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Home arrow newsitems arrow Green Candidate Strasbourg Mayor Barsheghian Endorses EF Project on Citizen/MEP Debate before EU Act

Green Candidate Strasbourg Mayor Barsheghian Endorses EF Project on Citizen/MEP Debate before EU Act

Written by ACM
Wednesday, 11 March 2020

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*Strasbourg/Angelo Marcopolo/- The currently Most Popular (according to Polls) Candidate for Strasboug's New Mayor, Armenian-origin "Green", Jeanne Barsheghian, speaking to "Eurofora" Both on 4 and 9 March 2020, Expressed, in a Crystal-clear way, her "Total Agreement" with "Eurofora"s Project for EU Citizens' Dialogue with MEPs Before Important Final EU Decisions Affecting People's Lives and/or Society at large are taken at Full Plenary Sessions here, Each Month, in order to Strengthen Modern European Democracy.

+ In this regard, She Also Added an Interesting Point concerning Relevant Cooperation also Between several European Cities Networked with Strasbourg, (and, probably, Brussels, too)

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

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     - "Eurofora"s 1st Question, (at a Brief exclusive Interview given After a Collective Debate among All Candidates, at the Prestigious "International Library Kleber", on March 4) evoked "European affairs", and, after observing the Fact of various "Green" Alliances in several EU Countries, including Austria, Germany, etc., also Together with ChristianDemocrats/EPP, (even at Strasbourg's Neighbour "Baden-Wurttenberg" Länder, etc), pointed at some MEPs' alleged Preferences for EU Parliament's work in Brussels and/or Strasbourg, stressing that "it's Not Only about Transports" etc, "But Also about Press Impact".

- So that "certain Projects (as "Eurofora"s, since 2006/2007+) aim to Create (MEPs') Public Debates with Citizens Before the Plenary Sessions", "i.e. Before Important Final Decisions are taken", "usually in Strasbourg, since here (Traditionaly) Concludes almost everything" in EU Parliament's decision-making process, "After having been Prepared in Brussels, to which due Attention should also be paid". For that purpose, f.ex., the Previous Friday, "Saturday or Sunday could be used", We Suggested.

- "In Strasbourg ?", she proposed the Candidate New Mayor of the City.

- "Naturally, but Not Only, since with Today's New Communication Technologies, it could be Even for those EU Citizens who might be staying up to Scandinavia !", "Eurofora" added, More Widely.

- "Certainly", Barsheghian reacted Positively.

- "I Absolutely Agree with that !", she clearly Welcomed in Reply.

+ By the way, " I've just said at a Debate about EU Parliament", "that we should Engage More the Citizens also of Strasbourg on European Issues". "F.ex., when (EU's) Free Trade Treaties are Discussed, some have the Impression that it's something which exists Far Away, While, in Fact, it's going to have a Direct Impact in People's Everyday Lives !", she observed.

_- So "I Wish that such EU Debates could involve (EU) Citizens, in our City". That's why, "I took the Commitment for, at least 1 Debate per Month, inside the City Counil's Room, on EU Parliament", Barsheghian proposed.

- "But, that Should be done Before the Plenary" session's Final Decisions, "Eurofora" Clearly suggested.

- "Thank you for that", she Kindly Concluded this conversation, Smiling.

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 + A Good Chance to Develop that Discussion Further with "Eurofora", was offered, just a Few Days Later, On March 9, when Barseghian spoke at "Cathedral's Circle", hosted at Hôtel "Cathedral", facing Strasbourg's Most Famous and Greatest Monument :

- Initialy, she stressed, there, that she "Believe(s) in the Values of Experimentation" and "Illustration", reiterating her Wish for "a Great Debate, with EU Experts (MEPs ?) and Open to Everybody", in order "to Explain, have a Pedagogic effect" on European Issues, "Each Month".

