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Home arrow newsitems arrow New CoE Chief, Buric (2019-2024) to Eurofora: For Dialogue between States and Citizens too

New CoE Chief, Buric (2019-2024) to Eurofora: For Dialogue between States and Citizens too

Written by ACM
Wednesday, 26 June 2019

*Strasbourg/CoE/Angelo Marcopolo/- Even if the Surprizing, Crystal-clear Absolute Majority Win right from the 1st Round, 159 Votes against just 105, and 6 Abstentions/Blank, in COE's Parliamentary Assembly's Summer Plenary Session Today in Strasbourg, (after having Faced, successively, 3 Strong Competitors of Various Kinds : See Infra), apparently was due mainly to GeoPolitical and/or PanEuropean Policy reasons, (See also Infra), nevertheless, the New Secretary General of the CoE for the period of 2019-2024, vice-Prime Minister and Foreign Minister of Croatia, Ms Marija Pejcinovic - Buric, Replying to an "Eurofora"s Question, confirmed, with a bright Smile, that, indeed, among her Priorities will also be efforts to develop appropriate "Dialogue" between "States and Citizens" too, in the foreseable Future, in addition and in parallel to the Dialogue between the PanEuropean CoE's 47 Member States, (including Russia, etc.), that she stressed from the outset (See Infra).


- Indeed, in addition of having got a Relevant Experience also at the Direction of various Medias for "Civil Society" and "Public Administration", as well as in a Foundation "for Civil Society Development", in parallel with a Scientific Project on "Europeanisation" of the "Public Administration", (etc), Buric has Recently become also President of an "Initiative - Partnership" for "Open Government" since 2017, according to her CV, as published nowadays by the CoE.



In this regard, "Eurofora"s co-Founder has also, inter alia, Published an Legal Research of more than 1.000 Pages, focusing mainly on the Judicial Control of Public Administration's Decision-Making Process in relation to Citizens, which was presented for a Prize destinated to PhD Thesis by Strasbourg's Faculty of Law, on proposal by Paris II University Professor Paul Amselek, already as early as since the 1980ies ;  followed by the Coordination of a Collective Project (with Other journalists, Strasbourg's University, etc), on Innovative Use of Modern Telecommunication Technologies, accepted by EU Commission for examination in the framework of EU's "ESPRIT" Programme (1997) ; and the announcement/discussion at an EU Parliament's Press Conference, (together with its Vice-President and the EU Commissioner for Medias), of "EuroFora" Project (for Public Debates between Public Administrations and Citizens before Decisions affecting their Lives and/or Society at large : 2006); followed by the Creation of WebNews Site "Eurofora.net" since 2007/2008, (with more than +1.800 Original Publications and 32,5 Millions Readers nowadays); active participation to the landmark,  Days Colloque "Towards an Administrative Democracy ? From administrated subjects to Citizens", organized on 2010 by Strasbourg University and ENA; a 2016-2018 ReOrientation Plan for a State Doctoral Thesis on such Issues in France and Other Countries ; a Collection of Original Publications on Exchanges with Top EU/CoE+ Politicians/Senior Officers, Heads of State/Government, etc, during + 25 Years, around "Eurofora" Project (2017 + UpDated 2018); Registration of proposal for a Citizens' "Right to Dialogue" with Public Adminstrations before decisions, at the French "Grand Debat" Governemental Website, added also to Public Debate and Endorsement by the Collective Contribution of Strasbourg's Euro-Metropolitan City on "Participatory Democracy", to the National Great Debate organized by President Macron (2019) ; Registration of "4 D" Project (i.e. "Digital Debates in modern Democratic Decision-Making") for CoE's Annual "World Forum for Democracy"'s Labs, 2019, (Issue that we evoked with the current French Presidency and due to be re-visited anew also by the Next CoE's Presidency by Georgia (11/2019-5/2020, before Greece: 5-11/2020); relevant fresh University Research on Law due on 2020+ (etc).    



>>> Buric's wider, main Strategic Political Aim is to Help meet the current Europe's "Need of Unity", (i.e. not only in the Society, but also among PanEuropean CoE's 47 Member States), as she stressed from the outset, in her First Statements to Journalists, including "Eurofora", after her brillant Election, (Comp. Supra).            

