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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
Montag, 25 Juni 2012
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 *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.

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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.

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(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)
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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.
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 - "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.

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 - 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 ?
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- 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" :

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- "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.

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=> "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.
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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.

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 - "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.

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+ 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).
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+ 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...
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+ 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.

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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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3 EU Parliament votes to boost EuroGroup !

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After EuroZone Paris Summit's succes, Sarkozy calls to "think anew how to re-construct Europe !

"EuroZone and EU Institutional debates pave the way to 2009 discussions on EU Future, including Enlargment, Turkey etc. ?


23 October 2008

After EU Parliament strongly suppported in 3 successive Votes this week in Strasbourg French EU Chairmanship's move to boost Euro-Group at EU's core, while ideas on EU Institutional problems are awaited on December, "it's an open Question now" if this may lead to a debate on EU's Future, or not, told us French President, Nicolas Sarkozy''s Spokesman, Pierre-Jerome Henin.

MEPs voted on Thursday fresh Funds to support EuroGroup, after adopting on Wednesday a Resolution asking a "further Evolution" to "the 1st ever meeting of Heads of State and of Government of the Euro-Zone, taking decisions in that capacity", while earlier this week a Report asked "a stronger Institutional setting" for "EuroGroup", extended from "competitiveness/industry" to "environment, employment and education", with "increased powers for Political decision-making", according to a text drafted by French MEP Francoise Beres and German MEP Werner Langen, "10 Years after the creation of Euro" (1999 - 2009).

- Brussels' subsequent "EU Council ..(simply)..ratified the measures decided by EuroGroup on October 12" in Paris, which "were necessary to contain the current Financial Crisis", Resolution observes, expressing also support to the new process succesfully initiated by Sarkozy and due to be completed by agreements with USA and other countries at a Global level.

From now on, it's between two differend but parallel moves : EU's delay, and EuroZone's acceleration, that Enlargement and particularly Turkey's controversial EU bid, will have to search its way :

Indeed, EU's 27 expect a "Roadmap on how to deal with the Irish problem" on Lisbon Treaty ratification after December, risking to pass even 2009 Elections and next Commission with the old Nice Treaty of 2000, out-dated and unfit even for 2004's Enlargement...

On the contrary, EU's core launches a real "Economic Governance for EuroZone at the highest level of Heads of State/Government" of the 15, which started in Paris on October 12 and was strongly supported this week in Strasbourg by Sarkozy and EU Parliament.
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- "It's a good idea, to launch such a debate ("on EU's Future") in EU Parliament in view of 2009 Euro-Election : Perhaps some MEPs will seize an opportunity", told us mainstream French MEP Alain Lamassoure, former EU Minister and EU Spokesman for France's governing party UMP.

- "All MEPs' debates on such EU Councils are also part of the larger debate on Europe's future : Now with EuroZone, and even more when, on December, Irish Prime Minister is due to table proposals in Strasbourg on how to deal with EU Treaty's ratification", replied earlier to our question EU Parliament's Press Director and Spokesman, Jaume Duch.
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Sarkozy has formally anounced his intention to open EU Debates on Economy, Identity/Enlargement (i.e. mainly Turkey), etc. both linked to a popular Political view of Europe, since his Historic speeches on EU in Strasbourg, on February and July 2007, when he stressed that "Europe needs a New Renaissance". At the beginning of the French EU Presidency, on July 2008, replying to a MEP, he suggested that EU Parliament takes an active part in Debates on EU's Future.

- Now, in 2008, "Crisis are an opportunity to re-think how to re-construct Europe", Sarkozy stressed. At any case, the Historic 1st EuroZone Summit of Heads of State/Government, which started replying to the Financial crisis,"is a Turning Point : After that, Europe cannot be governed as before, but differently" : People "like a Europe with Strong Will".

- "We must make the System move !", "Europe needs Innovation" and free political debates. EU "Elections are in a few Months", Sarkozy warned.

He invited EU Parliament to fully play its role as "the Democratic Heart of the Europe we want : United, Independent and Voluntarist, because the World needs Europe's voice".

- "It's no more possible for Euro-Zone to continue without an Economic Government" at the Highest Level of Heads of State/Government, who provide "Democratic Legitimity" and can take important decisions, he announced, strongly supported by EU Parliament's Economic Committee which just voted to boost the "Institutional" aspects of "EuroGroup".

Plasticity offered by the current absence of a special Treaty on EuroZone's Institutions "made it easy to adapt the organization of the 1st Summit with imagination, to efficiently meet urgent needs", he observed, on the occasion of Brittish Prime Minister's exceptionnal presence at the greatest part of EuroGroup's Paris Summit.

- "In EuroZone we have the same Bank, the same Money, and, thus, a same duty for Unity" : "By bringing together EuroGroup's 15 members States we suceeded to find a solution and prepare a Giant Plan of 1.800 Billion euros", Sarkozy reminded of Paris' 1st Historic EuroZone's Summit.

Afterwards, Brussels' EU Council followed the move, and USA's Paulson II Plan was inspired from that. "Europe must promote the idea of Global Economy's Refoundation", he stressed.

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- "I was frankly astonished when I found, at the EU, a rigid system, where any New Idea was seen from the outset as a sacrilege, while, on the contrary, Europe needs Innovation !", he described.

