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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.


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


    - "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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    EU Rapporteur on Enlargment Strategy, maistream German MEP Elmar Brok, speaking to "EuroFora", welcomed the proposal made earlier this week by French President Nicolas Sarkozy for the EU to"start Now Talks with Turkey to create a common Economic and Security area", instead of full Accession, at a period when Ankara looks more and more unfit and/or unwilling to respect EU conditions.

    - "For Europe to have strong Political will, it must stop dilutiing itself in an endless Enlargement. It must have borders...Diversities enrich, on the condition that they don't undermine European Cohesion, and don't weaken EU Unity", Sarkozy stressed.
    
    - "Countries like Turkey share a part of common destiny with Europe, with which they have a vocation to build a Privileged Relation, to be closely associated, but not to become Member of the EU"  : "Noone respects his friends by telling them lies. Noone respects his friends by making them promises that will be never kept", he added.

    That's why "we'd better start, from now, negotiating with Turkey to create a common Economic and Security area", Sarkozy proposed.

Significantly, the French President was repeatedly and largely applauded by EU citizens, 3 times, when he made the Turkey point, (strategically placed between Europe's "Political Will" and its cultural heritage, historically open to mutually enriching dialogue with all the World, but never diluted).

    - "We could propose such a great ambition also to Russia, which must not be percieved as an Adversary of Europe, but as a Partner. Thus, we'd create a wide area, of more than 800 Million inhabitants, sharing the same Security, the same Prosperity", he concluded.

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    Sarkozy's move was anounced at the eve of a Franco-German Top meeting with Chancellor Angie Merkel in Berlin on Sunday, to jointly launch the EU Elections campain, after an EU Summit at nearby Prague, to launch a new kind of relations, called "Eastern Partnership", with neighboring countries such as Urkaine, Belarus, Moldova, Georgia, Armenia, Azerbaidjan, etc, (to which Russia, reportedly, is not - and does not want to be - included).

    As for Ukraine, which has already expressed her wish to join the EU in future, "Kiev will have a special place, and a very important role to play", replied earlier this week in Strasbourg, to an "EuroFora" question EU Chairman in office , Czech vice-Prime Minister Alexander Vodra.

    - "This direction is more Realistic for Turkey than Accession negotiations", reacted immediately EU Parliament's Rapporteur for Enlargment Strategy, mainstream German MEP Elmar Brok, commenting Sarkozy's idea for "EuroFora"

     Particularly "as far as it concerns the respect of EU Rules by both sides", he added, hinting at Turkey's now obvious inability and/or unwillingness to abide with EU Acquis, EU Commitments (fex. on Cyprus, etc), and European Democracy/Human Rights rules. (Comp. infra).

    Brok added that, in his view, a similar proposal might be made also to Ukraine and other neighbouring Countries, regardless if they have, or not, a "European vocation". This would not necessarily mean that there couldn't be any accession prospects at all." for all the countries that might be included in this area, according to Brok.  But it's preferable, particularly for Turkey, "because it's a more Realistic approach than full Membership".

    On this point, Sarkozy's proposal, (which he'll share with German Chancellor Merkel), seems more crystal-clear.

daul_in_press_file_400

    - "Turkey does not fullfil EU Criteria, and will never fullfil EU Criteria" on Human Rights, Democracy and Rule of Law. "Some have been lying to Ankara, but we must tell the Truth, and have honest and close relations with her", said meanwhile to "EuroFora" on the same issue also the President of EU Parliament's largest Group of MEPs (ChristianDemocrats/EPP), Joseph Daul.
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"Hot" Debate at EU Parliament reveals CHANGE of mood towards "Suspension" of EU - Tukey talks.
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    Earlier this week, many MEPs, and even some of those who were previously in favor of Turkey's controversial EU bid, strongly criticized the persistance and even aggravation of serious Human Rights violations in the country, that ECHR continues to "unanimously" condemn ":

      - "After winning a big victory in the latest Local Elections, the pro-Kurdish party DTP almost doubled its Elected Mayors from 52 to 98", but afterwards "more than 400 politicians were thrown to Prison and prosecuted" by the Turkish Authorities, denounced on behalf of the ChristianDemocrat/EPP Group, Belgian MEP Frieda Brepoels.

     At the same time, "more than 1.500 Children are closed in Turkish Prisons", she added. "What will the EU Commission do" against these facts ?

- "Turkey appears to be at greater Distance away from Copenhagen Criteria after 4 Years of accession Negotiations, than when they started !", denounced on behalf of the Liberal Group, German MEP Alexander Lambsdorf.    

"On the central issue of Press Freedom, Critical Journalists face obstacles for their accreditation, others are prosecuted, condemned, fined and/or jailed, Media blocked or closed", he denounced.   

 - "EU Made 2 grave Mistakes with Turkey : To start accession negotiations, and to continue them", despite everything, criticized Dutch MEP Bastian Belder, on behalf of the Ind/Dem group.

(../..)

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