=> European "Unity" must be supported particularly by "Dialogue", she went on to Add. Because Europeans need nowadays "Peace and Prosperity", concluded Buric, in a Snap and Coherent Overview of her main aims.


Significantly, she stressed that the Same Day that CoE's Parliamentary Assembly Voted to Ratify the Credentials of Russian MEPs, on certain Conditions of Monitoring, but withOut more severe Sanctions (from now on excluded for all MEPs, whose Basic Rights are now Saveguarded), as those which had Sharply Divided the PanEuropean Organisation of Strasbourg, since the 2014 Controversy on the Ukranian Conflict, provoking the Departure of the Russian Delegation, followed by a "Freezing" of its Annual Financial Contribution to the CoE, etc. (Despite the Fact that the Real Causes which provoked the First Bloody Clashes in Kiev, still remain Non-Elucidated, as a CoE's Top Experts' Report has found, particularly concerning those Mysterious Deadly "Snipers", who reportedly Targetted and Killed Both Demonstrators and Policemen, until Violence erupts, Droping a Peace Agreement which had just been signed by all sides !...).





This is, Probably, at least one of the Reasons for which Buric Won the race vis a vis 3 Other Strong Candidates to CoE's Top Job, such as f. Prime Minister of Lithuania, MP. Andrius Kubilius, f. Foreign Minister of Greece, Athens' Mayor and OSCE Head, Long-Time MEP Dora Bakogianni, including, Today, a Political "Heavyweight" such as Belgium's vice-Prime Minister and Foreign Minister, Didier Reynders, (the other Finalist), currently "Informateur" of King Philip on preparing a New coalition Government in Brussels.

All of them were, more or less, linked to the ChristianDemocrat/EPP mainstream Right, (with a Difference, it seems, for Reynders, who was reportedly Backed also by "Socialists/Liberals", while Buric's "Political Family" was clearly "the Center-Right", as she reminded anew Today).

=> This Fact Opens a New Chapter, Nowadays, in CoE's recent History, since, Exceptionally, ...all its Latest Secretary Generals were "Socialists", (from British Terry Davis, to Norwegian Thornbjorn Jagland, twice).

    >>> In particular, any New ChristianDemocrat/EPP CoE's Leadership of the Center-Right, would have to Harry up in order to strive to Catch up with a Series of Fast-Track Developments on the Crucial Issues of "Bio-Ethics", with an Important Impact on Humanity's foreseable Future. (F.ex. "Explosion" of the Number of Artificial Births, under various Pretexts, at the same Time that Heritable Gene Editing Technologies, irreversibly affecting all Generations, are emerging, etc).

    + Moreover, in the MeanTime, CoE's Group of Experts for the Protection of Human Embryo has been Dissolved, (as his former Long-Time Head, Denounced to "Eurofora"), while some Controversial Moves seem to have already Started, Recently, to Evolve inside CoE which might, eventually, lead into Diminishing even the already Insufficient Legal Protection of Human Embryo by pre-existing Legal Rules, so that, any New CoE's Secretary General, might be Soon placed in front of a "Fait Accompli", Deprived of sufficient Time in order to Prevent Risks of some Irreversible, serious Changes Downgrading the level of BioEthics' protection, even Before he/she could Start Taking Efficient Action, (See, f.ex.: ..., etc)... So, it's Urgent to really Take Control in that Fast Evolving Area, (including on some Controversial Moves recently evolving inside CoE's own BioEthical sector). To the point that it's not even sure that there might be Sufficient Time, not even Before the End of this Year (2019)...


    But Support for Buric has apparently come also from a part of the "Left" side in CoE's Assembly, as she Acknowledged Today.

    So that the Main Reasons for her Succesfull Election seem to come, much more, from a Geo-Political point of view :

    - First of all, as a Croat Top Politician, she is the 1st CoE's Secretary General, during its 70th Years of History, who comes from a former "Eastern" European Country, thereby, having an obvious Potential to Strengthen its PanEuropean Dimension.

    Indeed, already, she Contributed Positively, during the Recent rotating Presidency of the CoE by Croatia, into Preparing the Compromise which facilitated Russia's return back into the CoE's Parliamentary Assembly, thanks to subsequent Moves during Finland's and France's Presidencies.  

