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Αρχική arrow newsitems arrow New CLRAE President Mosler-Tornstrom to EF: No Ghetto+Radicalisation. Digital+Education in 2017-2022

New CLRAE President Mosler-Tornstrom to EF: No Ghetto+Radicalisation. Digital+Education in 2017-2022

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Τετάρτη, 19 Οκτώβριος 2016
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*Strasbourg/CoE/Angelo Marcopolo/- A firm "No" to more Ghettos and Radicalisation in European Cities, coupled to a Strong Wish for Education and Digital Democracy, for the Next 4 Years of the Period 2017-2020, right from the "Grassroots", at a Local/Regional Communities' level, were, in Substance, the main points of the Reply, by the New President of the PanEuropean CoE's Watchdog for Local and Regional Democracy (CLRAE), Mrs Gudrun Mosler-Tornstrom, a Swedish-Austrian EU Integration live example, in Reply to 2 relevant Questions by "Eurofora", at her 1st Press Conference with Strasbourg's Journalists, earlier Today, just before Starting to Chair a series of Topical CLRAE Debates at its Plenary Session of Autumn 2016, (Comp. f.ex. Infra).


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Elected with a Wide Majority of 183 Votes, against only 8, and 11 Abstentions, the New President of CLRAE is the First Woman to get the Top Job at the PanEuropean, 47 Member Countries and 850 Million Citizens - strong CoE's Watchdog for Local and Regional Democracy, after initial Studies in the USA (Alabama), Sweden (Stockholm), and Salzburg (Austria), worked in Big German Companies, such as Siemens and Mannesman, but had also an Experience as Self-Employed Consultant, Founder and Manager of the first Ergonomics Centre in Austria, (etc), while also being Mother of 3 Children, and Married to a Professor of Labour and Social Law, before Engaging in a career of Elected Politician, both in Local, Regional and European level, where she served Recently as President of the Socialist Group inside the CLRAE, but mainly as Chairwoman of CLRAE's powerful Chamber of Regions.

 

 

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Gudrun Mosler-Tornstrom, had earlier stressed that, in her view, in the "Enlarged Horizon" of "a New Page due to be opened in CLRAE's History, CoE's core Values, on "Human Rights, Democracy and Rule of Law", are due to become "More Important than Ever", including in order to "Stabilize the Democratic Structures of our Societies", which, given also "the GeoPolitical situation", will have to Face more "Challenges" in the foreseable Future, as she Warned.

 - But, "Eurofora", pointed at her Personal initial University Background, dedicated to Digital Computers "Systems Analysis" and "Programming", and Asked her, mainly, about the potential role of "Digital Citizenship" Projects and Education, among various other Measures, also useful in order to Fight against Dangerous Socio-Cultural "Ghettos" and Radicalisation, which recently popped up in several Cities accross Europe, (even around Brussels, London, Rotterdam, Paris, etc.), in addition to their Importance for the Development of Local/Regional Democracy in itself.


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+ EDUCATION AGAINST GHETTOS + RADICALISATION
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-"Let me Start with your Question on Ghettos, and so on" : "We (CLRAE) are doing a lot of Work about it, also about How to Help, f.ex. by putting some Instruments, some Tools in the Hands of our Municipalities, our Cities, our Communities, etc. to Work with it", President Mosler-Tornstrom practicaly reacted from the outset .


 - "Just Today, we (CLRAE) introduced a New Project: The "Toolkit", including on Inter-Religious, and/or Inter-Cultural, Inter-Community work", she pointed out, (See Details Infra).


 - "This is a Toolkit Translated in Many Languages, so that all our Member States can Work with it".


+ "And we have done a lot of Work on a series of "Guidelines" in order to Prevent this" (Radicalisation), she added.


