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Home arrow newsitems arrow Top MEP (f.PM) Peterle to EF: Boost Citizens Web Debates before EUParliament Decisions ahead of 2019

Top MEP (f.PM) Peterle to EF: Boost Citizens Web Debates before EUParliament Decisions ahead of 2019

Written by ACM
Wednesday, 23 November 2016

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*Strasbourg/EU Parliament/Angelo Marcopolo/- Experienced former Prime Minister of Slovenia, mainstream Top ChristianDemocrat/EPP MEP, Alojz Peterle, President of EU - FYROM Delegation, replying to a relevant "Eurofora" Question at a meeting in EU Parliament, stressed the Importance that it has, mainly Nowadays, to Find adequate, practical and efficient ways to regularly associate EU Citizens, particularly via Digital Networks, to Early Stages of EU Parliament's Decision-Making process, notably through serious Public Debates with MEPs, especialy in the run-up to the forthcoming, Crucial European Elections of 2019.


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    Peterle has served as the 1st Prime Minister of Slovenia, (Heading an Original Coalition of Christians, Greens, Farmers and SocioDemocrats, etc), twice co-Founder of a ChristianDemocrat Party, Foreign Minister and Front-runner Candidate for President of the Republic, before becoming EU Parliament's vice-President, followed by Chairman of EU Parliament's Committee on FYROM, etc., as well as, Recently (2016), a Leader of a Trans-Party Manifesto, signed by more than 50 Key MEPs from several Political Groups and Various EU Member Countries, mainly of the Center-Right, calling for a New EU Parliament's Presidency during the Crucial Period of 2017-2019, (in the run-up to the Next European Elections of May 2019), which has just obtained gain of cause, starting by a Succesful Vote in the Biggest Political Group, that of ChristianDemocrats/European People's Party, earlier Today (22/12/2016).


    In this regard, as mainstream, Top MEP from Austria, Paul Rübig observed, in a Lighter tone which Timely amused several participants to the meeting, Peterle's origin from Slovenia, where was also notoriously Born the Wife of New US President-Elect, Donald Trump, Melanie, might, eventualy, Help Develop even Better Euro-American relations in the foreseable Future, as he noted, just 2 Months before a New US State Department's Head visits Germany, closely Followed by New US President Trump himself, at least at the Beginning of July 2017, on the occasion of Chancelor Angie Merkel's Annual Chair of the Global "G-20" Next Year...


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    - In Fact, Nowadays, "the EU Project is at Stake", Peterle Warned, earlier, from the outset of a preliminary intervention.


    -F.ex., inter alia, most Further Enlargements have become UnPopular. "EU wasn't yet able to Export its Peace project to its Neighborhood", and, "in Ukraine, War came even in European soil", from 2014, added to the recent situations in the Middle-East, Turkey, etc., while both "Financial and (Mass) Refugees/Migrants (through Turkish Smugglers) Crisis" have provoked "Divisions" and "Less Trust by (EU) Citizens", and Islamic Terrorist Attacks brought even "State of Emergency" in several key EU Countries, he observed


    >>> What is Needed, is neither "More", nor simply a "Better" Europe, but, rather, a "Functioning Europe", "which Delivers" effectively, "Understands (EU) Citizens' Legitimate Concerns", and Defends  its "Values, Interests and Identity", the Experienced former Prime Minister stressed.


    -But, at least until now, "the Political Center of Gravity "does Not seem Ready to Deliver", yet, leaving room to various "Euro-Sceptics and/or Populists", etc. Therefore, it's Better to engage into serious, Democratic "Dialogue", including "with (EU) Citizens", he suggested.


    => That's one reason more, for which "the Next 2 or 3 Years" (2017-2019) "up to May 2019 EU Parliament Elections", are due to be of a Crucial Importance, particularly in order to "Meet the Expectations of EU Citizens", and "Reconsider certain points", Peterle warned.


    - But, at a Recent Exchange between various Top European Politicians and Thinkers, that he had Organized in EU Parliament, including with Experienced former French President, and EU Draft Constitution Committee's former Chairman, Academician Valery Giscard d' Estaign (VGE), the Latter Agreed that "we (EU) Need Solutions" to be found preferably via some "Dynamic" processus, as much as possible "without Treaty Changes".


    >>> In such an overall Context,  "a Transparent and Inclusive, Modern Decision-Making Process is the Best one", Peterle stressed from the outset, as a matter of General Principle.


