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Home arrow newsitems arrow Top MEP for Non-Orchestrated "Dialogue" with Citizens Applauded, But the Word Lacks in EP Resolution

Top MEP for Non-Orchestrated "Dialogue" with Citizens Applauded, But the Word Lacks in EP Resolution

Written by ACM
Wednesday, 17 June 2020

top_mep_v._orchestrated_dialogue_with_citizens_applauded_at_ep_eurofora_patchwork_400

*Strasbourg/Angelo Marcopolo/- In an  EU Parliament's Draft Resolution on the Conference for Europe's Future (2020-2021+), which was just Debated in Brussels, and Largely Voted via the Web, a Top Mainstream MEP was Lively Applauded when she Vowed for a "Non-Orchestrated Dialogue with Citizens", Contrary to some Critics' Claims.

But it's also a Fact that, curiously, Even the Word "Dialogue", Now Lacks, in an Otherwise, apparently, quite Fair Text, (Despite of somme Vague References to that, by a Previous, January 2020 Resolution, adopted in Strasbourg, on which "Eurofora" has Widely Reported : See http://www.eurofora.net/newsflashes/news/euparliamentoncitizensforeufuture.html, etc).

Instead, Now, the New Text speaks just for EU Council's "Commitment to a Meaningfull Follow up", and a "Meaningfull Direct Involvement of Citizens", (which goes Towards a Good Direction, But it's Not the Same thing : See Ibid)...

- It's in this Context that German Rightist MEP Gunner Beck (ID Group), suddenly Criticized what he Called an "Orchestrated Citizens' Dialogue, Organized by pro-EU NGOs", which would provoke "an Excessive Gag", and  End in "a Catastrophe !", as he Warned.   

- Immediately, experienced, Twice ReElected 1st vice-President of EU Parliament, Mairead McGuinness, a ChristianDemocrat/EPP MEP from Ireland, (for McGuinness' Statements to "Eurofora", See, f.ex.: http://www.eurofora.net/newsflashes/news/lightin2017.html , etc) Strongly Vowed that "there will be No <<Orchestrated>> Dialogue with Citizens !".

- "We HaveN't Orchestrated such a Dialogue", and "we'll Never Orchestrate Dialogue !", she promised. On the Contrary, "We" sincerely "Want to Engage with Our Citizens !", McGuinness Urged.

=> Loud, Enthousiastic Applaudisssments followed her Intervention, on that Obviously Key Point, accross a quite Wide Political Spectrum, including, f.ex., Both ChristianDemocrats/EPP, Liberals + "Green" and Other MEPs...

+ McGuinness' main stance appeared Strongly Backed also by several Key Points at EU Parliament's Resolution, which, f.ex., "Stress" that "the Direct Engagement of Citizens ... Must remain a Priority of the Conference", "so as to Build a More Democratic, more Effective and more Resilient Union, Together with All EU Citizens", as well as "to Keep the Scope of the Conference OPEN to ALL POSSIBLE OUTCOMES", ("including ...Treaty Change"), etc.

But, at the Same Moment, that Resolution Added, too, the "Engagement of ...civil society Organisations, social Partners, and Elected representatives", (Other than MEPs), etc.

And things had Earlier appeared somewhat Gray, (in Relation with Beck's Criticism : Comp. Supra), when EU Comission's Vice-President in charge, Dubravka Suica, had Concluded her Introductory Intervention by pointing at:  -"Involving Citizens and Civil Society Even More", ... - withOut making it Clear Whether that "Even More" Pointed at "Civil Society" (i.e. NGOs), or "Citizens and Civil Society", according to Where one puts the Comma (or not), and/or the Emphasis...

