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Home arrow newsitems arrow EUParliament Press Chief Duch to EuroFora:How EUElection Abstention Trend stopped+Participation grew

EUParliament Press Chief Duch to EuroFora:How EUElection Abstention Trend stopped+Participation grew

Written by ACM
Tuesday, 01 July 2014
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*Strasbourg/EU Parliament/Angelo Marcopolo/- At the 1st Press Briefing on New EU Parliament's Inaugural Plenary Session in Strasbourg, as it emerged from the latest May 2014 EU Elections, its experienced Press Director and Spokesman, Jaume Duch, replying to an "EuroFora"s Question on the Need to Find the Real Causes for the Present Success to Stop a previous trend towards more Abstention, and even Start Augmenting EU Citizens' Participation, for the 1st time after 15 Years, so that MEPs could Timely prepare for the Next, 2019 EU Elections to reach even Better Results, f.ex. by Aiming to arrive anew at a Majority Participation, positively Highlighted a possibility for relevant EU Parliament Debates and Decisions throughout the next 6 Years (2014-2019) :

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 - "In the latest EU Elections, you have contributed to succeed to Stop the Trend for a Sharp Fall of  EU Citizens' Participation, towards a growing Majority Abstention, which pre-existed since 1999, (i.e. the Year which was notoriously marked by Turkey's  controversial and unpopular EU bid), as you know, as well as to mark at least a small Rise in the number of Participants", throughout the overall EU-wide area, which was "even much Bigger in certain Countries, such as, f.ex. France, Greece, etc", "EuroFora" observed.

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=> - "Do you think that it might be possible, either during this Week, or in the foreseable Future, to have a chance for a substantial Debate inside EU Parliament, in order to Find out which were  the real Cause(s), and what Conclusions should be made (on this obviously crucial issue for European Democracy) for the Future ?", we asked.  - "Because it has to be prepared, and not left only for the last minute, so that we could have, then, (on the Horizon of 2019), a fully-fledged Re-Launch" of EU Citizens' Participation, "hopefuly becoming anew a Majority", (as it was initially, since back on 1979), "EuroFora" concluded.

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 - "I think", indeed, "that this is a(n EU Parliament's) Debate which starts Today", (i.e. already since the 1st Plenary Session of the New EU Parliament, as it emerged from the latest, May 2014, European Elections : July 1 - 3, 2014), Duch sharply replied to "EuroFora"s Question"

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+ -  But, "it will also be of a duration which migt take as long as throughout all the next 5 Years !", the experienced EU Parliament's Press Director and Spokesman wisely concluded on this crucial point.


=> - "So that you will have enough Time to follow that" EU Parliament's Debate, he added smiling in fine, apparently addressing himself to all present Journalists in Strasbourg, including "EuroFora"...

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In fact, there are exceptionaly Big Issues at Stake in this regard during the forthcoming Years, considering particularly the Fact that many Top EU-Politicians have already stressed the Need to resolutely Advance soon towards a much Stronger EU and/or €uroZone Integration, specially on Economic but also on certain Political issues, which, obviously, couldn't really succeed unless it manages to be Based on a Strong Democratic Legitimacy given by People's Votes.


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According to Official EU Parliament's Data, the Sharpest ever Falls in Participation suddenly occured back in the 1999 and 2004 EU Elections, when it Droped from an Absolute Majority of 56,67% of Registered Voters, as it had been on 1997, Down to only a .. Minority of 49,51% for the 1st Time in History on 1999, (i.e. a long Fall of - 7,16% Less than before !), to which was also added another Sharp Fall of - 4,04% less, droping Down to only an even smaller Minority of 45,47% on 2004. Those 2 Sharp and unprecedented Big Falls of Participation  down into a Shrinking Minority of registered Voters, during 1999 - 2004, correspond to a period of growing Controversies on Turkey's Unpopular EU bid, which notoriously Deceived, Angered and Dissuaded many EU Citizens even from participating to such events.


On 2009 that continuous Trend to Fall suddenly Decelerated, (particularly after the Elections of President Nicolas Sarkozy in France,  and of Chancellor Angie Merkel in Germany, as well as of a brillant Win of most ChristianDemocrats/EPP parties accross EU Member Countries, most of whom were officialy Opposed to Turkey's controversial and unopopular EU-bid), lowering just- 2,47%, until it reached a Participation of 43%.


But it's only this Year, with the May 2014 EU Elections, that, for the 1st Time after 15 Years (1999-2014), there is No more any other Fall of Participation, that previous Trend having been fully Stopped now, by succeeding to Keep a Participation of more than 43% in 2014 as back on 2009, and even Starting to Grow, at least a little better, with a +0,9% (almost +1%) Higher Number of Participants now on 2014 (43,9%), than back on 2009, (in certain EU Member Countries even much More : Comp. Supra).                                                                                                                                                                                                                           

(../..)

 

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Former "Green-Red" German government's Foreign Minister Joschka Fischer's job at the controversial Turkish pipeline "Nabucco" was denounced as "not proper", "very bad", and "incompatible with Democracy", by the new President of EU Parliament's EuroLeft Group, German Lothar Bisky, replying to an "EuroFora" question.

For once, criticism of Joschka Fischer's doings with Turkey affecting Europe, didn't come only from the Center-Right of the political spectrum, but even from his Left side : The experienced Bisky, who has been chairing all over 1993-2009 the PDS - Die Linke party :  

- "Former Foreign Minister Joschka Fischer got involved in dealings with oil-gaz business in a foreign country, Turkey, and its controversial Nabucco pipeline. This raises questions about Democracy, also because of the well known problems of Human Rights violations in that country. Do you thing that this might be abused in order to cover up and close EU's eyes on Human Rights violations ?", "EuroFora" asked Bisky.

