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Home arrow newsitems arrow EU Scientific Research Council Chief Burguignon to Eurofora on relations with USA, Russia, China +

EU Scientific Research Council Chief Burguignon to Eurofora on relations with USA, Russia, China +

Written by ACM
Wednesday, 15 March 2017
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*Strasbourg/SupraMolecular RST Institute/Angelo Marcopolo/- The President of EU's Scientific Research Council, (ERC), Professor Jean-Pierre Bourguignon, a Top Mathematician from France, speaking to "Eurofora", Highlighted Europe' Highest Science body's current Policy on International Relations, and particularly vis a vis Russia, USA, and China, as well as various other Countries in the World.

 
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He was in Strasbourg, Together with EU Commissioner responsible for Science and Technology, Carlos Moeda, (Comp. f.ex. Moeda's Replies to "Eurofora" Questions, also at : ...), for several Events organized on the occasion of the 10th Anniversary since the Creation of ECR (2007-2017), as well as for various relevant Meetings with European Politicians at EU Parliament, during its Plenary Session this week here.

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ECR's 10th Anniversary's Events were Hosted at the University of Strasbourg, in the presence of its New President, Professor Michel Deneken,  and Welcomed also by the French Minister of Higher Education and Research, Thierry Mandon, but realized in close Cooperation with famous NOBEL Prize in Chemistry, Professor Jean-Marie Lehn, CEO of the Supra-Molecular Institute for Research and Engineering, where he has recently Succeeded to Gather also anOther 2 NOBEL Prizes : First Martin Karplus and recently also Jean-Pierre Sauvage, creating, together with several Younger Researchers, a kind of scientific "Lehn Galaxy"...


(See Both Deneken's, Mandon's and Lehn's Replies to "Eurofora"s Questions, at Other, Specific NewsReports).

 

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ECR has a Multi-Billions € Pluri-Annual Budget in order to Select and Fund various Research Projects on the sole Criterium of their "Scientific Quality", which are due to be prepared in Europe and/or at an ECR-Associated Country, (Comp. Supra).This includes also Projects about Teaching and/or Diffusing, i.e. Popularizing Science, as 2 recent examples show, President Bourguignon revealed to "Eurofora".

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On International relations, to put it in a Nutshell, ECR's President would Like to Develop Stronger Links with Russian Scientists, given their traditional Importance, naturaly finds relations with the USA of primordial interest, while also wishing to find out asap the New Science Policies of the Trump Administration, and is Glad that Cooperation whith China has entered recently into a very Good Direction, making him Multiply his Visits to that "Huge" Country, as he Told us, (See Infra).


Added to an Area Closer to the EU, (which is destinated for "Association" Agreements), in fact, the Biggest Players in the World, (such as USA, Rusia, China, etc), are expected to conclude "Cooperation" Agreements with the ECR, he explained, in substance, inter alia.  


------------------------------
On Russia, and Other Countries
-----------------------------------------------------


     - "The Scientific Tradition of Russia is of Exceptional Value. So that, certainly, for EU Scientists it's Important to Develop Good Relations with the Russian Scientists", ECR's President told "Eurofora" from the outset.


     - However, "in the specific situation of the Russian Federation, we (ECR) do not yet have a Special Agreement with Russia", he regretted, for the Time being.


     - While, nevertheless, "During the last Decade (2007-2017), we have concluded Special Agreements with 9 Countries out of the EU.


     -  But Russia is not yet part of that", while, f.ex., "USA - the First -, China, Japan, South Korea, Canada, Mexico, Brazil, Argentina, South Africa, etc", already do.


      + "And we are currently in the process of Negotiating with India, Australia, etc.", he added.


    + In Addition, there is also the "Different situation of <<Associated>> Countries, which have concluded a real Agreement with EU Commission, including Long-Term Commitments".


    - "This concerns, typically, Countries like Norway, Switzerland, Israel, etc., but also, Recently Ukraine, Tunisia, FYROM, etc"., (i.e. Countries very Close to the EU, located at its vicinity, "in an EU Area", as he observed).


------------------------------
USA Changes
------------------------------


    - "Concerning the USA", nowdays, "Nobody Knows yet how things will Evolve, since", inter alia, "there is also a quite Radical Change of Administration", ECR's President observed, for the Time being.


     - In particular, "the New American Administration is going to Design a New Policy to Support Science, that hasn't yet been determined".


    - "So, Nobody knows Today, how it will be done".


