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Home arrow newsitems arrow EU Commission V.President Katainen to EF for "closer" cooperation with China on Space High-Tech +

EU Commission V.President Katainen to EF for "closer" cooperation with China on Space High-Tech +

Written by ACM
Tuesday, 12 March 2019
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*Strasbourg/EU Parliament/Angelo Marcopolo/- EU Commission's vice-President, Jurki Katainen, former Prime Minister of Finland (current CoE President), speaking to "Eurofora" on the occasion of his presentation, at a Press Conference, of the Conclusions of EU Commission's Collective Meeting, Today in Strasbourg, on "Reviewing Relations with China", including a "proposal for 10 Actions", in the run up to the EU - China Summit of early April 2019, expressed his interest for a "Closer Cooperation with China on Space" High-Tech, particularly in "certain areas" of shared interests, as he told us, in a brief but topical and exclusive interview, (which evoked also CyberSecurity topical issues : See Infra).

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- Observing that EU Commission's relevant Anouncement, presented earlier by Katainen, included, inter alia, also a call to "Deepen" EU's "Engagement with China", also "to promote Common Interests at Global level", as well as the Fact that; notoriously, China has Recently, being Moving quite fast into Developing several High-Tech Capabilities in Space, (including, f.ex., Landing at the Other Side of the Moon, where Europe, after the USA, has also anounced its wish to take part, as well as the eventual creation of a New International Space Station at Orbit, etc), "Eurofora" asked the vice-President of EU Commission whether he thinks that "there might be Interesting Perspectives in the Future, for Cooperation between China and the EU on Space ?"

- "Certainly !", immediately Replied Katainen from the outset, on this key point, positively.

- Indeed, "We (EU) can imagine a Closer Cooperation with China on Space", he explicitated.

- "EU is Investing Heavily on Space", EU Commission's vice-President reminded.

- "Especially to Private Companies and to (Scientific) Research".

- "So, it's Fundamental for Developping Future Technologies, Communication Technologies, etc."

+ "And also it's Fundamental in terms of Security", he added.

=> "Thus we (EU) are Working very Strongly this."

+ "And this is, by the way, an Area where (EU) Member States have indicated, very Clearly, that European Added Value is the greatest, because No Country Alone can Address these Challenges without cooperation with Other (EU) Member States".

- "But, in Certain Areas in Space Policy, we could imagine to Cooperate also with China", EU Commission's vice-President confirmed.

- "Because it must be Carefully Selected", he advised, (See also Infra).

 

Already in the recent Past, China had announced its willingness to co-Fund and join EU's Satellite Navigation System "Galileo" for more than 200 Millions €uros, as Early as since a 2006 Visit of EU Parliament's competent Rapporteur, German ChristianDemocrat/EPP MEP Brigitte Langenhagen at a meeting co-organized by the "International Space University" and "Eurofora"'s co-Founder in Strasbourg. But, when "Galileo" was somewhat Delayed, Beijing was pushed to launch its own Satellite Navigation System, "Beidou", in parallel, (See, f.ex. : http://www.eurofora.net/newsflashes/news/shanghai.html, etc). When Antonio Tajani (currently EU Parliament's President) became the competent EU Commissioner for Space and re-Launched "Galileo" after 2010, (See: http://www.eurofora.net/newsflashes/news/tajaniindustrygalileo.html , etc), it was too late for that cooperation, since China had, meanwhile, moved ahead, alone...

On anOther concrete Point, Katainen did not specifically mention now China's recent succesfull landing at the Other side of the Moon, neither ESA's plan to reach Mars together with Russia, nor USA's new President Don Trump's landmark decision to give NASA a Huge Budget for Space Exploration (2019+), where ambitious Moon/Mars plans are at the focus, with Europe willing to participate (etc), as ESA has reportedly just declared its will to advance towards the Moon, etc. But this normaly is part and parcell of overall Space Policies.

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+ Concerning, particularly, CyberSecurity Issues, the EU Commission's vice-President diplomatically eluded a straitforward answer to another "Eurofora"s Question, which Compared the current, 2019 situation, with that of October 2013's EU Summit in Brussels, (i.e. at the famous USA Whistleblower dissident "Snowden era", with revelations and concerns about a USA's Global Monitorig System), asking whether, Today, China's alleged position was considered to be Equivalent, or Not, and why, but Preferred to Carefully Focus on EU's General Policy in that area of growing importance, (which is also Part of EU's 10 Actions decided Today: See Infra):

- "It's very Difficult to Assess whether the Danger is Higher Now than before, (2019 compared to  : Comp. Supra), and Where the Potential Danger comes from. I doN't want to Blame any Country in particular", Katainen Carefully stressed from the outset, in his Reply to "Eurofora"s Question on CyberSecurity.

