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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
mercredi, 23 novembre 2016

top_mep_peterle__eurofora__2016_400_03



*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.


-----


    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.


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


    - "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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peterle__rbig_agg__eurofora_400 


     - "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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  imag0573_400

    An "Eugenic" loophole Amendment, which might expose to Dangers reminiscent of "3rd Reich's" notorious Genetic Abuses, hidden at the last minute inside an otherwise Good, larger Health policy Package scheduled to be voted on Thursday, was strongly denounced by a coalition of MEPs from various Political Groups and Countries, in a Press Conference held this afternoon at EU Parliament in Strasbourg.

    Mainly calling to "Select Human Embryos", via "Genetic Counselling" and "pre-implantation" Techniques including "Genetic Tests", in order to "Eradicate Hereditary rare Diseases", it might open ways to Dangerous Practices in Future, they denounced in substance.

    But they also made it clear that a much larger Report inside which this Controversial Amendment "No 15" was added in dubious circumstances, officialy destinated to struggle against "Rare Diseases", and drafted by Professor Antonios Trakatellis, was otherwise "an Excellent Report", aiming at a "completely Uncontroversial target" of Health policy on which "all MEPs and Experts are united, believing that Europe should act" to protect People's Health (See "EuroFora"'s earlier News).

    The controversy came at a particularly delicate moment for the EU in relation to Citizens, at the eve of June 2009 EU Elections, and shortly before Ireland re-votes for "Lisbon Treaty"..    

- Denouncing risks of "an Eugenic demand, very similar to what we had during the 3rd Reich in Germany, but now coming from some Scientisists themselves", German ChristianDemocrat/EPP MEP Dr. Peter Liese stressed that critical MEPs were against "Eugenic" engineering with "Selection of Human Embryos", and anything which might ultimately lead up to to a "Selection of Human Race". It doesn't help to "eradicate" Human Lives, he added.


    Several Experts and NGOs expressed "Deep Concern", as f;ex. DR M.C. Cornel of the "European Society of Human Genetics", which stressed, on this occasion, that "the importance of Non-Directiveness in Reproductive issues is a Central characteristic of Human Genetics, after the Atrocities committed in the name of Genetics in the first half or the 20th Century".

     - "This is completely Unacceptable", stressed Italian Liberal MEP Vittorio Prodi, on the Controversial Amendment, also because pushes to "eliminate early Human Life", as he noted.

     - "This opens a Dangerous Road, rather a Motorway", denounced Danish MEP Mrs Margrette Auken, from the "Greens", observing that various similar attempts were made in the Past "not only in Germany, but also in several other Countries, "even at the 1970ies", "f.ex. on forced Sterilisation of Roma" People, and other criticisable situations f.ex. in the UK, in Sweden, etc. as she said.

    + Other NGOs, as f.ex. "LebenHilfe" from Berlin, added that, among various other Risks, could also be that, by exploiting the pre-implantation Genetic Diagnostics and the Selection of "healthy" Embryos, some may "propagate" several "Eugenic" aims, starting f.ex. by pushing to eradicate Human Livies which might "Cost too much" to preserve, ultimately exposing to dangers reminiscent of the "3rd Reich"'s atrocious abuses.

    In consequence, ChristianDemocrats/EPP and "Green" MEPs "decided by Majority to vote against" this Controversial Amendment, anounced to Journalists the 5 MEPs who participated in the Press Conference, representing a wide spectrum, from Liberals to "Greens" and ChristianDemocrats, and from Hungary, Italy, Germany and Danemark up to Ireland (Gay Mitchell), etc.
----------------------------------
    Hungarian ChristianDemocrat MEP Laszlo Surjan said "that it was "Suddenly, at the End of the Procedure" in Committee, that "appeared this (Controversial) Amendment, which has nothing to do" with the main purpose of the Report, on which all agreed.

    He denounced an "Unhonest" move, and called to "avoid this kind of unacceptable situations". Nobody should "Select People", Surjan stressed.

