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Home arrow newsitems arrow EU Parliament Votes for Inland WaterWays Transports, But Big Projects Evaporated ?...

EU Parliament Votes for Inland WaterWays Transports, But Big Projects Evaporated ?...

Written by ACM
Tuesday, 14 September 2021

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*Strasbourg/Angelo Marcopolo/- Europe is a unique Continent in the World, closely Surrounded by 4 Seas (Mediterranean, Atlantic, Baltic/Arctic, Black/Caspian, etc), abundantly Linked by Rivers (Danube, Rhine, Volga, Elbe, Rhone, etc), Lakes, etc, so that Inland Waterways naturaly have a Huge Potential, particularly for Simple and Ecologic (Non-CO2 "Green") Transports, including in Strategic areas.

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In consequence, an EU Parliament's Resolution, quasi-Unanimously Voted Today by 641 MEPs out of 603 Present, with Only 45 Abstaining and 7 Opposed, supported by EU Commission's New "NAIADES" (from Ancient Greek Godesses of Lakes and Rivers' Mythos) Program of 2021-2027 Funding, aiming to Boost "Green" and Digital, "Ambitious" Targets of Inland Navigation in the foreseable Future, and lively Backed, in Yesterday's Public Debate by the sympathetic EU Commissioner Nicolas Schmit from Luxembourg, (Comp. other Statements by Schmit to "Eurofora"s co-Founder back on 2005, then as Minister), should, Normaly, Charm EU Citizens and Satisfy all well-wishing Readers...

But, from Where comes, then, an unexpected Bitter Feeling, particularly of Real, convinced Europeans ?

 

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However, inter alia, Goodies like "Multi-Modal" Links with Seaports and Railways, Modern Design of New Shipping Vehicles, Funds adapted to SMEs, Har-Working Family Business, and UpGrading of the WorkForce, even Space Technologies' use, "Attractiveness for (Private) Investors", Calls for Links to Circular economies and Energy markets, as well as Many and Various Others, are also Abundantly present, all accross the relevant Report, naturally Drafted by a Dutch MEP, Caroline Negtegaal...

Nevertheless, it's also a Surprizing Fact that "Eurofora" was led to practicaly Postpone (if not Drop, at least partialy), several Other "Flagship" Reports and flaboyant, Mediatic Debates, at EU Parliament this week, for the Time being, such as those on "Hot" Topical Foreign Policy Issues (normaly Our main Preference, during 27 Years of European Journalism), concerning Afghanistan, Russia, China, USA Sanctions, Cuba, Lebanon, etc.,, scheduled Mainly fora confortable Tuesday Afternoon, just to Focus on EU's Inland Waterway Transports, a "Short" Debate hastily cornered on Not so Mediatic Monday Afternoon Time slot, followed by an Obscure Vote OverShadowed by various Other Impressive Issues, (as, f.ex., Natural Disasters in Europe, the New EU's Annual Budget, the Pre-Accession Assistance, Blue Card, and/or Brexit adjustment, etc).

- Why on Earth ? Perhaps, just in order to give a False Impression of ...Walking on the Water ? Notoriously, and Obviously,  We are Not accustomed to such Superficial approaches, Prefering Austere Hard Facts, on Core Issues of Crucial Importance for Europe ! So, the real Heart of the Matter is much More Important than what it Seems at First Sight...

>>> Indeed, at these Times of an UnPrecedented and landmark EU "Conference on the Future of Europe", (which Holds 3 Days of "Citizens' Panels" this week in Strasbourg), Crucial for the Necessary Relations between the EU and its Citizens, the Core-Matter is always a Cystal-Clear Reply to the Key Question about What "Big Horizon" can be Opened by a given Measure, in order to Make Europe much Stronger, and/or considerably Ameliorate the Lives of European Citizens by creating New Perspectives for them in the foreseable Future. Anything else is, Comparatively, of Secondary importance, and could be Skiped, at least for Now...

    => And, in his regard, from this Main and Cucial View-Point, the current Resolution on Inland Water Transports curiously Lacks of a Vital Component of Key Importance, that this matter, on the Contrary, used to have in the Past :  - "Eurofora"s Interest had, indeed, been Attracted to that Issue, initialy, Because of 1 Big Stake : EU's Political Agenda had been largely Dominated, then, directly or Indirectly, by UK's "BP" Company's stuborn (obviously Gao-Politicaly Motivated) Insistance to strive to Monopolize the Kaspian Sea's Oil/Gas Transport towards Europe Only through ... Turkey, and particularly its Ceyhun SeaPort, Excluding any Other Possibility, Even if it was much Better !  

