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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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3 EU Parliament votes to boost EuroGroup !

---------------------------------

After EuroZone Paris Summit's succes, Sarkozy calls to "think anew how to re-construct Europe !

"EuroZone and EU Institutional debates pave the way to 2009 discussions on EU Future, including Enlargment, Turkey etc. ?


23 October 2008

After EU Parliament strongly suppported in 3 successive Votes this week in Strasbourg French EU Chairmanship's move to boost Euro-Group at EU's core, while ideas on EU Institutional problems are awaited on December, "it's an open Question now" if this may lead to a debate on EU's Future, or not, told us French President, Nicolas Sarkozy''s Spokesman, Pierre-Jerome Henin.

MEPs voted on Thursday fresh Funds to support EuroGroup, after adopting on Wednesday a Resolution asking a "further Evolution" to "the 1st ever meeting of Heads of State and of Government of the Euro-Zone, taking decisions in that capacity", while earlier this week a Report asked "a stronger Institutional setting" for "EuroGroup", extended from "competitiveness/industry" to "environment, employment and education", with "increased powers for Political decision-making", according to a text drafted by French MEP Francoise Beres and German MEP Werner Langen, "10 Years after the creation of Euro" (1999 - 2009).

- Brussels' subsequent "EU Council ..(simply)..ratified the measures decided by EuroGroup on October 12" in Paris, which "were necessary to contain the current Financial Crisis", Resolution observes, expressing also support to the new process succesfully initiated by Sarkozy and due to be completed by agreements with USA and other countries at a Global level.

From now on, it's between two differend but parallel moves : EU's delay, and EuroZone's acceleration, that Enlargement and particularly Turkey's controversial EU bid, will have to search its way :

Indeed, EU's 27 expect a "Roadmap on how to deal with the Irish problem" on Lisbon Treaty ratification after December, risking to pass even 2009 Elections and next Commission with the old Nice Treaty of 2000, out-dated and unfit even for 2004's Enlargement...

On the contrary, EU's core launches a real "Economic Governance for EuroZone at the highest level of Heads of State/Government" of the 15, which started in Paris on October 12 and was strongly supported this week in Strasbourg by Sarkozy and EU Parliament.
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- "It's a good idea, to launch such a debate ("on EU's Future") in EU Parliament in view of 2009 Euro-Election : Perhaps some MEPs will seize an opportunity", told us mainstream French MEP Alain Lamassoure, former EU Minister and EU Spokesman for France's governing party UMP.

- "All MEPs' debates on such EU Councils are also part of the larger debate on Europe's future : Now with EuroZone, and even more when, on December, Irish Prime Minister is due to table proposals in Strasbourg on how to deal with EU Treaty's ratification", replied earlier to our question EU Parliament's Press Director and Spokesman, Jaume Duch.
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Sarkozy has formally anounced his intention to open EU Debates on Economy, Identity/Enlargement (i.e. mainly Turkey), etc. both linked to a popular Political view of Europe, since his Historic speeches on EU in Strasbourg, on February and July 2007, when he stressed that "Europe needs a New Renaissance". At the beginning of the French EU Presidency, on July 2008, replying to a MEP, he suggested that EU Parliament takes an active part in Debates on EU's Future.

- Now, in 2008, "Crisis are an opportunity to re-think how to re-construct Europe", Sarkozy stressed. At any case, the Historic 1st EuroZone Summit of Heads of State/Government, which started replying to the Financial crisis,"is a Turning Point : After that, Europe cannot be governed as before, but differently" : People "like a Europe with Strong Will".

- "We must make the System move !", "Europe needs Innovation" and free political debates. EU "Elections are in a few Months", Sarkozy warned.

He invited EU Parliament to fully play its role as "the Democratic Heart of the Europe we want : United, Independent and Voluntarist, because the World needs Europe's voice".

- "It's no more possible for Euro-Zone to continue without an Economic Government" at the Highest Level of Heads of State/Government, who provide "Democratic Legitimity" and can take important decisions, he announced, strongly supported by EU Parliament's Economic Committee which just voted to boost the "Institutional" aspects of "EuroGroup".

Plasticity offered by the current absence of a special Treaty on EuroZone's Institutions "made it easy to adapt the organization of the 1st Summit with imagination, to efficiently meet urgent needs", he observed, on the occasion of Brittish Prime Minister's exceptionnal presence at the greatest part of EuroGroup's Paris Summit.

- "In EuroZone we have the same Bank, the same Money, and, thus, a same duty for Unity" : "By bringing together EuroGroup's 15 members States we suceeded to find a solution and prepare a Giant Plan of 1.800 Billion euros", Sarkozy reminded of Paris' 1st Historic EuroZone's Summit.

Afterwards, Brussels' EU Council followed the move, and USA's Paulson II Plan was inspired from that. "Europe must promote the idea of Global Economy's Refoundation", he stressed.

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- "I was frankly astonished when I found, at the EU, a rigid system, where any New Idea was seen from the outset as a sacrilege, while, on the contrary, Europe needs Innovation !", he described.

F.ex. ,"'When we first spoke about the "Union for the Mediterranean", it was misunderstood as something extraordinary.. When later we had the Russia -Georgia crisis, it seemed against EU's custom to act "in the middle of August", instead of staying a passive spectator ! And when, in front of the Financial ciris, we gathered the 1st EuroZone Summit of the "15", some thought of it as a lese-majesté", he denounced.
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On Geo-Political Principles :
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- But, by moving resolutely, "EU obtained the ...withdrawal of Occupation Troops in 2 Months !", reminded Sarkozy, observing that Russia "fulfilled its commitments", in the Georgian crisis, where a "disroportionate reaction" from Moscow followed a "totally inappropriate action" from Tbilisi's troops. "It would be crazy to reply by military means : EU should not become accomplice of another Cold War, imposed by lack of cool heads".. as he said.

