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Home arrow newsitems arrow Turkey still Refuses to apply ECHR Judgements, as Cyprus Refugees/IDPs, Waiting for Justice, Die !

Turkey still Refuses to apply ECHR Judgements, as Cyprus Refugees/IDPs, Waiting for Justice, Die !

Written by ACM
Friday, 10 March 2017

echr_at_dawn_with_central_internal_lights__eurofora_march_2017_400_01


*Strasbourg/Angelo Marcopolo/-
The Decisions taken Today by CoE's Committee of Ministers on the Supervision of ECHR Judgements' execution, clearly Reveal that the Turkish Government still persists to show Contempt of Court, Threatening to provoke a Scandalous Crisis of the PanEuropean Human Rights' Protection Mechanism, by Refusing to Comply, even when a Tragicaly Growing List of Victims of Violations who Die, vainly Waiting for Justice to be done, was just Revealed in Strasbourg, After Decades since Ankara has been repeatedly Condemned for "continuing" Violations of Greek Cypriot Refuges/Internarly Displaced Persons' Human Rights to access their Family Homes and/or Private Properties, Return Back to their Ancestral Land in elementary conditions of Dignity and Safety, according to a well-established Case-Law of the PanEuropean Court, as well as UNO's relevant Principles, (earlier Codified on the basis of a Report drafted by Professor PIneiro, at nearby Geneva : Comp. Pineiro's replies to "Eurofora" co-Founder's Questions, published earlier at "TCWeekly"+).


Recent Hopes to at least advance decisively towards an overall Political Compromise for a Comprehensive and Sustainable Solution of the Long-Standing "Cyprus Issue" under UNO's auspices, which might have Helped to Alleviate a bit those Persisting Massive Violations of Greek Cypriot Refugees/IDP's Human Rights, by Agreeing how to ReUnify the Only CoE and EU Member Country which still remains de facto Divided since a 1974 Turkish Military Invasion and Occupation of the Northern Part of that GeoPoliticaly Strategic Island, appeared Dashed and/or Uncertain since Early January 2017, when Turkey itself, joined, in a Multilateral Political Conference at nearby Geneva, beyond Cyprus, also the UK and Greece, (i.e. the  Former "Guarantors" of a Post-Colonialist 1960 Deal which gave Birth to an initial Cyprus' Constitution, as an Independent, but Bi-Communal State, shared between 72% of Greek Cypriots and 18% or Turkish Cypiots then, soon fallen into a spiralling series of Blockades, Tension and Conflicts, notoriously Fueled and Exploited by those who secretly wanted to provoke and Impose a Partition of the Island, strongly Rejected by UNO's Security Council Resolutions) :

Ankara's Government, indeed, notoriously and explicitly Refused from the outset to Withdraw its Military from Cyprus, and to let a ReUnified Island find its own ways to Defend the Security of all its Citizens, (after the 2004 EU Accession of the Country, now under an EU umbrella, as well as through UN SC supervision, etc), withOut any Unilateral Foreign Military Interference in the Future, even if this had been Clearly Declared, already a quite Long Time before, as a Key Aim of that Conference.


Since then, a rather Good Ambiance, which had been Previously Created between Cyprus' President Nicos Anastasiades, and the Leader of the Turkish Cypriot Community, Mustafa Akinci, (thanks also to UN SG's Envoy, Espen Barth Eide, UNFICYP's Head Elizabeth Spehar, as well as of Negotiators  teams' Chiefs, Experienced Ambassador and former EU Minister Andreas Mavroyannis with former "MP" and Foreign Representative Ozdil Nami, etc), suddenly Started to Fade Away, until it Risked to Vanish, under a Growing Series of Real Issues (such as, f.ex. in Addition to Ankara's Stuborn Insistence for its Foreign Occupation Troops to remain at the Island and its Military Intervention Claims to be Eternalized, also its sudden Claim for 80 Millions of Turks to get the Same Rights as EU Citizens inside Cyprus, in case of Solution : A Demand considered as UnAcceptable by mainstream EU Officials, Comp. f.ex., among many others, also : ...), and various Pretexts, (the Latter being merely ... a Calender of Public Holidays, adopted, after an Amendment by a Small Party, at Cyprus' Parliament, which is independent from the Presidency, as in the USA), etc.


