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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 !"

Parašė ACM
Thursday, May 07, 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 incoming Swedish EU Presidency (July-December 2009) may still remain in favour of Turkey's controversial EU bid, despite June 2009 EU Elections' results, but it has "very strong demands on Turkey"'s obligation to respect EU Rules, said the Head of Swedish Foreign Ministry's Press Service, Cecilia Julin, to "EuroFora", reacting to critical Press reports.

    - "I know (that) the link is often made also to Sweden's position on Turkey"'s controversial EU bid. Indeed, "we (Swedish EU Presidency) are very much engaged in the future membership of Turkey, but not without fullfiling all the Criteria".

    - "It's very clear that we (Swedish EU Presidecny) have very Strong Demands on Turkey, in a sort of concept for Future membership of the Union, ...which will be a Long Process...", she stressed.

    This means, in particular, "the Copenhagen Criteria (on Human Rights, Democracy and Rule of Law), and also the adaptation to the Acquis of the European Union".

     - "If you listen to what Mr. Bildt (the Swedish Foreign Minister) says on Turkey at different occasions, it's very clear : We want Turkey to become part of the Union, in the Future. But we want it to fullfil all the Criteria : The Acquis of the European Union. That's very clear", she concluded.

    The Senior Official of the Swedish Foreign Ministry was reacting to critical Press Reports, from Brussels' Journalists invited by EU Commission's secretariat to Stockholm, who claimed that Bildt was abusing of a ..."Whip" (sic !) against Cyprus, by "threatening" the presence of UNO's Peace-keeping force at the "Green line" which separates the island's Government-controlled areas from the territories occupied by Ankara's army, if Nicosia didn't accept any political solution, regardless of Turkey's demands, before the end of 2009.

        Governing AKEL Party's new Secretary General, Andros Kyprianou, reacted by declaring that no-one can threat the People of Cyprus : -"We shall decide for our Future, and nobody else",  he reportedly said, asking to "keep calm". "In order to find a Solution soon, certain basic Principles must be respected", he stressed, calling those who feel an urgency to use their influence on Turkey. Other Political Parties were more critical.

    This was a reference to recently reported statements by Turkish Minister Bagis, Prime Minister Tayip Erdogan and Turkey's National Security Council (a Military-Political body), accused to push towards a partitionist "2 States" solution, contrary to UNO SC Resolutions for Cyprus' reunification.

    December 2009 is a crucial moment for EU's appraisal of Turkey's controversial EU bid, because EU Council has decided to review then Ankara's compliance with the European position on the recognition of Cyprus' Government, which was clearly set out by an EU reply of 21 September 2005 to Turkish Prime Minister Tayip Erdogan's claims, refusing to recognize even the existence of EU Member Cyprus, in controversial statements he made to London (former EU chair) on July 29, 2005.

    EU Parliament's latest Resolution on Turkey, adopted on March 2009 in Strasbourg, warned Ankara that "the non-fulfillment of Turkey's commitments... by December 2009, may further seriously affect the process of Negotiations" with the EU.

    In practice, the issue boils down to Ankara's "embargo" against Ships and Airplanes using Cyprus' seaports or airports at the strategic EU island, which traditionaly hosts one of the World's biggest Shipping flags. EU has already "freezed" 6 relevant Chapters in EU - Turkey Negotiations since December 2006, after Ankara refused to fullfil a commitment it had undertaken when EU had decided to open controversial "accession" negotiations with Turkey, back on December 2005.

    - "As far as EU - Turkey relations are concerned, it's clear that Turkey needs to fullfil its obligation of full, non-discriminatory implementation of the additional Protocol (to "EC-Turkey Association Agreement"),  This is an important issue....and should be addresseed as soon as possible as it clearly affects the pace of the accession negotiations.Issues covered by the Declaration of September 2005 will continue to be followed up, and progress is urgently awaited", warned earlier in Strasbourg the out-going Czech EU Presidency (former vice-Prime Minister Alexander Vodra).

    But the Head of the Swedish Foreign Ministry's Press Service, Cecilia Julin, dismissed "interpretations" by "some" that Foreign Minister Carl Bildt was reportedly "threatening" Cyprus with consequences on the UNFICYP, if it doesn't accept any solution until December 2009, while Turkey is reportedly delaying in an attempt to impose a partitionist "2 States" solution.

