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Home arrow newsitems arrow Top MEP Durand to EF: Citizens role Before EU Decision: Major Issue in Conference on Europe's Future

Top MEP Durand to EF: Citizens role Before EU Decision: Major Issue in Conference on Europe's Future

Written by ACM
Thursday, 10 December 2020

 

agg__mep_durand_9_dec._2020_eurofora_screenshot_400

 


 *Strasbourg/Angelo Marcopolo/- "Eurofora"'s long-standing Project for prior Dialogue with Citizens in EU Decision-Making process, "is an Absolutely Major Issue, about Contemporary Democratic developments", in "a main Avenue where we (EU Must Asdvance", stressed Top French MEP Pascal Durand, (Liberal/"Renew"), co-Author of EU Parliament's Resolution and Negociator on the Conference on Europe's Future, in Reply to Our Questions Yesterday, (See Infra).

"Eurofora" was Invited by the "European Movement/Alsace", and the "Union of European Federalists", to a Video-Debate with Top MEP Durand on EU's landmark, 2 Years-long, "Conference on the Future of Europe",  which may Start on 2021.

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- rWe had already spoken on that together, in the recent Past, and "Eurofora" Published about it (See: http://www.eurofora.net/newsflashes/news/mepdurandeuroforaonfutureconf.html, etc). Thank you for Adopting Nowadays at least 1 among our Suggestions, that we had discussed then : I.e. to Associate EU Citizens' Legislative Initiative with MEPs' own Moves : (See Infra). We Hope that You shall Succeed to Convince, rather : Stimulate, many of your Collegues (MEPs), since, in fact, it's Their own Interest to Open such New Possibilities of Cooperation, which woud practicaly give to EU Parliament a much-needed Legislative Initiative, (as it is the case in All Other Parliaments), we reminded.

- But,  "What do you think at Present, how do you feel things are Now, and what Future Perspectives may exist :  - Is there any real Chance Nowadays, big or small, to Find a Way to Associate EU Citizens to the Decision-Making process of EU Institutions, (by using  also the New Communication means, which Facilitate Consultations, not only of a Dozen, but of many Thousands of People, as well as previous Dialogue and Cooperation, as you observed too), or Not ?", "Eurofora" asked Durand. This might take Any adequate Form, (f.ex. "Citizens' Conventions", "Great Debate", "Referendum on Dialogue", or a "Synthesis" of that, if not something Different : People's creative Imagination is great."..

+ And, "by the way, (even if it might be the Hardest), When do you think that EU's Conference on the Future of Europe might Start ?", we asked Durand, with a smile..

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- "We'd need a "Crystal Ball", he spontaneously joked about "Eurofora"s 2nd Question on the Timing of relevant mega-Events...

>>> "On the ways  to Associate EU  Citizens Before Decisions are taken, I think that it's an Absolutely Major Issue, about Contemporary Democratic developments !", positively Welcomed Durand "Eurofora"s 1st and Main Question, (Comp. Supra).

- In this regard, it seems that Ireland, Portugal (current EU-Chair), France (future EU chair), with "Citizens' Conventions", etc., Tried to do something there, he observed. But he appeared Critical vis a vis the "Socialist" Minister for EU Affairs in Germany, (whom, he had reportedly met earlier, but withOut seeing Anything coming out of it, as he regretted now [+UPDATE: However, ChristianDemocrat/EPP German Chancelor Angie Merkel, and EPP MEPs' President, Manfred Weber, (who had Already picked "Eurofora"s project as a Basic Light-motif of his Victorious EU Elections' Campain, back on 2019 : See, inter alia, f.ex. also : http://www.eurofora.net/newsflashes/news/weberreturnsoneuroforaproject.html + .http://www.eurofora.net/newsflashes/news/topeucandidateweberoneuroforaproject.html, etc) ,both German, Later produced an Interesting and comprehensive Collective Work on the forthcoming EU's Conference on the Future of Europe : See ..., etc]).

- "I think that, in order to Reply to Your ("Eurofora""s) Question, we must Find a Way to Set up a Permanent EU Citizens' "Block"", Durand suggested, in Practical terms.

- "So that EU Parliament would be able to Consult that Citizens' Block Before Decisions are taken. Almost as the EU Commission launches an Impact Assesment for a New Measure. Similarly, the EU Parliament would be Equiped with a Citizens' College, that it could Consult for any Major Decision. This should have a Secretariat, Experts, etc. That's very Important".

[NDLR : "Eurofora" Welcomes Durand's Interest, But observes that, for our Project, Previous Dialogue before an EU Decision should become a Democratic Right of all Affected EU Citizens, using New Communication Technologies to Simplify and Secure links, and Not a Privilege practicaly used Only by a Specimen of Individuals, chosen according to Controversial Criteria. This obviously is a point which needs special Attention to settle appropriately].

- "I have No Problem with the fact that it takes place Before Decisions. At any case, EU Parliament Must be <<DeBunckerized>> and made more Accountable. (Even if we : MEPs are already More Accountable than the EU Council, since we Respond  at a European Level, while the EU Council depends on National Instances", he pointed out.  

