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Home arrow newsitems arrow Franco-German plan brings Historic EU MEGA Deal towards Funds+Governance Integration, But Needs More

Franco-German plan brings Historic EU MEGA Deal towards Funds+Governance Integration, But Needs More

Written by ACM
Tuesday, 21 July 2020

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*Strasbourg/Angelo Marcopolo/- After a Record-High 5 Days Summit, EU made a Hard-Born but Historic Deal in Brussels ...at the Anniversary of Alexander the Great's Birth 2.376 Years Ago, the UnDefeated Ancient Greek Civilisation's legend, who Dared Head towards China 1 Millenary Before Marco Polo, and is Also Famous for his Decisive Way to Find a Solution, with Political Will, on the World's Most Difficult, Intractable and UnSolved Problem then, known as "Gordian Knot" : He UnDone that with his Sword, reportedly Argying that What Mattered Most wasN't How to proceed, But to Solve it !

alexander_the_great_was_born_this_day_2021_july_on_356_bc_greekcitytimes__eurofora_patchwork_400 

alexander_the_great_cuts_the_gordian_knot_jf._godefroy_painting_1767__eurofora_screenshot_400

(Alexander the Great cuts the Gordian Knot - JF. Godefroy painting, 1767)

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Notoriously Initiated by a landmark Franco-German EU core's Joint Proposal, brokered last Spring, on May 2020, right in the Middle of Mass Deadly Virus' UnPrecedented Pandemic, which had Europe as its EpiCenter, the Final, Collective, 27 EU Member-States' Agreement innovates by several Key Points, pushing concrete Breakthroughs towards a Beginning of quasi-Federal European Integration, mainly via EU Funding, But Also related EU Governance, etc.,

while, However, remaining still a Partly UnFinished Work-on-the-Making, whose Real Future Depends from various Pending, and/or Possible but UnCertain yet Further Moves at the Horizon :

>>> At its Core is the Creation of an Ambitious EU Revival Fund, with 390 Billions € in full Grants, added to another 360 Billions € in Loans, whose Distribution to 27 Member States is due to be Decided by a Qualified Majority (and No more Unanimity) in EU Council, thanks to Money that will be gathered (for the 1st Time in History) by Collective EU Borrowing (with its "AAA" Rating), to be Reimbursed between 2026-2058, in Large Part through Forthcoming EU's "Own Resources", according to Choices to be made Soon. + This comes at the Top of a 2001-2007 MultiAnnual Financial Framework Deal for the Regular EU's Budgets, brokered in Parallel, which would Add More than 1.050 Billions €, Resulting in a Total ByPassing 1,85 Trillions €, (that EU Parliament and EU Commission Wish to Extend Further, particularly in some Key Areas).

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But, obviously, the Main Protagonists, French President Emmanuel Macron and German Chancellor Angie Merkel, (who currently Chairs the EU for the Crucial Period of July-December 2020: See http://www.eurofora.net/newsflashes/news/merkel5pointsforeurevival.html), Together with EU Council's President Charles Michel (former Prime Minister of Belgium), accompagnied by EU Commission's Chief, Ursula von der Leyen (former several times Minister, including of Defense, in Germany), had to make Many and Various Compromises, Changing Several Parts of their Initial Plan, in order to Obtain an Unanimous Agreement of All 27 EU Member States' Leaders, after an Originaly 2 Days "Exceptionnal" Summit reached a 5th Day's Morning, (some Foreseeing possible Even more than "a Week" !), amidst Manifold Tensions, Oppositions, Conflicts, alleged "Blackmails", and Hard Bargaining, (Often Some Playing Games ...Hidden Behind Others, as National Parliaments have still to Ratify the Deal), which made, sometimes, Fear another Eventual Blockade,  Risking to Seriously Damage the EU, after Too Many Deaths by the Virus, even earlier Errors and/or EU Delays to Urgently take Protective Measures, that added also OverSpend and Slowed-Down Economies, while the Pandemic Crisis is Not Yet Over, throughout the World.