    On the contrary, Julin, stressed that "Sweden has strong demands on Turkey'"s respect of "Copenhagen Criteria and EU Acquis".

    Meanwhile, Sweden  is "concerned" about the risk of "Stalemate" in Cyprus' Talks, but is well aware that "the main responsibilities lie with the two leaders and the UNO", Europe playing only a role of "facilitator".

    After carefully verifying, the Head of Swedish Foreign Ministry's Press Service, stressed to "EuroFora" that Bildt's reference to UNFICYP "was not linked to a Threat", and dismissed those who "interpreted" it so.

    On the contrary, the Swedish EU Presidency acknowledged the fact that Peace Talks are mainly for the UN and the leaders of the Cypriot communities, EU's role being limited into that of a "facilitator".

    As for Turkey's reported attempts to impose a "2 States' solution", the Head of the Swedish Foreign Ministry's Press Service sharply replied by stressing that Turkey must respect the "EU Acquis" rules.

    In particular :

    - "Basically he (Bildt) underlined that it's the leaders of the two communities in Cyprus and the UN that have the main responsibilities for solving the problem", started to say the Swedish Senior Official to "EuroFora", referring to the above-mentioned "briefing".

    - "But the EU had a role in sort of pointing out the benefits and facilitating a little bit the outcome for the settlement of the whole Cyprus' issue", she added.

    - "And he did state the Fact, that the rest of the World (i.e. USA, etc) will, of course, look at the differend issues which are at the table, and the future of the UN Peace keeping force is part of what is at the table", she admitted.

    - "I understand that some have interpreted that as a Threat, by the Swedish Minister" "But", in reality, "it's a statement of a Fact, that, when we'll look at the differend issues, one of the issues on which we shall have to take a stand on, is the future of the UN Peace keeping force in Cyprus".

    Indeed, one of the questions usually raised for a Solution of Cyprus' issue is what International and/or European or other Guarantees, by a Peace-keeping force, might be needed afterwards, eventually for a transitory period.

    Questioned anew by "EuroFora" whether (according to critical Press Reports) this could be taken as a veiled warning that, if Cyprus didn't accept any Turkish demand for any solution whatever, it might be left alone to face Ankara's Military Invasion/Occupation, she denied :

    - "He (Bildt) didn't say it in that way"... "It was not linked to a threat, or anything like that", the Head of the Swedish Foreign Ministry's Press Service stressed.

    On the contrary, "he (Bildt) underlined that the main responsibility lies with the parties concerned on the island". "The EU can try to facilitate and show the benefits of reaching a settlement. But also, when the EU and the rest of the World (i.e. USA) will have to look at it, they will look at all the Facts on the table, and the presence of the UN Peace-keeping force is one".

    And "he (Bildt) didn't speak about that at all", she replied to "EuroFora" question on Turkey's reported attemps to impose, in one way of another, a partitionist "2 States solution".

    Asked whether Bildt's aim was to incite both parties to move forward efficiently, she agreed :

    - In fact, "the EU is really very concerned with the Stalemate in the situation. Yes !", the Head of Sweden's Foreign Ministry's Press Service anounced. That's why Bildt "was hoping for the two parties (i.e. for Turkey's also) to engage and break, a little-bit, the present stalemate, come to a solution of the issue" of Cyprus.

    But, replying  to a "EuroFora"s question on the risk, denounced by several politicians in case of strict Time Deadlines, for Turkey to provoke a stalemate and wait for the time to come to impose a partitionist "2 States' solution", she reacted by pointing at Turkey's obligation to respect "EU Acquis" :

    - "Turkey must fullfil the EU Acquis : That's clear !", the Swedish Senior Official stressed.

    More details are expected when Swedish Prime Minister Reinfeldt will debate his Programme with new MEPs at EU Parliament's plenary mid-July in Strasbourg, that he has visited already in 2008.

    Foreign Minister Carl Bildt became familiar with Strasbourg's CoE last year, when Sweden chaired the PanEuropean organization of Human Rights. As EU chairman-in-office, he will also chair the 27-member States strong EU Group inside the 47-member States strong CoE.

    Minister for EU affairs, Cecilia Malmstrom is well known at EU Parliament, where she has been an active MEP of the Liberal Group for many years, following also Press Freedom issues.

    Both have already made various statements at "EuroFora", on differend topical matters.

    ***

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