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- "Nabucco pipeline is (only) at the planning stage". And "there are some difficulties",  he observed from the start. But "'I don't want to get into the details of Nabucco pipeline, because I don't think that there is any point for it at the moment".
 
At any case,  "we  (EU Parliament's EuroLeft Group) strongly believe that Politicians should not get involved in the Energy Business, and all these commercial transactions", President Bisky declared on the Joschka Fiischer's affair.

- "We feel that it's something that shouldn't be done. It's not proper !"           

- "We don't think that it's compatible with Democracy either, and it gets politics into a very Bad track", Bisky went on to denounce.
                                                                                                                                                                        
- "EuroLeft  and "Die Linke" always spoke against that, saying that politicians should not get directly into the arms of private enterprises"

- "It is pretty bad if a former Minister takes a job f.ex. in a major Energy producer. So, it's an issue if a Minister who may have seen excellent opportunities, subsequently gets personally grasp of them, in very serious parts of the economy, once he has given up his (Government) job."

- "It doesn't really make politics in general look any better'", Bisky concluded.

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Earlier, this week in Strasbourg, other Journalists had also raised critical questions on former Foreign Minister Joschka Fischer's involvement in the conroversial Turkish Nabucco pipeline to the President of his own EuroParty : Kohn-Bendit of the "Greens", who, contrary to Bisky, tried to find excuses for Fischer, while criticizing his long-time partner, Schroeder for having done a similar move :

- "Shroeder was chancellor", and he "negociated" with "Russians", who gave him a job only "3 Months" after he resigned from the Government. While "Joschka Fischer", on the contrary, got a job with the controversial Turkish Nabucco pipeline only "4 Years after" he left the Government. "He didn't negociate Nabucco", so I have "no objection", Kohn Bendit claimed.

But, many Facts indicate the contrary :

Joschka Fischer was Foreign Minister in Germany from 1999 up to 2005 : I.e. from the year that EU took the controversial decision to give Turkey a "Candidate" status, until he year it started controversial "accession negotiations, (later declared "open-ended" after Sarkozy-Merkel's arrival from 2005-2007).

During that period was prepared the controversial so-called "Annan" Plan (in fact, drafted by others and attributed afterwards to the former UN SG) on Cyprus, which failed after a Popular Referendum said "No" on 2004 with a large Majoriy of 3/4 : 75%. Mainly because it was criticized for making too much concessions to the Turkish side :  Particularly by restricting Greek Cypriot Refugees' Human Right to return to their ancestral Land and/or get restitution of their Familiy Homes and private properties, usurpated by Ankara's Army since the 1974 militay invasion and continuing occupation of the northern part of Cyprus. And by weakening the Central Government, leaving to 2 "constituent States" so much powers and separate interests that more conflicts appeared inevitable, provoking the danger of a break-down in the foreseable future, with more crisis, troubles, perhaps bloodshed, etc., instead of creating an harmoniously integrated, really one federal State.

The controversial Plan was finalized on March-April 2004 at Burgenstock (Switzerland), curiously in the presence of an Envoy by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Germany, then governed by Joschka Fischer, but in the absence of a French and not even an European Union's Envoy, contrary to what was usually practiced on similar occasions in Switzerland (fex. in 1997 at Montreux, in 2000 at Geneva, etc).

Turkey notoriously exploited the failure of the "Annan" Plan in order to convince the EU to decide to start accession Negotiations on December 2004. This provoked an unprecedented series of Institutional Crisis inside the EU, shortly afterwards, when French and Dutch People rejected, 2 popular EuroReferenda by a majority "'No" vote to the EU Constitutional Treaty on 2005, aggraveted in 2004 a Majority Abstention to EU Elections, etc., followed by the recent Irish "No", etc.

"Nabucco" Gas pipeline was notoriously planned since ..2002. It follows an even earlier idea, for an Oil pipeline Baku-Ceyhun, which started to be prepared on 1999-2001 and was meanwhile recently completed.  

So, facts indicate that what is now at stake is based on decisions made during Joschka Fischer's term as former Foreign Minister, closely interested in Turkey's controversial EU-bid.

To the point that he now practically ...switched jobs with a poliician from Turkey, (the State which pays today openly Joschka Fischer), Mr. Ozdemir, who came earlier in Germany, got fast the nationality, and became EiuroMP in a few years, continuing now as head of the "Greens" in Germany, i.e. in Joschka's former job !...

Such astonishing facts risk, unfotunately, to give to German politician Lothar Bisky's criticism of  representative Democracy a topical meaning :

 - "We (EuroLeft Group) think that what is really at stake is Democracy. It's not only about Gas Pipelines or Energy sources", President Lothar Bisky went on to add in his reply to "EuroFora"'s question on Joscka Fischer's personal interests in the controversial Turkish "Nabuco" pipeline.

Such facts, "make People get more distance from Politics. ...People had had enough, and they are fed up !".

- "That's why we (EuroParliament's "EuroLeft" Group) want to strengthen Direct Democracy in Europe. Citizens should be involved in the (EU) Decision-making. In the end of the day, it's not going to help anyone if Politicians are always taking decisions, without involving Citizens. We want to give a voice to the People of Europe. They've got to have their say in the decisions that are taken. That's one of our absolutely fixed and steadfast views. We want more Direct Democracy in Europe. That's how it can become more effective and stronger", he concluded.

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