In future, "the creation of a common European Economic Area with EU and Russia, would also obtain a raprochment on our Human Rights and Democratic Values", added Sarkozy, in a statement which should logically be applied, a fortiori, to controversial EU "candidate" Turkey..

Particularly when, the same week that EU Parliament voted 2009 EU Funds for Turkey's controversial EU bid, ECHR took a series of judgements condemning Turkey for grave Violations of Human Rights, such as : Torture, death of a political prisoner in unclear circumstances followed by failure to conduct a proper Investigation, "enforced Disappearance" of a youngster aged 17, Killing of a sepherd with Tank Shells, persecuting Journalists for articles on "Missing" People, even a former President of Human Rights' Association, (etc)

- "We (EU) can defend our ideas on respect of Sovereignity and territorial Integrity, on Human Rights and other differences ... without confrontation", Sarkozy stressed, on the occasion of Russian/Georgian conflict, reminding that : "we were only 2 steps from catastroph", when a Peace agreement brokered in Moscow prevented, at the last minute, Russian troops' advance towards Tbilisi.

An EU Parliament Resolution adopted Wednesday in Strasbourg on the occasion of Russia - Georgia conflict, outlines a set of Principle which apply elsewhere too, (particularly when EU Rapporteur for Russia and Turkey is one and same person ; Dutch MEP Ria Oomen-Ruijtanen !)

Clearly rejecting any "military solution to the conflicts", MEPs "condemn ..all those who resorted to force and violence". They denounce a "disproportionate military action", "as well as (an) unilateral decision to recognise the independence" of brekaway regions, "calling.. to respect the sovereignty and territorial integrity" of the concerned country, "and the inviolability of its borders recognised by all EU Member States". They warn that "EU must review its policy towards" a 3rd Country, "should .(it)...not comply with its commitments", and "stress that the withdrawal of.... troops from the areas ....is an essential additional step".

EU Parliament "calls for the safe and quick return of refugees, (accepted by Russian President Medvedev) accompanied by the deployment of EU observers on the ground", and "regrets ...that ..EU Monitoring Mission (EUMM) is not allowed to enter the ...breakaway regions". Moreover, "It's important to ensure that persons and NGOs ..engaged in defending human and civil rights can operate". "Until ...all remaining issues (are) resolved..., and notably the continuing ...Military presence", "relations with the EU ..cannot be fully normalised", MEPS warned.

As nobody likes to be accused to practice "Double Standards", this should be regarded as "Principles" applicable to any Third Country at EU's Neighborhood.. No ?

-------------------

On Economy :

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- "When Financial crisis shook US and EU's Banks, without result from the 1st (American) Paulsen plan, it was the common reply of the 1st EuroZone's Summit, involving some 1800 Billion euros, which started a positive move in the markets, soon strengthened by the follow-up of the US Paulson 2 Plan, noted Sarkozy.

- "Europe should not be only on the defensive, but, if necessary, know also how to take an offensive", he said, brushing away hesitationsto act on Economy: - "I'm for a refondation of Capitaliism, but against Speculators, who betray its values" : "Lack of Rules was profitable to speculators, Not to businessmen !" We must make sure to prevent any such crisis in future". "We, the rest of the World, cannot continue to bear the deficits of the 1st World power without saying anything !", the French President said, applauded by EU Parliament. All this needs "a New Global Governance", on which EU Parliament must debate. That's why "we proposed together with USA, several Summits from mid-November", to which G-8, enlarged to China, India a.o. countries, should participate. UNO's SG; Ban Ki Moon, the IMF, etc.

Financial crisis lowered shares' prices even for healthy companies, sometimes to 1/3 of their initial price, so that strangers might buy EU industries for only a portion of their real value, and Europeans may wake up one day with their main industries sold out to foreigners !

That's one of the reasons for which EU should debate about creating "Golden Shares" for States to jointly take Strategic participations to help European Industries until the end of the Crisis, particularly against distording competition, he suggested, pointing at USA's 35 billion $ plan for American Car Industry."We shall struggle for Europe to be able to build Airplanes, Ships, Trains, Cars, because we need a strong Industry", he concluded.

"F.ex. as we did back in 2004, when as Finance Minister, we bought Alsthom's shares for 800.000 euros, and, after restructuring, we sold them for 2 Millions : Help a company and make money is not so bad"...

As for the UK, "when Ireland announced that it would guarantee only Irish Banks, London City emptied from liquidities in 24 hours : It's the EU which helped to restore the situation, Not the UK alone !", reminded Sarkozy to nationalist British MEP Nigel Farage.

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On the contrary, in a last-minute attempt for the EU to catch-up with its Institutional delay "before the European Elections" of June 2009, MEPs simply voted a call for a "set of proposals" to be made for the "Irish public opinion" at the end of the year...

- "As long as Lisbon Treaty is not ratified by all 27 EU Member States, there is an unanimous decision to stop Enlargement, reminded Wednesday in Strasbourg the French Minister for EU affairs, Jean-Pierre Jouyet..

Added to an indirect but clear warning that, without Lisbon Treaty, all 27 EU Member Countries may not have a Commissioner in the 2009 resuffle, MEPS in the Constitutional/Foreign affairs Committees applauded hoping that this might motivate their Irish friends..

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