=> So, First of all, the so-called "Frugal" or, alias, "Stingy", EU Member States' Leaders, (Netherlands, Denmark, Sweden, and Austria, Later Partly Joined by Finland, mainly Led by Dutch Prime Minister Mark Rutte, helped by Austrian Prime Minister Sebastian Kurz : See http://www.eurofora.net/newsflashes/news/eurevivalsummitneedseuropeanvision.html ), appeared Pushing Hard for a Series of Changes on the Original EU Plan, and Got, Finally, several Concessions, including the Maintain of a Rebate for 4 of them, even After UK's Departure with the "BREXIT"), Augmented for Most of them, But also a Diminution of the Total Volume of EU Grants, from 500 Billions € initially, Down to 390 Billions € finally, (the Rest of the 750 Billions € Recovery Fund being covered by Loans), as well as a "Tighter" EU Monitoring Process for any Handovers to its Member States. Later, it was announced that Germany was Included to such Rebates' continuation, (but withOut any Augmentation).

+ From anOther Side, mainly Italy (with Prime Minister Giuseppe Conte, who Joined Spain, Portugal, Greece, France and Many Other Countries into Defending EU Grants, as initially Planned), reportedly fought Against Maintaining Unanimity, instead of a Qualified Majority, at EU Council's Decisions on that Recovery Fund, Apparently Fearing that Critics - as Netherlands' Rutte, etc.- might, Otherwise, hold a "Veto". And this was, Indeed, Droped, after Various Other Countries Joined the move.

++ Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orban (See: http://www.eurofora.net/newsflashes/news/euuturnforlongerbalanceddeal.html) said that he Backed Italy, Obviously Motivated by Rutte's Opposite stance (Comp. Supra), since the Dutch Prime Minister Also appeared to Head a (Wider in Fact) Move to Immediately Add an UnPrecedented Mechanism for Excluding from EU Funds those Member Countries which are Accused for alleged "Rule of Law" Discrepancies, (i.e. currently Hungary and Poland). But, Strongly Backed by his National Parliament, (where Orban's Center-Right Party "Fidesz" brillantly Won -even Better- the Latest Election on 2018, followed by a Powerful Rightist "Jobbic" Party, while, on the Contrary, the "Socialists" Fell even Lower), which Recently Adopted a Resolution clearly Excluding any Deal which might, Eventually, "Use EU Funds for Political Issues, inside National States", as it Warned, the Hungarian Prime Minister had to Brandish a "Veto" If Rutte and/or others eventually Imposed such an Exclusion Trigger. Orban, Supported also by Polish Prime Minister Mateusz Morawiecki, who Currently Chairs the 4 Countries of the Center-Eastern "Visegrad" Group, (Hungary, Poland, Chequia, Slovakia), claimed that they Obtained, finally, Gain of cause on that Point, and that's why they Accepted to Sign this EU Brussels' Deal.

However, that Issue Appears quite Tricky, or UnClear Yet... Indeed, Even if Rutte's and Others' Attempt to Immediately Impose the Above-Mentioned Exclusion Mechanism, under "Rule of Law" Claims, withIn that overall EU Summit's Deal (Comp. Supra) was Finally Droped, and, Instead, the Present Brussels' Compromise simply Added an elementary Mention of the Fact that EU Council "underlines the Importance of the respect of Rule of Law", (a Principle that Orban generally Supports, and was even Arrested, as he Reminded, by the Police of the Previous Regime, precisely for "Fighting for Freedom, i.e. Rule of Law", which concerns EU Membership itself, and Not Just Money, as he pointed out), Nevertheless, this is Not All...

In Fact, while Victor Orban's circle was, reportedly, Glad about this alleged Development in the Latest Draft Proposal of EU Council's President Michel, to the point to Inform, Already, to Hungarian Medias, as Early as Since 20 July at the MidNight, However, Whoever might, Eventually, had Told him that this Simple Mention was All, did Not correspond Exactly to the Full Final Text.

