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Home arrow newsitems arrow CoE Democratic Governance Head Luciani to EF: Despite Risks = Strong Democratic Vitality in Web-News

CoE Democratic Governance Head Luciani to EF: Despite Risks = Strong Democratic Vitality in Web-News

Pisac ACM
21. 10. 2019.

 

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*Strasbourg/Press Club/Angelo Marcopolo/- Replying to an "Eurofora"s Question at a Press Conference organized for the 2019 edition of the "World Forum on Democracy", in Strasbourg's Press-Club Today, the experienced CoE's Director for Democratic Governance, Claudia Luciani, expessed a Solid "Optimism", as a genuine Believer of Nowadays Society's "Strong Democratic Vitality", able to Find, asap, adequate Solutions on how to Defend Both Quality and Freedom of Information even in the Modern Web-News Era, despite acknowledging some "Risks" at the Internet nowadays, (See Infra).

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 - "Information : Democracy in Danger ?", suggests, right from the outset, the Official Placard of WFD 2019, distributed by the Organizers of that Annual Series of Events, organised Partly inside the CoE, partly "Extra Muros", at various other Emblematic Buildings in Strasbourg.

- "Nowadays, the Multiplication of Un-Controlled Informations at the Internet, threatens Democracy", claimed the out-going Socialist Mayor of Strasbourg, Roland Ries, speaking just Before the Forthcoming, crucial Local Elections at the Beginning of 2020...

- Apparently, he wasn't far away from the Views of the current Government Spokesperson in France, Sibeth Ndiaye, known for being sometimes Strict vis a vis certain very Critical Journalists, who will be the Invited Keynote Speaker at the Opening Session of this 2019 Edition of the "WDF" in the CoE, on November 6, as CoE's Press Attaché, Estelle Steiner, told "Eurofora".

- However, "Optimist", as Luciani Confirmed, Smiling, to "Eurofora", CoE's Democratic Governance's experienced Director, ...democratically Accepted a Friendly Criticism by "Eurofora", when we asked to be Excused for Raising a quite "Hot" Question, which might appear, to some, as if we played a so-called role of "Devil's Lawyer"...

- "We sometimes Need also to Tease the Devil !", Luciani laughed, Bravely Accepting the Challenge. - "Yes, But we Need also ...some Angels", "Eurofora" insisted, Prefering to Focus on Web's Positive Potential for Modern Democrary in the Foreseable Future.

  - Thus, "Eurofora", at First, Started by Asking Juliani why the CoE is Focusing, so much, Only on the Dangers that the Internet might provoke Against Democracy, withOut Exploring, also, the Web's Potential for Nowadays, Modern Democracy's further Development.

- "The Potential of Internet to Boost Democracy, is, indeed, a matter that we (CoE) had Explored in the Past, (See, f.ex. : ...., etc), and it Returns Back, from times to times, But it's Not for Now. However, it's true that it Might Come Anew to the Forefront, perhaps in one of our (CoE's) Next Editions" of the Annual "World Democracy Forum", Luciani replied to "Eurofora"s question.

- Indeed, CoE French Presidency's coordinator, Ambassador Mattei, present also at this Press Conference, had, Earlier, told "Eurofora" that, even if Web's Democratic Potential "Might", eventually, be Combined with at least Some Parts of this 2019 Edition, However, it seems More Probable for it to be Dealt with by one among the 3 Forthcoming, Next, CoE's Rotating Presidencies, by Georgia, Germany and Greece, pointing, already, to a Draft Program of the first...

+ Web's Potential exploring would be Also Interesting from the point of view of Economic Development, even if this is not so much at CoE's core Mission, she acknowledged. But Luciani certainly Understood, moreover, that, a Wise Use of Internet in order to Facilitate Citizens' Communication with Politicians, at a Period of Notorious Crisis of Public "Trust" to the Established Political System, could become really Helpful, even in Traditional, Establshed Representative Democracy, f.ex., by Facilitating Parliaments' and Various Other Public Authorities' Transparency, (as some Concrete E-Tools had Already Demonstrated in a Recent Past, at the CoE).

=> Unless, even in Countries with the Longest Parliamentarian Tradition in the World, as, f.ex., the UK, finaly, People get Fed Up with the Obvious Controversial, Energy and Time-Wasting "Games", that Westminster's House of Commons notoriously Plays Nowadays on the Topical "BREXIT" Issue, during an already Too Long Period, (Comp., f.ex., also : ..., etc), and, After all that, they Might Start to ...Dream about ...Direct Democracy !", "Eurofora" pointed out, as a Serious "Joke"...

And this comes Soon after, Both "BREXIT" Party's Chief, Nigel Farage, and the current, Conservative Party's new UK Prime Minister, Boris Johnson, notoriously, Dreamed, Recently, one after the other, to Deal with that Controversial House of Commons almost as ...Cromwell had done in an Historic Past, by ...Closing it Down, at least for a certain Period of Time, (Comp., f.ex., : ..., etc)...

