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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).

 

 erc_logo_400_01


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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 sarko_merkel_mieux

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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