Moreover, Experienced f. Croatian Ambassador/Permanent Representative to the CoE, Miroslav Papa, (who became a Key Member of Buric's succesful Electoral Team), had Earlier spoken to "Eurofora" about the "Challenge" of that Issue, during the recent Croat Presidency of the CoE, and at least a Part of the Final Compromise allowing the Ratification of Russian MEPs' Credentials, on "Condition" of a Strong "Monitoring" process, as Voted Earlier Today, (Comp. Supra), clearly Reminds Ambassador Papa's recently expressed Support for CoE's "Monitoring" mechanisms in general, (See, f.ex., his Concluding Intervention at a relevant Conference, in http://www.eurofora.net/newsflashes/news/coeminoritiesprotection20yearsafter.html, etc).                                    


+ But CoE's clear Choice for a Croat Secretary General, obviously, can also be interpreted as a kind of Positive "Message" of Optimism for the Western Balkans' wider area, as Member of the European Family.

Added to Buric's intensive Experience in Working for Issues such as preparations of EU's Enlargement, Good Neighbourhood Policies, wider European Integration in general, etc., all this points towards a similar Direction.

++ To this was also Recently Added a very Interesting Buric's Reply to anOther "Eurofora"s relevant Question, during the Presidency of the CoE by Croatia, when she expressed her Belief in the "Positive Potential of Minorities" (from which the Western Balkans are Plenty, particularly in Croatia, etc), able to serve also as "Links" between Countries, useful for Regional Cooperation, working as Regional "Bridges", (f.ex. in Trade, Industry, Transports, Tourism, Environment, Culture, Science, etc : See http://www.eurofora.net/newsflashes/news/coeminoritiesprotection20yearsafter.html , etc). Matters at least partially Familiar also to Buric's Top Expert, Ambassador Miroslav Papa, who has Studied Comparative Minorities' Legal Status throughout all the PanEuropean area.


+ But, Croatia naturally has also a "Central European" Identity, that "Eurofora" had, f.ex. strived to regularly Support, for the General European Interest, during Zagreb's EU Accession process, often in cooperation with the Country's Longest serving f. Prime Minister, Ivo Sanader, (Comp. f.ex., at: ..., + ..., etc).

Marija Buric had already Published, in the Past, various relevant Texts, including, f.ex., in order to plead that its National "Identity" is not Incompatible at all with the European one, and/or that "Going West" should Not necessarily oblige to go "far away from God", (etc), as certain Headings of her Earlier Publications suggest.

+ By the way, even Croatia's Strategic Geographic Position, offering a Unique Link for PanEuropean Transports, between the Mediterranean Sea's Coasts and Danube/Rhine Rivers, (obvious in any MAP), underlines the PanEuropean Centrality of that Key Country.

No Need to Remind the Good Picture of European People engaged in Sport that gave us all the sympathetic National Football Team of Croatia during Last Year's (2018) FIFA's Championship in Moscow...

- What is more Important to observe Nowadays, is that even Buric's Mentor, the Prime Minister of the Country, former MEP Andrej Plenković, (Comp. Plenkovic's Reply to "Eurofora"s Question, earlier in the CoE, at: http://www.eurofora.net/newsflashes/news/primeministerplenkoviconeucoecoop.html , etc), plays an Important Role as one of EU Council's "Negotiators", for the EPP Political Group, in the currently intense Collective Efforts to Find an Agreement on EU's Top Jobs, between Heads of State/Government and EU Parliament's MEPs, this Week in Brussels, in order to be Ready on Time for the forthcoming MEPs' Public Debates and Votes on July in Strasbourg.

+ Last, but not least : After Today's brillant Election of Marija Buric as CoE's new Secretary General for the period of 2019-2024, it becomes obvious that an eventual Confirmation of anOther ChristianDemocrat/EPP, as the Winner Spitzen-Kandidate Manfred Weber, would naturally Facilitate EU Commission - CoE Cooperation in the foreseable Future.



Many observed that Marija Pejcinovic-Buric (who will take over from Jagland on September 2019) is just the 2nd Lady elected at CoE's Top Job during the 70 Years-long History of Strasbourg's PanEuropean Organisation.

The 1st was France's Catherine Lalumiere, with whom "Eurofora" had started to work in the European Press.

Historic periods and Persons are Different.

>>> But they Both have Light in their eyes !









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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".


        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.


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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