>>> However, Returning Back to the above-mentioned Critical, "Devils' Lawyer", stance, (Comp. Supra), "Eurofora" Felt Obliged to Dare Advance Further, and Ask Luciani :  - "But, anyway, aren't you Concerned by what EU Citizens might Feel if they See that, Nowadays, it's Only ...USA's neo-Conservative President Trump who Pleads for "Freedom at the Internet", already in 2 Recent, Spectacular Speeches at a White House Summit on Web Journalim in Washington DC, (See : http://www.eurofora.net/newsflashes/news/trumpforfreewebnews.html),and at UNO's Parliamentary Assembly at New York, Last July and September 2019, respectively,while, on the Contrary, they see Europe More Anxious to Take various Restrictive Measures, addressing the Web only as a Risk of Hostile Problems ? Isn't it, at least, a Paradox to Leave for US President Trump the Monopole to Plead for Freedom at the Internet, while Europe, and particularly its Human Rights/Democracy Organisation : the COE, Focuses just on Restricting and/or "Controlling" the Internet, considered only a Dangerous Adversary to a Traditional Establishment ?, we Questioned.

 - Indeed, at a White House's exceptional Web Media Summit, US President Don Trump encouraged "On-Line Journalists" for "fulfilling a Vital Role ... : You are Challenging the Medias-GateKeepers and the Corporate Censors to Bring the Facts Straight to the ...People".-"With amazing creativity and determination, you are Bypassing the Corrupt Establishment, ...and the very, very Corrupt Media", in order to "Communicate Directly with our Citizens, withOut going through the Fake News Filter", he praised on September 2019. + And, in his subsequent UN General Assembly Speech at New York, Later that same Month, Trump also slamed a Few New Communication Technology "Media Giants" and "a Faceless Bureaucracy" to Secretly Undermine Democracy, by Censoring Free Speech at the Internet, while, on the Contrary, a Free Society cannNot allow them to Silence the Voice of the Peoplen as he stressed.

 

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- "I Believe very much, and Expect, that, asap, will Emerge (even inside the USA, which, Despite everything, it still remains a Great Democracy) some Very Strong Antidotes, Because, in fact, there is a Big Democratic Vitality !", CoE's experienced Director for Democratic Governance, Replied to "Eurofora"s above-mentioned, Critical Question, pointing, f.ex., mutatis-mutandis, at what had Happened, already "at the End of the 1960ies - Beginning of 1970ies : At First, it was the Vietnam War, and Afterwards, it all Changed", as she Reminded, with a Strong Optimism...

- And she Kindly Saluted "Eurofora" with an Affirmative Smile, when we asked her to confirm if she really expected "something Similar in Europe Nowadays"... - "It will comme", she guessed.

While Waiting for such eventual Positive Developments in the foreseable Future, ... let's Cross Fingers, or, rather, let's Use our Fingers to Tape Better NewStories for the Internet !

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+ More Practical, Strasbourg City's European/International Relations' Head, Nawel Rafik-Elmrini, one of the "WFD" 2019 Co-Organizes, Replying, afterwards, to a SImilar Question by "Eurofora", appeared to Agree whole-Hartedly with our above-mentioned observations about the Important Potential of the Internet for nowadays Democracy.

- In fact, "what we want to do, is Not to Attack the Social Media" of the Web, she explained, "It's just to Warn Readers, f.ex. Young Children, Not to Believe into Everything they see Anywhere at the Internet, immediately, but, rather, to Search, Compare, and Consciously Decide what it's True". And, "for that purpose, we are Giving them some concrete Tools",  Elmrini stressed.                                     

+ By the way, Glad to receive also "Eurofora"s Congratulations for Persisting to co-Organise, on this occasion too, another Event on Web Journalist Daphne Caruana-Galicia's Brutal Murder, and the Scandalous Impunity of its Instigators, even 2 Years After a Bomb Exploded at her Car, right in front of her Family Home, (See, inter alia, also, f.ex. : ..., etc), Strasbourg City's Senior Officer, bitterly observed that, Contrary to what had, Meanwhile, happened at a Similar Killing in Slovakia, where apparently All those Involved with the Murder of a Young Employee of a Foreign Big Media's Website, and his Girlfriend, were Already Found, Prosecuted and Punished, on the Contrary, "in Malta, the situation is much Harder".  

In this regard, it's also Difficult to Forget the Contempt and Hate with which several Fans of the Governing, powerful Politicians that Daphne had Dared Criticize for alleged Corruption, Arbitrariness and Cronyism, after Investigating several Cases and Publishing her Findings at the Personal Web-News Site that she had been Obliged to Create in order to Escape from Censorship at a Traditional Weekly Newspaper where she had been Working in the Past, were Openly and Shamelessly attempting to Insult her in Public, among others, also by Holding, during Collective Meetings, Placards with her Photo to which they had pined the word "Blogger !", (i.e. even Denying to the Murdered Woman the simple Identity of a real Journalist, just because she used to Publish at her own Website)...

 

 

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 imag0972_400


    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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