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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

Pisac ACM
17. 06. 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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    The incoming Swedish EU Presidency (July-December 2009) may still remain in favour of Turkey's controversial EU bid, despite June 2009 EU Elections' results, but it has "very strong demands on Turkey"'s obligation to respect EU Rules, said the Head of Swedish Foreign Ministry's Press Service, Cecilia Julin, to "EuroFora", reacting to critical Press reports.

    - "I know (that) the link is often made also to Sweden's position on Turkey"'s controversial EU bid. Indeed, "we (Swedish EU Presidency) are very much engaged in the future membership of Turkey, but not without fullfiling all the Criteria".

    - "It's very clear that we (Swedish EU Presidecny) have very Strong Demands on Turkey, in a sort of concept for Future membership of the Union, ...which will be a Long Process...", she stressed.

    This means, in particular, "the Copenhagen Criteria (on Human Rights, Democracy and Rule of Law), and also the adaptation to the Acquis of the European Union".

     - "If you listen to what Mr. Bildt (the Swedish Foreign Minister) says on Turkey at different occasions, it's very clear : We want Turkey to become part of the Union, in the Future. But we want it to fullfil all the Criteria : The Acquis of the European Union. That's very clear", she concluded.

    The Senior Official of the Swedish Foreign Ministry was reacting to critical Press Reports, from Brussels' Journalists invited by EU Commission's secretariat to Stockholm, who claimed that Bildt was abusing of a ..."Whip" (sic !) against Cyprus, by "threatening" the presence of UNO's Peace-keeping force at the "Green line" which separates the island's Government-controlled areas from the territories occupied by Ankara's army, if Nicosia didn't accept any political solution, regardless of Turkey's demands, before the end of 2009.

        Governing AKEL Party's new Secretary General, Andros Kyprianou, reacted by declaring that no-one can threat the People of Cyprus : -"We shall decide for our Future, and nobody else",  he reportedly said, asking to "keep calm". "In order to find a Solution soon, certain basic Principles must be respected", he stressed, calling those who feel an urgency to use their influence on Turkey. Other Political Parties were more critical.

    This was a reference to recently reported statements by Turkish Minister Bagis, Prime Minister Tayip Erdogan and Turkey's National Security Council (a Military-Political body), accused to push towards a partitionist "2 States" solution, contrary to UNO SC Resolutions for Cyprus' reunification.

    December 2009 is a crucial moment for EU's appraisal of Turkey's controversial EU bid, because EU Council has decided to review then Ankara's compliance with the European position on the recognition of Cyprus' Government, which was clearly set out by an EU reply of 21 September 2005 to Turkish Prime Minister Tayip Erdogan's claims, refusing to recognize even the existence of EU Member Cyprus, in controversial statements he made to London (former EU chair) on July 29, 2005.

    EU Parliament's latest Resolution on Turkey, adopted on March 2009 in Strasbourg, warned Ankara that "the non-fulfillment of Turkey's commitments... by December 2009, may further seriously affect the process of Negotiations" with the EU.

    In practice, the issue boils down to Ankara's "embargo" against Ships and Airplanes using Cyprus' seaports or airports at the strategic EU island, which traditionaly hosts one of the World's biggest Shipping flags. EU has already "freezed" 6 relevant Chapters in EU - Turkey Negotiations since December 2006, after Ankara refused to fullfil a commitment it had undertaken when EU had decided to open controversial "accession" negotiations with Turkey, back on December 2005.

    - "As far as EU - Turkey relations are concerned, it's clear that Turkey needs to fullfil its obligation of full, non-discriminatory implementation of the additional Protocol (to "EC-Turkey Association Agreement"),  This is an important issue....and should be addresseed as soon as possible as it clearly affects the pace of the accession negotiations.Issues covered by the Declaration of September 2005 will continue to be followed up, and progress is urgently awaited", warned earlier in Strasbourg the out-going Czech EU Presidency (former vice-Prime Minister Alexander Vodra).

    But the Head of the Swedish Foreign Ministry's Press Service, Cecilia Julin, dismissed "interpretations" by "some" that Foreign Minister Carl Bildt was reportedly "threatening" Cyprus with consequences on the UNFICYP, if it doesn't accept any solution until December 2009, while Turkey is reportedly delaying in an attempt to impose a partitionist "2 States" solution.

