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Inicio arrow In Brief arrow New French Senate President Larcher to Germany, after Russia, to help Minsk Peace process in Ukraine

New French Senate President Larcher to Germany, after Russia, to help Minsk Peace process in Ukraine

Escrito por ACM
05.03.15
larcher


*Strasbourg/Angelo Marcopolo/- Experienced, twice President of French Senate, Gerard Larcher, a ChristianDemocrat/EPP politician who was brillantly re-elected recently (See Infra), is starting an apparently important trip to meet with Germany's political Leadership, just after a previous one in Russia, and probably before a concluding one in Ukraine, in a possible, Timely Attempt to try to help Boost also the Political aspects of the Minsc Peace process, which have notoriously a Key Importance in efforts for a sustainable Solution of the Eastern Ukranian Conflict, now that the Military aspects, of Cease-Fire and withdrawal of Heavy Weapons, seem to have Advanced decisively, despite some Difficulties which still remain to be lifted here or there, according to relevant information send Today to "EuroFora" by Senate's Press service.


Advancing well beyond the natural exchanges of views on "exploring how to strengthen the Bilateral", Franco-German, as well as EU "Cooperation" on "Energy" (issue at the table of the forthcoming, March 2015 EU Summit in Brussels), and "Digital" Economy and Society, added to the current "Situation in €uro-Zone",  Larcher is reportedly due also to focus on certain "Priority Issues" currently "at the European and International Agenda", such as "the Ukiranian Crisis and relations with Russia", during 2 Days, between Thursday and Friday, March 5 and 6, at nearby Wiesbaden (Laender of Hessen) and mainly in Berlin, where he'll meet with Joachim Gauck, Federal President, his counterpart Volker Bouffier, Bundesrat's President : Volker Bouffier, Bundestag's President : Nobert Lammert, Federal Minister of Finance, Wolfgang Schauble, and Chancellor Angie Merkel's Chief of Federal Chancelry, Peter Altmaie, Minister in charge of Special Missions.


+ At the same time, Berlin Talks will include also the "Fight against Terrorism", which is both an obviously Topical Issue and a GeoPolitical complement of EU relations with Russia, with whose leadership, Larcher has just discussed, at the End of February in Moscow, "the Anti-Terrorism Fight, against Radical Islamism" of ISIL, as well as "the Need to Stabilize the situation at the Middle East", and "to Protect Oriental Christians", which are of "Common Intrest", as he had pointed out last week, while meeting with Russian President Vladimir Poutin, his counterpart at the Russian Council of Federation, Valentina Matvienko, etc., on February 25 and 26.

Comming after the End of January 2015's controversial clash at the PanEuropean CoE's Parliamentary Assembly in Strasbourg, which prolonged a lack of normal collective inter-Parliamentary contacts existing since the beginning of April 2014, followed by an unprecedented Deadly War with more than 5.700 Victims, including many Civilians, a series of Heavy Destructions and Blockades, etc., provoking in addition a Humanitarian Crisis denounced by several International NGO's and even the UNO, Larcher's  February 2015  move towards Moscow naturally aimed, with a "Frank-speaking", but also "Friendly" approach, to "Keep Open the Channels of Dialogue", as he reportedly stressed with Russian Presisdent Vladimir Poutin.

=> Today, after "renewing a Capital of Trust", since the Minsk Agreements of February 12, 2015, the 4 Countries whose Heads of State/Government sponsored the Talks and endorsed the Deal into which they concluded, must do everything they can in order to Guarantee that the agreed Peace Process will be effectively Respected, Larcher stressed, pointing, in particular, after the Advances made these last Days on the Military aspects (Cease-Fire and Withdrawal of Heavy Weapons), mainly on the remaining, Political ascpects of that Deal, where, Territorial "DeCentralisation" notoriously is the Key for Peace :


>>> Together with the Heads of State/Government, it's also "the Parliamentarians of those 4 Countries : France, Germany, Ukraine, Russia, who could "Share Experiences" on that Crucial point, including, f.ex., that of France itself, which is, among the "Minsk's 4", the only Third Country which is "Not a Federation", (something that Kiev's Authorities and Ukranian President Poroshenko notoriously reject), but a Unitary State which has realized a large DeCentralisation, with Various Forms, (from regions, Departments/Districts and Municipalities, up to the Specific forms of Corsica Island and of manifold "DOM-TOM" "OverSeas Territories", spread all over the Indian or Pacific Ocean, South Pole or Latin America, etc., whose Ethnic and Historic, as well as GeoPoliticaly special characteristics have resulted in a refusal of Independence, and even of any Federal structure, but on a series of various degrees and kinds of Regional/Local DeCentralisation, from which Eastern Ukraine's forthcoming Reforms might be usefuly inspired.

