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Home arrow newsitems arrow French Top Law Professor Waline to EF: No more 1969 or EU 2005-like Constitutional Referenda in 2019

French Top Law Professor Waline to EF: No more 1969 or EU 2005-like Constitutional Referenda in 2019

Written by ACM
Saturday, 29 September 2018

president_jean_waline_speaking_at_republicans_summer_university_2018_strasbourg_eurofora_400
 

*Strasbourg/RPUniversity 2018/Angelo Marcopolo/- Having still in mind what had happened with the Rejection of EU's 2005 Referendum for a European Constitution, but also Earlier, on 1969 in De Gaulle's France, a new Referendum would not solve the problems for a Parliamentary adoption of an Exceptionaly Important, but Controversial Reform of the French Constitution Now (most probably on 2019), agreed, in Reply to a relevant "Eurofora"s Question, a well known Top Legal Expert on Public Law in France, former President of the Internatonal Human Rights' Instituite "René Cassin", Strasbourg University's Professor emeritus and former President of the University, Jean Waline, Nowadays Author of one of the most Popular Manual Books in French Administrative Law, (See also Infra).


He had just given the Concluding Lecture at the Annual "Summer University" 2018 of the Mainstream, Center-Right Opposition Party in France, that of the "Republicans", (Founded by Sarkozy, as successor of Chirac's  "UMP/RPR", etc), for Strasbourg's Region, at a Collective Meeting Yesterday Evening, (where "Eurofora" had been Invited for Press coverage, by the main Organiser, vice-President of Lower-Rhine's Department, responsible for Strasbourg, and former MP, Jean-Philippe Maurer, as well as the "Republicans"' regional Secretary General, Mayor Georges Schuler).

President Jean Waline, (Son of a Famous Figure in the History of Legal Science in Europe, Marcel Waline, one of the First to Criticize the Vichy regime's Collaboration with the NAZI Military Invasion and Occupation, during the 2nd World War since 1942, and a firm Gaulliste, a spiritual Father of the "Individual Liberties" Doctrine expressed in the current, 1958 French Constitution's Article 66 about the Protection of Liberty by ordinary Judges), reminded, by the way, that, Paradoxically, "it was a Parliament dominated by the so-called "Popular Front" (Left) which Transfered Governing Powers to (NAZI Collaborator) Petain" in that Shady Past...


But, the Academician Marcel Waline had also Published Original Insights in so Various but Key Socio-Political Issues, going from "Philosophical, Legal and Sociological Positivism", (1933, repub. 1993), and ..."the Proletariat, in nowadays Society" (1946), up to the "Parliament, Government and Political Parties according to Democracy" (1955 : a Prefiguration of what became the Current French Constitution since 1958), as well as a Huge Number of pertinent Legal Comments on Administrative Judges' Case-Law about manifold Topical Cases, (later Compiled by his Son in a Series of 3 Books published on 2004 - 2007), that President Jean Waline, notoriously Characterized by a Sharp Political Feeling, certainly wouldn't underestimate the Various Aspects of this Macron-proposed Constitutional Reform :


- Thus, f.ex., he did not Hide at all the Fact that the Rightist Populist Party of "National Rally", (formerly "National Front"), might get, (with the Constitutional Reform introducing a part of Proportional System, as planned by New French President Emmanuel Macron), much More MPs in the Next Parliamentary Elections, while, until Now, that Population of more than "1/5th" of the Voters that they usually Represent, Has Not at all an Equivalent Number of MPs in the French National Assembly, where it's almost practicaly non-existent, (compared to Other Parties), as he reminded.


+ But, at the Same Time, the proposed Constitutional Reforms, also contain a Number of Various Other Provisions, which often Diminish or Curtail MPs' Rights, such as, f.ex., a Sharp Cut in the Total Number of MPs, Restrictions in the Number of Amendments raised by an MP, of his/her Speaking Time, Easier procedure for Censuring Laws by the Constitutional Court, Shorter Time for a Compromise Deal between Assembly and Senate in case of Disagreeement, Governemental Interventions in fixing the Parliament's Agenda, etc., Jean Waline critically observed, inter alia.


=> Thertefore, the main Question raised is Whether a Majority of MPs might be Found, or not, in order to Adopt a Package of Constitutional Reforms which mainly Diminish MPs' own Rights, to the point to be considered as "Anti-Parliamentary" : - Why should they ? he Wondered.


- But, in Fact, as things stand, Political Parties are, practically, the only Bodies allowed to Fund MP's expenses for Electoral Campaigns, etc, and, therefore, can still exert an Important Influence, in real practice, on them, Waline went on to observe. And this might, indeed, be a Decisive Factor able to Influence MPs' Behavior, he realistically concluded.

 

president_jean_waline_making_a_point_republicans_summer_university_2018_strasbourg_eurofora_400 


=> Therefore, Waline didn't hesitate when "Eurofora" raised the Question if he believed Rumours according to which, the current Government might, eventually, find Easier and Safer to Adopt such Constitutional Amendments through a Popular Referendum, instead of a Parliamentary Vote, or not. And this, Despite the Fact that, as it has notoriously happened, already, with the famous Majority "No" (in France, Netherlands and Ireland, etc) to the 2005-2007 Euro-Referenda on a Draft EU Constitution, mainly Because of EU Citizens' Opposal to Turkey's controversial and unpopular EU bid, (which was parallely evolving during that same periodp of time) : A Similar phenomenon to what might happen, mutatis-mutandis, also time, his (given, f.ex., some People's Opposition to this or that aspect of the current Government's overall Policies.


>>> Indeed, he immediately Agreed with "Eurofora"s above-mentioned, Critical Observation, and stressed that, often, Popular Referenda are Not politicaly Reliable Mechanisms, precisely "because many People Vote "No" for any Other Reasons whatever, Different from that for which a Referendum was made"...


=> In Consequence, in such a case, a Referendum is quite "UnThinkable", and even "Not Possible", Jean Waline Concluded in substance, Replying to the above-mentioned "Eurofora'"s Question, (Comp. Supra).

 

- At any case, it will be interesting to see what will really happen, when those Constitutional Amendments will be officially Tabled, "probably on January 2019", i.e., by an Irony of the sort, ...just after the 1958 Constitution's 60th Anniversary this year of 2018, Waline highlighted, with a smile...

 

(../..)
 


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(NDLR : "DraftNews", as already send to "Eurofora"'s Subscribers/Donors, Earlier. A more accurate, full Final Version, might be Published asap).
 


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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".

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        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.

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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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