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Indeed, during the Debate of a Report on a "Strategy to Combat Radicalisation at Grass-Roots Level",  drafted by representatives from the Netherlands, Bert Bouwmeester (Liberal) and Germany/NRW Josef Neumann (Socialist), which was Adopted by a Large Majority Today by the CLRAE, the co-Rapporteurs stressed that "Local Authorities play a Key-Role in Preventing Radicalisation", "But are Not sufficiently Equiped" for that purpose.
Therefore, they presented a "ToolKit" due to Help also "Strengthen the <<Living Together>> Feeling" of the People, whose Contents Focus mainly on "3 Points : (1) Guidelines for Preventing Radicalisation, (2) Twelve Principles on Inter-Faith Dialogue, and (3) a specific, CLRAE new Website, including on "Inter-Cultural Dialogue", as they said.

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In fact, among CLRAE's "Priorities for 2017-2020", (according to a Report drafted by Gudrun Mosler-Tornstrom and Swedish ChristianDemocrat/EPP representative Anders Knape, and due to be Examined on Friday), this is closely related also with Wider Topical Issues, such as Promotion of "Ethics and Transparency" at Local/Regional levels, particularly by "Preventing Corruption", according to a Report drafted by Experienced, former Twice President of CLRAE, Dr. Herwig Van Staa, a Top ChristianDemocrat/EPP representative from Tyrol (Austria), which was Debated and Adopted Today.


 - "Population's Trust" in "Elected Politicians" requires "a High Level of Integrity", stress, indeed, the above mentioned "Priorities". Van Staa, (who is also CLRAE' "Mr. Anti-Corruption" since a long time), presented Today a "RoadMap" composed from 6 more specific Texts on the Fight against Corruption, including (1) Abuse of Administrative Resources, f.ex. in Elections, (2) Public Procurement issues, (3) Transparency, (4) Conflicts of Interest, (5) Cronyism, and (6) Protection of Whistle-Blowers". Moreover, an EU/CoE 1999 "Code of Conduct" should be "Reviewed and Extended to cover also Executive Staff and Officials in Local/Regional Government". Concerning Results in Real Practice, an "Evaluation Conference" is Planned for Next Autumn (2017), he anounced, while, however, Regretting the Fact that, still, "a European Prosecutor Office has not been established yet". But, at any case, "Transparency" and "Electronic Governance" (Comp. Infra) can become realy Helpful, he highlighted.


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    - But, "... where does a Ghetto Starts ?", Gudrun Mosler-Tornstrom went on to add, in her Reply to the above-mentioned "Eurofora"s Question (Comp. Supra). -"In a Ghetto, often you don't have much Possibility for Education, for Social Life, and so on, (etc) and this is so Important : Education !", she stressed.


    - "So, there we (CoE) have to Start !", CLRAE's New President pointed out.
 Education is, indeed, by a Timely "Coincidence", at the Focus of  CoE's Annual "World Democracy Forum"; November  2016 in Strasbourg, with UNESCO Director General, Irina Bokova, but also Norway's Prime Minister and various Top Experts throughout all Europe and other areas of the World.


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- "Oh, it would be Wonderful if we could Invent an Instrument, put it inside, and then, wait for it to work"....It would be too Good!", she laughed.  


- "But No, it's not like this... So, we (CoE) have to Go On", she Urged.


 - At any case, it will remain true that "We (CLRAE) do a lot of Work to Prevent such situations (of Radicalisation), and do our Best".


- "I'd be very Realistic" on that matter, she concluded Soberly, at least for the time being, (Comp. Supra).


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+ DIGITALISATION and Local/Regional Democracy
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+ On "the 2nd point" of "Eurofora"s Question : - "On Digitalisation : This not only for the People participating in our Meetings, (for Decision-Making process), etc".
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Indeed, Gudrun Mosler-Tornstrom had already stressed earlier that, more Widely speaking, Local/Regional "DeCentralisation gives More Possibilities for Citizens to Participate in the Decision-Making process by Public Authorities".


In this regard, a 2009 Additional Protocol to CLRAE's Charter, which consecrates a Citizens' Right for Participation in Decision taken by Public Authorities at a Local/Regional level, will be actively Supported and its Signature by the remaining CoE Member States which have not yet done so, shall be "Encouraged", particularly in the run-up to the 2018 Anniversary for CLRAE's more than 30 Years of existence.


