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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.  


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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).


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USA Changes
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    - "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.


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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 !"...

 

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

 

(../..)
 
 


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


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Former "Green-Red" German government's Foreign Minister Joschka Fischer's job at the controversial Turkish pipeline "Nabucco" was denounced as "not proper", "very bad", and "incompatible with Democracy", by the new President of EU Parliament's EuroLeft Group, German Lothar Bisky, replying to an "EuroFora" question.

For once, criticism of Joschka Fischer's doings with Turkey affecting Europe, didn't come only from the Center-Right of the political spectrum, but even from his Left side : The experienced Bisky, who has been chairing all over 1993-2009 the PDS - Die Linke party :  

- "Former Foreign Minister Joschka Fischer got involved in dealings with oil-gaz business in a foreign country, Turkey, and its controversial Nabucco pipeline. This raises questions about Democracy, also because of the well known problems of Human Rights violations in that country. Do you thing that this might be abused in order to cover up and close EU's eyes on Human Rights violations ?", "EuroFora" asked Bisky.

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- "Nabucco pipeline is (only) at the planning stage". And "there are some difficulties",  he observed from the start. But "'I don't want to get into the details of Nabucco pipeline, because I don't think that there is any point for it at the moment".
 
At any case,  "we  (EU Parliament's EuroLeft Group) strongly believe that Politicians should not get involved in the Energy Business, and all these commercial transactions", President Bisky declared on the Joschka Fiischer's affair.

- "We feel that it's something that shouldn't be done. It's not proper !"           

- "We don't think that it's compatible with Democracy either, and it gets politics into a very Bad track", Bisky went on to denounce.
                                                                                                                                                                        
- "EuroLeft  and "Die Linke" always spoke against that, saying that politicians should not get directly into the arms of private enterprises"

- "It is pretty bad if a former Minister takes a job f.ex. in a major Energy producer. So, it's an issue if a Minister who may have seen excellent opportunities, subsequently gets personally grasp of them, in very serious parts of the economy, once he has given up his (Government) job."

- "It doesn't really make politics in general look any better'", Bisky concluded.

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Earlier, this week in Strasbourg, other Journalists had also raised critical questions on former Foreign Minister Joschka Fischer's involvement in the conroversial Turkish Nabucco pipeline to the President of his own EuroParty : Kohn-Bendit of the "Greens", who, contrary to Bisky, tried to find excuses for Fischer, while criticizing his long-time partner, Schroeder for having done a similar move :

- "Shroeder was chancellor", and he "negociated" with "Russians", who gave him a job only "3 Months" after he resigned from the Government. While "Joschka Fischer", on the contrary, got a job with the controversial Turkish Nabucco pipeline only "4 Years after" he left the Government. "He didn't negociate Nabucco", so I have "no objection", Kohn Bendit claimed.

But, many Facts indicate the contrary :

Joschka Fischer was Foreign Minister in Germany from 1999 up to 2005 : I.e. from the year that EU took the controversial decision to give Turkey a "Candidate" status, until he year it started controversial "accession negotiations, (later declared "open-ended" after Sarkozy-Merkel's arrival from 2005-2007).

During that period was prepared the controversial so-called "Annan" Plan (in fact, drafted by others and attributed afterwards to the former UN SG) on Cyprus, which failed after a Popular Referendum said "No" on 2004 with a large Majoriy of 3/4 : 75%. Mainly because it was criticized for making too much concessions to the Turkish side :  Particularly by restricting Greek Cypriot Refugees' Human Right to return to their ancestral Land and/or get restitution of their Familiy Homes and private properties, usurpated by Ankara's Army since the 1974 militay invasion and continuing occupation of the northern part of Cyprus. And by weakening the Central Government, leaving to 2 "constituent States" so much powers and separate interests that more conflicts appeared inevitable, provoking the danger of a break-down in the foreseable future, with more crisis, troubles, perhaps bloodshed, etc., instead of creating an harmoniously integrated, really one federal State.

The controversial Plan was finalized on March-April 2004 at Burgenstock (Switzerland), curiously in the presence of an Envoy by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Germany, then governed by Joschka Fischer, but in the absence of a French and not even an European Union's Envoy, contrary to what was usually practiced on similar occasions in Switzerland (fex. in 1997 at Montreux, in 2000 at Geneva, etc).

Turkey notoriously exploited the failure of the "Annan" Plan in order to convince the EU to decide to start accession Negotiations on December 2004. This provoked an unprecedented series of Institutional Crisis inside the EU, shortly afterwards, when French and Dutch People rejected, 2 popular EuroReferenda by a majority "'No" vote to the EU Constitutional Treaty on 2005, aggraveted in 2004 a Majority Abstention to EU Elections, etc., followed by the recent Irish "No", etc.

"Nabucco" Gas pipeline was notoriously planned since ..2002. It follows an even earlier idea, for an Oil pipeline Baku-Ceyhun, which started to be prepared on 1999-2001 and was meanwhile recently completed.  

So, facts indicate that what is now at stake is based on decisions made during Joschka Fischer's term as former Foreign Minister, closely interested in Turkey's controversial EU-bid.

To the point that he now practically ...switched jobs with a poliician from Turkey, (the State which pays today openly Joschka Fischer), Mr. Ozdemir, who came earlier in Germany, got fast the nationality, and became EiuroMP in a few years, continuing now as head of the "Greens" in Germany, i.e. in Joschka's former job !...

Such astonishing facts risk, unfotunately, to give to German politician Lothar Bisky's criticism of  representative Democracy a topical meaning :

 - "We (EuroLeft Group) think that what is really at stake is Democracy. It's not only about Gas Pipelines or Energy sources", President Lothar Bisky went on to add in his reply to "EuroFora"'s question on Joscka Fischer's personal interests in the controversial Turkish "Nabuco" pipeline.

Such facts, "make People get more distance from Politics. ...People had had enough, and they are fed up !".

- "That's why we (EuroParliament's "EuroLeft" Group) want to strengthen Direct Democracy in Europe. Citizens should be involved in the (EU) Decision-making. In the end of the day, it's not going to help anyone if Politicians are always taking decisions, without involving Citizens. We want to give a voice to the People of Europe. They've got to have their say in the decisions that are taken. That's one of our absolutely fixed and steadfast views. We want more Direct Democracy in Europe. That's how it can become more effective and stronger", he concluded.

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