However, Suica Obviously Tried to Rectify that in her 2nd and Final Intervention, while Replying to MEPs After the Debate, where ...Any Mention to "Civil Society" or "NGO"s, etc., was Skiped, Prefering to Focus, Instead, Exclusively on "Citizens" Alone, from Now on :

 - F.ex. in order to stress EU Commission's ", Determination to Engage with Citizens and Ensure their Voice is Heard". And that "a Key message from me Today is that (it) remains Crucial". "In fact, ...Because of the Pandemic, it is Now More Important than ever before", that "European Citizens should have Greater Say on what the Union does and how it works for them". Moreover, "the Conference should Allow Citizens to Focus on What They Consider to be Important". Even "Ideas found in Local Discussions can be meaningfully Discussed at European level", she interestingly proposed. Meanwhile, "the Conference on the Future of Europe must be Representative of Geography, Gender, Age, SocioEconomic background and level of Education of Citizens", as well as "inclusive of Minority populations". And "it is Important to keep an Open Mind" : "We should Not PreDetermine the Outcome, or Restrict the Issues for Discussion", she reminded. So that "We have the Potential ...for a New Type of Politics, for a New Dynamic", due "to Complement Representative Democracy", and make it "a real Success for our Citizens", Suica Highlighted.

+ Adding Even the "D" Word for the 1st Time Today, EU Commission's Vice-President also Stressed that "We (EU)want the Conference (on Europe's Future) to be an Open, Inclusive, Transparent and Structured Debate".

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

But it's, However, a Fact that this EU Parliament's Resolution of June 2020 in Brussels, does Not even Mention, Anywhere, the Word "Debate" ! Contrary to a Previous one, of January 2020 in Strasbourg, which, at least, had included some Vague References to it... (See: ....).

+ Moreover, the Way that Suica Uses the Word "Dialogue with Citizens" appears to be quite Laxist, Vague, Superfluous, InAccurate, even UnJustified and/or MisLeading, at any case withOut Any Relation to its Fundamental Political Meaning :

- F.ex., at one point, she Boasts to have "Already held Many (sic !) Dialogues with Citizens" hershelf ! But, Most Engaged EU Citizens having ...Never Heard about her so-called "Dialogues", they should Not really Exist... Since a Real "EU Dialogue with the Citizens" would Basically Mean that All People had been Informed, and could Freely Participate, If and When they Wanted, in a Fully Transparent Way, with a Rigorous Democratic Dialectic, Monitored by really Indepenent Observers, according to the Standards Required by Public Authorities, and leading to Published Results. ... Otherwise, it's just a kind of Private Chat, with Only a Few Individuals, Arbitrarily Chosen, God knows how, for a kind of Idle-Talk, withOut Any Consequence...

- At anOther Moment Today, she Even went as Far as to Speak Also (at this Same EU Parliament's Debate) about ..."Dialogues AMONG Citizens" (sic !)...  

- Last, but not least : Suica Also Pointed at some "Examples of ...Citizens ...involved in Decision-Making processes", while "getting the FeedBack Mechanism will be Key" and "the Most Important thing", "for the Conference on the Future of Europe", as she stressed.

However, Real Dialogues with Citizens are Not Only meant to Serve as such "FeedBack Mechanisms" Towards Public Administrations, (i.e. a Simple, Classic Consultation), But Also ...to Get Feedback FROM Public Authorities, on People's positions, expressed in such Dialogues, (in a New Kind of Modern Democratic Exchange)...      

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

=> Therefore, the current Lack of Explicit, Fully-Fledged, and Crystal-Clear Reference to Citizens' Dialogue with Public Authorities, (Comp. Supra), canNot be really Compensated just with a few oral or other, Random Verbal Tricks, too often Superficial, (RegardLess of how "Positive" thay Might Seem at First Sight), But Needs Serious and UnEquivocal Handing.  

Probably, the Surprizing Concision (and even Total Silence on this Point) of EU Parliament's Resolution, this June 2020 at Brussels, on Europe's Future Conference, compared to the very much More Extensive, January 2020 Resolution in Strasbourg, (Comp. Supra), could be Due to the Current Need to Urgently Overcome some alleged DisAgreements yet, inside EU Council, on the Conference for Europe's Future :

- Indeed, "Some of the StakeHolders have Far-Reaching Ambitions", while "Member States approach" this "New Project" "with Different Ideas, Views, Experiences and Priorities", so that, "in any case, we are Seeking Consensus", as the out-going EU Presidency by Croatia told MEPs Today, represented by Minister Nikolina Brnjac, (shortly Before Germany takes over for the Period of July-December 2020).

