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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

Автор 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)...      

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=> 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.

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=> 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"...


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("Draft-News")

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 imag0972_400


    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".

buzek_close_a_400 

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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