Indeed, the Full Final Conclusions of this EU Summit Also Include, at least, +2 More relevant Points :

- (A) One reads that : "Based on this background, a regime of Conditionality ... Will be Introduced", and, for that purpose, "the (EU) Commission will propose Measures, in case of Breaches, for Adoption by the (EU) Council", which will (Exceptionally) Decide "by qualified Majority", (and Not Unanimity, so that, f.ex., Hungary and/or Poland could No More mutually Support EachOther by, eventually, using their Veto, in case of an Attempt to Exclude one of them). + Curiously, such an Addition was Printed, in the Official EU Conclusions, as published Today (July 21) early Morning, at ... anOther Page of that Text, Even if it Immediately Follows the Above-mentioned Reference to the "Rule of Law", (Comp. Supra), which, Astonishingly, was, thus, left with an UnExplained ...Long EMPTY Space, accompagnying it in Its own Page, (i.e. Obviously giving the False Impression that it would stand Alone) !

At any case, Viktor Orban had, However, Already said to European Journalists that he would be Ready (regardless if the Summit had to Durate Much Longer in Brussels), to, Eventually, Negotiate a possible New EU Mechanism on "Rule of Law" matters, as Some Asked for, (Even if he Believed that Useless, since the EU had Already Mechanisms for that), on Condition that it would be "Seriously" Discussed and Legally Analysed, withOut Hastily Imposing a Makeshift Draft which would contain Vague, ImPrecise Terms, etc., Dangerous for Democracy, as he Warned, (See: .., etc).

- (B) But, anOther Point is that, the Above-Mentioned, Vague Reference to the "Importance" of the "Rule of Law" (Comp. Supra), was Inserted, at the Final Full Text of EU Summit's Official Conclusions, in a very Particular Context : I.e. Immediately After a Different reference to "the Protection of EU's Financial Interests" (sic !), "in accordance with the General Principles embedded on the (EU) Treaties". Given the Fact that EU "Commission is invited to ...Protect" those EU Funds "Against" Not Only "Fraud", But, Also, "and Irregularities", (as it's Vaguely added, Afterwards, in the Final EU Conclusions), as well as that National States' "Plans" for EU Funding "Shall be Approved by the (EU) Council by a qualified Majority" (i.e. Not Unanimity : Comp. Supra) "on a Commision proposal", is there a Way to SafeGuard f.ex. Hungary and/or Poland, or Any Other EU Member State, from Eventual Rejection under some "Rule of Law" Pretext ?... Particularly when it's, in Addition, up to "1 or more (EU) Member States" (f.ex. Mr. Rutte ?) to, Eventually, "Request ...to refer the matter to the Next European Council", "if" they "Consider that there are Serious Deviations", After which, "No ... Payments" may be made, "Until the Next European Council has Exhaustively Discussed the matter", in a "Process" which "may" take "3 Months" more..., (while People may be still Dying by the Virus !).

Obviously, whoever might, Perhaps, have been Told, during a Sleepless MidNight of the 20 to 21 July, that the Latest Draft Compromise would have "Only 1 Mention" of the "Rule of Law"'s "Importance" for the EU, in general, withOut having, Afterwards, around 6 a.m. in the Early Morning, Enought Time and/or Readiness in order to Find, Read, and Associate all those, above mentioned, Other References, Scattered around Various Different Places inside this EU Summit's Long Full Final Conclusions, (Comp. Supra), could, Eventually, have been MisLed (by False, InComplete, or InAccurate initial Appearances)...

But, Europe should Not be, Eventually, Sullied by Anyone's possible Attempt to, Perhaps, irresponsibly Play such Dirty Tricks ! Indeed, Even if, as, f.ex., some German MEPs had earlier told "Eurofora", Private Businesses' legitimately Need for Hungarian and/or Polish or other Countries' Judges to be as "Independent" as possible, Nevertheless, it's Also true that, in Fact, Behind at least Some so-called "Rule of Law" Complaints, might, Perhaps, be Hidden Dangerous Attacks against Hungary's, Poland's, and/or Any Other relevant Country's National, Democraticaly Chosen, and Popular Choices in favor, f.ex., of the Natural Family, between a Man and a Woman, and, therefore, of Natural Births, (Instead of Articicial Fabrications of Children, Controlled by Technocrats), and/or for the Protection of Human Embryos against Genetic Manipulations, Perhaps, Also, for European Culture Migration, and/or to Help Develop National Population's Increase, instead of Cotroversial Mass Irregular Migration from Far Away Foreign Countries, withOut any European Culture, Neither real Wish to Assimilate it, Risking to Provoke "Parallel Societies" and Impose a "Multi-Culti", that Angie Merkel's main Governing German Party of ChristianDemocrats (CDU/CSU) had alreaday Succesfully Denounced, since 2010 and in the 2013 Parliamentary Elections, managing, then, to Win almost + 40 % of the People's Votes, approaching Even an Absolute Majority, for the 1st Time in recent History...

