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Home arrow newsitems arrow Austrian Election 1st Winner, Kurz to Eurofora: I met the Norway Prime Minister too in Brussels !...

Austrian Election 1st Winner, Kurz to Eurofora: I met the Norway Prime Minister too in Brussels !...

Pisac ACM
19. 10. 2017.

kurz_greets_agg_photo_rony_mertens_for_eurofora_400 

 
*Brussels/EPP Summit/Angelo Marcopolo/- The Symbolic but Timely Fact that he's just met with Norwegian Prime Minister Erna Solberg, revealed the Number 1 Winner of the Austrian Elections, and likely New Chancellor, Leader of the ChristianDemocrat/EPP Party, Sebastian Kurz, replying to an "Eurofora" Question at the Conclusion of the traditional EPP National Political and State Leaders' Summit, organized in preparation of the subsequent EU Heads of State/Government Summit, later this Evening, at another side of Brussels.


Norway's Solberg heads a Twice succesfull Government of Unity of the Right, bringing Together her "Conservative" party with the Rightists of "Progress" party, supported by the smaller "Liberals" and "Christians" parties.


Her Example has been, since, mutatis-mutandis, followed, in substance, also at various SImilar Political Landscapes throughout Europe, f.ex. in Denmark, Finland, Bulgaria, etc.  Denmark is due to become President-in-office of CoE's PanEuropean Organisation for Human Rights, Democracy and Rule of Law on November 15, in Strasbourg, for the period of 11/2017-5/2018, while Finland already Chairs the OSCE for the whole Year of 2017, and Bulgaria will Chair the EU from January 2018, until the end of June 2018.


Kurz, who has just Won a big 1st place in the Austrian Elections, during the Last Week-End, with his ChristianDemocrat/EPP Party getting 31,5% of the Votes and 62 MPs (+15 More than before), could easily reach an Absolute Majority in the Parliament, Together with the 2nd Winner : the Rightists of the "Freedom" Party (FPO), who got More than 26 % of the Votes ad 51 MPs (+11 More than before). The Socialists (who Previously held the Chancellorship) practically Stagnated, keeping around 26% too and 52 MPs , with the smaller parties of Center-Right Liberals of "NEOS" staying also at 5,3% (and 10 MPs), while a New Ecology Party of Pilz won +4,4% of the Votes and 8 new MPs, the "Greens"' Party of MEP Lunacek (a LBGTI Heavy-Weight) having been DownVoted by the Austrian People, Vanishing from the Parliament, (See : http://www.eurofora.net/newsflashes/news/austrianelectionresults.html ).


- The probable New Chancellor of Austria, (who is expected to be given Tomorrow, Friday, by the President of the Country, Alexander von der Bellen, an official Mandate to try the 1st to Form a New Government), was Positively Surprized by - and Naturaly Welcomed - "Eurofora"s mention of the Fact that, Recently, just Before the September 2017 German Elections, Chancellor Angie Merkel, had reportedly Declared, in Berlin (in Reply to a Question, Exceptionally raised by Children at a special event organized by her CDU Party), that her Favorite Head of State/Goverment was, unexpectedly, ... Norway Prime Minister Erna Solbeg, (Comp. Supra) !

Merkel, who has recently Won anew the German Elections of 9/2017, this time with More than 33% of the Votes, (while the Socialists Fell Down to Only 20%, deciding to go in the Opposition), is Now, for the First Time, Flanked, at her Right, by the Rightists of the "Alternative" (AfD) Party which got 13,5%, and, at her Left side, by the Liberals, who returned back to the Bundestag with 10,5%, as well as the "Greens", with 9,5%, (the "Leftists" holding another 9%) :


A Fact which made her show a Bright Smile, just after the Anouncement of the main Results, Symbolically arbouring a placard with her Favorite Key Word for her ChristianDamocrat Party : "the Center", when she spoke to the Press... (See : http://www.eurofora.net/newsflashes/news/2017germanelectionresults.html). That Rare situation Reminds, mutatis-mutandis, what had Existed, somehow, also during Historic Chancellor Adenauer's era, after the 1949, 1953 and 1957 Elections, when his CDU/CSU mainstream Parties had to make a Governing Coalition including also the so-called, then, "German Party" ("die Deutsche Partei" = "DP"), of Ultra-Conservatives, at its Right, as well as the "Liberals" a.o. at its "Left" side...


Nowadays, the "Liberals" and the "Alternative" have Won many More Votes in the 2017 German Elections, with 10,5% and 13,5% respectively, than the "Greens" and the "Leftists", who have practically Stagnated at around 9% each only, so that, at least in Theory, an eventual "Unity of the Right" New Governmental Coalition, (with Merkel's CDU/CSU and the 2 Firstly above mentioned Parties FPD and AfD) would obviously be more Respectfull of the Peuple's Choices, from the point of view of Democracy.


