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Home arrow newsitems arrow EU Commissioners Kuneva, Reding + Orban to "EuroFora" : "Enormous Potential to boom on-line !"

EU Commissioners Kuneva, Reding + Orban to "EuroFora" : "Enormous Potential to boom on-line !"

Written by ACM
Thursday, 07 May 2009

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EU has an "enormous Potential" for on-line Media, and EU intends to make it "boom" by "targetting the whole (European) on-line Market, and not just a segment", in order to "sell better for consumers and businesses" by facilitating EU Citizens' access through the promotion of their Rights,  Multi-linguism, etc. including by facing the challenge of Better Networks and Technologic Innovations, replied in substance EU Commissioners Meglena Kuneva, Viviane Reding and Leonard Orban, to "EuroFora"'s questions.

Observing that "some previous attempts to create On-line Media, even in Big EU Countries, did not work enough for the moment, at least not as in the USA" etc., "EuroFora" asked EU Commissioners about their views on the new perspectives opened now, thanks also to "EU efforts to help", "for the developpement of new On-line Media, on the entire EU-level".

-  "The EU On-line Market has an enormous potential, that we don't utilize enough", replied from the outset Reding

- "We (EU) want to bring this Market to a Boom", EU Commissioner on Information Society and Media stressed in her reply to "EuroFora"'s question on the development of new European On-line Media.

F.ex. about 50% of EU households already have a broadmand access, but less than ...7% of them use it to buy on the Internet, so that the current 106 Billion € on-line EU market income, even if huge, in fact doesn't represent but only a small fraction of what is possible in the EU, Reding observed.

"That's why we have to inform both businesses and users", she concluded in reply.

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EU Commissioner for Consumers' protection, Meglena Kuneva, also replied positively to "EuroFora"'s question on the current prospects for the development of On-line Media ;

- "It fits", Because "we (EU) are targetting the whole single on-line market" throughout all Europe. "As you can see, this is in the framework of our efforts : " "Digital Agenda for the entire On-line Market", as it's quite right written on screen".

 - So, "this is, indeed, our purpose  : To sell better to the On-line Market, both for Consumers and for Businesses", EU Commisioner Kuneva concluded in her reply to "EuroFora"'s question.

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Statistics reveal that, until now, the main obstacle was the lack of "Trust" by consumers to trans-border transactions on-line, mainly because they were afraid that the good they bought might not be as shown in the screen, or not delivered at all, as she said earlier. But, even if Kuneva added to "EuroFora" that "we are not targetting one or another segment of the on-line market,...so that she "wouldn't outline just one sector", in fact, this problem should normally not affect the on-line Media : Because there, the "delivery" is made not physically, at a later Date, but immediately on-line. (Fex. simply by opening access to part or all the content of "News", interactive exchanges, etc).

Reding and Kuneva had just presentented in a Press Conference at EU Parliament in Strasbourg the "EYouGuide", a Practical, easy to read and use, EU Guide to Citizens' Rights in order to "Trust" as tranOn-line consumers at the Internet, available both in Leaflets and at : ec.europa.eu/eyouguide

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EU Commissioner for MultiLingualism, Leonard Orban, obviously was also Key-person for another main original characteristic behind "EuroFora" project, and any on-line Media that would target the entire EU, including also interactive content for its Readers with "Forums", etc.: The inevitable use of many Languages at the same time in parallel :

Questioned later by "EuroFora" on that precise point, EU Commissioner Orban said that "the challenge is huge, because EU has 23 official Languages to manage", and already the need for qualified interpretators is felt, particularly in many specialized fields, for qualified persons able to master even a scientific or legal terminology. Paradoxically, there is a problem for English speaking interpretors, but also others, since we face also the Competition of a Global Market, including fex. Afrika, Asia, etc.

- But Orban revealed to "EuroFora" that, recently, he had "brought together Scientists, Researchers, the Industry, Businesses, Experts, Politicians, Administrations, NGOs, etc. in order to find out all together what are the needs and the possibilities for the developpement of efficient New Technologies able to do Automatic Translations", including on-line.

Accurately multiply each sentence's automatic translation in 23 languages, as EU has to do, is obviously an immense task.

-"But we hope to arrive to an acceptable average level, mainly through Innovative technologies and organisation, in the following 5 Years", EU Commissioner Orban concluded to "EuroFora".

"EuroFora"'s members, users and readers would certainly urge EU Commission to try to do even better, and mainly faster, (even if it starts, at the beginning, at least in the main 3 or 5 EU Languages, to be followed later on by all the others). Because the practical needs for an easy, simple and efficient, on-line automatic translation is obviously vital for the free and good communication between EU Citizens, as well as for the development of a common European consciousnes.

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    The recent paradox of freezing EU Talks with front-runner Croatia, while continuing controversial EU - Turkey talks, despite Zagreb's acceptance of Refugees' Human Rights to return, that Ankara refuses fex. in Cyprus, while both have "Good Neighborhood" problems vis a vis Slovenia, or Greece, Cyprus and Armenia respectively, can it be justified by the non-fullfilment of EU criteria, as Slovenia says, or, is it "Double Standards" ?    

The question became unavoidable after statements by Presidents of Slovenia and Croatia, Tuerk and Mesic, respectively, to "EuroFora", exclusively or among Strasbourg's journalists this week at the CoE, on the sidelines of its 2009 Summer University for Political Schools, which topically brought them together as successive key-note speakers.


    Comming only a few Months before EU checks Turkey's compliance to its commitments on Cyprus, etc., scheduled for December 2009, this obviously has a special importance for the coherence of EU Enlargement's principles.