- "In fact, it's also a Financial Isssue : F.ex., in order to Organize Citizens' Conventions during the Week-Ends, and/or Engage UnEmployed People, Youngsters, Retired, etc., you have to find the Means for  (Financial) Compensation", he advised, Urging "for a real Study on Participatoy Democracy", etc. "i.e. we don't limit that only into Consulting them, at an exceptional occasion, But, on the Contrary, we Associate them to the (EU) Decision-Making" permanently.

-  As for EU Citizens themselves, "they would see that, in fact, Public Decision-making is, often, more Complicated than many thought : F.ex., when it practicaly takes to put Thousands of People into UnEmployment, then, you Hesitate and Think seriously before putting the Pencil on paper"..., he highlighted. "It's easy to say : - 'Let's Throw them  Out all !", But, when you realize, f.ex., that, Behind them, it's also a lot of Families who are affected, then, it suddenly becomes much more Complicated"..., Durand pointed out.

+ "Concerning the EU "Citizens' Initiative", (Cf. "Eurofora"'s original Suggestion, earlier : Comp. Supra), -"Yes : It's an Important Advance of the Lisbon Treaty", and concerns more than "a Million of People" : "So, it Must have a Follow up : That's something I Fight for, and I have Recently added some More Observations" in an EU Parliament's Draft, the Top MEP ensured.

=> - 'In Conclusion, to sum up : All this is Not a matter for Immediate Outcome, already overNight... But it's part of the Main, most Important Avenue, accross which we Must Advance", he (diplomatically, but resolutely, urged).

 

 

(../..)

 

("DraftNews")


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 sarko_merkel_mieux

The official presentation of a "Program" respecting People's choices voted in the June 7, 2009 EU Elections, to be debated in EU Council and EU Parliament during its 1st Session on July in Strasbourg, is the No 1 Priority, according to Democratic principles, for the Franco-German axis, said the main winners at the ballot box, French President Nicolas Sarkozy and German Chancellor Angie Merkel.

They stressed  that the New EU Commission's President must have a "Program" in favor of an EU which "protects" its Citizens, regulates financial markets and aims at a "Political" Europe" : a wording they have used as incompatible with Turkey's controversial EU bid.

They also declared ready for a "political" endorsment of "Mr. Barroso's candidacy" in June's EU Council, considering that an official decision would have to be made after EU Parliament's debates and votes, possibly from next month (July), with the legally necessary final acceptance shortly after Lisbon Treaty's entry into force, hoped for September or October.


- "A Program, and Mr. Barroso" : This resumes, in substance, the anouncements made by Sarkozy and Merkel, on the question of current EU Commission's President, Barroso's declared wish to succeed to himself for a second mandate, to be extended during the following 5 years.

 In their 1st meeting after EU Elections, they observed that "the Franco-German axis counted in European Elections' campaign... But, we both keep a realistic view : We saw the number of those who abstained, and we must absolutely give them an answer. We also see the disilusionment of an important number of Europeans vis a vis Europe, and we are aware of the responsibilities we have".

sarko

 - The "Duty" of the new EU Commission's President, after June 7, 2009 EU Elections' result, "is to act for a Europe which protects the Europeans, to commit himself into working for a better Regulation of Financial transactions, ... and to have a Political will for Europe", underlined Sarkozy.

Therefore, "we have asked M. Barroso... to clarify, to officialy present the intentions he has", he anounced.

- "We want to speak also about the Programme", explained Merkel.

- "It's important that for the next EU Parliament's mandate (2009-2014) we take the right Decisions for Europe.  Obviously on Persons, but mainly Decisions on Issues", she stressed.

- "It's not simply a question of a Person, it's also a question of a Programme". We are "really asking Mr. Barroso to commit himself on a Program, and on Principles, on Values", Sarkozy added.

EU President-in-office, Czech Prime Minister Jan Fischer, accepted the Franco-German stance :

- "Barroso must present his Programme. The Czech Presidency agrees with that", Fischer reportedly said later, after meeting Sarkozy.

But Press reports from Brussels claimed that Barroso had preferred to be officially appointed by EU Council since June, (i.e. next week), "because this was implied by the current Treaty of Nice, according to him", and considered any delay until the possible ratification of the new, Lisbon Treaty on September/October, as "undemocratic".

- "At any case, independently of what Germany and France ask, it's also EU Parliament's wish". "We shall propose Mr Barroso's candidacy... But even in the framework of Nice Treaty, EU Parliament has to be associated in this Decision", the French President observed.

If this is correctly done, then "we support Mr. Barroso's candidature", and "if the (EU) Parliament agrees, we might ratify this decision since July", (i.e. next month), they both said.

smerkem_400

- "France and Germany support Baroso's candidacy, But we want to speak also on the Program. We believe that this Program should be established in close cooperation with EU Parliament, and that's why we have followed an appropriate way", said Merkel.  - If EU Parliament wants, this election can take place on July,  but this must be done in full agreement.

