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Home arrow newsitems arrow Center-Right Candidate Strasbourg Mayor Vetter to EF: Citizens-EU Decision-Makers Dialogue=Essential

Center-Right Candidate Strasbourg Mayor Vetter to EF: Citizens-EU Decision-Makers Dialogue=Essential

Written by ACM
Friday, 28 February 2020


*Strasbourg/Angelo Marcopolo/- At a Times when the Focus is on what "can Bring Citizens near Europe", Projects, as that of "Eurofora", to develop European Citizens and Politicians' Dialogue before Decisions affecting their lives and/or Society, are "obviously" of "Essential" Importance, replied, in substance, the mainstream Center-Right's Candidate for new Strasbourg's Mayor, the young Jean-Philippe Vetter of the "Republicans"' party, (founded by former French President Nicolas Sarkozy), to a relevant Question at a crucial juncture of the pre-electoral process which Culminates on March 2020.

Vetter expressed his Support to "everything that can really Bring Citizens Near Europe", giving particular importance to "inter-Personal Contacts", etc., despite (or, rather : Because also of) some Critics' claim that several Establishment's Journalists would have complained that, even when they wrote Articles on EU/COE News here, Often they were not Published by their Chief Editor, pretexting an alleged Lack of sufficient Popular Interest, (sic !)...

On the Contrary, "Eurofora"s co-Founder said that, by Experience (Both in Newspaper, Weekly, Press Agency, and Web Media, etc), if Journalists are free to work well, they Can Find very Interesting News at EU Parliament, and/or at the CoE, in Strasbourg...

And we went on to Question Vetter whether he felt that his alleged interest to Help "Develop an EU Citizens' Dimension", considered as particularly appropriate to Strasbourg's overall Profile, should Seize the Opportunity given Nowadays by the forthcoming EU's "Conference on Europe's Future" (2020-2021), in order to "Activate" Lisbon Treaty's clause which already calls for "Regular Dialogue" with "Civil Society" etc. on all main "Acts" of "EU Institutions", and, in this Context, also "Eurofora"s Long-Time Project to boost systematic EU-Citizens - Politicians' Debates just Before Final Decisions affecting their Lives and/or Society.

- Replying to "Eurofora"s Question, Vetter, at First, observed, in this regard, that, as a matter of Principle, "what Helps to Develop Links between EU Citizens and EU Institutions, is an Issue of Essential Importance".

=> - Therefore, "Such Debates (i.e. as those proposed by "Eurofora" : Comp. Supra) could, Obviously, allow to Advance in this Direction", Vetter stressed positively in Conclusion.

+ At this point, it's also the Organizer of that Collective Meeting, (in a Series consecrated to the forthcoming Municipal Elections in Strasbourg City), the President of the "Circle of the Cathedral", Henri Mathian, who intervened, stressing that "This matter Interests us", as he characteristically added. By the way, Vetter, a ChristianDemocrat/EPP politician,  has multiplied Photos of himself around Strasbourg Cathedral's Historic Building, including even one with a superb Replica which had been prepared by Expert Artists on the occasion of a landmark Documentary Film on that Monument, created by the Franco-German European TV "ARTE", (Headquartered in Strasbourg, near EU Parliament).



Nevertheless, it's also true that Vetter warned "Eurofora" that, from a Practical point of view, in his opinion, "MEPs would be Busy to form their |Political] Majorities", just a few Days Before the Final Votes in EU Parliament's plenary. However, for "Eurofora", this is Not a Problem, but rather a supplementary Advantage : Simply Because a Debate with interested EU Citizens, other MEPs, the Medias, etc., would, precisely, Offer a Good supplementary Opportunity to Form such Political "Majorities", eventually even New ones, and/or to Test their Resilience/Credibility and Popularity...



