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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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It's important to create a synergy between "mutually stimulating" EU Countries' moves in order to overcome an "Unjust" Crisis "imported from USA", stressed new French Minister for Economic Revival, Patrick Devedjian, in Strasbourg, warning also that, while hoping for a vigorous Obama US Plan, nevertheless, "Time" is of essence for Europe...

In fact, it's EU's own interest to act Fast, before June 2009 EU Election, since, with Lisbon Treaty not ratified yet, it cannot face again the risk of a Majority Abstention, as back in 1999 and 2004, nor another "anti-EU" mood among Citizens, as in the 2005 French and Dutch "No", followed by the 2008 Irish "No", without endangering rare Historic opportunities, currently open for the EU, whose future is at stake.

From Social issues up to High-Tech Scientific Research, concrete action for Economic revival started from Strasbourg and its European dimension, for the new super-Minister Patrick Devedjian, who visited a Popular Social Housing and Infrastructure project at nearby Hagenau village, before meeting new leaders of Strasbourg's unified mega-University in a Scientific Labo at the Campus, close to EU Parliament and CoE headquarters.

Devedjian, who met also with all the spectrum of Local Political  deciders of Alsace region, close to FrancoGerman borders, wants for deeds to meet the words, in real practice, whenever politicians speak about Strasbourg and Europe's development.

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Devedjan to "EuroFora" : "European coordination can act as a multiplicator by mutual stimulations"
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Devedjian was questioned by "Euro-Fora" on his expectations for reciprocal effects of coordinated European plans :

- "We are living in a (European and Global) system where borders are transparent : When we take measures in France, they produce effects also in Germany, in Belgium, Italy, Spain, or other EU countries, and vice-versa. "So, we can have mutually stimulating effects between national revival Plans, if they are somehow coordinated", ..."They can augment each other's effects, acting as multiplicators and levers". "As a State stimulates Local authorities and Private business, similarly, each EU country's economic revival plan may multiply the effects of other EU countries' actions", he told us.

- "F.ex., when I visited Strasbourg University's Scientific labos, they told me that part of the renovation, funded by France, is realized by German companies located only a few Kms away from the border. Thus, the French revival plan benefits also the German economy. And vice-versa : when Germany takes certain measures, they can have beneficial effects also for French companies"

In an era of Globalisation, "nobody can close and isolate himself inside a Fish-Bowl !", he concluded.
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Economy's revival starts from Strasbourg and Europe, for new French Minister Devedjian
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This could be one of the reasons for which the new French Minister for Economic Stimulus chose to make his 1st visit to Strasbourg, the headquarters of European and Paneuropean Institutions, in the Franco-German river borders at the heart of Europe.

- "It was President Sarkozy's idea", he revealed, adding also fresh "support to Strasbourg's European vocation, not only with words, but also with deeds" :F.ex., the completion of a High-Speed Train network, due to stimulate fast links with Germany, Austria, Italy, Hungary and other central EU Countries.

- "This Crisis is Unjust for Europe, because it wasn't its fault". The greatest part of the "Crisis was imported from the USA, where problems are deeper than here'', in the EU. The Crisis "wasn't due to a bad managment by Europe", who was affected by problems which emerged elsewhere. That's why Europe must be united and active enough to face this challenge. said Devedjian, who has just won +5% in popularity...

- "I hope that there will be an "Obama-effect" also on Economy, and that the Plan of the New American President will be substantial enough to face this crisis, which is worse in the USA than in our area", Europe, he added.

"Economic Revival overcomes political divisions : F.ex. Strasbourg's Socialist Mayor "Ries agreed that State actions funded by Public Debt are justified during such exceptional circumstances", noted the Center-Right republican Minister.

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"Zeitnot" for 2009 EU Elections ?

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"My problem is Time", stressed Devedjian from the outset, at Strasbourg's University. "I have to engage 75% of funds in 2009, out of a total of 29 Billion euros", he explained later. "Monitoring will be of essence", because we must "avoid bureaucracy or delays. No project should get lost or neglected in complex meanders of adminstrative offices' moving sands", he warned.

- "I must create activities in the middle of the Crisis", he added. Questioned by EuroFora whether he aims to start creating some "hopes before the June 2009 EU Elections", Devedjian, a former leader of the Governing Political Party in France: UMP, did not immediately reply, but revealed, later, that he "hoped to start at least some Projects on May 2009, even if the bulk of Revival Plan's effects are "expected from Autumn 2009".

However, with only 30% of EU Citizens currently aiming to cast a vote at the forthcoming EU Elections on June, (See other NewStory), the  coordinated moves' results are expected to be crucial for Citizens' participation and votes at the forthcoming June 2009 EU Elections throughout all 27 EU Member Countries...Thus, it's vital for all Europe's own Future that coordinated national Economic revival plans start to have concrete results and create hopes for new dynamics before the June 2009 EU Election...

A real challenge, since careful choices are needed : Our aim is to fund projects which "create activities", even "in the middle of the crisis", and have a "lever effect, attracting other investments", Devedjian said. Because the "Stimulus' Plan has 2 aims : A Tactical one : to create New Activities. And a Strategic one : Choose what can become efficient and useful also in the Long-term". 

- "Are you ready ?", he asked Strasbourg University's new President, professor Alain Beretz, with some 700 million euros in his pockets for Education-Research in France. - "We are !", he replied.

- "The Minister's initiative can accelerate funds, and Time is important for us. This concerns the entire renovation of all our buildings", said to "EuroFora" President, Beretz. "I showed some Scientific Research Labos to Mr. Devedjian. But, If we had more time, I could show him also some Education Amphis, whose condition needs to meet Strasbourg's new Mega-University's ambition" to reach the 10 best in the World, as Prime Minister Fillon earlier anounced here.

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(Devedjian kicks off his Economic Revival tour from Strasbourg University, meeting with its new chairman Beretz, at Scientific Institute Le Bel) 

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Regional Prefectures should gather and select projects to be presented for decision before the end of January 2009.

A well-known close friend of President Sarkozy, who succeeded as EU Chairman to launch, in agreement with German chancelor Merkel and even British prime minister Brown, vigorous EU actions against the Financial/Economic Crisis, (starting from the 1st Historic Summit of EuroZone's Heads of State/Government, October 12 at Elysee Palace, followed by Washington G20 Global Summit), Devedjan will have a key role in the realisation of National and EU plans recently agreed in Brussels.

President Sarkozy is expected to arrive himself in Strasbourg, on the occasion of the official inauguration of its brand New Mega-Hospital, on the 9th of January 2009, at the eve of EU Parliament's session here, Elysee confirmed shortly after Devedjian's visit.

EU is due to review its economic revival plans at March 2009 EU Council in Prague, before the April 2 London Global Summit.

***

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Multi-facet concrete activities at focus : Stimulus Minister Devedjian at the Political, Social and High-Tech fronts in Strasbourg...

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