- "We shall support Mr. Barroso's candidacy, without doubt", said Sarkozy. "But we have asked from Mr. Barroso, as I told him yesterday, to put into detail.. his intentions, at the eve of his 2nd mandate, if the situation avails itself.


    France and Germany "don't want to take an Official Legal Decision by writting" during "the next (EU) Council" (on June 18-19), declared Sarkozy.  Because they prefer, at this stage, only "a Political decision" on June, "so that we (EU Council) can work together with EU Parliament", which starts to meet only Next Month, since July in Srasbourg, "leaving a Legal decision by writting for later".

    - "If the Conditions are fuillfiled in EU Parliament, we (EU Council) are ready to give the agreement and make it offficial", said Merkel

    - "But, now we are working in the base of Nice Treaty. If tommorow we want to work in the spirit of Lisbon Treaty, we have to find a proper way", she added.

    - "Of course it's Legally complicated, because we are going to make a Political proposal to the forthcoming Council, for an EU Commission's President, on the basis of Nice Treaty : So, we (EU Council) will not appoint the Commissioners. Only the President.  If EU Parliament agrees, it could endorse this position on July", explained Sarkozy.

    But, on Autumn, "if Ireland ratifies Lisbon Treaty, there will be, at any case, a 2nd Decision, to appoint the Commission's President, this time on the basis of Lisbon treaty, and then, we, the EU Member States, would have to appoint (also) the EU Commissioners", he added.

    As for the precise Timing :  - "Everything is suspended until the Irish vote... Now, we must all make everything possible to help Ireland to say "Yes"" to Lisbon Treaty... The Irish Referendum, ..will take place either on September or on October. It's a Question which depends on the Irish. And,  then, we shall have the Choice of the Candidates for the permanent Institutions of Europe".

    However, "if Ireland says No, we, French and Germans, have to assume our responsibilities, and we'll do so", he concluded.

    But British and Swedish governments were reportedly eager to have a final EU Council decision on Barroso since this month, on June's European Council. While the other EU Member Countries are divided, several of them preferring to wait until EU Parliament pronounces itself, on July, and/or until Lisbon Treaty might be ratified by Ireland at the beginning of the Autumn. Barroso's current mandate ends on November.

    There are also various, contradictory and/or unpredictable reactions inside EU Parliament vis a vis Barroso's wish to continue a 2nd mandate, because many MEPs are openly or secretly opposed, reluctant, or hesitating.

    In the biggest EU Countries, as France and Germany, EU Citizens voted on June 2009 EU Elections for a renovated, non-technocratic but Political Europe which cares for its Citizens, with an Identity, Values and Borders, declared incompatible with Turkey's controversial EU bid, by mainstream, pro-European Governing Parties. Similar choices were also supported in several other small or medium EU Countries.

    On the contrary, whenever, in other Countries, Governing and other mainstream Parties didn't make these choices or eluded them, EU Citizens massively voted for euro-Sceptics whenever they were the only ones to to promise anti-bureacratic change and oppose Turkey's demand to enter into the EU, (f.ex. in the UK, Netherlands, etc).

    It's seems to be an Open Question whether Sarkozy and Merkel's conditions will be really accepted by Barroso, who was appointed on 2004 in a different political context, (with Socialist Prime Ministers in Germany, France, etc), had rejected in the Past the idea of EU becoming "equal to the USA" as "ridiculous", and pushed for Turkey's contoversial EU bid, trying to "soften" or contain the changes desired by the People who voted for Merkel and Sarkozy with another policy vis a vis Turkey on 2005 in Germany and on 2007 in France, as they did all over Europe on 2009.

    In addition to many EPP Governments, it's 3 remaining Socialist Prime Ministers : Gordon Brown in the UK, Zapatero in Spain, and Socrates in Prortugal, who support Barroso, as well as Liberal Swedish Prime Minister Reinfeldt. But their Parties lost the June 2009 EU Elections.

    Questioned whether there was still "Time" for "other" possible "Candidates", Sarkozy and Merkel did not deny, nor made any comment on that, but simply said that "it's not for us to make publicity for any candidates. We anounced our choice ("A Program, and Mr. Barroso"). But we respect any other candidate".

    Among various other names cited are former Belgian Prime Minister Verhofstadt, former UNO's Human Rights Commissioner Mary Robinson of Ireland, Italian former EU Commission's vice-President Monti, etc. Meanwhile, Luxembourg's PM Juncker, (who had been unanimously accepted by EU Council for EU Commission's Presidency on 2004, but refused), announced his intention to resign from "EuroGroup"'s Chair. Thus, he might be available for another Top EU job.

    As "EuroFora"'s "opinion" said (See publication dated 9/6/09) : - "If the current candidates (i.e. Barroso, etc) to the Top EU jobs promise and guarantee to respect People's democratic choices, then, it's OK".

"Otherwise, Europe must find new candidates, really motivated and able to implement these democratic choices of the People."

    Because, "in Democracy, the forthcoming choices for EU's Top Jobs,...should be made according to EU Citizens' Votes in June 7, 2009 European Elections, and main EU Governments' strategic policies".
        

***

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