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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

Pisac ACM
10. 12. 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).

 

 

(../..)

 

("DraftNews")


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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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