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Such kind of Questions of Political Strategy, in Austria, Germany, and/or Other European Countries, are naturally intermixed also with certain Key, Relevant Issues, and the Positions taken by EU Leaders on them, as, f.ex., Turkey and mass Migration, etc., which have, reportedly, occupied most of the Discussions among EPP Political Leaders, earlier Today, at this ChristianDemocrat/EPP Summit in Brussels, as "Eurofora" learned. (See also : ...).


- But, on the Contrary, EU relations to Russia, (which have been notoriously Damaged since the Ukranian Conflict, which had made too Many Victims, even among Civilian People in the pro-Autonomy, Russian-speaking Regions of Donetsk/Luhansk, Attacked by Heavy Tanks, Missiles, and Military Airplanes, etc, particularly Back on 2014, when Kurz's Precedessor, Spindelegger -a Fellow ChristianDemocrat- suddenly Resigned "UnExpectedly" from "all Political positions", as "Wikipedia" reminds, under pretext of a Tax policy Dispute with the Socialists), were Not yet Discussed, Today, at this EPP Summit, Sebastian Kurz told "Eurofora".


- Kurz (who has notoriously expressed some Interesting Positions for a Peaceful and Ambitious EU - Russia Cooperation prospects, including that of an eventual EU - Russia PanEuropean Free Trade Area, from Portugal up to Vladivostok, as had, Meanwhile, succeeded to Spindelegger, as Austria's Foreign Minister, already from 2013, and, therefore, Served as CoE's President-in-office, during an important part of the 2013 rotating Chairmanship of CoE's Highest Political body : that of its Committee of Ministers, in Strasbourg, then, as "Eurofora" Reminded him, inciting a spontaneous Smile and a Kind Salute from his part, as he told us that he Remembered those CoE Events, (See relevant Photo).

 

austrian_sebastian_kurz__for_eurofora_400


 - Indeed, "Today, he appeared very "Soft", from the outset, "stressing thet he is <<Pro-European>, etc", said to "Eurofora" a German Collegue from a TV-Media, who had seen Kurz Earlier, when he Entered into EPP's Summit, earlier this Morning, here in Brussels.


 Indeed, Kurz was ...the First EU Leader to Enter at Today's EPP Summit, and almost the ...Last to leave it, at the End, (signes of participation in Exceptionally prolonged Dicussions), as "Eurofora" attested.


His Meetings started, at First, by a "Bilateral" with the ChristianDemocrats/EPP party's President, Joseph Daul, himself, (who had Previously shared a Phone Call with Chancellor Merkel, etc), anOther Source told "Eurofora", before an active participation to Extensive Collective Debates (Comp. Supra), but also some Other Dealings, which kept Kurz there much Longer than usual.


The Next Few Weeks might, in Fact, prove to be of Crucial Importance, Both for Austria itself, and for All Europe, which currently Faces several Big Issues, at the Top of Discussions also at Wien's Strategic GeoPolitical crossroads...

 

Austria is due to Chair the EU Next Year, during the Period of July - December 2018.

 

(../..)


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(Photos by Rony Mertens for "Eurofora")

 +

("DraftNews", as already send to "Eurofora" Subscribers/Donors, earlier. A more accurate, full Final Version, might be published asap).

 

 

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Recent developments proved that Europe can suceed to overcome challenges by aiming at great objectives, and this is needed also in 2009, said EU chairman, French President Nicolas Sarkozy.

    - "It's in the name of Great Ideas, Projects, Ambition and Ideals, that EU can overcome" challenges, stressed Sarkozy at EU Parliament in Strasbourg, in conclusion of a dense 7 months EU Chairmanship. "It's even easier for Europe to have Great projects, able to overcome national egoism, instead of limiting itself only to small projects" (unable to do alike), he observed.     

- "Europe must remain Ambitious and understand that the World needs her to take Decisions". "The World needs a Strong Europe", which "thinks on its own, has convictions, its own responses, its imagination" : "A Europe which does not limit itself into following" others, (as it did in the Past, when it followed USA, f.ex. on Bosnia). On the contrary, "Europe should undertake its own responsibilities", he said, after a series of succes in stopping the War between Russia and Georgia, and organizing the 1st EuroZone's Summit in Paris, which incited the Washington DC G-20 Summit to extend similar decisions World-wide.  


    - "When you sweep it all under the carpet, prepare yourself for hard tomorrows", he warned. "What hinders decisions is the lack of Courage and Will, the fading away of Ideals", he stressed before EU Parliament's 2008 debate on Human Rights and Sakharov prize on Freedom of thought attributed by MEPs to Chinese cyber-dissident Hu Jia, followed by an EU - Turkey meeting on Friday.

