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Inicio 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

Escrito por ACM
19.10.16
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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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Recent developments proved that Europe can suceed to overcome challenges by aiming at great objectives, and this is needed also in 2009, said EU chairman, French President Nicolas Sarkozy.

    - "It's in the name of Great Ideas, Projects, Ambition and Ideals, that EU can overcome" challenges, stressed Sarkozy at EU Parliament in Strasbourg, in conclusion of a dense 7 months EU Chairmanship. "It's even easier for Europe to have Great projects, able to overcome national egoism, instead of limiting itself only to small projects" (unable to do alike), he observed.     

- "Europe must remain Ambitious and understand that the World needs her to take Decisions". "The World needs a Strong Europe", which "thinks on its own, has convictions, its own responses, its imagination" : "A Europe which does not limit itself into following" others, (as it did in the Past, when it followed USA, f.ex. on Bosnia). On the contrary, "Europe should undertake its own responsibilities", he said, after a series of succes in stopping the War between Russia and Georgia, and organizing the 1st EuroZone's Summit in Paris, which incited the Washington DC G-20 Summit to extend similar decisions World-wide.  


    - "When you sweep it all under the carpet, prepare yourself for hard tomorrows", he warned. "What hinders decisions is the lack of Courage and Will, the fading away of Ideals", he stressed before EU Parliament's 2008 debate on Human Rights and Sakharov prize on Freedom of thought attributed by MEPs to Chinese cyber-dissident Hu Jia, followed by an EU - Turkey meeting on Friday.

    - "I don't abandon my convictions" and "I will take initiatives" on EU level also in 2009, Sarkozy announced later. "France will not stop having convictions and taking initiatives" on Europe. + "It's an Error to wish to pass over the Heads of those who are elected in their Countries" : "It's an integrism I always fought against"', he warned.
---------------------
French EU Presidency faced 4 unexpected Crisis :

- An institutional crisis, with the Irish "No" to EU Lisbon Treaty, just before it started. A geopolitical crisis, wth the threat of War between Russia and Georgia risking to throw Europe back to Cold-war divisions, on August. A World-wide Financial and Economic crisis, arriving at a bad moment before crucial 2009 EU elections. And even a Strasbourg's mini-crisis, with EU Parliament's roof curiously falling down, from unknown reasons, in a brand new building on August, provoking an unprecedented transfert of the 2 September Plenary Sessions...

But it wasn't enough to stop Sarkozy ! On the contrary, it stimulated him...
---------------------------------------

- "The better way to deal with the recent problems of EU institutions (as the "3 NO" by France, the Netherlands and Ireland) is to take them as a "Test" in order to find solutions closer to Citizens' concerns", said later in Strasbourg Sarkozy's new choice as Ministe for EU affairs, Bruno Le Maire.

- On the Institutional front, Sarkozy gave Time to the Irish to think about it, and stroke on December a deal including a New Referendum after the June 2009 EU Elections, in exchange of a promise to keep the rule of "one EU Commissioner for each EU Member Country", and some opt-outs on Defence and Fiscal EU policies, Abortion, etc. If the Irish get a "Yes" Majority, then the institutional package could be completed in 2010 or 2011 on the occasion of Croatia's probable EU accession.

He was accused in Strasbourg to upgrade EU Council and downgrade EU Commision, but he replied that "strong Political initiatives by EU Council reinforce also the more technical role of EU Commission, under the political-technical leadership of its President", all 3 "working together with EU Parliament".


- But, meanwhile, Sarkozy energetically spearheaded an Historic 1st Summit of EuroZone's 15 Heads of State and Government at EU's core, exceptionally enlarged to a partial participation of British Prime Minister Gordon Brown, on October 12 in Paris' Elysee palace, which started to tackle succesfully the growing world Financial crisis.

    It also paved the way for its endorsement by a subsequent Brussels' 27 EU Member States' gathering, before it all come to Washington's G-20 Summit. And "Europe was united, it asked for the 1st G-20 Summit, and it will also organise the next G-20 Summit on April in London", he observed.   

 But a Conference with EU, Russia, African and other Developing Countries, hosted in Strasbourg shortly after Washington G-20 Summit by the French EU Presidency, took a Resolution asking to enlarge participation to Global Economic Governance. Many found, indeed, illogic and unacceptable that f.ex. states as Turkey were given a seat at G-20 level, while all African Countries, and even the African Union itself, representing the greatest Continent on Earth, were excluded...


    Meanwhile, even USA''s "Paulson No 3" Plan, was, in fact, inspired by Europe's No 1 Plan", Sarkozy observed, largelly applauded by MEPs.

    And "Europe showed Solidarity" by mobilizing some 22 Billion credit for Hungary, 1,7 billion for Ukraine, as we do nowadays for Baltic States, etc., he added.

    The move on Economy was extended on December by an EU stimulus' plan totalling some 200 billion Euros, including 5 Billions released by EU Commission for big Projects, as well as various parallel National plans for Economic revival, (fex. 26 billions in France alone). They might appear limited, compared to USA President-elect Obama's reported plan to boost the American economy with 800 billion $, but at least succeded to overcome Europe's divisions for the first time on Economic governance, opening new horizons.