    On the contrary, Julin, stressed that "Sweden has strong demands on Turkey'"s respect of "Copenhagen Criteria and EU Acquis".

    Meanwhile, Sweden  is "concerned" about the risk of "Stalemate" in Cyprus' Talks, but is well aware that "the main responsibilities lie with the two leaders and the UNO", Europe playing only a role of "facilitator".

    After carefully verifying, the Head of Swedish Foreign Ministry's Press Service, stressed to "EuroFora" that Bildt's reference to UNFICYP "was not linked to a Threat", and dismissed those who "interpreted" it so.

    On the contrary, the Swedish EU Presidency acknowledged the fact that Peace Talks are mainly for the UN and the leaders of the Cypriot communities, EU's role being limited into that of a "facilitator".

    As for Turkey's reported attempts to impose a "2 States' solution", the Head of the Swedish Foreign Ministry's Press Service sharply replied by stressing that Turkey must respect the "EU Acquis" rules.

    In particular :

    - "Basically he (Bildt) underlined that it's the leaders of the two communities in Cyprus and the UN that have the main responsibilities for solving the problem", started to say the Swedish Senior Official to "EuroFora", referring to the above-mentioned "briefing".

    - "But the EU had a role in sort of pointing out the benefits and facilitating a little bit the outcome for the settlement of the whole Cyprus' issue", she added.

    - "And he did state the Fact, that the rest of the World (i.e. USA, etc) will, of course, look at the differend issues which are at the table, and the future of the UN Peace keeping force is part of what is at the table", she admitted.

    - "I understand that some have interpreted that as a Threat, by the Swedish Minister" "But", in reality, "it's a statement of a Fact, that, when we'll look at the differend issues, one of the issues on which we shall have to take a stand on, is the future of the UN Peace keeping force in Cyprus".

    Indeed, one of the questions usually raised for a Solution of Cyprus' issue is what International and/or European or other Guarantees, by a Peace-keeping force, might be needed afterwards, eventually for a transitory period.

    Questioned anew by "EuroFora" whether (according to critical Press Reports) this could be taken as a veiled warning that, if Cyprus didn't accept any Turkish demand for any solution whatever, it might be left alone to face Ankara's Military Invasion/Occupation, she denied :

    - "He (Bildt) didn't say it in that way"... "It was not linked to a threat, or anything like that", the Head of the Swedish Foreign Ministry's Press Service stressed.

    On the contrary, "he (Bildt) underlined that the main responsibility lies with the parties concerned on the island". "The EU can try to facilitate and show the benefits of reaching a settlement. But also, when the EU and the rest of the World (i.e. USA) will have to look at it, they will look at all the Facts on the table, and the presence of the UN Peace-keeping force is one".

    And "he (Bildt) didn't speak about that at all", she replied to "EuroFora" question on Turkey's reported attemps to impose, in one way of another, a partitionist "2 States solution".

    Asked whether Bildt's aim was to incite both parties to move forward efficiently, she agreed :

    - In fact, "the EU is really very concerned with the Stalemate in the situation. Yes !", the Head of Sweden's Foreign Ministry's Press Service anounced. That's why Bildt "was hoping for the two parties (i.e. for Turkey's also) to engage and break, a little-bit, the present stalemate, come to a solution of the issue" of Cyprus.

    But, replying  to a "EuroFora"s question on the risk, denounced by several politicians in case of strict Time Deadlines, for Turkey to provoke a stalemate and wait for the time to come to impose a partitionist "2 States' solution", she reacted by pointing at Turkey's obligation to respect "EU Acquis" :

    - "Turkey must fullfil the EU Acquis : That's clear !", the Swedish Senior Official stressed.

    More details are expected when Swedish Prime Minister Reinfeldt will debate his Programme with new MEPs at EU Parliament's plenary mid-July in Strasbourg, that he has visited already in 2008.

    Foreign Minister Carl Bildt became familiar with Strasbourg's CoE last year, when Sweden chaired the PanEuropean organization of Human Rights. As EU chairman-in-office, he will also chair the 27-member States strong EU Group inside the 47-member States strong CoE.

    Minister for EU affairs, Cecilia Malmstrom is well known at EU Parliament, where she has been an active MEP of the Liberal Group for many years, following also Press Freedom issues.

    Both have already made various statements at "EuroFora", on differend topical matters.

    ***

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