     Suspension of EU Negotiations is a normal consequence in case of a Candidate Country's failure to fullfil EU Conditions, such as "Good Neighborhood relations", stressed at first Slovenian President Danilo Tuerk, current CoE's chair.

    But, regarding EU's Criteria,  there shouldn't be any "Double Standards",  reacted Croatian President Stjepan Mesic, commenting the fact that Turkey's controversial EU negotiations continue, while they were recently "freezed" in the case of Croatia, an "unquestionably European Country", which oficially accepts to respect Refugees Human Rights, contrary to Ankara's notorious refusals or reluctance.                                       

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                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                           - "EU itself has set as a Criterium (for EU Enlargement) the "Good Neighborhood relations",  and their absence justifies the "Suspension" EU Negotiations, (f.ex. with Croatia), because of a Border dispute affecting the territorial integrity of an EU Member Country, stressed Slovenian President, Danilo Tuerk, CoE's Chairman in office (May - November 2009), speaking to Journalists in Strasbourg including "EuroFora".    

Questioned earlier what "consequences on EU's Enlargement policy" can have the "Ban on EU Membership Negotiations", imposed to Croatia, Tuerk replied that "this question comes down to the fulfillement of (EU) Criteria for membership. One has to look at each Candidate Country ., from the point of view whether it fullfils the Criteria that EU has set. One of them are Good Neighborhood Relations, I'd like to remind. And also, there are other factors, such as Justice, Home affairs, Rule of Law, and others".


    - "Now, ..Candidate Countries are at Different Levels of fulfillement of Criteria", he observed.

    - " Croatia is obviously the closest to that. I'm rather optimistic : I think that in the coming Months we'll have an opportunity to look at all these issues constructively and hopefully we'll be able to make progress". "My main concern, at this point, is the situation in Bosnia : We haven't seen enough progres domesticaly. We haven't seen enough during ..political parties within their country.We need a New Energy, a new energetic move towards the Candidature for EU membership. "Other (Western Balkan) Countries (Serbia, Montenegro, FYROM, Albania) have been making soaring Progress, and I think that they should be ready, in a few Years, for the Candidate status".

    - "As far as the Western Balkans are concerned, .. nobody should be left outside" the EU, Slovenian's President concluded, ommitting to mention Turkey's controversial EU bid.

    - "This process may be seen as Slow, but..  Slovenia has also has also been exposed to various "Booms of Slowness" in our accession period. But now we can say that the process was relatively quick, because changes which occur after becoming EU member, are quite large, and they require proper Preparations before the (EU) membership becomes a new factor, an impacting line for a new (EU) member country".
----------------------------

EU "Solidarity" ?
------------------------------   

Slovenian statements made some participants from certain 3rd Countries as FYROM, etc. claim that "the Principle of EU Solidarity" would "produce a.. rising European Union Nationalism (sic !), against Non-EU Countries", as they said, asking unhappy foreign countries to form a "bloc" to exert pressure on the EU...    

But Croatian President Stjepan Mesic dismissed that, supporting "EU Integration", "after the Economy also in Political" issues, as "the achievement" of our times. In EU there is "diversity, but it's United", he stressed, "EU has to be United so that it can become a central factor of Peace" also at the surrounding areas, he replied.

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Speaking later exclusively to "EuroFora", the experienced twice President of Croatia, former President of the International "Non-Aligned" movement, denounced "Double Standards" in the way EU treats recently Croatia compared to Turkey :   

 - "I think that there shouldn't be Double Standards", stressed the Croatian President, in reply to a Question comparing the freeze of EU - Croatia talks, with the continuation of EU - Turkey talks, despite the fact that Croatia is an "unquestionably European country", while Turkey's EU bid is notoriously controversial.


    Mesic was reacting to the observation that, even if he confirmed his "respect of Refugees' Human Rights to return, etc. (See infra), nevertheless, EU talks are suspended with Croatia.. While for oher, controversial candidates, who refuse to respect Refugees' Rights to return, etc., as fex. Turkey does in occupied Cyprus and elsewhere, EU negotiations continue".

    - "I believe that Croatia's accession will confirm that all European Countries who fulfill all of the Conditions and achieve European Standards, have to join the EU. There shouldn't be any Double Standards", went on to add in reply President Mesic.

    In this relation, Croatia's President found "of paramount importance", CoE's "mechanisms enforcing ECHR's judgements"
    
    - "On Refugees and Displaced persons, the process will be completed only after the last person demanding to return will be allowed to do so !", President Mesic Croatia stressed earlier, setting a general standard of obvious importance also for otherr candidates, as f.ex. Turkey, often accused to exclude or heavily restrict Greek Cypriot Displaced persons' return to their Family Homes and ancestral land, provoke difficulties to Turkish-Kurd IDPs return to their home regions at the South-East, etc.

    Some "2.000 People are still reported Missing" in former Yugoslavia, for some Years, (as in Cyprus, modern Europe's oldest case, for 3 Decades. Nagorno-Karabach, Tcecnya in Russia, etc, more recently), and Investigations "will only be completed after establishing the fate of the last one of them", he added.
    
    Speaking earlier on "War Crimes", President Mesic stressed that "Leaders are responsible for (the) Wars (of the Past), not the People", and called against Impunity :  "Individuals have to be held Responsible for Crimes. International Penal Tribunals have to persecute those individuals", perpetrators of War Crimes, he underlined.

    Such statements naturally made Mesic rather popular at ECHR, whose President, French EuroJudge, Professor Jean-Paul Costa, looked particularly smiling when he welcomed him later on Wednesday afternoon, after Slovenian President Daniko Tuerk earlier this week.
           

***

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