F.ex. ,"'When we first spoke about the "Union for the Mediterranean", it was misunderstood as something extraordinary.. When later we had the Russia -Georgia crisis, it seemed against EU's custom to act "in the middle of August", instead of staying a passive spectator ! And when, in front of the Financial ciris, we gathered the 1st EuroZone Summit of the "15", some thought of it as a lese-majesté", he denounced.
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On Geo-Political Principles :
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- But, by moving resolutely, "EU obtained the ...withdrawal of Occupation Troops in 2 Months !", reminded Sarkozy, observing that Russia "fulfilled its commitments", in the Georgian crisis, where a "disroportionate reaction" from Moscow followed a "totally inappropriate action" from Tbilisi's troops. "It would be crazy to reply by military means : EU should not become accomplice of another Cold War, imposed by lack of cool heads".. as he said.

In future, "the creation of a common European Economic Area with EU and Russia, would also obtain a raprochment on our Human Rights and Democratic Values", added Sarkozy, in a statement which should logically be applied, a fortiori, to controversial EU "candidate" Turkey..

Particularly when, the same week that EU Parliament voted 2009 EU Funds for Turkey's controversial EU bid, ECHR took a series of judgements condemning Turkey for grave Violations of Human Rights, such as : Torture, death of a political prisoner in unclear circumstances followed by failure to conduct a proper Investigation, "enforced Disappearance" of a youngster aged 17, Killing of a sepherd with Tank Shells, persecuting Journalists for articles on "Missing" People, even a former President of Human Rights' Association, (etc)

- "We (EU) can defend our ideas on respect of Sovereignity and territorial Integrity, on Human Rights and other differences ... without confrontation", Sarkozy stressed, on the occasion of Russian/Georgian conflict, reminding that : "we were only 2 steps from catastroph", when a Peace agreement brokered in Moscow prevented, at the last minute, Russian troops' advance towards Tbilisi.

An EU Parliament Resolution adopted Wednesday in Strasbourg on the occasion of Russia - Georgia conflict, outlines a set of Principle which apply elsewhere too, (particularly when EU Rapporteur for Russia and Turkey is one and same person ; Dutch MEP Ria Oomen-Ruijtanen !)

Clearly rejecting any "military solution to the conflicts", MEPs "condemn ..all those who resorted to force and violence". They denounce a "disproportionate military action", "as well as (an) unilateral decision to recognise the independence" of brekaway regions, "calling.. to respect the sovereignty and territorial integrity" of the concerned country, "and the inviolability of its borders recognised by all EU Member States". They warn that "EU must review its policy towards" a 3rd Country, "should .(it)...not comply with its commitments", and "stress that the withdrawal of.... troops from the areas ....is an essential additional step".

EU Parliament "calls for the safe and quick return of refugees, (accepted by Russian President Medvedev) accompanied by the deployment of EU observers on the ground", and "regrets ...that ..EU Monitoring Mission (EUMM) is not allowed to enter the ...breakaway regions". Moreover, "It's important to ensure that persons and NGOs ..engaged in defending human and civil rights can operate". "Until ...all remaining issues (are) resolved..., and notably the continuing ...Military presence", "relations with the EU ..cannot be fully normalised", MEPS warned.

As nobody likes to be accused to practice "Double Standards", this should be regarded as "Principles" applicable to any Third Country at EU's Neighborhood.. No ?

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On Economy :

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- "When Financial crisis shook US and EU's Banks, without result from the 1st (American) Paulsen plan, it was the common reply of the 1st EuroZone's Summit, involving some 1800 Billion euros, which started a positive move in the markets, soon strengthened by the follow-up of the US Paulson 2 Plan, noted Sarkozy.

- "Europe should not be only on the defensive, but, if necessary, know also how to take an offensive", he said, brushing away hesitationsto act on Economy: - "I'm for a refondation of Capitaliism, but against Speculators, who betray its values" : "Lack of Rules was profitable to speculators, Not to businessmen !" We must make sure to prevent any such crisis in future". "We, the rest of the World, cannot continue to bear the deficits of the 1st World power without saying anything !", the French President said, applauded by EU Parliament. All this needs "a New Global Governance", on which EU Parliament must debate. That's why "we proposed together with USA, several Summits from mid-November", to which G-8, enlarged to China, India a.o. countries, should participate. UNO's SG; Ban Ki Moon, the IMF, etc.

Financial crisis lowered shares' prices even for healthy companies, sometimes to 1/3 of their initial price, so that strangers might buy EU industries for only a portion of their real value, and Europeans may wake up one day with their main industries sold out to foreigners !

That's one of the reasons for which EU should debate about creating "Golden Shares" for States to jointly take Strategic participations to help European Industries until the end of the Crisis, particularly against distording competition, he suggested, pointing at USA's 35 billion $ plan for American Car Industry."We shall struggle for Europe to be able to build Airplanes, Ships, Trains, Cars, because we need a strong Industry", he concluded.

"F.ex. as we did back in 2004, when as Finance Minister, we bought Alsthom's shares for 800.000 euros, and, after restructuring, we sold them for 2 Millions : Help a company and make money is not so bad"...

As for the UK, "when Ireland announced that it would guarantee only Irish Banks, London City emptied from liquidities in 24 hours : It's the EU which helped to restore the situation, Not the UK alone !", reminded Sarkozy to nationalist British MEP Nigel Farage.

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On the contrary, in a last-minute attempt for the EU to catch-up with its Institutional delay "before the European Elections" of June 2009, MEPs simply voted a call for a "set of proposals" to be made for the "Irish public opinion" at the end of the year...

- "As long as Lisbon Treaty is not ratified by all 27 EU Member States, there is an unanimous decision to stop Enlargement, reminded Wednesday in Strasbourg the French Minister for EU affairs, Jean-Pierre Jouyet..

Added to an indirect but clear warning that, without Lisbon Treaty, all 27 EU Member Countries may not have a Commissioner in the 2009 resuffle, MEPS in the Constitutional/Foreign affairs Committees applauded hoping that this might motivate their Irish friends..

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