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Accueil arrow newsitems arrow CoE Political Director Laurens to EuroFora:Key Tunisian Minister in Democracy Forum, Morocco Partner

CoE Political Director Laurens to EuroFora:Key Tunisian Minister in Democracy Forum, Morocco Partner

Ecrit par ACM
Wednesday, 22 June 2011

 

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A key representative of the currently evolving process from which depends the Success or failure of the famous "Jasmin" Democratic Revolution in Tunisia, the Historic frontruner Country in the Movements going on in 3rd Mediterranean States, the new Minister in charge of preparing a New Constitution, Mr. Ben Achour, will practically open, Next Week in Strasbourg,  the transition to the creation of Strasbourg's "World Democracy Forum in 2012, due to emerge from a kind of "Sythesis" between the preexisting CoE's Political Schools, and new, parallel events topically debating "Ethics" in Politics and "Citizens' Trust", said in substance the experienced CoE's Director General for Political and Democracy affairs, Jean-Louis Laurens, replying to "EuroFora"s questions :

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- "EuroFora" observed, from the outset, that, among various interesting and important Personalities, (such as CoE's Secretary General, Thornbjorn Jagland from Norway, CoE's President-in-office, Ukranian Foreign Minister Kostyantyn Gryschenko, experienced professor Catherine Lalumiere, former CoE's Head and current Chairwoman of Political Schools' PanEuropean Network, from France, experimented Russian Human Rights Mediator, Vladimir Lukin, former Head of the Russian Delegation to CoE's Assembly and to EU Parliament,) etc), figured also the Tunisian Minister Rafaa Ben Achour, delegated to the Prime Minister, who is due to give an "Inaugural Lesson" to CoE's Schools of Political Studies, spreading from EU Members Hungary, Poland or Cyprus, etc., up to Turkey, Ukraine and Russia, etc.

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- "Minister Ben Achour is both in charge mainly of Tunisia's Constitutional process, and s. Member of CoE's "Venice" Commission", i.e. the unique PanEuropean body of Top Legal Experts on Constitutional Law, Elections and Human Rights,  (See yesterday's "EuroFora"s Draft NewsReport), sharply and accurately replied Laurens, revealing the particular importance of CoE's selection for its Key-note Speaker.


- "Thank you .. for the question : Mr. Ben Achour is also Member of (CoE's) Venice Committee, and this already gives a clear indication on his main area of responsibilities, which obviously focus mainly on (New) Institution-building issues, and on the elaboration of a New Constitution in Tunisia", (after the "Jasmin" Popular, Democratic and Social Revolution), "That's his main domain of action", revealed CoE's Director General for Political and Democracy affairs, in reply to "EuroFora"s query.

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The move was topically made the same Day that, for the 1st time, CoE's PanEuropean Assembly gave a special Status as "Partner for Democracy", to Morocco, while also launching an appeal to Tunisia to be the 2nd to join the Historic process, due to enlarge, progressively, to all other 3rd Mediterranean and Asian Countries at EU's Neighborhood.


Thus, in an emotional and Symbolic ceremony at CoE's Headquarters, Morocco's Presidents of Parliament and Senate, Mr. Mr. Radi and Biadilach, joined together with Turkish Politician Mr. Cavusoglou, both from the 2 Bordering States around EU's Western and Eastern External borders, which have both asked, at one moment or another, even to become EU Members, (starting with Morroco, which had asked 1st, afterwards, followed by Turkey with a similar request, but only later-on, when time was more ripe)....  

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Since then, Mediterranean Arab Countries found difficult to understand why EU spend more than 90 € per inhabitant each year for so-called "Candidates" as Turkey, while it didn't invest not even ..9 € per inhabitant in all other 3rd Mediterranean Countries, as Morocco's Foreign Minister had recently denounced at an International G20 Conference organized by the 2011 French Presidency in Paris. While, in fact, we all face similar Challenges which affect also EU, such as, fex., Climate Change, Global Crisis, Illegal Emigration, Terrorism, Drug Trafficking, etc., but also an interesting Economic,  Energy, a.o. Natural Resources' GeoPolitical potential, as pointed out Morocco Senate's President, Seich Biadilach, and, therefore, now speaking to Strasbourg's Journalists, including "EuroFora", after meeting with CoE's Secretary General Thornbjorn Jagland.