- The French President stressed even harder the unique role of an active EU Council's chairmanship, when he moved swiftly and efficiently, at the beginning of August, to succesfully stop War between Russia and Georgia, at the last minute, which threatened to bring Europe back to Cold War division.

"We (EU) also wanted to avoid a situation like in Bosnia, in the Past, when EU was absent, so that our American friends took their responsibilitues, and EU only followed", despite the fact that the conflict took place in Europe. Now, it was the EU who took its responsibilities".

A roadmap towards a new PanEuropean Security policy, before which all unilateral moves to place new Missiles (from USA or Russia) would be freezed, was proposed by Sarkozy after a meeting with Russian president Medvedev, at the eve of Washington DC's G-20 Summit.

Ukraine's "European" character was stressed at a Sarkozy - Jushenko Summit, September in Paris, while EU adopted on December an "Eastern policy", in which, "I'm convinced that our (EU's) future is to find with our Neighbours the conditions for Economic Development. Peace and Security, by explaining them that.. they must respect (Human Rights') Values, and adopt behaviors different from the Past", explained Sarkozy in Strasbourg.

Meanwhile, the "Union for the Mediterranean" was created, since July's Summit if 45 Heads of State and Government in Paris, as "an organisation for a permanent Dialogue, that we need", mainly in order to tackle the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, by bringing together, for the 1st time, Israelis and Arabs, where "Europe must be present, in order to avoid a frontal clash".

- "If Europe doesn't take its part for Peace in the Middle-East, nobody else will do that in our place", Sarkozy stressed.
-----------------------
    Meanwhile, other EU Agreements were brokered during the French EU Presidency on Immigration, (fex. common Asylum rules, etc), and Climat- Energy :

    - On Climat-Energy, the 2007 German EU Presidency had fixed a triple 20% aim for 2020 (20% renewable Energies, 20% reduction of CO2 emmission, 20% energy efficience/economies), and the 2008 French EU Presidecny realized that, making the necessary compromises in order to modernize EU's industry, but without throwing some former Central-Eastern European Countries into abrupt Economic break down risking "social explosion".

    - Defence-Security EU policy was mainly postponed for April 2009, since both German chancellor Merkel and French president Sarkozy want to strike a deal with the new American president Obama in Strasbourg's NATO Summit.

    However, with all these 4 unexpected Crisis diverting attention to other urgencies, People wil wonder now, what happened to the famous deal proposed by freshly-elected French President Sarkozy on Turkey's controversial EU bid, back on August 2007, to continue EU - Turkey negotiations, but on the double condition that core chapters, intrinsequally linked with EU Membership, will be excluded, and that a collective Reflexion and Debate on Europe's future would start before the end of 2008.

    It was meant to reply to the crucial question : What kind of Europe do we want in 10 or 20 Years from now : A large Market, or a Political Europe, with a popular identity ? In Sarkozy's thinking, presented in his 2 landmark speeches on Europe in Strasbourg, shortly before and after the 2007 Elections, (on February and July 2007), Turkey's controversial EU bid would be incompatible with the second choice.

    It's true that EU Commision's Chairman, Jose Barroso, (who had notoriously declared, as former Portuguese Prime Minister, that he found "nonsense" the idea that Europe might become equal to the US), had repeatedly tried to avoid that Sarkozy's criticism on Turkey might start winning a larger audience in Europe, preferring a discrete "wismens' committee" work. And that most of the personalities later chosen in order to participate in a Committee on Europe's Future, are too much linked with Socialist parties and/or American policies, to be really critical of USA's notorious wish to impose Turkey to the EU, as Sarkozy had noted himself since March 2007..

     - "It's on EU Council's presidency to take political initiatives. EU Commission has other competences", stressed Sarkozy. The "European Ideal" is to "build Europe with the States, not against them". "Ask Europeans to chose between their countries and Europe won't work. You don't choose between your two parents : We must add them together".

    "France and Germany have an Historic Duty to work together, precisely because of what happened to the Past. We have to work hand by hand. We cannot be separated.It goes beyond me and Mrs Merkel today, Mr Schroeder and Mr. Chirac yesterday. It's not a choice, it's a duty to Europe and to the World".  "We need Germany, as Germany needs Europe". Compromise is inevitable, here as everywhere, and each one made some steps towards eachother's positions.

    But "it's true that Mrs Merkel didn't chose her Socialist partners, while I chose mine", Sarkozy said, in an indirect hint that the Socialist Minister of Finance in Germany might be a cause of minor past disagreements in Economy, which were overcome in recent negotiations.

    "We (France and Germany) have particular duties in Europe", but "in a Europe of 27 Member States, it's not enough for France and Germany to agree between them.

    "I always thought that Great Britain has a special role to play in Europe. ... Now, everybody "saw what it cost payed the UK for having been too exclusively open towards the US (and) Financial services. Europe needs the UK, but also the UK needs Europe" :- "We were able to face the hardest moment of the Financial crisis because the UK clearly chose Europe", stressed Sarkozy, reminding Gordon Brown's exceptional participation to the Historic 1st Heads of State/Government Summit of EuroZone, October 12 in Paris (See EuroFora's Reportage from Elysee Palace then).

     - "Some look at Europe with old glasses aged 30 years ago. While we must look at her in relation to what it will be in 30 years" in the Future, Sarkozy concluded.

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