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Pagina principale 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

Scritto da ACM
Thursday, 10 December 2020

 

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 *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).

 

 

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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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