So that, suddenly, the Turkish Cypriot Community Leader, Akinci, recently Refused even to Participate in the Bi-Communal Peace Talks organized these Yeas under UNO's auspices, and prospects for a Decisive Breakthrough towards a Political Solution, started, more recently, to Disappear, obviously Threatening a Stalemate.


CoE's Senior Officials, both from its Inter-Governemental sector and from the ECHR itself, speaking Earlier to "Eurofora", already since December 2015 in Strasbourg, had Warned, in Various but Converging ways, that the PanEuropean Organisation for Human Rights, Democracy and Rule of Law, would rather Wait to See how those Top Political Talks might evolve, but if they are Threatened to be Blocked and/or to go down a slipery slope seriously Opposed to Human Rights, then, Decisive Action would be taken, by Strasbourg's Organization, at least for an elementary Respect of ECHR's Judgements, (to which all 47 CoE's Member States have officially Committee to abide).


Nowadays, Turkey has, indeed, done Both : Block UNO sponsored Talks for an overall Political Solution of Cyprus' issue, (Comp. Supra), and Persist into Refusing to Comply with ECHR's Judgements which have Condemned Ankara for continuing Mass Violations of Human Rights in Cyprus :


This last Fact was clearly established anew this Week in Strasbourg, when CoE's Committee of Ministers examined, during its Spring 2017 Human Rights' Session, 3 Kinds of Cases, concerning Individual Applications by Greek Cypriot Refugees/IDPs, and Families of "Missing" Persons who have faced Enforced Disappearances since the Turkish Military Invasion and Occupation after 1974 until now, as well as the "Inter-State" affair "Cyprus v. Turkey", which extends over almost All various Human Rights' aspects of the Cyprus issue.


In all these Cases, Turkey not only didn't Comply yet with ECHR's ruling, Continuing to Massively Violate core Human Rights in Cyprus, but it Even Persisted to Refuse Paying the "Just Satisfaction" that EuroJudges have fixed for the Damages already provoked to the detriment of the Victims.


- So that CoE's Committee of Ministers, responsible for "Supervising" ECHR Judgements' Execution by Member States, had, once again, to clearly "Call on Turkey" to, at least, "Abide by its ... Obligation to Pay the Just Satisfaction awarded by the European Court" to the Victims.

Something which should now be done "WthOut Further Delay", while also being an "UnConditional" obligation.  This goes Both on several Greek Cypriot Refugees/IDPs' and "Missing" Persons' Individual Cases, as well as in the "Cyprus v. Turkey" InterState case, which extends on All Massive Violations still Continuing in Cyprus.


+ Moreover, since Turkey had already Failed, several Times in the Past, to Fullfil its Obligations in this regard, COE's Committee of Ministers notes that such a Call is launched anew Nowadays by "Reiterating" its Previous Appeals, after Several such Failures by Turkey, Found and Denounced during its Previous sessions. In Addition, on the Inter-State case, which concerns Manifold Violations and ECHR's Judgement is Older (2001), CoE's Decision, Today, also "Insists Again" on that key point.


However, among 37 Groups of Cases examined this Week by CoE's Committee of Ministers, where ECHR Judgements are still Pending for Execution, throughout various among the PanEuropean Organisation's 47 Member States, it's ...Only on Human Rights Violations by Turkey committed in Cyprus, that Victims' Applications, already lodged as Early as Since 1999 or Even 1990 etc., (i.e. 18 or Even 27 Years Before !), have Not Yet Resulted at least in a Payment of a "Just Satisfaction" awarded by the European Court, as CoE's Official Documents Reveal Now :


Only in a Few Other, ordinary Cases concerning f.ex. conditions of Detention in Bulgaria and/or Russia, against which Applications had been Lodged on 1998-1999, remain some affairs still pending for execution, (and there, both steps for implementation have been taken, and just satisfaction apparently paid, whenever relevant, Contrary to what Turkey did on those Cyprus' affairs).