    - Moreover, nowadays, among the "Challenges" faced by the EU, "I think that the (so-called) <<Democratic Deficit>> is Related to this", he added.


    => Therefore, "the Best Way to Reduce such a <<Democratic Deficit>> is to Listen to the People !", the Experienced Top MEP and former Prime Minister Urged.


    - "We (EU) are really in a very Demanding Situation", he warned.


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    - "Eurofora" made, then, "a Practical Suggestion, about what (Peterle) proposed, just now" :


    - Pointing at "One among the many ways to address (EU) Citizens, in a non-populist way (as he wished), that may also Interest and engage them", as well as "give a possibility almost as f.ex. Pope-Emeritus Benedict had said about Rational Debate, which gives an opportrunity to deal with People in Human Dignity, and a crystal-clear possibiity to approach Truth",


    => we asked :  "Don't you think that it would be a Good Idea, according to the Experience that you have on the EU Parliament, to Use the Modern Technologies that we have Nowadays, - in a manner which doesn't cost almost anything -  in order to try to Find a Way to engage Systematic, quasi-Regular Contacts, but Free, - i.e. without any rigid Obligations,-  Before important Decisions are taken in EU Parliament ?"


     - "I.e. "when you (MEPs) Consider things, when you Consult, when you are try to Forge a way on how to Conciliate Various Interests, how to Open New Horizons, that you think are the Best", etc.


    - "And to Find the most Simple way, for the MPs, the Direction of the Administration, and the Political Leaders of EU Parliament, to be able to Communicate with (EU) Citizens, and to have a kind of Public Debate, Direct or Indirect, Before" Final Choices, we suggested.


    - "Because they (EU Citizens) have a Thirst to Speak, and this could also give them an Opportunity to Speak as Persons", "Eurofora" pointed out.


    - Naturaly, something like that, "you (MEPs) can Shape it, in Concrete terms, as you like, in the Best Format" in practice. F.ex., it's enough that it happens "Before, at least one (1) Day before" Final EU Decisions.  But, in fact, "even precise Time", in absolute terms, "isn't really so important, because we have the New Digital Possibilities" : "F.ex. when someone (i.e. a MEP) is Free, he can Reply, Directly or Indirectly, on this or on that Issue, etc". - What matters most, is, "at least, to have some Kind of Debate (with Citizens), before (Final EU Parliament's Decisions). Serious and Topical".


    - "What do you Think about that ?", we asked the Experienced former Prime Minister, and f. EU Parliament's vice-President.


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     - "Thank you very much for your Comment and Suggestions, (which are) very Close to My Ideas !", Positively reacted Peterle to "Eurofora"s move from the Start.


    - "I said before, that there is (both) a Need, and a Possibility", in this regard.


    - F.ex., inter alia, "I mentioned before, that there is a need and possibility to engage National Parliaments (of EU Member States) in Early Stages of the Decision-Making process".


    + Moreover, "on the Other Side, I am sure that we (EU Parliament) could use the so-called Digital Agenda, to get Closer to the (EU) Citizens", he added.


    - And this, "again, I would say, in Early Stages of the (EU Parliament's) Decision-Making", I.e. "when Initiatives are presented".


    - In this regard, "I think that we (EU) Learned a lot in these Last 2 Years" (2014-2016), at least as far as it concerns "Engagement of Civil Society" (i.e. mainly NGOs), "because that was a quite Strong Campaign", he reminded on this particular modality.
    >>> + But also "Generaly Speaking", "I Like People's Involvement", Peterle stressed, as a matter of General Principle, on the main Substance of "Eurofora"s question, (Comp. Supra).


    - "And the more they will see, that they Have a Say, .. Not Just a possibility to Address Some of Us (MEPs), But Also, once Their Ideas will be Translated into the Decisions of this House (EU Parliament), this Will show them that EU is different" and Better, from other, previous Institutions.


    + Moreover, "I like very much - Because I follow Personalist Philosophy - that You ("Eurofora") mentioned "Persons" : We don't speak just about Citizens or Individuals, but I think that you are right, (and that's also PanEuropa's approach) : We Have to Speak about Persons !", he stressed. - "And the more People feel like Persons, the more we shall do Together", Peterle promised.