Thus, inter alia, f.ex. even Turkmenistan Refused to Obey to such Outside Pressure, and Prefered to use a Russian a.o. Way to Europe. In fact, Nobody Else didN't Submit to that UK-USA's Blind and Harsh Ultimatum, (which Obliged to Drop Any Direct, Shorter, Cheaper, and Safer Way to Europe, Insisting for a Strange, Longer, more Expensive, and Dangerous Zig-Zag through Southern-East Tukey, (i.e. via Kurdish and Earthquake-prone areas of Southern Anatolia plateau), Except the usual "Captive" of Ankara : Azerbeidjan, (Despite the Fact that it had also a much Better, Alternative Solution, i.e. Straight via Georgia, Directly trhough the Black Sea and Romania, into the EU !)

In Consequence, this Imposed to Europê a more Expensive Kaspian Energy, through the predominant Kurdish Lands, and even Facing the Military Occupied Cyprus' Territories, located ostensibly Nearby... Tus, it Already Trigered, inter alia, a Sudden Lebanon - Israel Deadly Rockets Warfare, (Astonishingly : on the Eve of the Baku-Ceyhun Pipeline Inauguation, when Top Officials were Asked to Sign Deals looking so Expensive, then, that Nothing was Excluded, even various Last-Minute, Total or Partial Refusals, ctc), After which, Oil Prices got a Boost at Speculative Global Markets, Artificialy Transfoming that Controversial Baku-Ceyhun Pipeline into a somewhat Lucrative one, so that, at least, some Deals were Signed asap ! Since then, (2006), a UN Mandate gave to European Countries (led by France on the Land, and Germany in the Sea), for Controling and Peace-Keeping at the Lebanon-Israel Land and Sea Borders.

+ But, anOther inevitable Consequence was, also, to practicaly ...Burry any Fair Political Solution in the Bloody Kurdish Conflict, (which, notoriously Started to be Harshly Blocked between 2007 - 2015, until Nowadays)... ++ Moreover, it pushed Turkey to become even More Reluctant to Withdraw its Military Invasion-Occupation Army from the Northern Teritories of Cyprus, part of which Faces diectly Ceyhun... (So that it all Concluded in a Deadline on UN-sponsored Talks for an Agreed Political Solution to the Cyprus' Problem, up to the Latest, Spectacular BreakDowns on 2018 at Pelerin Mountain/Switzerland, and, Nowadays, on 2021, with a Blunt Refusal by Turkey of Any perspective for a Peaceful ReUnification of Cyprus, recently Condemned by the EU and UNO's Security Council : See ..., etc).

    >>> Against all those Far-Reaching, Negative Consequences, (which, practicaly, Deprived Europe from a Cheap, Safe, and Neighburing Energy Source, as the Kaspian Sea area : Comp. Supra), "Eurofora"s co-Founder had Supported a clearly Pro-European, Peacedul, and Rational Alternative Solution (i.e. Shorter, Simpler, Safer, Cheaper, etc) to Transor Kaspian Sea's Oil/Gas towards Europe by a Pipeline through Georgia, crossing the Black Sea with Ships, and Concluding, inside the EU, until its Industrial Franco-German Core, via Romania, etc., thanks Mainly to ... "Inland Waterways" offered by Danube and Rhine Rivers, (inter-Linking between them Near Strasbourg) : This could be done all Thanks to New Technologies of "Gas Liquification", allowing (for the 1st Time in History) a Multi-Modal "Containers" Transport on Sea and River Ships, Rail and Lorries, until the Final Destinations for Stocks and/or Consumption. Among other Supporters, it's Romanian former Long-Time President Trian Basescu (Nowadays a ChristianDemocat/EPP MEP in EU Parliament), an Experienced former River Ship Captain and Economy Expert in Brussels, who Strongly Backed, during Many Years, such a Key Mega-Project, (Often Pointing also a its "Ecological", "Green" Value, already Long Before it Became Popular, Since 2011, starting from Germany). Soon, we were, more or less, Joined also by EU Commissioner, then of Energy, Oettinger, Georgia's then President Shakasvili, even ...Azerbaidjan's long-time vice-Foreign Minister, in charge of European Issues, Mamadov, (etc), as well as various Other EU/CoE/UN Top Political or Expert Personaliies; (and Many relevant Articles were Published at "Eurofora", through several Years, with Original Interviews, etc).

But, Suddenly, ...what a Surprize : This, latest, EU Parliament's "Short" Debate's Resolution of 2021 (Comp. Supra), ... does Not Say Anything Clear about all that : Not even 1 Word ! Its' Authors either Ignored Everything, or Rejected Everything on that, for Reasons that, Obviously, they doN't seem to want to disclose and/or present to a Rational and Free, Democraic Debate, under UnKnown yet Pretexts...

