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Home arrow newsitems arrow Strasbourg World Forum organizers to EuroFora: Leaders to help Democracy face the Global Crisis ?

Strasbourg World Forum organizers to EuroFora: Leaders to help Democracy face the Global Crisis ?

Written by ACM
lundi, 25 juin 2012

 *Strasbourg/Council of Europe/Angelo Marcopolo/- It's "Now or Never", when Democracy is at stake in the middle of Globalization, that World Leaders, Experts and Activists should start gathering at Strasbourg's 1st World Forum for Democracy (October 2012) to help Institutions and Citizens face the Challenges of Economic and/or Socio-Political Crisis, but also debate, reflect, stimulate and advise recent and on-going Movements spreading Democratic aspirations, after all Europe and its Central-Eastern States, also in 3rd Mediterranean Countries and elsewhere in the World, while also seizing new Opportunities offered by the Modern Information/Communication tools, said, in substance, the Organizers of this exceptional, pioneer Global Event, French Permanent Representative to the CoE, Ambasador Dominati and Strasbourg's Mayor, Senator Ries, in reply to "EuroFora"'s questions in a Press Conference at the CoE with the participation of its Secretary Gerernal Thornbjorn Jagland.


World Leaders, from UNO's Secretary General Ban Ki Moon, to French President Hollande and the King of Jordan Abdulah II, or Tunisia's President Marzouki, and Prime Minister of Albania Barisha (CoE chairman 5-11/2012), German Finance Minister Schauble, Foreign Minister of Bulgaria Mladenov, and Canada's former Prime Minister Campbell (World Democracy Movement's President), etc., added to EU Commission's President Barroso, CoE's Secretary General Jagland and Organization of American States' Secretary General Insulze (Brasil), EU Parliament's and CoE Assembly's Presidents Schultz and Mignon, European Court of Human Rights' President sir Bratza together with the Inter-American Court of HR. President Garcia Sayan, South African Constitutional Court Chief  Mogoeng, International Human Rights' Institute's President Costa,  and CoE's new Human Rights' Commissioner Muiznieks and PanEuropean Anti-Corruption watchdog GRECO's President Mrcela (Croatia),  OSCE's Democracy/Human Rights' office Director Lenarcic, as well as Russian Ombudsman Lukin and USA's International Center for Non-Violent Confict's Founding Chair Ackerman (Wash.DC), Nobel (Peace) and Sakharov (Free Speech) Prizes' winners 2011 Karman and Mahfouz, UNO's High Representative for Civilisations' Alliance Sampaio (former President of Portugal), CoE's "Democracy through Law"-"Venice Commission"'s President Buquicchio, North-South Center President Bergamini, and Amnesty International's Secretary General Shetty from India,  Afghanistan's Indepedent Human Rights Commission's Chair Samar, Transparency International's Founding Chair Sung Kim from South Korea, International Commission of Jurists (Geneva) Africa program Director Tsunga (Zimbabwe), as well as UNO's Envoy for Syria, former UNSG Koffi Annan, etc., are among the First Participants already anounced in Strasbourg, among many other Politicians, Experts (from USA, Japan, EU, Africa, etc), Media or Business' representatives, Associations, Activists, etc., throughout Europe and nearly from all over the World, who will, at least partly, interact also with interested Citizens in several Open Debates both at the CoE and throughout Strasbourg.

(Greek People collect Signatures for Referendum while Police with Clubs, Masks and Gas disperses the biggest Popular Demonstration of the year, in front of the Parliament : Athens, Constitution square, 29 June 2011)

Once the urgent vital Need felt, when Democracy was recently challenged by Crisis even at its Historic Birthplace/cradle : Greece since 2011, (See PHOTO+), after unprecedented Majority Abstentions emerged in EU Parliament's Elections 1999-2004, following a previous such trend also in the USA, incompatible with the present (2012) need to deepen EU Economic Integration and therefore also an EU Political Union able to attract EU Citizens' support, while, almost at the same time, on the contrary, various Democratic Ideas and aspirations are recently spreading, after having swept Central-Eastern Europe, even throughout most 3rd Mediterranean Countries, from Morocco up to Syria's borders with Turkey, the organization of this 1st World Forum for Democracy is, indeed, Timely.