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    => For that purpose, in Practical terms, "I think that exactly this House (EU Parliament's HeadQuarters' Building in Strasbourg) can be used, because it's Empty for 3 Weeks a Month", (Between Plenary Sessions), i.e. "during those Weeks that we (MEPs) are Working in Brussels" (in Committees, Political Groups, etc) : "It should be used as a kind of <<Peuple"s Agora>> (i.e. Forum, according to the Ancient Greek Civilisation's original Wording), he Proposed.


    => Thus, "We (EU Parliament) can definitively  Find Ways to Give to the People more Opportunities to Present and to Fight for their Ideas".


      - "And .. this is (also) the Possibility (for MEPs) to Listen" to EU Citizens.
      - Because, in Fact, "I even think that Listening (to the People), is Now (even) More Important than Visibility" itself, for the EU, Aloij Peterle concluded.


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    One among the Most Experienced, mainstream MEPs, Austrian ChristianDemocrat Paul Rübig, former President of EU Parliament's Scientific/Technological Choices Assessment (STOA) Committee, and Now President of EPP's Working Group on the PanEuropean idea, Strongly Backed Peterle's positive reply to the above-mentioned "Eurofora"s question, Adding also a Practicaly Useful Idea :


    - In substance, Rübig suggested that a Recent EU Parliament's initiative, undertaken on the occasion of the 2017 EU Budget, to create a kind of "Medias and Science Hub", due to work mainly in EU Parliament's HeadQuarters in Strasbourg during those 2 or 3 Weeks per Month that it stays basically available, could be used Both for Preparing and/or Disseminating various "Fact-oriented" and Seriously documented, concrete Ideas, Proposals, Arguments, and/or Replies to certain Important and Topical European Issues, in cooperation with various Journalists, Agencies, TV Channels (f.ex. ARTE, etc), Scientists, etc., (to whom Peterle added, in Reply, also a poccoble Cooperation with EU's Joint Research Center, currently located in Istria's Central and Historic GeoPolitical Crossroads area near Venice), which could also serve, in extension, in order to Facilitate a kind of Gathering of EU Citizens' main concerns and/or interests about EU Parliament's most Important work, allowing also to eventualy provide the Best, Prompt Replies, particularly on Burning Topical Issues, through Enlightened Public Debates.

    + Naturally, such moves can easily be Interconnected, at any time, with participating MEPs, even when they might be working elsewhere, particularly through EU Parliament's internal TeleCommunications Network, bringing constantly Together Strasbourg, Luxembourg and Brussels, President Rübig added afterwards in Reply to an "Eurofora" Question. 

 

(../..)
 


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Former "Green-Red" German government's Foreign Minister Joschka Fischer's job at the controversial Turkish pipeline "Nabucco" was denounced as "not proper", "very bad", and "incompatible with Democracy", by the new President of EU Parliament's EuroLeft Group, German Lothar Bisky, replying to an "EuroFora" question.

For once, criticism of Joschka Fischer's doings with Turkey affecting Europe, didn't come only from the Center-Right of the political spectrum, but even from his Left side : The experienced Bisky, who has been chairing all over 1993-2009 the PDS - Die Linke party :  

- "Former Foreign Minister Joschka Fischer got involved in dealings with oil-gaz business in a foreign country, Turkey, and its controversial Nabucco pipeline. This raises questions about Democracy, also because of the well known problems of Human Rights violations in that country. Do you thing that this might be abused in order to cover up and close EU's eyes on Human Rights violations ?", "EuroFora" asked Bisky.

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- "Nabucco pipeline is (only) at the planning stage". And "there are some difficulties",  he observed from the start. But "'I don't want to get into the details of Nabucco pipeline, because I don't think that there is any point for it at the moment".
 
At any case,  "we  (EU Parliament's EuroLeft Group) strongly believe that Politicians should not get involved in the Energy Business, and all these commercial transactions", President Bisky declared on the Joschka Fiischer's affair.

- "We feel that it's something that shouldn't be done. It's not proper !"           

- "We don't think that it's compatible with Democracy either, and it gets politics into a very Bad track", Bisky went on to denounce.
                                                                                                                                                                        
- "EuroLeft  and "Die Linke" always spoke against that, saying that politicians should not get directly into the arms of private enterprises"

- "It is pretty bad if a former Minister takes a job f.ex. in a major Energy producer. So, it's an issue if a Minister who may have seen excellent opportunities, subsequently gets personally grasp of them, in very serious parts of the economy, once he has given up his (Government) job."