But Not even One Other case where Victims' Applications had been lodged already as Early as since 1990, i.e. 27 Years Before, without Any Concrete Result for the Implementation of ECHR Judgements by the State found Responsible for Human Rights Violations, as it's Unfortunately happening Only concerning Violations of Greek Cypriots' Rights by Turkey, particularly in the very Serious cases of the "Inter-State" Affair of "Cyprus v. Turkey", (which Includes also vases of Refugees/IDPs, etc), and for the Tragic Issue of "Missing" People, (where even Unlawful Detention, Torture and Murder seem to have occured at several occasions, amog those ECHR Judgements still Pending for Execution at CoE's Committee of Ministers Nowadays !


During all this Record - High, obviously Too Long Period of Time, that Victims are still Waiting for Jutice to be done, CoE's Committee of Ministers has Vainly Multipled various kinds of Toothless "Calls", or "Resolutions", "Letters", etc., "Urging" Turkey to Comply with ECHR's Judgements, at least partly, (i.e., f.ex., by Paying a "Just Satisfaction" awarded to the Victims or their Families by EuroJudges, even if Ankara's Agents might, eventualy, still Persist to Commit a lot of other Similar Violations in Many Other Cases of the Same Kind against Tens, Hundrends, Thousands, or even Hundreds of Thousands of Greek Cypriots seriously Affected by manifold Consequences of the Continuing Turkish Military Invasion/Occupation all these Years-long), as also other CoE's Official Data Revealed recently : Comp., f.ex.: http://www.eurofora.net/newsflashes/news/coemazochismfacingturkishcontemptofechrjudgmentsoncyprusrefugeesmissingpersons.html ). With No Results...

>>> And Now, this Spring 2017 CoE Committee of Ministers' Human Rights Session (7-10 March 2017) Revealed that Even a Tragicaly Growing Number of Victims of Turkey's massive Violations of Human Rights, are ...Dying by Old Age, while Vainly Waiting, all this Time, for ECHR Judgements to be, at last, Implemented : A Dramatic Phenomenon, which has Recently Started to Reach Worrying Proportions, as a Letter from the Experienced Lawyer of a Group of Greek Cypriot Refugees/Displaced persons, Achileas Demetriades :


 - Indeed, another Greek Cypriot Refugee (among those whose Human Rights were found Violated by Turkey, according to ECHR's Judgements) has just "Passed Away", and his "Funeral" recently took place, Added to the previous Deaths of 4 More such Victims of Turkey's Continuing Violations of many Thousands of Refugees/IDPs since the 1974 Military Invasion and Occupation of the Northern Part of the Island, despite ECHR's Rulings, Demetriades denounced.


Already, several Years Ago, former ECHR President Luzius Wildhaber, from Switzerland, speaking to "Eurofora" during a Press Conference at the CoE, had offered his "Sincere Excuses" for the Fact that a 1st Greek Cypriot Refugee/IDP, (an Old Lady who had Lodged an Application to Strasbourg's Court against Turkey seeking Access to her Family Home, from which she had to Flee after the 1974 Turkish Invasion and Occupation, being Still Hindered by that Occupation Regime to Return Back to her Ancestral Land, and/or to Access her Private Property), had been the 1st, then, to Die, while Vainly Waiting, then, for EuroJudges to issue a Final Judgement in her case : - "This is Not Normal, and it Won't Happen again !", President Wildhaber had Promised.


    The Latest concrete Example is that of Appliquant Iordanis Iordanou, who had lodged a Legal Complaint to ECHR as early as since 1998, and Won his case with a Judgemet published in Strasbourg on 2010, but Turkey hasn't yet, neither Restituted the Refugee/IDP's Usurpated Belongings, Nor at least Payed the "Just Satisfaction" awarded by the European Court to the Victim for that Continuing Deprivation of his family property, not even 20 Years After that Application :   - The Victim "Passed Away on ...February 1 February 2017, ... and his (was) on Saturday, 4 February 2O17", anounced his Lawyer, Achileas Demetriades, in his Letter to CoE's Officials competent on ECHR Judgements' Execution issues. The Deceased leaves a Wife, 3 Children and a Sibling, from that Family of Greek Cypriot Refugees/IDPs.

greek_cypriot_refugee_who_died_on_2017_after_vainly_waiting_for_echr_judgements_to_be_executed_by_turkey

(Funeral Notice for a Greek Cypriot Refugee/IDP who Died on 2017, after vainly Waiting for ECHR Judgements in his case to be executed by Turkey)


 - "He joins" 3 Other recently Deceased Appliquants to ECHR, Greek Cypriot Refugees/IDPs, "the late Demades, Saveriades and Christofides, whose ... Judgements, Despite, their Filing more than 26 Years Ago, are still Ignored by" the Turkish Government, their Lawyer observed.