>>> It's, However, True, at least, that this, almost Unanimously Voted EU Parliament's latest Resolution, Today, "Calls ...to Strengthen the Synergies between InLand WaterWays Infrastructures, and the Trans-European Networks for Energy, which will ... support the development of Ports as Energy Hubs", as well as "HighLights, in this regard, the need to better Integrate Inland Waterways infrastructure into the European Energy Grid", and "stresses ...the(ir) Potential ...for the Transport of Alternative Fuels", (etc). Already, "a substantial share of EU Inland Waterway freight is Seaport related", MEPs observe, so that "both Sea and Inland ports play an Important role as MultiModal Hubs, providing Connections with other modes of Transport". "It is therefore Important ... that *** Sea and Inland Ports should be well Connected with one another, and .... with the hinterland", particularly as "Inland Ports should Become Energy Hubs for sustainable Alternative Fuels", (probably, as, f.ex. Liquefied Natural Gas, CO2-Free).

But, even such Short and Dispersed, indirect and InComplete Mentions, here or there, are practicaly ..."Lost" in the Middle of Various Other "Green"-oriented, Different Matters, so that the actual and Full GeoPolitical Importance of the Above-Mentioned Big Issue (Comp. Supra), appears Lost in the Jungle...

+ Perhaps, is it, then, mainly Because of an Alleged "Drought and Climate Change", as "the 2 Major Problems facing European Inland Waterway Transport", given that, f.ex., "in several European Regions, inland waterway transport was Hit hard by the long period of  Drought in 2018 owing to extremely Low Water levels", whose  "consequences were Devastating for the Rhine and its tributaries, the upper and middle Danube, and the upper and middle Elbe" ? "Eurofora" had alread Heard such Claims Pretexts, or Fears, Back on 2012-2013, by a Few circles, (mainly Politicaly Opposed to the Above-mentioned Project), But they canNot Definitively "Burry", so easily, such a Big Issue... Particularly Not Nowadays, when, on the Contrary, Europe has, Notoriously, Just Faced Too Many Rains and Inundations This Year (2021) !

Having Followed and Often Studied various such Strange Meteo Phenomenons, as the so-called "Omega" formats, with High Atmospheric Pressure in the Middle, Causing a kind of Hot and Dry "Depression" there, (known since 1905 !), But a too Rainy and Fresh Surrounding Area, (as, f.ex., mainly Agains France, back on the 2003 Disagreement about the Iraq War, and/or on 2010 against Russia, meanwhile China, even Some USA's Regions, etc), while UNO's International Treaty against "Hostile Modifications of the Environment" (Supported mainly by China and Europe, known as "ENMOD") Dates from the 1975 Post-Vietnam War period, and Spectacularly reminded, inter alia, Also at the Opening of the 2008 International Olympic Games in Beijing, when Chinese Artificialy Provoked Rainfalls, (etc), Nowadays, People may Legitimately Expect from Europe that, at last, from 2021 and on, it Finds out, at last, How to Protect the Natural Environment, (withOut having to Watch again ... Famous former "OO7 James Bond"/Sean Connery"'s landmark Science-Fiction Film "the Weather-Maker") !

At any case, such kind of Eventual Developments would Obviously Strengthen Europe's Space and Natural Environment Protection's Sovereign Autonomy, as well as New Technologies. While, in Addition, a Crystal-Clear Public Debate, always has much More Merits in a Modern Democracy, than a Suspect and/or InComprehensible Silence, vainly attempting to Sweep some thorny (Big) Issues Under a (Small) Carpet...

 

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https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FA2w-PMKspo


(../..)

 

("Draft-News")

 

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(Opinion)

Paris - Bruxelles - Strasbourg, 2 septembre 2008

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Le spectaculaire succès du Président français, Nicolas Sarkozy, (en tête de l'UE jusqu'a décembre), à obtenir de suite un cessez le feu inattendu entre la Russie et la Georgie, immédiatement après sa visite aux Présidents Medvedev et Saakashvili, au pire moment de tensions et heurts violents meurtieurs, qui avaient tué plusieurs innocents et provoqué le deplacement forcé de réfugiés par milliers, lui donne incontestablement une stature vraiment européenne :

A ses liens personnels bien connus avec l'Hongrie, la Grece, l'Italie ou l'Espagne, en sus de son amitié avec la chancelière allemande Merkel, son souhait d'essayer d'attirer l'Angleterre au jeu européen, etc, s'y ajoute, maintenant, une réussite, fragile certes, mais importante, au combat pour la Paix dans la "grande" Europe du général De Gaulle, "jusqu'a l'Oural", qui inclut naturellement la Géorgie, l'Arménie et d'autres pays, et ne peut exister qu'avec rapports de confiance et partenartiat stratégique avec la Russie.