- "It doesn't really make politics in general look any better'", Bisky concluded.

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Earlier, this week in Strasbourg, other Journalists had also raised critical questions on former Foreign Minister Joschka Fischer's involvement in the conroversial Turkish Nabucco pipeline to the President of his own EuroParty : Kohn-Bendit of the "Greens", who, contrary to Bisky, tried to find excuses for Fischer, while criticizing his long-time partner, Schroeder for having done a similar move :

- "Shroeder was chancellor", and he "negociated" with "Russians", who gave him a job only "3 Months" after he resigned from the Government. While "Joschka Fischer", on the contrary, got a job with the controversial Turkish Nabucco pipeline only "4 Years after" he left the Government. "He didn't negociate Nabucco", so I have "no objection", Kohn Bendit claimed.

But, many Facts indicate the contrary :

Joschka Fischer was Foreign Minister in Germany from 1999 up to 2005 : I.e. from the year that EU took the controversial decision to give Turkey a "Candidate" status, until he year it started controversial "accession negotiations, (later declared "open-ended" after Sarkozy-Merkel's arrival from 2005-2007).

During that period was prepared the controversial so-called "Annan" Plan (in fact, drafted by others and attributed afterwards to the former UN SG) on Cyprus, which failed after a Popular Referendum said "No" on 2004 with a large Majoriy of 3/4 : 75%. Mainly because it was criticized for making too much concessions to the Turkish side :  Particularly by restricting Greek Cypriot Refugees' Human Right to return to their ancestral Land and/or get restitution of their Familiy Homes and private properties, usurpated by Ankara's Army since the 1974 militay invasion and continuing occupation of the northern part of Cyprus. And by weakening the Central Government, leaving to 2 "constituent States" so much powers and separate interests that more conflicts appeared inevitable, provoking the danger of a break-down in the foreseable future, with more crisis, troubles, perhaps bloodshed, etc., instead of creating an harmoniously integrated, really one federal State.

The controversial Plan was finalized on March-April 2004 at Burgenstock (Switzerland), curiously in the presence of an Envoy by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Germany, then governed by Joschka Fischer, but in the absence of a French and not even an European Union's Envoy, contrary to what was usually practiced on similar occasions in Switzerland (fex. in 1997 at Montreux, in 2000 at Geneva, etc).

Turkey notoriously exploited the failure of the "Annan" Plan in order to convince the EU to decide to start accession Negotiations on December 2004. This provoked an unprecedented series of Institutional Crisis inside the EU, shortly afterwards, when French and Dutch People rejected, 2 popular EuroReferenda by a majority "'No" vote to the EU Constitutional Treaty on 2005, aggraveted in 2004 a Majority Abstention to EU Elections, etc., followed by the recent Irish "No", etc.

"Nabucco" Gas pipeline was notoriously planned since ..2002. It follows an even earlier idea, for an Oil pipeline Baku-Ceyhun, which started to be prepared on 1999-2001 and was meanwhile recently completed.  

So, facts indicate that what is now at stake is based on decisions made during Joschka Fischer's term as former Foreign Minister, closely interested in Turkey's controversial EU-bid.

To the point that he now practically ...switched jobs with a poliician from Turkey, (the State which pays today openly Joschka Fischer), Mr. Ozdemir, who came earlier in Germany, got fast the nationality, and became EiuroMP in a few years, continuing now as head of the "Greens" in Germany, i.e. in Joschka's former job !...

Such astonishing facts risk, unfotunately, to give to German politician Lothar Bisky's criticism of  representative Democracy a topical meaning :

 - "We (EuroLeft Group) think that what is really at stake is Democracy. It's not only about Gas Pipelines or Energy sources", President Lothar Bisky went on to add in his reply to "EuroFora"'s question on Joscka Fischer's personal interests in the controversial Turkish "Nabuco" pipeline.

Such facts, "make People get more distance from Politics. ...People had had enough, and they are fed up !".

- "That's why we (EuroParliament's "EuroLeft" Group) want to strengthen Direct Democracy in Europe. Citizens should be involved in the (EU) Decision-making. In the end of the day, it's not going to help anyone if Politicians are always taking decisions, without involving Citizens. We want to give a voice to the People of Europe. They've got to have their say in the decisions that are taken. That's one of our absolutely fixed and steadfast views. We want more Direct Democracy in Europe. That's how it can become more effective and stronger", he concluded.

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