfull, and didn't deny yet the main thrusht of these points.


- On the Contrary, she accepted "Eurofora"s coordinates, in order to be able to have, at least, a look at some among the numerous relevant Publications discussing various concrete aspects of our relevant Project, and said, in Conclucion, that the matter should be Examined and seriously Discussed Furthe, in the foreseable Future.


- She appeared interested also in "Eurofora"s choice of Name, (i.e. "Fora" = Plural of "Forum" in original Latin), (etc), and did Not Exclude, a priori, our suggestion to, eventually, Cooperate with some interested Volunteers from her "European Movement" in the development of that Project in real practice, if necessary. => So, Rendez-vous was taken for an undeteremined yet moment in the Future to furher Discuss that matter.


- The New International President of the European Movement, had, indeed, expressed, Earlier Today, a Strong Interest about "Hearing (EU) Citizens and their Ideas", particularly "Before the 2019 Elections", as a matter of "Priority".


- For that purpose, she had stated her intention to seek and/or help organize several "Meetings across Europe", as she said, be it "in Brussels" and/or "in Strasbourg", in order also to "Hear some things that they (EU Citizens) have to say", and, eventually, chose even to try to "Implement" some among them, Later-on, as sne said.


=> I.e. something that is obviously much more Easy to realize, in Practice, with the Help of adequate Internet Forums, and not so far away from "Eufora"s Project, which was Briefly and Hastily, but Topicaly Evoked with Maydell, on this occasion, Opening a Pathway to do More and Better, eventually, in a foreseable Future...

 

(../..)
 
 
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***


(NDLR : "Eurofora" obviously intends to Develop Further this matter, simply Highlighted here, asap).


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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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