While, precisely, "Digital Citizenship Education", was discussed by CoE's competent Ministers, recently in Brussels, while CoE's specialized Top Inter-Governemental body, its Steering Committee on Educational Policy and Practice (CDPPE) has just taken Decisions on that same matter, earlier Today in Strasbourg.


By a Timely Coincidence, almost at the Same Moment that CDPPE was also Examining a Plan of the Incomming CoE's Presidency by Cyprus, for the Period of Novembert 2016 - May 2017, to organise an Important PanEuropean/International Conference on Education in March 2017,

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during Today's CLRAE Debate on Young Representative's Projects from all over Europe, a Young Cypriot Girl, Margarita Christodoulidou, naively but interestingly suggested that, "If there are WiFi Internet Access for People living from Cyprus' Villages up to the UK and throughout other European Countries, then, Youngsters could Use Social Media Platforms, and, through them, would Reach Out to CoE's Networks", including on Citizens' Participation, Fight against Radicalisation, Local and Regional Democracy, etc, as she evoked.


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 => - In fact, "Digitalisation is a ...Issue in our (CLRAE) Priorities, Starting from 2017, and going on for the Next 4 Years, (i.e. up to 2020), the New President of CLRAE officialy Announced, in Reply to "Eurofora"'s Question.


- "Because we see How Digitalisation is Influencing the whole Life we are in, of  All of us :"
- "I mean, just go to a Market-place, and see, Some People don't even Realize what is Happening around them, because they have the EarPhones, they Look at the Phone, and just Go Out".


 - But, "What does it Mean to our Social InterAction, for these matters. What does it mean on How we Deal with Each Other ? What does it Mean for Solidarity ? What does it mean for Democracy ?", she drove up to the main point...


 - "It's not only if we Work, Look and Talk to Each Other. But also what does it mean for Democracy ? And where do we get the Input from ?"


- "From the Social Media ?", she wondered, (just to Aknowledge the Fact that, "I am Using Social Media by myself", as she went on to admit)...


- "But, all those Questions, We (CLRAE) Have to Talk about it, and here, in the CoE", President Mosler-Tornstrom stressed, more widely.


 - "And those ones Who are First that are Confrontated with all that (i.e. Both those "Gheto" Risks, and the "Digitalisation" Questions and Potential, from Citizens' participation to Democratic Decision-Making, up to Economic and/or Social Dangers or, on the Contrary, Useful Projects, etc), are the Local and Regional Levels", (i.e. Towns, Regions, etc), she observed.


=> So, "They Have to Do that !", with "CoE's Congre's Help", she Concluded.


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+ CLRAE ELECTS A FRENCH GAULLIST TO ITS "GOVERNANCE" COMMITTEE
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Meanwhile, later this Afternoon, the PanEuropean CLRAE, (in a move which obviously has also a Symbolic Value),  decided to Elect a French Gaullist, Jean-Luis Testud, (a ChristianDemocrat/EPP Mayor of Suresnes, near Paris, who has served at Top Jobs at several Ministries or Big Companies, as "Air France", etc.) for President of its powerful "Governance" Committee, (who was, by coincidence, one amog the First to salute "Eurofora", earlier this Morning, just when we entered inside CoE).


De Gaulle is known Both for his Strong Will and Convictions, (obvious also in President Testud's most interventions at CLRAE's Debates for Years), as well as for his Attempt to Adopt, by Popular Referendum, an Important Reform of the French Senate, which would be Composed just by those New Regions that he wanted to create, already as early as since 1969...


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In CLRAE's Mediatic "Current Affairs" Committee, it's Ms Gabriele Neff, a Liberal (FDP) from German Bavaria's Capital : Munich, who gets the Top Job.


Last, but not least, the Crucial Importance CLRAE's Committee of "Monitoring", elected as President the Experienced Head of the Dutch Delegation, Leen Verbeck, (Socialist), who is reportedly due, inter alia, to Draft a Report on the difficult current Situation in Turkey on 2017.

(../..)


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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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