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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

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*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).

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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...


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++ 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.

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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...

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(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)

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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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    Scientific innovation joined to Faith for Human Rights, Eastern Partnership and fight against the Crisis, but above all, the need to overcome the "Crisis of Trust" from EU Citizens, are the main priorities for new EU Parliament's President, Polish Jerzy Buzek, that a 555-votes-strong majority of MEPs on July 14,  Strasbourg made a living symbol of the fact that, 20 years after the fall of Berlin Wall (1989 - 2009) there is no more an Eastern or Western Europe, but only one Europe, as the head of the largest group of MEPs, ChristianDemocrats/EPP, Joseph Daul, stressed after the event.

    Speaking later to a group of Strasbourg's Journalists, including "EuroFora", the new EU Parliament's President clarified his stance on concrete topical issues, as f.ex. that of Turkey's controversial EU bid, which was one of the main issues of the June 2009 Electoral campain, clearly won by his party of ChristianDemocrats/EPP :  - "At present, Turkey does not fullfil none of EU conditions", he stressed, (See infra).

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    Buzek is well known in Strasbourg and to "EuroFora" as EU Rapporteur for the Framework Program of Scientific Research and Development of Technologies. A Natural Science Professor from the Historic and Religious landmark Polish City of Częstochowa, active in the famous Solidarnosk grass-roots social movement, he served 4 years as Prime Minister (1997-2001), before being elected as MEP in 2004 and 2009, after he brillantly won the latest EU Election at the head of his party (EPP) almost doubling the number of its MEPs from 15 to 28 !

    - "Innovation" and "Energy safety", as well as fight against the "Cimat change", but also "Eastern Partnership", the "Mediterranean", "Strategic partnerships" with Russia, the USA, etc, and the search for "solutions to the Economic Crisis" that EU Citizens "expect" from us, will be his "priorities", announced from the outset the new EU Parliament's President, reminding also that the quest for "Human and Civic Rights" played an important role in his experience with the Solidarnosc grass-roots social movement in Poland's History

    But, the most important of all, is the urgent need to overcome the "Crisis of Trust" between EU Institutions and the People he stressed : - EU "Citizens often don't understand us", denounced Buzek, launcing a call to "do anything for EU Citizens to understand our work" in EU Parliament : "We (MEPs) need to make EU Citizens involved" in "what we are doing every week, in Strasbourg and Brussels", he proposed. Pointing f.ex. to the hot "Debates" with "strong arguments" exchanged between MEPs during the preparation of their Legislative Decisions, in Committees, delivering often hard struggles between initially opposed points of view, long before forging a majority at the final vote, sometimes more than a year..

    Therefore, EU Parliament will be "open to your criticism, for discussion and exchange of views", he promissed to Journalists in Strasbourg.

    In this way, Buzek, in fact, highlighted "EuroFora"s main idea, that we strongly advocate since 1997-2007, to systematicaly and actively involve EU Citizens in public debates during the decision-making process of important EU measures, which affect their lives and the society in which they live, (and not only just a few weeks each 4 or 5 Years at the eve of EU Elections)...
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    This is related also to the symbolic gift that Buzek chose to give to the out-going former EU Parliament's President, Hans Gert Poettering, (2007-2009), his collegue in the ChristianDemocrats/EPP, who brillantly won 2009 EU Elections in Germany : A genuine statute of sainte Barbara crafted in Silesia's black Coal by Polish Miners : Those simple but strong people who fought for social change against some technocrats and bureaucrats disguissed into so-called "real-socialists" of old times. (PHOTO).

    It's enough to have seen a popular open air mass, at Warsaw's center, with many thousands of people, old and young, simple workers and intellectuals mixed together, with references to Poland's history and struggles for survival and liberty, through various ages, (as fex. that organized at the eve of CoE's 2005 panEuropean Heads of State and Government for the beatification of late Pope John-Paul II), in order to understand what such symbols mean..

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    But, overcoming the "Crisis of Trust" with EU Citizens obviously implies also to rectify any errors done in the past, fex. on Turkey's controversial EU bid, with controversial decisions taken in 1999 and 2004 to give a "candidate" status and to start EU negotiations, provoking an unprecedented series of 3 "No" to EuroReferenda and 3 Majoriy Abstentions in EU Parliament Elections : 1999, 2005 and 2009, (even if the latest one succeeded to decelerate and almost stop the drop of participation rates, opening hopes for vote's revival after an electoral campaign clearly critical to Turkey's claims in several mainstream EU countries)
    
    Therefore, Buzek was faced with manifold critical Questions on EU Enlargement, most of them citting concrete examples of certain political problems  :  But his replies were almost always given as a matter of general principle :

    F.ex. Questioned on the suspension of EU - Croatia talks because of a Border conflict with EU Member Slovenia, Buzek prefered to speak about principles :

- "We know that during Enlargement, the process can be blocked by failure to resolve this kind of issues",  This concerns also other enlargments' cases", and "these rules are always in force" he warned.


But Buzek avoided to directly reply to a queston on "French and German EPP' calls to define the Borders of Europe", as a German journalist asked him by making a reference to French President Nicolas Sarkozy, and German Chancellor Angie Merkel's, critical statements on Turkey at the June 2009 Electoral campain.    

- "Concerning Enlargement, there's always the same rules : There have to be Criteria, which have to be respected if a Country wants to join the EU", he started to simply reply.

- "For my country (Poland) it took us 15 Years to fullfil these Criteria", Buzek reminded, indicating, if proportions are kept, that Turkey, fex. would have to spend some 25 years before eventually joining the EU..

- "Countries wishing to join the EU need to Change their Systems", as we (Poland and other former Eastern European Countries) did, he stressed.

- "'For me, meeting the condition of Human Rights is one of the Key conditions for membership in the EU", preferring again to speak from the point of view of General Principles, on the occasion of an untimely question on Serbia (which is not even a candidate yet)...

- "Turkey" has, "first of all", to fullfil (EU) Copenhagen criteria". Bevause, currently, none of them is fullfiled by Turkey", New EU Parliament's President, denounced, speaking later to a group of Journalists, including "EuroFora".

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In particular, on Human Rights :  - "We (EU) can never forget Human Rights", because "this is at the very Foundations of the EU", Buzek added.

On the contrary, when he referred to EU Enlargment for the  "Western Balkans Countries ", Buzek appeared upbeat, finding "promising situations", despite "difficulties" in the Past, since "Countries are queuing to become EU members", and this "generated changes", as he said.

As for Russia, Buzek observed that it was a "very important" country, located "in the same Continent", Europe,  "close to our borders", and "we need eachother". "But Russia' has 'differend poblems : "They claim that their system is Democratic, but rules are differend", and we must be "aware of such differencies", fex. "on Human Rights", that we can't ignore, as he said;

Concerning China, where a journalist observed that the recipient of EU Parliament's latest "Sakharov prize" for freedom of thought is "still in prison", Buzek found that since the 1999 events in Tien Amin square, "we see differencies on Human Rights still today", and expressed his "support" for those who try to ameliorate the situation.

On the contrary, speaking recently to "EuroFora" he strongly supported the idea for an EU - Ukraine cooperation, fex. between Airbus and Antonov, in order to build a  less costly but more performant than the old and problematic A400M, new Military Transport Airplane : - "They (Ukranian Antonov Company) can certainly do it. I'm sure they can. It's a good Idea, and I'd be glad if it was done", he told us. (See : http://www.eurofora.net/newsflashes/news/airbusantonov.html )


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