In fact, Time is pressing for full implementation of Minsk Agreements, since the Measure earlier taken by Kiev to foresee a "Special Status" for the Autonomist Lugansk/Luhansk Regions, according to the Minsk 1 Deal of September 2014, expires on March 14, 2015. Moreover, Decentralisation Reforms are linked also with several other key issues, at the core of the Peace process, such as, f.ex. the Local Elections there, etc. The February 12, 2015 Minsk Agreements' Summit having decided to use the "Normandy format" of France - Germany - Ukraine - Russia, 4 parties groupings, also in order to discuss and settle a whole series of necessary Reforms and other decisions, Time has obviously come for those 4 Countries to prepare and form such Working Groups whenever needed.                                                                                                                                                                                        ,,    

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    It's interesting to note that, at this same moment, Larcher, (whose demarches reportedly are always in conformity with the official Foreign Policy of France), has been invited by French President Hollande, to assume a special Mission about "reflecting on the way to strengthen the Republican Feeling of Common Belonging", after the Dramatic Massacre of "Charlie Hebdo" on Jan. 2015, which asks for new ways to ensure "National Cohesion", despite Social, Religious and/or Ethnic Differences".                                                                                    


    SIgnificantly, moreover, Larcher succeeded recently to be twice re-elected at the Senate's Presidency with More Votes than his Center-Right parties (attracting almost 200 Senators' support, against only 140), , which had already won a Majority at the Autumn of 2014, breaking an Historic Record, after having also served for many years as former Minister, mainly on Labour, under the French President Jacques Chirac, and chaired two Inter-Ministerial Comittees on Economy and Health Reforms, under the Presidency of Nicolas Sarkozy, during which he was initially elected for his 1st term at the Head of the Senate as early as since october 2008, after serving there as vice-President between 1997-2001.


    By doing so, Larcher came, mutatis-mutandis, in closer Harmony also with the example given in Germany by his counterpart, current Bundesrat's President, Volker Bouffier, who has also notoriously succeeded to broker a Pioneer ChristianDemocrat - "Greens" Coalition at his Laender of nearby Hessen, as Chancellor Angie Merkel had tried, for the 1st time, to do at a National level, just after her landmark Win at the September 2013 National Election, but regretted (as she said at the 2014 Annual Conference of CDU/CSU) to have faced a quite Negative stance, mainly by a controversial part of the "Greens" former Leadership, which was sanctioned by the Majirity of its own militants at the subsequent National Conference of the Party, where a partly New collective direction was elected, more Open to the perspective of such a collaboration in the foreseable Future. In addition to the Energy policy Change, it's mainly various "Hot" BioEthical issues, more and more important Today, which could really bring together the Christian-motivated and Ecology-motivated Movements, particularly in Germany, (given its Post-World War II tradition and Popular reactions against NAZI Crimes such as those notoriously committed f.ex. by the infamous "Dr. Mengele" in some  Tests on Human beings inside certain Concentration Camps), inspired f.ex. by the Idea of "Human Ecology", launched by Pope Emeritus Benedict at his landmak Speech    at the Bundestag in Berlin on September 2011, (Comp. :..... + ......), able to face the Issues analysed by "EuroFora" during our 2010 visits at the nearby Karlsruhe and Fribourg Annual Conferences of the Governing CDU and Dissident Green Parties, respectively (See : ...........).


    President Bouffier has, indeed, at least 1 Strong stance on such Topical BioEthical issues by being notoriously Opposed to current attempts to oblige Poor Children, Orphans, etc., to submit to the Parental Authority of Homosexual couples under pretext of "Adoption", which, in addition also to Other Moral and/or Practical Problems, could risk to boost Trafficking of Children, and/or the Atrocious Exploitation of "Surrogate Mothers", while also pushing towards a Dangerous Control of Human Reproduction by Technocrats, via replacing of Natural Births by Artificial Procreation of Human Beings, (using f.ex.,  in Vitro Fertilisation, Pre-Natal Tests, Sperm and Ovaries or Embryo Banks, etc), with obvious Threats against all Humankind, particularly when Genetic Manipulations of Human Embryos is been allowed at the same time. Risks against which was Traditionaly Opposed the Historic "Green" Movement in Germany, as well as several current and New, Authentic Representatives of it even Today, to whom have recently been added also certain  New Allies even from the French "Green/Ecologic" Movement, such as, f.ex., the well-known MEP José Bové, etc., (Comp. relevant Statements by Bové to "EuroFora" since Autumn 2013 already, later confirmed  by similar Statements also to other Journalists in France the next year, on 2014, in view of the latest, May 2014 EU Parliament's Elections, to which he notoriously was "Greens" Co-Candidate for the post of New EU Commission's President), etc. Such possibilities of new Coalitions, based on Solid Foundations of Core Issues, could obviously become of Decisive Importance in the forthcoming 2017 Elections in both France and Germany...