- "But, since what has being Happening during all those Leaks, and Cyber-Attacks against our (EU) Member States -for instance : Interferences of 3rd Parties to our Electoral processes or Referendas, etc.- We (EU) have Deepened our Cooperation in CyberSecurity".

- "This is again an area where European Added Value is Great, because Any Country, no matter how Big, how Strong it might be, (in fact) it's Too Small to Address such Issues : We've seen that to hape even in the USA", he referred. "So, both (EU) Member States and EU Commission have been trading for Better CyberSecurity Systems, and this is going to be a Priority also for the Next (EU) Commission too (2019-2024), he foresaw for the Future.

Concerning EU - China Strategic Cooperation, a Document released by EU Commission Today, during Katainen's Press Conference (Comp. Supra), notes, about "Cooperaion in the Cyber area", that, during "EU-China Cyber TaskForce"'s "Annual" meetings, the two sides "exchange views" in "Areas" such as "Government", "Norms", "Confidence-Building Measures", etc.

Concerning the Overall trend of Today's "Review of Relations with China" by EU Commission's meeting Today in Strasbourg, on the sidelines of EU Parliament's Plenary Session of March A, 2019, EU's High Representative for Foreign Relations, Federica Mogherini, reportedy stressed that "China is a Strategic Partner of the EU. We pursue Strong, Bilateral and Multilateral Cooperation, on Files Where we Share Interests... And we are Willing to keep Engaging robustly, Where our Policies Differ or Compete". Thus, "we propose to Strengthen our Relations with China, in a Spirit of Mutual Respect".

+ "EU and China have Committed to a Comprehensive Strategic Partnership", reminds a Document presented at Katainen's Press Conference Today, which advises to "ReFine Europe's Approach, to be More Realistic, Assertive and Multi-Faceted".

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 Last, but not least, concerning anOther, particular but very Important, Topical Development on a Key Issue of BioEthics : the Recent Heritable Genetic Editing of 2 newborn Babies' Germline, Transmissible to Future Generations, reportedly made by a Chinese Doctor, Educated by, and Linked to USA Networks from the Barack Hussein Obama's era (Dems' "Socialists/Liberals" : See http://www.eurofora.net/newsflashes/news/heritablegenemaniptrumpxihumanity.html, etc), that China and USA Presidents Xi and Trump might have an opportunity to eventualy deal with on the occasion of their imminent Bilateral Summit about Trade a.o. matters, expected for Later this Month (See: http://www.eurofora.net/newsflashes/news/usachinaontradeandbioethics.html), and on which EU Parliament prepares a draft Resolution, after also a Recent Debate in Strasbourg where MEPs, Questioning EU Commission, urged for a "Global Ban", (See: http://www.eurofora.net/newsflashes/news/eppvpresidentandmepsongermlinemanipban.html), considering also that the Chinese Government explicitly Condemned such acts, as also did several (but not all) People in the USA, Europe, etc, while, already, CoE's PanEuropean Convention on Human Rights and BioMedicine Prohibits any attempts to artificially Alter the Human Germline,


- Katainen, Questioned Today by "Eurofora" about whether such a Serious and Dangerous Problem might be Discussed at the forthcoming EU - China Summit, scheduled for Early April 2019, after Carefully Hearing our Question,  Kindly excused himself for being de facto obliged to Decline to give a Reply Today, on this Exceptional point :


 - "I frankly don't know", and prefer "No to Comment" for the Time being, leaving that point "Open" for Now, as I "have not been informed" on that, "NOT YET !", concluded Carefully but Honestly, with a kind smile, EU Commission's vice-President, (who is personally in charge mainly of Economic Issues, but Not specifically BioEthics/Human Rights)...



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Nevertheless, that "Hot" and Topical BioEthical Issue, would, apparently, "Fit" Well with the Presentation made by Katainen at his above-mentioned Press Conference, at least on the level of "Principles", as also an Official EUCommisson's Document, distributed on this occasion, notes about EU's will, "Based on clearly defined ... Principles, (to) Deepen its Engagement with China to promote Common interests at Global level", and, particularly, to "Strengthen EU's Cooperation with China to meet Common Responsibilities accross the 3 Pillars of the United Nations: Human Rights, Peace and Security, and Development".

 

(../..)

 

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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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