Apres avoir réussi à debloquer la situation au Liban, (pays avec liens culturels historiques en Europe), lors du Sommet pour la Méditerranée à Paris, juillet dernier, (comme atteste maintenant le prémier accord d'echange d'Ambassadeurs avec la Syrie), Sarkozy activa maintenant une présidence française de l'EU bien entreprenante, à l'autre bout de l'Europe, à Moscou, où, contrairement à Napoléon, il a été reçu avec soulagement par le nouveau président russe, ami de l'experimenté Vladimir Poutine.

Cet homme politique rélativement nouveau au plan politique européen, avec une vision souvent critique ou même critiquée, à tort ou a raison, mais ambitieuse et concrete a la fois, qui aime s'adresser aux "Européens", comme il dit, n'est-il pas bien placé pour stimuler le fameux débat sur l' "Identité de l' Europe", qu'il a proposé au Parlement Européen récemment à Strasbourg, moins d'un an avant les Elections européennes de 2009 ?

En 2007, il a réussi à faire monter spectaculairement la participation citoyenne aux élections présidentielles en France, obtenant des récords historiques :

N'est-ce pas, justement ce que l' Europe a bésoin, apres 2 abstentions majoritaires sans précedent aux Elections de 1999 et 2004, et 3 "Non" aux réferenda pour ses institutions en 2005 et 2008, pendant une décennie trouble 1999-2008, (marquée surtout par la demande controversée de la Turquie d'entrer dans l'UE eclipsant les avancées de la Monnaie unique et de la liberté de circulation à l'espace Shengen, avec consequences mal-ressenties par la majorité des citoyens, bien au-délà des clivages du passé), qui a failli stopper l'integration européenne ?

Et cela, au moment même ou une globalisation galopante met l'Europe devant un choix crucial entre saut qualitatif en avant, apte à valoriser une occasion historique exceptionelle à se développer résolument, après les vaines destructions, querelles et tensions des guerres "chaudes" ou "froides" qui lui ont couté son rang dans le Monde, ou réculer définitivement en décadence...

Alors, que certains de nos amis à la Commission en Bruxelles, lui laissent au moins un peu d'espace de mouvement, et qu'ils l'aident à tenter d'insufler de l' oxygène frais et vivifiant aux rapports entre les citoyens et une Europe qui a manifestement bésoin et mérite de retrouver d'urgence un nouveau dynamisme populaire, avec un souci de réalisme mais aussi une vision passionante pour son avenir !

Après tout, les Etats Unis d' Amérique ne se sont pas faits à coups de bureaucratie, nécessaire et utile, mais manifestement insuffisante : Sans l'impulsion d'hommes politiques originaux, d'intellectuels vraiment engagés, et, surtout, sans l'enorme énergie émanant de la conscience d'enjeux à la fois pratiques et grandioses, bien resentis par des millions de citoyens, stimulant leur adhésion active comme pioniers d'un nouveau avenir commun à construire, ils seraient encore une ex-colonie périphérique, affaiblie par stériles divisions, passif et impuissant spectateur des convulsions tragiques d'un Monde à la dérive...

Que les vrais "européens" ré-lisent au moins les fameux discours historiques sur l' Europe d'un Sarkozy bien inspiré à Strasbourg, aussi bien avant qu'après avoir gagné les élections françaises, le 21 février et le 2 juillet 2007, après son 1er sommet des Bruxelles, qui a adopté le nouveau Traité de l'UE en conclusion de la presidence allémande : Bonnes lectures pour cet été 2008, afin de préparer l' avenir qui s'ouvrira (ou fermera) à partir des élections européennes de 2009.

Peut-etre revelera-t-il plus, en ce sens, lors de ses 2 discours-debats prochains avec les eurodeputés, prévus lors des sessions plenières du Parlement Européen a Strasbourg en octobre et décembre 2008... 

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Foreign Minister Bernard Kouchner had already unveiled President Sarkozy's intentions, during a particularly "hot" Press Conference in Paris, where he faced some's insistance for "sanctions", with a call for "a common EU stance". In the meanwhile, he was consulting "all these days" most of his EU, Russia and Georgia counterparts, (as Sarkozy's Spokesman, P-J. Henin confirmed to "EuroFora"). This allowed him to obtained the desired result, as EU Chairman, at a short, exceptional EU Summit in Brussels, afterwards.

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But, Sarkozy's No 1 official, Presidential palace's Secretary General Claude Gueant, active at Elysee during the 2008 Ambassadors' Conference, (together with his Top Diplomat, the experienced David Levitte), is well known for having an overall view : A link with 2009 EU Elections at the horizon ?

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