 - "EuroFora" observed the Fact that, by coincidence, the Date chosen for the WDF is very close to crucial USA Presidential Elections (where a growing Majority of Citizens notoriously risks to Abstain from Voting, as also in the 1999-2004 EU Parliament Elections), and that CoE's Assembly, in its latest Plenary Session before the WDF, is debating and voting this week in Strasbourg an important Report on the Crisis of Democracy Today, its contemporary Challenges, but also New Opportunities, as f.ex. with the growing potential input of New, E - Technologies, inventive and revendicative Youth Movements, etc.


 - Therefore, we asked the Organizers, if the question how to face the present Challenges of a Democracy in Crisis, as well as how to seize the New Opportunities offered by the current Spread of Democratic Aspirations, as well as a Popular Quest to deepen and ReVitalize an Authentic, Real Democracy Today, possibly also with more helpful Modern Information/Communications Technologies, etc, would be a Priority at this First, 2012 World Forum for Democracy ?
- Strasbourg's Mayor, Senator Roland Ries, replying to "EuroFora"s 2nd Question, agreed, in substance, that, indeed, this 1st WFD of 2012, "comes at the Right Moment" :


- "If the main Meaning of your Question is if this World Forum on Democracy, in Strasbourg, comes at the Right Moment, as far as I'm concerned, I'd be enclined to reply to you with a "Yes !"", positively reacted to "EuroFora"s Question Senator Ries, of the new Governing Majority of Socialists in France.

- "Perhaps, there are no "Good Moments", in this regardn, but the overall Context Today, in this regard, f.ex. with the "Arab Spring", as well as what is happening in a number of Countries all over the World, clearly indicates that, today, it's more than ever that it's necessary to exchange views about what is Democracy, or what are Democracies".

- "Because, I have some Doubts to speak about "the" Democracy,  since we mustn't practice "EuroCentrism" : There might be Different Forms, at least in the Organisation of (on the way to organize) Democracy, given that the Final Aim should be the Same for All. That is to say, allow to the People to Participate in Decisions which will affect its Future", as he clarified.


=> "I don't know if I replied to Your Question, but I really believe that the Time (to move /to act on Democracy) is Now, or Never !", Strasbourg's Mayor, Senator Ries, strongly concluded on "EuroFora's query.

But France's Permanent Representative to the CoE, Ambassador Laurent Dominati, went even further, making some interesting remarks on the History and what is really at stake Today, in his own reply to "EuroFora":

 - " Since you asked about the (chosen) Moment :  CoE itself was founded after a Victory against Totalitarian Regimes" (as NAZISM and Fascism, etc), just "after the end of 2nd World War" (1949), he reminded from the outset.


 - "A second, fabulous Wave is after Berlin Wall's Fall" (1989), at the End of the "Cold War" era, "and, therefore, after the Victory against another type of Totalitarian regimes" (Stalinism, etc), as he said.

+ "Now, we arrive in a Globalized World, where we see that Democracy, which faces Challenges even inside Europe itself for several reasons, nevertheless, is Exported abroad and arrives to Latin America, arrives to the "Arab Spring", accross the Mediterraenean, "which are certainly the most Important events at the Beginning of this 21st Century", Ambassador Dominati stressed.

- "And afterwards, such Democratic movements continue also towards Africa, in Asia, etc., and you can see that, in a Globalized World, the Issue of Democracy, of its Definition, its Forms its Practice, of its Achievements or of its Challenges, is, indeed, a Question which concerns us all", observed the Permanent Represenative of France to the CoE.


+ Moreover, "as You know well, it's CoE's own role, which is also at stake, in exporting Democracy and its Universal Human Rights' Values, so that, in front of such Challenges and Tests", he pointed out, (apparently evoking also CoE's crucial task to ensure at least an elementary Respect of ECHR's judgements by all 47 CoE Member States)...

=> That's why, "we should all contribute, ...to this 1st Forum on Democracy", "together with France, and (Strasbourg's) Local/Regional Authorities which embody Democracy also at other levels", he invited.