++ Proud to be a Son of Hard-Working People, "a Baker and a Nurse", as he wrote in a Pamphlet that he gave us, the Young Jean-Philippe Vetter, who gathered in his Team almost All Other Local/Regional Politicians of the "Republicans", (including, at a Symbolic place of Moral Support, even "Eurofora"s University Professor, President Jean Waline, former Long-Time Dean of Strasbourg's Faculty of Law, with whom we concluded our Master/DEA and prepare also a PhD Thesis related to Legal aspects of our Project), got a University Diploma on Athletics and Sport, (where he notoriously favours Tennis), before serving as Parliamentary Assistant to former Strasbourg's Mayor, Senator, and now MEP, Fabienne Keller, as well as, more Recently, in EU Parliament's own staff, while also being Elected at Strasbourg City's Council.  

Such a particular Profile might, perhaps, inter alia, explain also Vetter's special Wish to Boost grass-roots "School-Children"'s familiarity with Europe : Area in which he multiplied various concrete proposals.


Almost at the Same Time that the President of the "Foundation for Strasbourg", Jean-Louis de Valmigère, has just Published, on 2019, Two original Books, on "Europe's History" and on "the EU Parliament", (Prefaced by the experienced f. President of the European Parliament and EU Commission's vice-President, Italian MEP Antonio Tajani, and the young French Minister for European affairs, Amelie de Montchalin, respectively). Written in a Crystal-Clear Language, they are destinated for a Large Public, and particularly School-Children : An area into which, President de Valmigère would like to Help Boost a Nation-wide, and, if possible, Europe-wide, "Civic Education" course, inside Schools' Curriculum, which would include at least a Basic Knowledge of Europe for All Citizens in the Future, as he recently told "Eurofora", (on the occasion of a Special Event in EU Parliament). The fact that De Valmigere's Family also runs the Famous Restaurant "Chez Yvonne", where Long-Time former President of France, Jacques Chirac, used to have Launch or Diner with his German counterparts, near the Cathedral, (as well as of "Striessel", where Nicolas Sarkozy came twice, as President, when de Valmigere's Children managed it), naturally adds a sympathetic, relevant flavour...


(President de Valmigere with MEP Anne Sanders -of the same Party as Vetter- posing for an "Eurofora" Photo at an Event in EU Parliament earlier)


Vetter has repeatedly said that, while more than +60% of Voters notoriously do Not want the Same Team at Strasbourg City as in the Past, according to Polls, he is the Only Eligible Candidate who bears No Responsibility for what has been done since 2008 !  Critics Reply that, at least, he bears a Part of Responsibility for the 2001-2008 era of Former Mayor Keller, whose Parliamentary Assistant he was in the Past, (See Infra).

Meanwhile, he is credited by the Latest Polls with enough Intentions of Vote in order to Pass to the 2nd Round of the forthcoming Municipal Elections at Strasbourg's City, on March 2020, and has already spoken, Earlier, with "Eurofora", about Various Possibilities of Political "Alliances". Nowadays, he is notoriously considered as examining an eventual deal with Alain Fontanel, (former Socialist, but today aligned to Liberal/Centrist French President Emmanuel Macron : Comp. ..., etc), without, however, excluding a priori also other possibilities.

Meanwhile, Vetter, (who is credited by the Latest Polls with enough Intentions of Vote in order to Pass to the 2nd Round of the forthcoming Municipal Elections at Strasbourg's City, on March 2020), has already spoken, Earlier, with "Eurofora", about Various Possibilities of Political "Alliances", and is, Nowadays, notoriously considered as examining an eventual deal with Alain Fontanel, (former Socialist, but now aligned to Liberal/Centrist French President Emmanuel Macron : Comp. ..., etc), without, however, excluding a priori also other possibilities.

At his Right, stands Hombeline du Parc, for the Rightist "National Rally", (with more votes than in the past), and at his Left, also the Centrist Chantal Cutajar, of the "Involved Citizens", with rather less, but precious votes, (who had been Ally of the Socialists, in the Past, but might not exclude an eventual reconsideration for the Future). Further away (?) the "Green" Jeanne Barseghian, reportedly quite Popular, doesn't seem, apparently, to have similar intentions with the "Greens" of Austria and/or the "Greens" of the Neighbouring German Region of Baden-Wurtemberg, (who Both made recently Alliances with the ChristianDemocrats/EPP, equivalent to Vetter's "Republicans"), but, after all, who knows what might happen in fast-moving politics ?...












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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".


        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.


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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