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Senate Presidents from the EU sign message supporting an Union closer to the citizens

Senatul Romaniei
Calin Popescu Tariceanu

An European Union closer to the citizens, with a more efficient activity and better understood is the objective supported by 12 of the Senate Presidents from the Association of Senates in Europe (ASE), who sign an article on Thursday in the context of the celebration of May 9 day, which is Europe Day.

"The increasingly important role of experts, the inadequate responses to current challenges, such as degradation of the surrounding environment, economic and social difficulties, terrorism, security of Europe against the external threats, migration and the tyranny of the urgent - imposed by the new media and the social networks - are as many factors contributing to the citizens' distancing themselves from their representatives. The lack of a proper response on our part risks to endanger the very existence of our democracies, for we know how fragile democracy is! This is the challenge facing parliamentary diplomacy, the objective that the Senate Presidents in Europe will reiterate at their next meeting, which will take place in June, in Paris. Therefore, it is our duty and responsibility to bring the European Union closer to the citizens - in the case of fourteen of the countries member of our association, to make its activity more efficient and make it better understood," reads the message, according to a press release of the Romanian Senate Chamber.

According to the document, signed including by the President of the Romanian Senate, Calin Popescu-Tariceanu, parliamentary diplomacy can play a positive role, "and it already does it, but not enough," in encouraging the dialogue between the state and rapprochement between peoples. The same sources says European election is "decisive for the future of this continent," which is currently facing a very serious crisis, caused by the lack of trust that has progressively increased and has made vulnerable" the European ideal.

"An Europe without trust is, dangerously, replacing Europe of hope," remarked the signatories.

They also said that, for the first time in the history of the association, there will be initiated a dialogue with the Senate Chambers in the African states.

The authors highlighted the role of bicameralism in facing the current challenges and maintaining European unity.

They also pointed out that Senates in Europe, "even if they are different in terms of composition, they share "a common goal," which is to "improve" the democratic representativeness of the countries with bicameralism.

The signatories also added that the MPs obey more the party discipline, and the Senators have the possibility of focusing more on the initiation of proposals and reflection.

"Bicamerialism illustrates this essential complementarity, which allows to perfect the activity of control on the government's actions," they added.

The article was signed by Ingo Appe, the President of the Federal Council of Austria; Jacques Brotchi, Senate President, Belgium; Jaroslav Kubera, Senate President, The Czech Republic; Gérard Larcher, Senate President, France; Daniel Gunther, President of the Bundesrat, Germany; Denis O'Donovan, President of the Senate, Ireland; Maria Elisabetta Alberti Casellati, President of the Senate, Italy; Ankie Broekers -Knol, President of the Senate, The Netherlands; Stanislaw Karczewski, the Marshal of the Senate of the Republic of Poland; Alojz Kovsca, the President of the National Council of Slovenia; Pío Garcia-Escudero, the Senate President of Spain.

Set up on November 8, 2000, in Paris, upon the initiative of the President of the Senate of the French Republic, Christian Poncelet, the Association of Senators in Europe aims at promoting bicameralism, developing relations between its members and strengthening European identity and consciousness. At present, the association includes 14 chambers from EU countries, but also the "Senates" from Bosnia and Herzegovina, the Russian Federation and Switzerland. In 2018, the Meeting of Senators in Europe was organised in Bucharest, over June 14-15, under the aegis of the Centennial of the Greater Union of 1918, upon the invitation of Calin Popescu-Tariceanu.

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