=> So that, for Many, Nowadays the Priority number 1 was to Convince the EU Council, (after having Postponed once that Europe's Future Conference on May 2020, Because of the Virus), to Start, at last, "asap in Autumn 2020".    

                                                                                             

- Since EU "should enable an Open Forum for Discussion, among Different Participants, withOut a PreDetermined Outcome", then, "the common Agreement of the 3 Institutions (EU Council, Parliament, Commission) should therefore Only concern the Format and 0rganisation of the Conference", observes the Resolution.

- Otherwise, "let’s be Honest, it Becomes more and more like ...the Monster of Loch Ness (sic !). From time to time it Appears, then it Disappears, it is more like an Illusion, like a Fantasy", Denounced the Experienced former Prime Minister of Belgium, Guy Verhofstadt, speaking on behalf of the Liberal ("ReNew") Group.

- But, "We Must Avoid that", Because "this is Serious Business" : "This Conference is Vital, it is Crucial for the Future" and the Necessary Changes of which, even "this Covid Crisis is another Illustration", also GeoPolitically, he Warned, Urging for EU to Change, in order to Prevent being "Stuck Between USA and China", as "this EU is Not Fit for purpose", and "Our Citizens Know" that "We Need anOther EU".  

- "I hear in the Council that the Conference has become a bit of a running Joke, a running Gag (sic !)". But "I think this House (Parliament) has made it very clear that Citizen Participation is Not a Joke, that meaningful Reform of the Union is not a joke, and that coming Out of this Crisis Stronger and more United is not a joke", stressed also, on behalf of the "Green" Group, German MEP Daniel Freund.

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

=> EU Citizens' Participation in Decision-Making notoriously being the Most Original aspect of this Forthcoming Conference for Europe's Future 2020-2021+, it shouldN't remain also its More Shady area... *

>>> At any case, Today's Votes at EU Parliament proved that Representatives from practically ALL Political Groups, (Including Old "Conservative" Krasnodębski from Poland, who Urged for "EU to Become Again More European", and ChristianDemocrat/EPP Van Dalen, as well as Young "Green" Freund, mainstream Socialists, "ReNew"'s Liberals, as well as "ID" Rightists and Leftists, even Many "NI", etc), Exceptionaly found a Common Ground, at least, by Surprizingly forming an Absolute Majority of 386 MEPs, to Support or Abstain (247 + 139 respectively) Instead of Refusing (a Minority of Only 300 MEPs), a quite Symbolic Amendment which Mainly asked that, at the Conference on Europe's Future,  "No Solutions are Excluded a priori"...


(../..)

("Draft-News")

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ECHR's President to "EuroFora" on Journalists Gongadze and Adali murders : Principles must apply to all States, without discrimination.


+ ECHR's Statistics on Freedom of Expression (See below).


 European Court of Human Rights' President, Jean-Paul Costa, questioned by "EuroFora" on Journalists' murders, as in Gongadze and Adali's cases etc., strongly stressed all CoE Member States' obligation to make efficient Investigations to find and punish those responsible, and underlined that ECHR's case-law's principles must apply to all without any discrimination.

His call was clearly supported by various Top MEPs who denounced a risk of "Double Standards" if some Journalists' murders are investigated, while others don't.

To avoid such risks, CoE's Parliamentary Assembly adopted a Resolution, on the occasion of Ukranian Journalist Gongadze's murder, "stressing", as a matter of general Principle, "the importance it attaches to the safety of Journalists and political activists, especially those linked to opposition groups, in ALL member states of the CoE". All "crimes against journalists and political activists must be investigated ... as a matter of priority, without political interference".

