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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

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...


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


    - 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.


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

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.


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


    => 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.


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


    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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ECHR's President to "EuroFora" on Journalists Gongadze and Adali murders : Principles must apply to all States, without discrimination.


+ ECHR's Statistics on Freedom of Expression (See below).


 European Court of Human Rights' President, Jean-Paul Costa, questioned by "EuroFora" on Journalists' murders, as in Gongadze and Adali's cases etc., strongly stressed all CoE Member States' obligation to make efficient Investigations to find and punish those responsible, and underlined that ECHR's case-law's principles must apply to all without any discrimination.

His call was clearly supported by various Top MEPs who denounced a risk of "Double Standards" if some Journalists' murders are investigated, while others don't.

To avoid such risks, CoE's Parliamentary Assembly adopted a Resolution, on the occasion of Ukranian Journalist Gongadze's murder, "stressing", as a matter of general Principle, "the importance it attaches to the safety of Journalists and political activists, especially those linked to opposition groups, in ALL member states of the CoE". All "crimes against journalists and political activists must be investigated ... as a matter of priority, without political interference".

Costa was replying to "EuroFora"s question on the fact that, after CoE's Committee of Ministers, also CoE's Assembly had just adopted a Resolution on Gongadze murder case, based on an ECHR's judgement of 2005, asking a full Investigation from Ukraine, who has found and condemned  in 10 years of jail 2 executants, but not yet the instigators.

While nothing similar was yet done for dissident Turkish Cypriot Kutlu Adali's murder, with 5 bullets shot at his head out of his Family's home in the territories of Cyprus occupied by Ankara's army, despite another ECHR's judgement of the same year 2005, and despite Turkey's claim that nobody was found among those responsible for the murder, and that there was nothing more to do..

In order to be credible and efficient, CoE's mechanisms shouldn't find a way to at least ask for full investigations of all Journalists' murders anywhere they might be committed, without exceptions ?

adali_gongadze


- "On the larger question that you raised, I'd like to say, since we are in a period of stock-taking on ECHR's 50 Years, that the Court's case-law developed certain concepts ....such as the Positive obligations of States, part of which are also the procedural obligations", started to reply ECHR's President.

 - "Whenever Journalists, Lawyers, Defenders of Human Rights, or even simple Citizens are murdered, the States are held responsible, not only if its their own security forces' agents who committed these murders, but also if they didn't make sufficiently substantial and efficient Investigations", he stressed.

- "I want to strongly underline that we (ECHR) have found in many cases numerous violations of Articles 2 and 3 against States, ....(about) murders or torture, ...because they didn't make enough Investigations in order to try to find and punish those responsible".

- "We (ECHR) do that vis-a-vis all 47 (CoE) Member States, without any discrimination".

"Naturally, the circumstances in each particular case may be differend, and we can't ommit to apply the rules of proof, or the rules of criminal procedure".

"But we try, by all means, to apply these principles of our case-law, to all States", he concluded.

imag0335_400


      Costa's call was strongly supported by several Top CoE MEPs, from various Political areas


- "To investigate the murder of one Journalist, and not of another, looks like Double Standards", denounced the President of EuroLeft Group in CoE's Assembly, Dutch MEP Tiny Cox.  

- "What is the reason ? Politics or specificity of a case ? Of course, if Cyprus and Turkey are involved, it's always a Political case"..

- "Murders of Journalists should always be fully investigated, because killing Journalists is not only killing persons, but also killing Free Press".  "We (CoE's Assembly) should do our outmost to help People who are working on Free Press and they are under threat or murdered".

Because for Free Politics, Free Press is a pre-requisitive : Parliamentarians  cannot  function without a Free Press. Not investigating, is not protecting ourselves".

So we should investigate all Journalists' murders : We are talking about Gongadze, about the Cypriot man (Adali), about the Journalist murdered in Moscow one week ago, etc", Cox concluded

- "CoE can' look at these cases differently. CoE can't wear Blinckers  !".
- "If the one is investigated, so has to be also the other. Why there wasn't full investigation ? Why's that ?", wondered British  Socialist MEP, Alan Meale.

- "A good idea" would be to "make a Motion for Resolution", and "join all Journalists' murders. Adali and Gongadze etc", said to "EuroFora" EU Parliament Political affairs Committee's President, Goran Lindbland, ChristianDemocrat MEP from Sweden.


(See also earlier News at "EuroFora" on similar issues).
-------------------------------

ECHR's Statistics on Freedom of Expression :


    Almost Half of condemnations by ECHR for violations of Freedom of Expression in 2008, concern Turkey : 20 out of a total of 48 for all CoE's Member States.

    Russia, Poland, France and Moldova were condemned only 3 times. Romania, Greece, Portugal, 2 times, and the other CoE Member States only 1 time, or none.
--------------------
    During the last Decade : 1998 - 2008, Turkey was condemned for violating Freedom of Expression in ..169 cases, while Austria only in 24.

    France and Moldova in 14 and 13, respectively, closely followed by Russia and Poland with 11 and 10, respectively. The rest of CoE Member States had less than ten condemnations.    
    

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