    - "The only known point is that, f.ex. the US Environment Agency had its Funding considerably affected, particularly after the nomination of a Director", that some find "controversial", as he noted.


    - But, "We don't know yet what will happen for other Agencies, which have an Essential Importance for us (EU)".


    - "F.ex. the NSF (National Science Foundation), whose Director is a nice Lady, Mrs France Cordova, (an AstroPhysicist), that we know quite well, and, normally,  is not part of what Americans call "the Political Pools", i.e., those who Change with each (New Presidential) Administration".


    - However "it still remains to Know", f.ex., "what Budget it (NSF) might have, in which Context, etc", Bourguignon carefuly added.


--------------------------
China (and Shanghai)+
------------------------------------


     - "In the case of China, We (ECR) have recently Signed a Cooperation Agreement with what is called <<the Chinese NSF>>, and that Deal "is now Evolving very Well", f.ex., "I make several Visits to China", and "the Commitment of the Chinese Minister (of Science and Technology), Mr. Wan Gang, a Good Friend of Europe, is very Strong", ECR's President appreciated.


    + "Eurofora" reminded the Fact that, at one of the Latest EU - China Summits in Brussels, Back on July 2015, (Comp., f.ex., "Eurofora"s NewsReports from that event, at : ... + ..., etc), a Key point was Beijing's offer to practicaly Advance Beyond simple Trade, and start Considering Co-Productions, based mainly on Cooperation in Science-Research and Technological Development, in order to Export also Joint Products to various Other Countries in the World


     - "These (above mentioned) Cooperation Agreements with China had been somewhat Affected, Back on 2014, when China moved from the status of a Developing Country, to that of another (Higher) Status, where, if it participated in European Projects, then, it should Fund that by itself" too, he reminded.


    - But, "finaly, an Agreement was Found, Negotiated between EU Commissioner Moedas and the Chinese Minister of Science (and Technology), Mr Wan Gang, so that the 2 Parties, EU and China, Decided what Amounts of Funds they would make Available".


      - "This might represent some Tens of Millions €, even Hundreds of Millions € for Certain Projects, but it does not affect directly the ECR" itself, Bourguignon explained.


     - Because, "we, as ERC, have directly Negotiated with the Agency often called "the Chinese NSF" (i.e. National Science Foundation-like), which Funds f.ex. Visits of Chinese Chientists inside ERC's (European) Teams".


    " This is Independent from the Political level Agreement which has bee Concluded (almost in Parallel) between EU Commission and the (Chinese) Minister" of Science/Technology, he Distinguished, showing their Additional and the quite Differend, specialized character of each.


    - "We (ECR) have Signed" that (2nd) Agreement Last Year" (2016), "and, therefore, it practicaly Started to Operate from This Year (2017)".


    - "So that, we have Already Chinese Scientists, supported, for their Travel Expenses, by that Chinese Agency, who arrive in Europe, and go visit European (Research) Teams".


    - As for that, above-mentioned, quasi-Parallel Agreement with EU Commission, (Comp. Supra), "it was Also, almost at the Same Time, during Last Year", (2016), he reminded.


     - For the rest, "China is a Huge Country, insie which there are a Lot of Scientific Activities, in Many Cities and Regions" : It's not only Pekin and/or Shanghai, but "it's almost Everywhere" f.ex. Cheng Doo, Kong Jo, Shanghai, Shiang, etc : "Science is Present at a Great Number of Areas in China", he found.


    ¨- Thus, Personaly, ECR's President has "made almost 40 Visits in China !", he told "Eurofora". "To be more precise : My Next one will be the 39th", he smiled.


    - Last, but not least :

On the occasion of his visit, Today, in Strasbourg,  ECR's President, to whom we had just said that "Eurofora"s Scientific Advisor, Dr. Constantin Marcopoulos, from Strasbourg University, whose PhD Research area is quite Near to that of New, 2016 NOBEL Prize Winner, J-P. Sauvage, present Today in ECR's Events here, but works now in China's Shanghai city, (Similar to New York, Geneva, Saint Petersburg, Sudney and Strasbourg), suddenly reacted by telling us, with a Smile, that, by an astonishing Coincidence :


    - "Next week I will be in Shanghai !"...

 

erc_anniversary_cake_eurofora_400 

(ECR's 10th Anniversary Cake, with Candles' Fire, among 2 NOBEL Prizes, 1 Minister, European ECR + French CNRS Research bodies' Chiefs, etc).

 

(../..)
 
 


***
 
 
("DraftNews", as already sent 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.

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