  - In this regard, he Reminded a "Prophetic" Letter, that one of those, Now Deceased Victims of Human Rights' Violations, had send, already as Early as since 1995, to the then Director of CoE's Commission on Human Rights, (and Future CoE's Deputy Secretary General), Christian Kruger, (currently a Lawyer still practising in Strasbourg) :


    - "... If Human Rights are meant for Living People, there is a good chance that Many of us will Not make it to Experience the practical Restoration of the Human Rights we were Deprived of since 1974" (Turkish Military Invasion and Occupation). Indeed, already at that Time (1995), "Many of my Friends Passed Away in any event. .. ", Demades had Warned, (Long Before he Dies, also himself, vainly Waiting for a famous ECHR Judgement issued in his case, which has clearly Condemned Turkey, to at least Start to be Applied by Ankara's Authorities, which, on the Contrary, still Refuse to Abide with ECHR Judgements in such cases, as Today's Decisions taken by CoE's Committee of Ministers again prove).


   => Therefore, Nowadays, after so Many Recent Deaths of Refugees/IDPs vainly Waiting, during so Long Periods of Time, for Turkey to Implement ECHR's Judgements, (Comp. SUpra), that Key Lawyer (who had obtained the 1st in History ECHR Judgement in favor of a Refugee/IDP in Cyprus, Mrs Tina Loizidou, back on 1994, Opening a much-Hoped Horizon for most Refugees throughout Europe and around the World, which has been Used also by UNO's Human Rights' Council at Nearby Geneva, the Inter-American Court, etc), urged CoE's Committee of Ministers to Trigger a procedure based on Article 3 of CoE's Statute, about the PanEuropean Organisation Member States' Obligation to abide by ECHR's Judgements, against Turkey's persisting Refusal to respect them, in these cases too.

 -   - In particular, the Victims' Lawyer invited the competent CoE's body to officialy "Declare that "Turkey has Seriously Violated Article 3 of the Statute of the Council of Europe", (Comp. Supra).


  - The Head of CoE's Directorate for ECHR Judgements' Execution, Mrs Genevieve Mayer, reportedly Replied recently to the Victims' Lawyers that "the Issue is Attentively Followed by (CoE's) Secretary General (Thornbjorn Jagland) himself, and that the Strasbourg Organisation's Committee of Minsters "has Firmly and Consistently Insisted" on Turkey's "UnConditional Obligation to Pay the Just Satisfaction" Awarded by ECHR's Judgements.


 - Meanwhile, apparently in Despair, Some among those Greek Cypriot Refugees/IDPs who had clearly Won their cases at the ECHR, but saw its Judgements remain UnImplemented by Turkey for so Long, have Offered to "Withdraw their Applications" (i.e., practicaly : Stop Asking for Restitution of their Family Homes/Private Properties, without Prejudice and Reserving their Rights), "If" Turkey, at least, "paid the Just Satisfaction awarded" by the ECHR.


But, the Final Decisions of CoE's Committee of Ministers published Today, as already Cited Above, clearly indicate that, in fact, Turkey now Refused even that Compromise.


 => Expressing, Afterwards, "Deep Concerns" for "the Future of Human Rights in Europe, due of such Failures ... to Execute Final Judgements of the ECHR", another Lawyer of Greek Cypriot Refugees/IDPs, Professor Andreas Orphanides, also urged CoE's Committee of Ministers "to Take more Drastic and Effective Measures on Turkey".
    
>>> Obviously, No Mechanism for Human Rights Protection might be considererd as Reliable, nor Efficient at all, if it is practicaly Blocked by a Recalcitrant State during More than 27 Years of Legal Procedures, (Comp. Facts cited Supra), until the Victims of Serious Violations start to Tragicaly Die, passing away one after the other, after all this Time Wasted without Result, withOut having Started to get not even a part of due Justice !....