- But "it (WFD) wouldn't succeed at all, without (the help also from) another great pillar of Democracy : i.e., the Press, and, therefore, we count upon You to act adequately so that these Debates, these Questions and their promotion, are prepared in Intelligent and the Widest possible way, vis a vis the Largest possible Audience, and we thank you all for that", concluded the Representative of France to "EuroFora"s query (Comp. supra).
+ Meanwhile, CoE will debate this week both Crisis of Democarcy and Economy, implying that Growth is needed to alleviate excessive Austerity threatening Democratic Institutions, at the eve of a crucial EU Summit in Brussels from Thursday Night and Friday.

But, it didn't yet think to tackle this Double Crisis the other way round : - Could an adequate and efficient Restoration/ReInvention of Democracy, by succeeding to overcome its current Crisis, also Help ReSolving even the current Financial/Economic Crisis ?

- Once again, the concrete Example of Democracy's cradle : Greece, (nut even contemprarY France in 2012 Elections, etc), provides a crystal clear Answer :  - "YES !"
Why ? And How ?

=> Simply because the Huge Debt provoked in Greece since the 1980ies, and scandalously Hidden on 1999-2001 (when some former "Socialist" Governments in the EU allowed a former PASOK Government in Athens to enter in €uroZone earlier than normal, even before doing the necessary Reforms, in exchange of closing its eyers on Turkey's controversial an unpopular EU bid, despite gross Violations of Human Rights, Democracy and International Law), which "exploded" from 2009, threatening all Europe and affecting even the Global Economy (as many USA observers and politicians complain), could be resorbed, in a both Econmically Efficient and Socially Just way, only if all counter-productive Cushy job holders and/or abusive, often corrupted Political Lackeys hired/appointed by Clientelism and/or Nepotism in the Past 30 Years (1980-2012) at a State-controlled Public Sector which became DisProportionate compared to the Country's GDP, obliging to have a Structural Deficit, were stopped to waste precious Funds, (to the detriment of both the Productive Economy, pushed to Recession, and to Poor People, heavily affected by Austerity cuts), thanks f.ex. to a full and deep Anti-Corruption campaign, as the Majority of Greek People clearly wish, (as they revealed during the 2011 massive Popular protests and according to all Polls). But, for this to be done, Greek People must be given a Real Chance to freely debate and Democraticaly express their Popular Will on this crucial issue...
+ This 1st WDF of Strasbourg is due to continue, and become a Global Annual Rendez-Vous every year, at the same Date and Place, (as the nearby "Davos" World Economy Forum),  the Organizers added earlier, and that's a reason more for the CoE to fund the event with about 800.000 €, to which are added some 750.000 € more by the French Authorities (250 K by the State, and 300 K by the Region, Department and City of Strasbourg, as former Minister, and current President of the Alsace Region, Philippe Richert explained).  

=> Therefore, if everything goes as scheduled, Strasbourg's WDF will also face a Crucial, Historic Challenge soon, with the forthcoming, 2014, European Elections, where it has, now, become of Vital Importance for the EU to at least reverse the Record-High Abstention by a Majority of EU Citizens since the 1999-2004 EU Parliament Elections, (a drop which only decelerated a bit on 2009), particularly when Urgent, practical Needs for much more Economic Integration, also necessitate much more EU "Political Union" today, which, obviously, cannot go without succeeding, somehow, to boost EU Citizens' enhousiasm for a less Bureaucratic, but more Democratic and efficient Europe.


A Challenge for which EU Parliament's staff has already started to work in order to prepare the 2014 EU Elections in the Time Deadline of the remaining  1 Year and some Months (July 2012 - June 2014), i;e. until, by a Timely Ironie of History, the rotating EU Presidency is due to be taken over by the Cradle of Democracy : Greece, bringing, even Symbolically, the counter Back to Square No 1 (Comp. Supra) !...



("DraftNews", as already sent earlier to "EuroFora"s Subscribers/Donors. A more accurate and full, Final Version may be published asap).




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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).


    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)...
    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..


    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".


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 )



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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