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+ "EuroFora", also asked Laurens whether CoE's project to create a  "Democracy Forum in the future", was already "examined by the Committee of Ministers" of the PanEuropean Organization, or not, and "if the common Inspirations behind Next Week's 2-3 successive/parallel Events (i.e. CoE's Political Schools, Conference on "Ethics in Politics", and the meeting of EU Mayors of "Strasbourg's Club" focused on "Citizens' Trust") were due to merge, afterwards, inside a joint Synthesis, that will emerge with the 1st "Strasbourg's World Democracy Forum" on 2012.


- Indeed, "Next Week's events are a kind of a Pre-figuration of the (2012 Strasbourg's World) Forum", (on Democracy), it has been already decided, since it is part of CoE's Secretary General's (Thornbjorn Jagland's) Priorities for the period of 2012-2013, and these Priorities were accepted by (CoE's) Committee of Ministers", replied Laurens to "EuroFora"s 2nd Question.


=> "Our task, now, is to ensure its Funding, since it (i.e. Strasbourg's Democracy Forum) will be an Activity going well beyond the current (CoE's) Political Schools and their (Annual) Summer Democracy University, including an important Financial Partnership out of the CoE, where we work together with Strasbourg City, for External Fund-Raising, in order to become able to give to this (future) event the Real Dimension of what we wish, i.e. what we callled, earler, "Davos of Democracy", CoE's Director General of Political and Democracy affairs' replies to "EuroFora" concluded.
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Obviously, such planned events are expected to follow any relevant topical development, including, f.ex., currently the "Citizens" gatherings which start to spread also in EU Member States like Spain and Portugal but also in Greece, etc., particularly (but not only) among Young People, as a NGO Representative, precisely  from ...Tunisia had earlier warned "EuroFora", on the sidelines of the recent G8 Heads of State/Government Summit organized by the French 2011 Presidency at Deauville, (See relevant "EuroFora"s NewsReport from the spot).


Curiously, however, despite their apparent potential, such Popular Movements were qualified by another Journalist as often raising good "Questions", but whose "Replies are given by Extremists" (sic !), as he said, echoed by Local Strasbourg City's vice-Mayor, Robert Hermann, (Socialist party), who also criticized such Citizens' Movements, nonobstant their current trend to spead accross several EU Countries, as having "Difficulties to formulate Proposals", as he claimed.


However, as another, Spanish collegue recently wrote also for similar Popular Movements in Spain, and as it can be witnessed now, even more clearly, in the serious situation of Greece, these Citizens' Groupings clearly ask  for a "Real (i.e. Direct) Democracy", "without" (bureaucratic Intermediaries in Political) Parties", nor in Mass Medias, etc., as well as a decisive action "against (the recent Decades of) Corruption" in the Public Sector, mainly the State.


It's also at an "Ethical Deficit" that future co-organiser, in charge of Strasbourg City's International relations, Nawel Rafik Elmrini, attributed at least a part of the precursos phenomenon of the "huge Abstentions which appeared in EU Elections", as she said in reference to the well known "No" to the French and Dutch 2005 EuroReferenda, notioriously provoked since 1999-2004 by EU Citizens' refusal to accept Turkey's controversial and unpopular EU bid. - "We don't intend to avoid any topical Debate" of interest to EU Citizens in future, she added later-on.


The 2012+ World Strasbourg's Forum is not intended to be limited only in Europe, but, with participants also from Africa, Asia and other Countries, it aims to become really International, as it was confirmed in this last preparatory 2011 Press Conference.

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(NDLR : DraftNews, as already send earlier to "EuroFora"'s Subscribers/Donors. A complete and more accurate Final Public Version is due asap).

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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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