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+ However, there are Also several, at least 3, still Open Questions on the Economic/Financial core Aspects of this Summit's Deal on EU's Recovery Fund :

-------------

- The First one concerns the Time which would be Needed, in Real Practice, for EU Funds to actually Arrive there where EU Citizens have to Act, during the current Crisis. Indeed, according to EU Summit's Conclusions, the Procedure may take at least 2 + 1 + 3 = 6 Months (for EU Commission's and EU Council's Initial Decisions, as well as an Eventual Objection by one or more EU Member States... To what is Added the Necessary Period of Time for Each Project to Reach the Stage of a "Satisfactory Fulfilment of the ....Targets", Only After which, the EU Commission and Council may Decide to Start Handing over the relevant "Payments", according to the Final EU Summit's Deal, (apparently, at least partially, Influenced by Mr. Rutte's desiderata). And, on the Top of it, Inevitably comes Even the Time that it will take, Before that, for All the 27 EU Member States' National Parliaments in order to Ratify the Brussels' Deal, (i.e., approximatively until the End of 2020)... So that it doesN't seem sure at all whether a Project's Authors Might just Start Receiving some EU Funds Before the ...Middle or even the End of Next Year (2021) !  

=> Isn't there Any Way to somewhat Simplify things, (at least during the current Virus' Crisis) ?

Even if the respective Situations are Not Identical at all, neverheless, it's a Fact that, during a Previous Economic Crisis on 2008+, it was Enough for an Only One (1) Day Summit of €uroZone's Heads of State/Government, (the First ever in History, a Sunday, at "Elysée" Palace in Paris, Organized on October 2008 by the French, then, Chairmanship of the EU, headed by former President Nicolas Sarkozy : See "Eurofora"'s relevant NewsReport, right from "Elysée" Palace at: ..., etc), so that, Already ... From the Next Day, (Monday or Tuesday) Immediately Starts an UnPrecedented, collectively Coordinated Series of €uroZone Countries' Big Plans and Financial Moves to Boost an Urgently Needed Economic ReVival, which Proved, Later-on, to be quite Succesfull !

In France, that Effort was Supervised by a particularly Important, Specialized Minister, former Chief of the Governing Party, and Close Ally of the President, Patrick Devedjian, who Both Started and Concluded his relevant Activities by Visiting Strasbourg, where he personally Described to "Eurofora" and other Journalists, the main Aims and Results of his Action, (See, f.ex., among others, also: http://www.eurofora.net/newsflashes/irish/devedjian.html + http://www.eurofora.net/newsflashes/news/devedjiansaveandinvest.html , etc). Devedjian's Experience and Views might have been particularly Interesting Nowadays, But he was, meanwhile, tragically Killed, precisely, by this Deadly Virus ! However, Sarkozy, (who notoriously exchanges Often with Macron, nowadays), has, reportedly, Just Finished a New Book, now on 7/2020, Focused on the First Years of his former Presidency, around 2007-2008, which May include some Interesting Insights...

-------------------------------------------

- The Second Open Question is about the Projects due to be Funded by the EU: Curiously, there are No real European Projects foreseen, But just National ones, presented by Each Member State...

