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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

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*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".

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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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  Ten Years of ECHR : 1998 - 2008 show need of Revival in 2009-2010 coinciding with 2009 EU Election
   

A threefold, coordinated move by new Top French Political actors in the 2009 EU Parliament Elections, expressed in Strasbourg a will to boost Europe's Political dimension close to Citizens' concerns, going from protection of Economy to defence of Human Rights.    

The move met an exceptional ECHR's call for a "revival" of Human Rights' protection mechanism', in a Mega-Conference, early 2010.   

Obviously focusing on June 2009 Elections to EU Parliament, it involved from the outset the recently nominated "dual" Head of French Governing Party (UMP)  Michel BARNIER and Rachida DATI :

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     - "As President Sarkozy has clearly said, we (France) are in favor of a Strong, Sovereign and Independent, Political Europe, which protects its Citizens, and not for a large Super-Market, nor for a Europe under influence",

    "This goes for everything, including Energy", added to "EuroFora" the experienced former EU Commissioner, Minister of Foreign affairs, currently of Agriculture and Sarkozy's new pick as Leader of the Governing party UMP to EU 2009 Election, Michel BARNIER                                              .                             

  - Human Rights are important because they are at the Heart of the Political Europe that we aspire for : I.e. a Europe able to act and protect its Citizens, stressed also the New French Minister for European affairs, Bruno LE MAIRE, while meeting Strasbourg's Journalists at his first visit to the CoE.   

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This is one of the main interests for CoE, which is also a natural place for cooperation between EU countries and Russia or Turkey, which was recently helpful at the Middle East crisis, he added.

The move gained momentum with French Minister of Justice, Rachida Dati's main observations at ECHR's 5Oth Anniversary :   

- "While we are seeking Europe's Borders and Identity, you (ECHR) remind us also of its Values", Human Rights, Dati noted.   

Citizens seek more and more often ECHR's help, and the tempo accelerates, Europa awaits a symbol, while national legal orders are not freezed   

And she expressed "support" to ECHR President Jean-Paul Costa's call to satisfy the vital need to revigorate the PanEuropean Court by deciding big changes at a High-Level Conference open to a large audience, a kind of "Etats Generaux" of Human Rights, at the beginning of 2010.       

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It's not so much the recently growing number of applications for Russia or Ukraine etc, which seems to be Costa's main concern : In fact, the cases declared "admissible" are much fewer...    

But rather the persistent violations of Human Rights, sometimes very grave (ie. murders, torture, abritrary deprivation of liberty, oppression of freedom of speech, destructions of homes/properties, etc), despite numerous, repeated condemnations by ECHR. So that CoE's Ministers, due to "supervise execution" of ECHR's judgements, are overloaded.   

F.ex. most Media noted that Turkey still remains, even in 2008, the 1st among 47 CoE member States in the number of condemnations by ECHR :  257, compared to 233 for Russia, with a population more than the double..    

The problem is that it's not the 1st time at all : During all the last Decade 1998-2008, Turkey was condemned by ECHR much more than any other State, and for particularly grave violations :   

- 1.652 condemnations, compared to 605 for Russia, 548 for Poland, 494 for France, 476 for Ukraine, etc.   

Italy's second place with 1.394 condemnations is a misleading false appearance : In fact, most of them (999) concern mere "procedural delays" in national courts. Same for France.   

On the contrary, Turkey was condemned 180 times for Killings, 192 times for Torture or Inhuman/Degrading treatments, 340 times for arbitrary deprivation of Liberty, 528 times for "Unfair trial", and 169 times for oppression of Freedom of speech, (etc). And the latest, 2008 numbers, indicate no change in this trend, (See supra).   

The current Spanish CoE Presidency (November 2008 - May 2009) has made of the implementation of ECHR's judgements its 1st Priority.   

ECHR's President, Jean-Paul Costa, stressed in its 2009 Annual Press Conference, CoE Member States' obligation to implement the judgements, according to Article 46 of the European Convention on Human Rights.   

Moreover, if CoE's Committee of Ministers delays to ensure implementation, then, the repetition of violations in similar cases provokes a multiplication of complaints tabled to the Court, which overload the mecanism for the protection of Human Rights, denounced Costa.          

A series of Debates on "the situation of Human Rights in Europe", focusing on the "need to fight against Impunity" of perpetrators of grave crimes, is  currently prepared by CoE's Parliamentary Assembly for the session of June 2009.  

The final Timing comes shortly AFTER the EU Elections, but the main Reports should have been adopted before.

Meanwhile, French President Sarkozy and German Chancelor Merkel's recent call "for a Political Europe" in 2009 EU Elections (See earlier "correspondence from Paris, Elysee Palace), seems more and more endorsed also by other EU Countries' Top MEPs :

Thus, f.ex., EU Parliament's 1st vice-President, Greek MEP Mrs Rodi KRATSA, speaking to "EuroFora", agreed that 2009 EU Election would be a "naturally good" opportunity to debate what really interests EU Citizens : "The Future of a Political Europe, able to face the Economic Crisis, with a Culture and identity which attracts the People"

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(Photo taken earlier during Sarkozy's 1st visit at EU Parliament, in 2007 : Sarkozy and Merkel's Ideas for a Political Europe inspire also other EU politicians accross the continent)..
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