(../..)

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The official presentation of a "Program" respecting People's choices voted in the June 7, 2009 EU Elections, to be debated in EU Council and EU Parliament during its 1st Session on July in Strasbourg, is the No 1 Priority, according to Democratic principles, for the Franco-German axis, said the main winners at the ballot box, French President Nicolas Sarkozy and German Chancellor Angie Merkel.

They stressed  that the New EU Commission's President must have a "Program" in favor of an EU which "protects" its Citizens, regulates financial markets and aims at a "Political" Europe" : a wording they have used as incompatible with Turkey's controversial EU bid.

They also declared ready for a "political" endorsment of "Mr. Barroso's candidacy" in June's EU Council, considering that an official decision would have to be made after EU Parliament's debates and votes, possibly from next month (July), with the legally necessary final acceptance shortly after Lisbon Treaty's entry into force, hoped for September or October.


- "A Program, and Mr. Barroso" : This resumes, in substance, the anouncements made by Sarkozy and Merkel, on the question of current EU Commission's President, Barroso's declared wish to succeed to himself for a second mandate, to be extended during the following 5 years.

 In their 1st meeting after EU Elections, they observed that "the Franco-German axis counted in European Elections' campaign... But, we both keep a realistic view : We saw the number of those who abstained, and we must absolutely give them an answer. We also see the disilusionment of an important number of Europeans vis a vis Europe, and we are aware of the responsibilities we have".

sarko

 - The "Duty" of the new EU Commission's President, after June 7, 2009 EU Elections' result, "is to act for a Europe which protects the Europeans, to commit himself into working for a better Regulation of Financial transactions, ... and to have a Political will for Europe", underlined Sarkozy.

Therefore, "we have asked M. Barroso... to clarify, to officialy present the intentions he has", he anounced.

- "We want to speak also about the Programme", explained Merkel.

- "It's important that for the next EU Parliament's mandate (2009-2014) we take the right Decisions for Europe.  Obviously on Persons, but mainly Decisions on Issues", she stressed.

- "It's not simply a question of a Person, it's also a question of a Programme". We are "really asking Mr. Barroso to commit himself on a Program, and on Principles, on Values", Sarkozy added.

EU President-in-office, Czech Prime Minister Jan Fischer, accepted the Franco-German stance :

- "Barroso must present his Programme. The Czech Presidency agrees with that", Fischer reportedly said later, after meeting Sarkozy.

But Press reports from Brussels claimed that Barroso had preferred to be officially appointed by EU Council since June, (i.e. next week), "because this was implied by the current Treaty of Nice, according to him", and considered any delay until the possible ratification of the new, Lisbon Treaty on September/October, as "undemocratic".

- "At any case, independently of what Germany and France ask, it's also EU Parliament's wish". "We shall propose Mr Barroso's candidacy... But even in the framework of Nice Treaty, EU Parliament has to be associated in this Decision", the French President observed.

If this is correctly done, then "we support Mr. Barroso's candidature", and "if the (EU) Parliament agrees, we might ratify this decision since July", (i.e. next month), they both said.

smerkem_400

- "France and Germany support Baroso's candidacy, But we want to speak also on the Program. We believe that this Program should be established in close cooperation with EU Parliament, and that's why we have followed an appropriate way", said Merkel.  - If EU Parliament wants, this election can take place on July,  but this must be done in full agreement.

- "We shall support Mr. Barroso's candidacy, without doubt", said Sarkozy. "But we have asked from Mr. Barroso, as I told him yesterday, to put into detail.. his intentions, at the eve of his 2nd mandate, if the situation avails itself.


    France and Germany "don't want to take an Official Legal Decision by writting" during "the next (EU) Council" (on June 18-19), declared Sarkozy.  Because they prefer, at this stage, only "a Political decision" on June, "so that we (EU Council) can work together with EU Parliament", which starts to meet only Next Month, since July in Srasbourg, "leaving a Legal decision by writting for later".