 But, thus, EU Obviously risks to Lose a precious Occasion to Promote a Europe-Wide, Joint Vision, as well as InfraStructures, etc., which could Also Create some Symbolic common European Achievements for the General Conscience of 450 Millions of EU Citizens, but Also generate real Common Interests between EU's 27 Member States, which could Facilitate to achieve Compromises and Deals much more Easier in Future EU Summits, (as "Eurofora" Already observed, Since the Beginning of this "Exceptional" 7/2020 Brussels' Summit : see http://www.eurofora.net/newsflashes/news/eurevivalsummitneedseuropeanvision.html, etc).

 Otherwise, (as we all saw these last days : Comp. Ibid), Exclusively National, Separate Projects, even if funded by the EU, Risk to Stay, in People's Memory and everyday Practice as 27 Member States' Different Achievements, keeping Separate Interests, and sometimes Conflicting Viewpoints, also Afterwards...

 => That's why it would certainly be Good, if, at least, Certain Important Projects were, eventually, Supported by Many EU Countries, practically Cooperating All Together to Achieve a Common, Big Goal, (which should, Naturally, be Facilitated also by EU Commission and/or EU Council during the implementation of this overall Deal), in the Next Stages.

------------------------------------------

- The Third Open Question concerns the Search for New Sources of Funding for EU's Recovery Fund and MFF, (Comp. Supra), which Include also possible EU's "Own Resources", (as it has been, in principle  Agreed, for the 1st Time in History).

The Recovery Fund, once Decided by EU Council, canNot be legaly Modified by EU Parliament, But the MultiAnnual Financial Framework Can, and, there, MEPs are notoriously Critical for alleged Cuts, as usual, (particularly compared to EU Commission's Initial Proposals), not only on Agriculture and Cohesion, but Even on Health, Research, and Foreign Policy. This, Obviously, canNot be Compensated by the Recovery Fund's Money, f.ex. for Climate Protection, (which, at least in Some Countries, including even France, is reportedly due to be Spend, mainly on ...Too Classic "Thermic Isolation of Buildings" : an Old Practice f.ex. around Strasboug and adjacent Villages, since Too Many Years, which sometimes Transforms formerly Fresh Buildings into Excessive Heat HellHoles !)... Thus, EU Parliament and Commission are expected to Press mainly for Substantial EU's "Own Resources", that EU Council has, in principle, Promised.

=> But, it's Not Yet Clear WHICH ones !  Because, among those Already Proposed, f.ex. Taxes on Plastics haveN't, reportedly, any serious Potential, while Both Taxes on CO2 at the Borders, and on Digital GAFAM, appear "Complex", the 1st mainly for "Technical" Reasons, and the 2nd, rather for "Political" ones, particularly in its More Interesting Version : that on International Trade, where Heavy USA Reactions are expected, as long as an OECD Compromise still Lacks...

>>> So that, what is really Needed is something clearly New, withOut Narrow Limits, Neither Complicated Technical Problems, Nor Fear of Reactions from someone perhaps Stronger than the EU, (as, f.ex. the USA : Comp. Supra), etc. And, in fact, it seems that such a Possibility, Really Exists :

- Indeed, currently, EU appears to have an Important Potential for New, and much Needed (particularly After the already advanced Extinction of North Sea's former Deposits) Big Energy Resources, at its South-Eastern Mediterranean Borders, between EU Member Cyprus (Eventually even Greece) and Friendly Neighbbouring Countries as Israel and Egypt, whose Exploitation and Development is  Delayed or Blocked Only by illegal Bullying, aqainst that Small but Strategic Island, by retrograde Turkey. Natural Gas is Climate-Friendly, since it Avoids CO2, and can be Easily and Directly Transported, from there, straight into EU's Industrial Core, either by an UnderSea Pipeline, (nick-Named "East-Med" Project, sponsored by the EU), and/or by High-Tech Ships using New Technologies of Liquefied Natural Gas (LNG) towards Equiped Terminals, as, f.ex. that of "Foss 2" near France's Marseille, (but with more or less Similar "De-Liquefaction" Terminals already existing Also in Greece, Croatia, Italy, Spain, etc). Relevant Findings inside EU Member Cyprus' EEZ are Already Important, and Much More are Expected in Foreseen Explorations at the Rest of its Large and Well Situated Maritime Area, while Israel and Egypt have Already Found Huge Energy Quantities, and are Cooperating with EU Countries Cyprus and Greece for Various possible Collective Projects of Massive Energy Transferts Directly into EU's core.