-------

=> This Incited a Question on "certain Pre-Existing Projects", as that of "Eurofora", proposing to Organise Debates, the Week Before (Final) Decisions are taken in Strasbourg (Full Week Plenary Sessions), Not Only for Information (of the Society), But Also with an Active Participation of Citizens, who would Express their Opinions about (imminent) Decisions which Affect their Lives (and/or Society at large)".

- For that purpose, "Internet and other New (Communication) Technologies, could be used, as well as "in situ", involving Hotels, (Associations), etc., while that would Also be of great Interest to many Medias (not only 1 or 2 alone) and MEPs, Attracting several Journalists"

+ Particularly if "such Debates would take place In View of ForthComing Decisions, With the Participation of (EU) Citizens in the Decision-Making Process, and a Duty (or Commitment, for EU Politicians), to Reply to the People Affected by those (EU) Decisions, in a way respecting, at least, Basic (Legal/Human Rights') Principles, as that of Proportionality, etc", "Eurofora" suggested.

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

>>> - "I Entirely Agree With You on that Point !", Barseghian Positively Replied to the above-mentioned "Eurofora"s Question.

- Indeed, "Everything like that, which Would Strengthen (EU) Citizens' Appropriation" of Main Topical EU Issues, "Anything which Would Facilitate their Participation to Those Debates, would Also ReinForce the European Democracy, and, De Facto, European Parliament's Role, Because, in Fact, We are Speaking about that" : I.e. "the European Democracy's Importance", she Rightfully observed.

- In this regard, "there are a Lot of (Pertinent) Debates, f.ex., as that of Free Trade (International) Agreements, the Debate about the Common Agricultural Policy, with Huge Implications (also) on Our Food, Urban and/or Regional Planning, our Peasants, etc., which are Fundamental Issues Affecting Our EveryDay Lives", Barseghian concretely illustrated, inter alia.

=> In Consequence, "as far as I am concerned, I  Fully Agree with What You ("Eurofora") Propose, that is to say, Previous (EU) Citizens' Debates, which would Allow for Everybody to Participate".

+ "And", Moreover, "I Wish for Strasbourg's City, Together With all Other (European) Cities with which it Works in Network, to Facilitate, and Even Organize those Debates, which would Allow to Feed the European Democratic Debate" in Wider terms, she interestingly Suggested, in Addition.

=> - "In Conclusion, myself, I Entirely Agree with that !", Barseghian clearly Reiterated.

- Indeed, as she had already Stressed Earlier, as a matter of General Principle, "I Believe in Democratic Debate" and "Citizens' Participation".

 

(../..)

 

("Draft News")

 

(NDLR : "Eurofora"s 2 Questions were Raised

by Angelo Marcopolo on March 4, and by Eugenie Marcopolo on March 9).

 

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  Ten Years of ECHR : 1998 - 2008 show need of Revival in 2009-2010 coinciding with 2009 EU Election
   

A threefold, coordinated move by new Top French Political actors in the 2009 EU Parliament Elections, expressed in Strasbourg a will to boost Europe's Political dimension close to Citizens' concerns, going from protection of Economy to defence of Human Rights.    

The move met an exceptional ECHR's call for a "revival" of Human Rights' protection mechanism', in a Mega-Conference, early 2010.   

Obviously focusing on June 2009 Elections to EU Parliament, it involved from the outset the recently nominated "dual" Head of French Governing Party (UMP)  Michel BARNIER and Rachida DATI :

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     - "As President Sarkozy has clearly said, we (France) are in favor of a Strong, Sovereign and Independent, Political Europe, which protects its Citizens, and not for a large Super-Market, nor for a Europe under influence",

    "This goes for everything, including Energy", added to "EuroFora" the experienced former EU Commissioner, Minister of Foreign affairs, currently of Agriculture and Sarkozy's new pick as Leader of the Governing party UMP to EU 2009 Election, Michel BARNIER                                              .                             

  - Human Rights are important because they are at the Heart of the Political Europe that we aspire for : I.e. a Europe able to act and protect its Citizens, stressed also the New French Minister for European affairs, Bruno LE MAIRE, while meeting Strasbourg's Journalists at his first visit to the CoE.   