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


    - An Experienced CoE Senior Official on Human Rights, speaking to "Eurofora" under condition of Anonymity, pointed, However, to the Fact that CoE's Committee of Ministers has Just Decided this week in Strasbourg to Postpone all these 3 Groups of Cases mentioned above, for the Immediately Following, Next Human Rights Session of June 2017, (instead of Postponing consideration for a Much Longer Period of Time, as it's often done routinely). He also Observed that the Forthcoming, Next CoE Presidency by the Czech Republic, and particularly, the Chairmanship of the Human Rights' Sessions "by Denmark", (the Following CoE President, soon vice-President), practicaly Starting, precisely, from June 2017, could, eventualy, Bring in some much Needed Fresh Energy on ECHR Judgements' Implementation, in cases such as those concerning Turkey, etc., which may Change the Situation soon.

 

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    - Meanwhile, Replying to "Eurofora"s and Other Participants' Questions, during a High-Level Conference at the CoE on Security and Human Rights, Earlier this week, the Experienced President of the International Institute for Human Rights "René Cassin", and former ECHR President, professor Jean-Paul Costa, Timely stressed, as a matter of General Principle, that, as far as ECHR Judgements' Implementation is concerned, "We should Not look only to the Committee of Ministers, but Also to several Other CoE's bodies, including, f.ex., also its Parliamentary Assembly" (PACE), etc.


    + This might become a really Important Direction, actually, at a Moment when PACE's Monitoring Committee has just Anounced, this week in Strasboug, its Decision to officialy Demand for Turkey to get Back into a fully-Fledged "Monitoring process", (instead of the Mere "Post-Monitoring Dialogue", into which Ankara is involved since 2014-2015, i.e. a much more Lenient, Softer procedure of comparatively Lesser Importance), Because of a "Serious Deterioration" and "Unacceptable" practices by the Turkish Authorities, accused to commit "Repeated Violations" of Human Rights, Democracy and Rule of Law, as the Latest Version of a Report drafted by 2 mainstream MEPs, Marianne Mikko, a Socialist from Estonia, and Ingebjørg Godskesen, a Conservative from Norway.


    ++ In an almost Parallel Move, also CoE's "Venice Committee" prestigious Constitutional Law Watchdog, (composed mainly of Presidents of National Constitutional or Highest Courts, and Other Top Legal Expertsj, just Published Today its Conclusions on Turkey's Draft New Constitution, (notoriously Wished particularly by its President, Tayip Erdogan, who seeks to Strengthen his Powers further), Slaming that Plan as a "Dangerous step Backwards".


    => Both these 2 very Critical Findings, Added now also to a 3rd, about Ankara's persisting Refusal to Comply with ECHR's Judgements, (as we saw above), could be Debated, Later this Evening and mainly Tomorrow, by CoE's Parliamentary Assembly's "Standing" Committee, (which has SImilar Powers to PACE's Plenary), meeting Now in Spain.


    - It's True that, at least the President of PACE's "EuroLeft" Group of MEPs, Senator Tiny Cox from the Netherlands, Speaking previously to "Eurofora", had initialy Confirmed an Official Anouncement of his Group, that they Intended to Ask for an Urgent Debate and Vote on Turkey's recent Human Rights' Violations "on March, at (PACE's) Standing Committee, in Spain", (i.e. practicaly Tomorrow).


    The move was Motivated also by an Exceptional Incident, last January 2017 in Strasbourg, when, a Crystal-Clear Majority of MEPs in CoE Assembly's Winter 2017 Plenary Session were Hindered to Discuss and Vote on a Draft Resolution about Turkey at an "Urgent" Debate, (See : http://www.eurofora.net/newsflashes/news/coedebateandmonitorturkey.html + ...), after an Unexpected 1 Vote Difference inside PACE's Bureau opposed such a Last-Minute Change in the Agenda of the Plenary, making it Necessary to get a Special, 2/3 Majority of Votes in the Plenary for that purpose, which wasn't reached then.


    This had made Various MEPs' Upset, while some other sources even alleged that this UnDemocratic U-Turn might have been provoked by a "Corrupted" MEP who would have been "Paid" by Turkey to swift his Vote at the Last Minute inside PACE's Bureau so that Ankara would Escape from Scrutiny and even a possible 1st Sanction for its recently Aggravated, but, in fact, Long-Standing Wrong-doings on Human Rights, Democracy and Rule of Law.