    - "We (MEPs) had No Chance to Discuss" this last-minute Amendment earlier added at a Committee's level, said German MEP Peter Liese

    Speaking to "EuroFora", Dr. Liese, the Spokesman of the ChristianDemocrat/EPP Group in EU Parliament, said that MEPs didn't oppose other references of the Report f.ex. on "Genetic Tests", because they were "no proposals" to impose them, while, on the contrary, there was "a Problem" if anyone attempted to "impose" f.ex. this or that Genetic Technique and "Genetic Counselling", etc. to the People on human reproduction.
-------------
The precise Text :
-----------------
    Controversial parts of Amendment No 15 ask mainly "to lead finally to the Eradication" of "Hereditary" "rare diseases", "through Genetic Counselling .., and ..pre-Implantation Selection of healthy Embryos".

    But  EU Rapporteur Professor Trakatellis, said to "EuroFora" that fears should be alleviated by Guarantees that all this should be done only "where appropriate", when it's "not contrary to existing National Law", and "always on a Voluntary basis", according to other Parts of the Amendment.

    He stressed that the main aim was to allow "a free and informed choice of persons involved", without imposing them anything :  - "It's not an obligatory, but advisary" text, he said.

    To make that point clear, he was ready, in agreement with many MEPs, to eventually drop at least that part of the controversial Amendment which initially called for "efforts to ..lead finally to the Eradication of those rare diseases" "which are Hereditary".

    But, until late Wednesday evening, reportedly together with many other MEPs, he stood by all the rest of the controversial Amendment, (fex. on the "Genetic Counselling" and the "pre-implantation Selection of healthy Embryos"), so that critical MEPs, going from ChristianDemocrats as Dr. Liese, to "Greens" or "Ind/Dem", observed to "EuroFora" that "this was not enough" to close the dangerous loophole.

    Particularly since, as Professor Trakatellis noted himself, "this is already allowed to the U.K.", and "other National Legislations would probably follow, sooner or later" in a similar direction. As for a general call to "Eradicate Hereditary rare Diseases", this "should happen, at any case, in practice, de facto", to protect public Health.

    On the contrary, "our goal should be to help patients suffering from rare diseases, not to eradicate the patients. In case of genetic disease risk, the decision should not be guided by scenarios" made by politicians. "Perents who may decide to accept a child, even if handicapped or with genetic disease, must be respected and supported with solidarity", critical MEPs stated.

    - "Any Pressure" to "a patient or couple (who "should be able to make an informed choice consistent with their own values"),"from health Professionals, Public Health Policies or Governemental Institutions, or Society at large, should be avoided", stresses the "European Society for Human Genetics".

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

Each MEP's vote will be registered !

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

The Socialist Group requested a "Split vote" on the Amendment 15, first without, and afterwards with the words "lead finally to the Eradication" etc.


    But the first "split vote" leaves intact all the other parts of the Controversial Amendment, (i.e. "Genetic Counselling", "Selection of healthy Embryos", etc).

    That's why, 3 Groups of MEPs : ChristianDemocrats/EPP, "Greens/EFA", and "Ind/Dem", have asked for "Roll Call Votes", on everything regarding the Controversial Amendment No 15, and on the final outcome of the resulting Report as amended, which will register all the individual positions to be taken by each MEP.   

Something which will obviously make each MEP think twice before voting for one or another choice, to be sure that he/she will make the right choice in front of EU Citizens, particularly at these pre-Election times...


    Crucial Votes were scheduled between 12 Noon and 1 p.m. local Strasbourg time, in the middle of a long series of various other Reports, and after a long Public Debate on the larger Health policy package, from 9 to 11.50 am.

    The specific Report inside which was hidden the controversial Amendment is due to be debated between 11 and 12 am.

    So that more last-minute Surprises may not be excluded a priori...

    Particularly at the present Historic moment, when even the Institutional Future of the EU depends on the result of a second Referendum on "Lisbon Treaty", later this year, in ...Ireland, a mainly Catholic country, where People are particularly sensitive in such kind of socio-cultural and values issues...
 

      ***     
 
     (Draft due to be updated).
 
***

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