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This is one of the main interests for CoE, which is also a natural place for cooperation between EU countries and Russia or Turkey, which was recently helpful at the Middle East crisis, he added.

The move gained momentum with French Minister of Justice, Rachida Dati's main observations at ECHR's 5Oth Anniversary :   

- "While we are seeking Europe's Borders and Identity, you (ECHR) remind us also of its Values", Human Rights, Dati noted.   

Citizens seek more and more often ECHR's help, and the tempo accelerates, Europa awaits a symbol, while national legal orders are not freezed   

And she expressed "support" to ECHR President Jean-Paul Costa's call to satisfy the vital need to revigorate the PanEuropean Court by deciding big changes at a High-Level Conference open to a large audience, a kind of "Etats Generaux" of Human Rights, at the beginning of 2010.       

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It's not so much the recently growing number of applications for Russia or Ukraine etc, which seems to be Costa's main concern : In fact, the cases declared "admissible" are much fewer...    

But rather the persistent violations of Human Rights, sometimes very grave (ie. murders, torture, abritrary deprivation of liberty, oppression of freedom of speech, destructions of homes/properties, etc), despite numerous, repeated condemnations by ECHR. So that CoE's Ministers, due to "supervise execution" of ECHR's judgements, are overloaded.   

F.ex. most Media noted that Turkey still remains, even in 2008, the 1st among 47 CoE member States in the number of condemnations by ECHR :  257, compared to 233 for Russia, with a population more than the double..    

The problem is that it's not the 1st time at all : During all the last Decade 1998-2008, Turkey was condemned by ECHR much more than any other State, and for particularly grave violations :   

- 1.652 condemnations, compared to 605 for Russia, 548 for Poland, 494 for France, 476 for Ukraine, etc.   

Italy's second place with 1.394 condemnations is a misleading false appearance : In fact, most of them (999) concern mere "procedural delays" in national courts. Same for France.   

On the contrary, Turkey was condemned 180 times for Killings, 192 times for Torture or Inhuman/Degrading treatments, 340 times for arbitrary deprivation of Liberty, 528 times for "Unfair trial", and 169 times for oppression of Freedom of speech, (etc). And the latest, 2008 numbers, indicate no change in this trend, (See supra).   

The current Spanish CoE Presidency (November 2008 - May 2009) has made of the implementation of ECHR's judgements its 1st Priority.   

ECHR's President, Jean-Paul Costa, stressed in its 2009 Annual Press Conference, CoE Member States' obligation to implement the judgements, according to Article 46 of the European Convention on Human Rights.   

Moreover, if CoE's Committee of Ministers delays to ensure implementation, then, the repetition of violations in similar cases provokes a multiplication of complaints tabled to the Court, which overload the mecanism for the protection of Human Rights, denounced Costa.          

A series of Debates on "the situation of Human Rights in Europe", focusing on the "need to fight against Impunity" of perpetrators of grave crimes, is  currently prepared by CoE's Parliamentary Assembly for the session of June 2009.  

The final Timing comes shortly AFTER the EU Elections, but the main Reports should have been adopted before.

Meanwhile, French President Sarkozy and German Chancelor Merkel's recent call "for a Political Europe" in 2009 EU Elections (See earlier "correspondence from Paris, Elysee Palace), seems more and more endorsed also by other EU Countries' Top MEPs :

Thus, f.ex., EU Parliament's 1st vice-President, Greek MEP Mrs Rodi KRATSA, speaking to "EuroFora", agreed that 2009 EU Election would be a "naturally good" opportunity to debate what really interests EU Citizens : "The Future of a Political Europe, able to face the Economic Crisis, with a Culture and identity which attracts the People"

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(Photo taken earlier during Sarkozy's 1st visit at EU Parliament, in 2007 : Sarkozy and Merkel's Ideas for a Political Europe inspire also other EU politicians accross the continent)..
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