Costa was replying to "EuroFora"s question on the fact that, after CoE's Committee of Ministers, also CoE's Assembly had just adopted a Resolution on Gongadze murder case, based on an ECHR's judgement of 2005, asking a full Investigation from Ukraine, who has found and condemned  in 10 years of jail 2 executants, but not yet the instigators.

While nothing similar was yet done for dissident Turkish Cypriot Kutlu Adali's murder, with 5 bullets shot at his head out of his Family's home in the territories of Cyprus occupied by Ankara's army, despite another ECHR's judgement of the same year 2005, and despite Turkey's claim that nobody was found among those responsible for the murder, and that there was nothing more to do..

In order to be credible and efficient, CoE's mechanisms shouldn't find a way to at least ask for full investigations of all Journalists' murders anywhere they might be committed, without exceptions ?

adali_gongadze


- "On the larger question that you raised, I'd like to say, since we are in a period of stock-taking on ECHR's 50 Years, that the Court's case-law developed certain concepts ....such as the Positive obligations of States, part of which are also the procedural obligations", started to reply ECHR's President.

 - "Whenever Journalists, Lawyers, Defenders of Human Rights, or even simple Citizens are murdered, the States are held responsible, not only if its their own security forces' agents who committed these murders, but also if they didn't make sufficiently substantial and efficient Investigations", he stressed.

- "I want to strongly underline that we (ECHR) have found in many cases numerous violations of Articles 2 and 3 against States, ....(about) murders or torture, ...because they didn't make enough Investigations in order to try to find and punish those responsible".

- "We (ECHR) do that vis-a-vis all 47 (CoE) Member States, without any discrimination".

"Naturally, the circumstances in each particular case may be differend, and we can't ommit to apply the rules of proof, or the rules of criminal procedure".

"But we try, by all means, to apply these principles of our case-law, to all States", he concluded.

imag0335_400


      Costa's call was strongly supported by several Top CoE MEPs, from various Political areas


- "To investigate the murder of one Journalist, and not of another, looks like Double Standards", denounced the President of EuroLeft Group in CoE's Assembly, Dutch MEP Tiny Cox.  

- "What is the reason ? Politics or specificity of a case ? Of course, if Cyprus and Turkey are involved, it's always a Political case"..

- "Murders of Journalists should always be fully investigated, because killing Journalists is not only killing persons, but also killing Free Press".  "We (CoE's Assembly) should do our outmost to help People who are working on Free Press and they are under threat or murdered".

Because for Free Politics, Free Press is a pre-requisitive : Parliamentarians  cannot  function without a Free Press. Not investigating, is not protecting ourselves".

So we should investigate all Journalists' murders : We are talking about Gongadze, about the Cypriot man (Adali), about the Journalist murdered in Moscow one week ago, etc", Cox concluded

- "CoE can' look at these cases differently. CoE can't wear Blinckers  !".
- "If the one is investigated, so has to be also the other. Why there wasn't full investigation ? Why's that ?", wondered British  Socialist MEP, Alan Meale.

- "A good idea" would be to "make a Motion for Resolution", and "join all Journalists' murders. Adali and Gongadze etc", said to "EuroFora" EU Parliament Political affairs Committee's President, Goran Lindbland, ChristianDemocrat MEP from Sweden.


(See also earlier News at "EuroFora" on similar issues).
-------------------------------

ECHR's Statistics on Freedom of Expression :


    Almost Half of condemnations by ECHR for violations of Freedom of Expression in 2008, concern Turkey : 20 out of a total of 48 for all CoE's Member States.

    Russia, Poland, France and Moldova were condemned only 3 times. Romania, Greece, Portugal, 2 times, and the other CoE Member States only 1 time, or none.
--------------------
    During the last Decade : 1998 - 2008, Turkey was condemned for violating Freedom of Expression in ..169 cases, while Austria only in 24.

    France and Moldova in 14 and 13, respectively, closely followed by Russia and Poland with 11 and 10, respectively. The rest of CoE Member States had less than ten condemnations.    
    

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