    - "I don't abandon my convictions" and "I will take initiatives" on EU level also in 2009, Sarkozy announced later. "France will not stop having convictions and taking initiatives" on Europe. + "It's an Error to wish to pass over the Heads of those who are elected in their Countries" : "It's an integrism I always fought against"', he warned.
---------------------
French EU Presidency faced 4 unexpected Crisis :

- An institutional crisis, with the Irish "No" to EU Lisbon Treaty, just before it started. A geopolitical crisis, wth the threat of War between Russia and Georgia risking to throw Europe back to Cold-war divisions, on August. A World-wide Financial and Economic crisis, arriving at a bad moment before crucial 2009 EU elections. And even a Strasbourg's mini-crisis, with EU Parliament's roof curiously falling down, from unknown reasons, in a brand new building on August, provoking an unprecedented transfert of the 2 September Plenary Sessions...

But it wasn't enough to stop Sarkozy ! On the contrary, it stimulated him...
---------------------------------------

- "The better way to deal with the recent problems of EU institutions (as the "3 NO" by France, the Netherlands and Ireland) is to take them as a "Test" in order to find solutions closer to Citizens' concerns", said later in Strasbourg Sarkozy's new choice as Ministe for EU affairs, Bruno Le Maire.

- On the Institutional front, Sarkozy gave Time to the Irish to think about it, and stroke on December a deal including a New Referendum after the June 2009 EU Elections, in exchange of a promise to keep the rule of "one EU Commissioner for each EU Member Country", and some opt-outs on Defence and Fiscal EU policies, Abortion, etc. If the Irish get a "Yes" Majority, then the institutional package could be completed in 2010 or 2011 on the occasion of Croatia's probable EU accession.

He was accused in Strasbourg to upgrade EU Council and downgrade EU Commision, but he replied that "strong Political initiatives by EU Council reinforce also the more technical role of EU Commission, under the political-technical leadership of its President", all 3 "working together with EU Parliament".


- But, meanwhile, Sarkozy energetically spearheaded an Historic 1st Summit of EuroZone's 15 Heads of State and Government at EU's core, exceptionally enlarged to a partial participation of British Prime Minister Gordon Brown, on October 12 in Paris' Elysee palace, which started to tackle succesfully the growing world Financial crisis.

    It also paved the way for its endorsement by a subsequent Brussels' 27 EU Member States' gathering, before it all come to Washington's G-20 Summit. And "Europe was united, it asked for the 1st G-20 Summit, and it will also organise the next G-20 Summit on April in London", he observed.   

 But a Conference with EU, Russia, African and other Developing Countries, hosted in Strasbourg shortly after Washington G-20 Summit by the French EU Presidency, took a Resolution asking to enlarge participation to Global Economic Governance. Many found, indeed, illogic and unacceptable that f.ex. states as Turkey were given a seat at G-20 level, while all African Countries, and even the African Union itself, representing the greatest Continent on Earth, were excluded...


    Meanwhile, even USA''s "Paulson No 3" Plan, was, in fact, inspired by Europe's No 1 Plan", Sarkozy observed, largelly applauded by MEPs.

    And "Europe showed Solidarity" by mobilizing some 22 Billion credit for Hungary, 1,7 billion for Ukraine, as we do nowadays for Baltic States, etc., he added.

    The move on Economy was extended on December by an EU stimulus' plan totalling some 200 billion Euros, including 5 Billions released by EU Commission for big Projects, as well as various parallel National plans for Economic revival, (fex. 26 billions in France alone). They might appear limited, compared to USA President-elect Obama's reported plan to boost the American economy with 800 billion $, but at least succeded to overcome Europe's divisions for the first time on Economic governance, opening new horizons.

- The French President stressed even harder the unique role of an active EU Council's chairmanship, when he moved swiftly and efficiently, at the beginning of August, to succesfully stop War between Russia and Georgia, at the last minute, which threatened to bring Europe back to Cold War division.

"We (EU) also wanted to avoid a situation like in Bosnia, in the Past, when EU was absent, so that our American friends took their responsibilitues, and EU only followed", despite the fact that the conflict took place in Europe. Now, it was the EU who took its responsibilities".

A roadmap towards a new PanEuropean Security policy, before which all unilateral moves to place new Missiles (from USA or Russia) would be freezed, was proposed by Sarkozy after a meeting with Russian president Medvedev, at the eve of Washington DC's G-20 Summit.