    At any case, it's also a Fact that, at the Conclusion of that PACE's Plenary, last January in Strasbourg, it's President, ChristianDemocrat/EPP Pedro Agramunt, from Spain, anounced to Journalists, including "Eurofora", that a separate Decision had been taken to Launch an unprecedented, independent "Enquiry against Corruption", in order to Investigate both this and other, unrelated, "Rumours" inside CoE, while also Priomising that at the Next PACE's Plenary, on April 2017, the Issue of Turkey would be certainly Debated.


    All this, apparently seems to Advance towards a Healthy Direction, Towards a Probable, and well Deserved, Critical CoE Move versus Turkey's, recently Aggravated, Violations of Human Rights, etc., - which might have some Important Consequences also vis a vis the EU, since an eventual Decision to Re-Open a fully-fledged PACE's "Monitoring" procedure for Ankara (Comp. Supra) could, normaly, be Incompatible with a Continuation of the Controversial and UnPopular Turkish status as a "Candidate" to EU Accession, because such a PACE Move would practicaly mean that Ankara does Not Fulfill EU's "Copenhagen Citeria", on Democracy, Human Rights and Rule of Law, which are a PreRequisitive for Any Foreign Country to be considered as a "Candidate" for the EU.


    But, some Other Facts, Warn also about possible Risks for such a Move to eventualy Back-pedal at the Last Minute :


    Indeed, that Controversial Postponement from January to April 2017, as far as PACE's critical Debate and Vote on Turkey is concerned, (Comp. Supra), has placed the Issue at a Moment which Fits Turkish President Erdogan's notorious Aim to Impose some Controversial Constitutional Changes, destinated to Beef up his own Power, by a Referendum scheduled for Mid-April, i.e. Before PACE's Next Plenary at the End of April. Moreover, by also another Coincidence, that Date Fits also the Turkish Government's declared Aim to enentualy Phase Out its current "State of Emergency" in a 3 Months Period since its Last Extension, which Ends also Before the End of April 2017.


    => Thus, obviously Turkey might again Claim, with a Last Minute, Tactical Modification, just Before the forthcoming, next PACE's Plenary, at the End of April, that it would have made a so-called "Progress" on Human Rights, Democracy and Rule of Law, (after Erdogan would have practicaly Obtained his Political Aims, also by Abusing of Controversial, notoriously Oppressive Measures during all this Period of Time), so that PACE should, once again, "Welcome" such a possible "Step in the Right Direction", etc., (as it's usualy said in such kind of circumstances, whenever someone seeks to Cover-up something Nasty, by Pretending to have "Changed" at the Last Minute), and be Pushed anew to ...Drop any Real Sanction on Turkish Authorities aggravated Human Rights' Violations...


    Will Strasbourg's unique and precious PanEuropean Mechanism for the Protection of Human Rights succeed to Prevent and/or Bypass such Risks to practicaly "Collapse", both in the Minds of the People, who are more and more Surprized to Witness so many recent Setbacks (Comp. Supra), and in Real Practice ? Shall we all see a kind of much-Needed nowadays "ReNaissance" of that (Valuable, but seriously Threatened) PanEuropean Human Rights' Mechanism on Spring 2017, or the Contrary ?


    As always, in such kind of often Tricky Developments, Facts and Deeds, not just Words, will Finaly Say, whether the Trust of the People and all other Players, will be well Deserved, or Not, by CoE's Human Rights' protection Mechanism in the foreseable Future, particularly at this Crucial Historic Juncture that all Europe stands Today...


(../..)

 

 

***

 

 

("DraftNews", as already send to "Eurofora" Subscribers/Donors, earlier. A more accurate, full Final Version, might be published asap).

 

 

***

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Facing a 70% Abstention threat in 2009 Election, EU endorses EuroFora's idea for Citizens' debates on crucial EU decisions !

- Different views on "Europe's Future", should be debated among Citizens at June 2009 EU Elections, thanks to political Parties' "Manifestos", says EU Parliament's Report


                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                               
A main idea, initiated and promoted by EuroFora's founders since 1997: the vital need to develop European Citizens' democratic right to actively participate in multilingual debates on EU decisions, is formally endorsed by the EU from 2009 !