    - "If the Conditions are fuillfiled in EU Parliament, we (EU Council) are ready to give the agreement and make it offficial", said Merkel

    - "But, now we are working in the base of Nice Treaty. If tommorow we want to work in the spirit of Lisbon Treaty, we have to find a proper way", she added.

    - "Of course it's Legally complicated, because we are going to make a Political proposal to the forthcoming Council, for an EU Commission's President, on the basis of Nice Treaty : So, we (EU Council) will not appoint the Commissioners. Only the President.  If EU Parliament agrees, it could endorse this position on July", explained Sarkozy.

    But, on Autumn, "if Ireland ratifies Lisbon Treaty, there will be, at any case, a 2nd Decision, to appoint the Commission's President, this time on the basis of Lisbon treaty, and then, we, the EU Member States, would have to appoint (also) the EU Commissioners", he added.

    As for the precise Timing :  - "Everything is suspended until the Irish vote... Now, we must all make everything possible to help Ireland to say "Yes"" to Lisbon Treaty... The Irish Referendum, ..will take place either on September or on October. It's a Question which depends on the Irish. And,  then, we shall have the Choice of the Candidates for the permanent Institutions of Europe".

    However, "if Ireland says No, we, French and Germans, have to assume our responsibilities, and we'll do so", he concluded.

    But British and Swedish governments were reportedly eager to have a final EU Council decision on Barroso since this month, on June's European Council. While the other EU Member Countries are divided, several of them preferring to wait until EU Parliament pronounces itself, on July, and/or until Lisbon Treaty might be ratified by Ireland at the beginning of the Autumn. Barroso's current mandate ends on November.

    There are also various, contradictory and/or unpredictable reactions inside EU Parliament vis a vis Barroso's wish to continue a 2nd mandate, because many MEPs are openly or secretly opposed, reluctant, or hesitating.

    In the biggest EU Countries, as France and Germany, EU Citizens voted on June 2009 EU Elections for a renovated, non-technocratic but Political Europe which cares for its Citizens, with an Identity, Values and Borders, declared incompatible with Turkey's controversial EU bid, by mainstream, pro-European Governing Parties. Similar choices were also supported in several other small or medium EU Countries.

    On the contrary, whenever, in other Countries, Governing and other mainstream Parties didn't make these choices or eluded them, EU Citizens massively voted for euro-Sceptics whenever they were the only ones to to promise anti-bureacratic change and oppose Turkey's demand to enter into the EU, (f.ex. in the UK, Netherlands, etc).

    It's seems to be an Open Question whether Sarkozy and Merkel's conditions will be really accepted by Barroso, who was appointed on 2004 in a different political context, (with Socialist Prime Ministers in Germany, France, etc), had rejected in the Past the idea of EU becoming "equal to the USA" as "ridiculous", and pushed for Turkey's contoversial EU bid, trying to "soften" or contain the changes desired by the People who voted for Merkel and Sarkozy with another policy vis a vis Turkey on 2005 in Germany and on 2007 in France, as they did all over Europe on 2009.

    In addition to many EPP Governments, it's 3 remaining Socialist Prime Ministers : Gordon Brown in the UK, Zapatero in Spain, and Socrates in Prortugal, who support Barroso, as well as Liberal Swedish Prime Minister Reinfeldt. But their Parties lost the June 2009 EU Elections.

    Questioned whether there was still "Time" for "other" possible "Candidates", Sarkozy and Merkel did not deny, nor made any comment on that, but simply said that "it's not for us to make publicity for any candidates. We anounced our choice ("A Program, and Mr. Barroso"). But we respect any other candidate".

    Among various other names cited are former Belgian Prime Minister Verhofstadt, former UNO's Human Rights Commissioner Mary Robinson of Ireland, Italian former EU Commission's vice-President Monti, etc. Meanwhile, Luxembourg's PM Juncker, (who had been unanimously accepted by EU Council for EU Commission's Presidency on 2004, but refused), announced his intention to resign from "EuroGroup"'s Chair. Thus, he might be available for another Top EU job.

    As "EuroFora"'s "opinion" said (See publication dated 9/6/09) : - "If the current candidates (i.e. Barroso, etc) to the Top EU jobs promise and guarantee to respect People's democratic choices, then, it's OK".

"Otherwise, Europe must find new candidates, really motivated and able to implement these democratic choices of the People."

    Because, "in Democracy, the forthcoming choices for EU's Top Jobs,...should be made according to EU Citizens' Votes in June 7, 2009 European Elections, and main EU Governments' strategic policies".
        

***

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