Ukraine's "European" character was stressed at a Sarkozy - Jushenko Summit, September in Paris, while EU adopted on December an "Eastern policy", in which, "I'm convinced that our (EU's) future is to find with our Neighbours the conditions for Economic Development. Peace and Security, by explaining them that.. they must respect (Human Rights') Values, and adopt behaviors different from the Past", explained Sarkozy in Strasbourg.

Meanwhile, the "Union for the Mediterranean" was created, since July's Summit if 45 Heads of State and Government in Paris, as "an organisation for a permanent Dialogue, that we need", mainly in order to tackle the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, by bringing together, for the 1st time, Israelis and Arabs, where "Europe must be present, in order to avoid a frontal clash".

- "If Europe doesn't take its part for Peace in the Middle-East, nobody else will do that in our place", Sarkozy stressed.
-----------------------
    Meanwhile, other EU Agreements were brokered during the French EU Presidency on Immigration, (fex. common Asylum rules, etc), and Climat- Energy :

    - On Climat-Energy, the 2007 German EU Presidency had fixed a triple 20% aim for 2020 (20% renewable Energies, 20% reduction of CO2 emmission, 20% energy efficience/economies), and the 2008 French EU Presidecny realized that, making the necessary compromises in order to modernize EU's industry, but without throwing some former Central-Eastern European Countries into abrupt Economic break down risking "social explosion".

    - Defence-Security EU policy was mainly postponed for April 2009, since both German chancellor Merkel and French president Sarkozy want to strike a deal with the new American president Obama in Strasbourg's NATO Summit.

    However, with all these 4 unexpected Crisis diverting attention to other urgencies, People wil wonder now, what happened to the famous deal proposed by freshly-elected French President Sarkozy on Turkey's controversial EU bid, back on August 2007, to continue EU - Turkey negotiations, but on the double condition that core chapters, intrinsequally linked with EU Membership, will be excluded, and that a collective Reflexion and Debate on Europe's future would start before the end of 2008.

    It was meant to reply to the crucial question : What kind of Europe do we want in 10 or 20 Years from now : A large Market, or a Political Europe, with a popular identity ? In Sarkozy's thinking, presented in his 2 landmark speeches on Europe in Strasbourg, shortly before and after the 2007 Elections, (on February and July 2007), Turkey's controversial EU bid would be incompatible with the second choice.

    It's true that EU Commision's Chairman, Jose Barroso, (who had notoriously declared, as former Portuguese Prime Minister, that he found "nonsense" the idea that Europe might become equal to the US), had repeatedly tried to avoid that Sarkozy's criticism on Turkey might start winning a larger audience in Europe, preferring a discrete "wismens' committee" work. And that most of the personalities later chosen in order to participate in a Committee on Europe's Future, are too much linked with Socialist parties and/or American policies, to be really critical of USA's notorious wish to impose Turkey to the EU, as Sarkozy had noted himself since March 2007..

     - "It's on EU Council's presidency to take political initiatives. EU Commission has other competences", stressed Sarkozy. The "European Ideal" is to "build Europe with the States, not against them". "Ask Europeans to chose between their countries and Europe won't work. You don't choose between your two parents : We must add them together".

    "France and Germany have an Historic Duty to work together, precisely because of what happened to the Past. We have to work hand by hand. We cannot be separated.It goes beyond me and Mrs Merkel today, Mr Schroeder and Mr. Chirac yesterday. It's not a choice, it's a duty to Europe and to the World".  "We need Germany, as Germany needs Europe". Compromise is inevitable, here as everywhere, and each one made some steps towards eachother's positions.

    But "it's true that Mrs Merkel didn't chose her Socialist partners, while I chose mine", Sarkozy said, in an indirect hint that the Socialist Minister of Finance in Germany might be a cause of minor past disagreements in Economy, which were overcome in recent negotiations.

    "We (France and Germany) have particular duties in Europe", but "in a Europe of 27 Member States, it's not enough for France and Germany to agree between them.

    "I always thought that Great Britain has a special role to play in Europe. ... Now, everybody "saw what it cost payed the UK for having been too exclusively open towards the US (and) Financial services. Europe needs the UK, but also the UK needs Europe" :- "We were able to face the hardest moment of the Financial crisis because the UK clearly chose Europe", stressed Sarkozy, reminding Gordon Brown's exceptional participation to the Historic 1st Heads of State/Government Summit of EuroZone, October 12 in Paris (See EuroFora's Reportage from Elysee Palace then).

     - "Some look at Europe with old glasses aged 30 years ago. While we must look at her in relation to what it will be in 30 years" in the Future, Sarkozy concluded.

Polls

2009 EU Elections were won by Parties against Technocracy and Turkey's controversial EU bid, while the 1999-2004 Majority Abstention trend decelerated. What should be done in 2009-2014 ?

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