The move is a key attempt to overcome "catastrophic" Polls which warn that only ...30% of Citizens are ready to vote in the forthcoming June 2009 EU Election !  This was revealed by EU Commission's vice-president, in charge of Communication policy, Margot Wallstrom, during a "hot" meeting of EU Parliament's Committee on Culture and Education, during the December 2008 Strasbourg session.

Wallstrom faced criticism, but also suggestions from various MEPs, naturally worried by Abstention threats which herself found even "worse" than in 1999 or 2004...

A Report on "Active Dialogue with Citizens",examined at the same time, presented some useful practical tips, on "facilitating Interviews"; etc., but also a  potentialy important call to "incorporate the conclusions of ...debates...into (EU) policies, and take into consideration the expectations that Citizens have of the EU when deciding". An amendment even implies that Citizens' participation in debates on EU decisions is a democratic "Right".

More importantly, it finds that  a Debate "on the Future of Europe", (as French President Nicolas Sarkozy has asked since 2007), would be a good idea " for the 2009 European parliamentary Elections", because "clarifying the political differences between the EU political parties would help citizens to identify themselves with, and choose between various concepts", for which "all parties (should) present their Manifesto".

A "Joint political declaration on Communicating Europe in Partnership", co-signed by "the European Parliament, Council and ... Commission", confirms that they "attach the utmost importance to improving communication on EU issues", by "enabling European citizens to exercise their right to participate in the democratic life of the Union, in which decisions are taken as openly as possible and as closely as possible to the citizens, observing the principles of pluralism, participation, openness and transparency".

This should "enable Citizens to exercise their right to express their views and to participate actively in the public Debate on European Union issues", while also "promoting the respect of multilingualism". In this regard, EU confirms its "wish to develop synergies with national, regional and local authorities as well as with representatives of Civil Society".

    It's since 1997 that a group of EuroFora's founders have officially presented a pioneer Project (then called "EIW", for "Europe in the World"), which aimed to develop Strasbourg's "Polyphonic music", by providing "Interactive information", on "main issues ... during the Decision-making process of European Organizations which engage in Transparent and Public Democratic Debates"

    This should be done, inter alia, by "exploring the potential of New Communication Tools (mainly Internet)", as well as classic-form debates, the 1997 EIW pioneer project's anounced in its "Synopsis". It was formally "accepted for evaluation" by EU Commission in Brussels in order to be examined for a grant in the framework of the "Research/Technology/Development (RTD) Programme in the field of Information Technologies", then called "ESPRIT", as a "Best Practice Pilot Project".

eiw_project_eu_program_esprit_ds_1997.._400

        But the vital, urgent Political need for EU to search new, efficient ways to reach the People and interact with European Citizens, was really felt in Brussels and elsewhere only after the unprecedented in History 1999 and 2004 Majority Abstention in EU Elections, followed by 3 "NO" in Referenda in France, the Netherlands and Ireland, on 2005 and 2008...
    In this New Political Landscape, we prepared a new, actualised and more developed version of our initial idea, in a simplified and more efficient form, thanks also to a large Experience accumulated during many years of EU/CoE/UNO Press work and Multi-lingual debates, with the New project "EuroFora" :

    On 2006 we presented in Public its main lines during Questions/Replies that we raised at two Press Conferences by EU Commission President, Jose Baroso, and mainly EU Commission's vice-President, in charge of Communication policy, Margot Wallstrom, together with EU Parliament's vice-president, Alejo Vidal-Quadras, in Strasbourg, (Videos available), and we reminded it at various brief contacts with Commissioner Wallstrom in 2007 and 2008.

    Meanwhile, a new Text was also presented for "EuroFora" Project mainly to certain Political and other personalities, at European, National or Regional/Local level, mainly in 2007, but also in 2008..

    Now, after the unexpected 2008 Irish "NO", and before the 2009 EU Elections, which are due to be of exceptionally crucial importance for Europe's Future, the moment has obviously come to launch that project, progressively, but in real practice.

    Whoever really cares for Europe and its Citizens is welcome to join, in one way or another. Only anti-European, anti-democratic, obscure or ignorant groups might oppose or attempt to "steal" and deviate the main idea.

    But European Citizens, incited by enlightened political leaders, are those who will finally write the real History.

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2009 EU Elections were won by Parties against Technocracy and Turkey's controversial EU bid, while the 1999-2004 Majority Abstention trend decelerated. What should be done in 2009-2014 ?

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