s.e._med._energy_hub_eurofora_patchwork_400_01

=> In Consequence, if the 450 Millions Population Strong, Rich, Developed and Strong EU Countries, Use their clearly Superior Forces in order to just Protect those New Energy Resources (a Big Part of which actually Belong to Europe) around EU-Member Cyprus from illegal retrograde Turkey's Bullying, then, they Naturally could, f.ex., Also, f.ex., Lift a kind of "Protection Tax" on All Revenues of Future Massive Energy Transports from those South-Eastern Mediterranean HotSpots, (whose Geology looks Similar to that of Energy-Rich Mexico Gulf at the USA, as "Eurofora"s co-Founder had guessed, Already as Early as Since 2000-2001 : See relevant Publications, then at "Cyprus Weekly", f.ex. from Interviews at an International Mega-Conference on "Geo-Science" organized by the "Globe Institute" of Strasbourg's University, etc), which could Obviously be Added, even From the Next Few Years, (since a Big Part of that Energy is Already Found and/or Stocked, almost Ready to be Delivered asap),  as a Precious and Promising, New EU's "Own Resource" !

Such a Timely (and Middle-Long Term duration's) Financial Boost could seriously Help, to well Start and Develop EU's Recovery Fund, as well as to Smoothly Face the above-mentioned EU Budget Challenges (Comp. Supra), in the Best Way possible, (while Also Firmly Asserting EU's Important Role throughout its External Borders, and its Neighbouring Areas, as well as in the World).

And, by the way, as it concerns also EU's Franco-German core's Couple, in Addition to the Naturally Pioneer, active Involvement of France, at this Mediterranean Topical Issue, (See, f.ex., Already Emmanuel Macron's relevant Replies to "Eurofora"s Questions at a Press-point as Early as since 2015 in Strasbourg, when he was Economy Minister, as well as, Later-on, as President of the Republic, f.ex. at the "G20" Summit of Hamburg, in Germany, on 2017, etc.: http://www.eurofora.net/newsflashes/news/frencheconomyministermacronegyptisraelcyprusgaspipelinebigchance.html + http://www.eurofora.net/newsflashes/news/macrontoprotectcyprusisraelenergyforeurope.html), it's Also the experienced German Chancellor Angie Merkel, current EU President-in-office for July-December 2020, who had already Visited personaly Cyprus, (first at the German Navy, hosted there, and afterwards as an Official State Visit), as Early as Since ...2006, when Germany had taken over the Leadership of EU's Naval Forces, hosted at a SeaPort in Cyprus, included in the European Force, under UN Mandate, led then by Historic former French President Chirac, particularly at the Land, for Peace-Keeping at nearby Lebanon, to urgently but Successfully Pacify a Middle-East Risk of bloody Conflict triggered between Israel and Arabs then, which, finally, Ended Well, Thanks also to Europe's active and decisive presence.

>>> In Substance, Both Then (2006) and Now (2020), it's just a matter of ... "Alexander the Great"'s readiness and Strong Political Will to simply Focus on Solving asap. that "Gordian Knot" Issue, that Others erroneously Took for almost "Mission Impossible", as Also this Previously "Blocked" EU Brussels' Exceptional July 2020 Summit, which Succeeded, Nevertheless, to Finally Strike a Deal, (Comp. Supra), as, mutatis-mutandis, History teaches us  !...

 alexander_the_greats_statue_thessaloniki_greece_eurofora_screenshot_400

(Alexander the Great statue, ThessaloNiki SeaPort, Greece)

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gordian_knot_rock_group_400  

("GORDIAN KNOT" Group of Rock Music, Berkeley California, First, 1999 Album :

After a "Hard" Beginning,  it all Becomes much Softer and Lively, as it Goes On...)

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UMamvozbIJY

 

(../..)

 

("Draft-News")

 

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