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Home arrow newsitems arrow EUParliament moves on Defence, Space, Research, EU-China invest. eve of World Materials Summit (CoE)

EUParliament moves on Defence, Space, Research, EU-China invest. eve of World Materials Summit (CoE)

Written by ACM
Thursday, 10 October 2013



*Strasbourg/EU Parliament/Angelo Marcopolo/- In a spectacular series of Converging, sudden Accelerations in Scientific Research, Technology Development and Innovation-related moves, EU Parliament voted here this week new Reports on Defence and Space policies, discussed the Completion of EU's Research Area and the forthcoming October 24-25 EU Brussels' Heads of State/Government Summit, and voted for EU - China Investment Agreement Negotiations to start, as well as on EU's Foreign Policy and the UNO Summit on Climat, scheduled for November in Poland, (etc), at the eve of an important World Materials Summit, due to bring together Top Scientists, Big Industries and European/Global Policy-Makers, next week at the CoE in Strasbourg, in order to boost International Cooperation on Innovations for Energy, sustainable Growth and Climat, (See, already : http://www.eurofora.net/newsflashes/news/euscientistsforglobalcooperationprepareworldsummit.html ).


Even if most, if not all these moves might have been scheduled earlier, however, it's not surprising that they emerge shortly after popular German Chancellor Angie Merkel brilliantly won almost an Absolute Majority (minus only 4 Votes !) at the latest National Elections for the Bundestag in Berlin, where she has just published her 1st podcast since her re-election, focusing mainly on "Debt-Free Investment in Education and Research for an Economic Growth through Innovation", while French President Hollande receives, in parallel in Paris, the conclusions of a "2030 Innovation" Committee on the main areas where France and the EU could develop Key-role activities at a Global level in the foreseable Future.


+ More might be expected soon, given also the Fact that, this October 2013, MEPs Exceptionaly hold Two (2) Weekly Sessions in Strasbourg, the Next one, which follows just a Week later, is due to have to Debate and Vote on a much Greater Number of Reports/Resolutions, as EU Parliament's sources warned "EuroFora"...


- "Article 189" of Lisbon EU Treaty (which entered into force since 2010) gives to the EU an explicit role in drawing up a European Space policy, in order to promote Scientific and Technical progress, Industrial

Competitiveness and the Implementation of its policies", stresses from the outset the new Report on "EU Space Industrial Policy: Releasing the Potential for Growth in the Space Sector", drafted by German MEP Angelika Niebler, of the Governing ChristianDemocrat/Social Party, which was adopted at the beginning of this week by EU Parliament's Industry, Research and Energy Committee in Strasbourg.


As one among many Concrete points, f.ex., concerning Materials, this Report underlies the Need, in the Space sector, to find Substitutes for several "REACH" Regulatuton-listed Raw Materials, mainly by inventing sufficient "Innovative Materials" by using the RDI "Horizon 2020" Programme.

Something which going precisely in the direction of next Week's "World Materials Summit", whose Organizers note that EU Commission has identified especially Advanced Materials as one out of 6 Key Enabling Technologies ensuring that European Industry can compete succesfully on the Global stage", since "Mastering Advanced Materials helps to Transform mature as well as new, innovative Industries from Resource-Intensive to Knowledge-Intensive ones".

Niebler's Report concludes by pointing also at Concrete Applications, mainly about Satellites, as well as by calling to "Increase Space Research efforts, in particular in Breakthrough technologies", while also "supporting the Development of Alternative technologies to those of Competitors", (etc).


+ At the same time, EU Parliament's Industry, Research and Energy Committee also adopted a series of suggesstions for French ChristianDemocrat/EPP MEP Jean-Pierre Audy's Draft Report on the "Technological and Industrial Base of EU Defence", due to be voted soon by the Foreign Affairs Committee :

- "Europeans, United by a shared Destiny, need to be able to Defend themselves", and, therefore, "should ... step up European Cooperation with a view to Developing World-Leading military and security Capabilities using the most Advanced Technologies, including those which draw on the latest Research"; Audy's Draft Report stresses from the outset. 


(Audy + Quinn - Archives' Photo)

=> In consequence, it "Emphasises the Importance of Research and innovation in the security and Defence sector", which seems due to play an interesting role in the forthcoming December 2013 EU Heads of State/Government Summit scheduled to focus on EU's CFSDP.

+ Moreover, EU Parliament's voted draft Resolution " calls ...to Support those Industrial and Technological Bases of the Defence industry which are Necessary for the production of certain Equipment for which Strategic Autonomy and operational Sovereignty need to be retained".

- F.ex., among manhy other concrete examples, also "to ensure that IT Components and computer Programmes are made in the EU; so that they are less vulnerable to Cyber Attacks"; and, "convinced that Space plays an Essential role in the Defence and security sector; (MEPs) stress.. the importance of maintaining a Space Industry which is Innovative and Technologically Advanced"; (etc).


At present, it's all the "European Research Area" (ERA) in general, which seems to arrive "at a Crossroads", needing and waiting for imminent Strategic Political Decisions :

- We are all "looking to the (EU) Council, at the End of this Month (24-25 October 2013 Brussels' Heads of State/Government Summit), to give us the kind of Strong Conclusions that will Drive us Forward", that "can give" a "kind of Impetus", stressed the competent EU Commissioner for Research, Mrs Maire Geoghegan-Quinn (from Ireland), in a subsequent EU Parliament's Plenary Debate on the "European Research Area", pointing to the fact that in this forthcoming EU Summit "Innovation is on the Agenda", and, in this regardn "Nothing is Off the Table, Everything is On the table", as she observed in reply to MEPs' Questions.

- Sharing with MEPs, after "a very Lively Debate" with "a Lot of Speakers" at EU Parliament's DPlenary, the same "Feeling" of "Impatience at the Lack of Progress and a great sense of Urgency about what Needs to be done", EU Commissioner Quinn, pointed at "the 1st ERA Progress Report, ... adopted on 20 September", which "comes to some very Interesting Findings" : "F.ex., (Member States') National Research programmes still operate according to Different Rules, for example on reporting, which makes Transnational research Cooperation Difficult. There are a host of Barriers to research and Mobility, including very Limited accessibility to Grants by non-nationals" EU Citizens. In addition, "Open, Transparent and Merit-based Recruitment practices are still Not broadly implemented for all research positions. F.ex, only 10% of Vacancies are Advertised at European level via the EURAXESS jobs portal", she denounced, Criticizing also "the Difference in Salaries and the Brain Drains", which mark an "Innovation Divide" that we (EU) must "Combat", (etc).

=> - That's why, at present, "we (EU Commission) are Pushing the (EU) Member States to provide the Data and information that we Lack, (in order) to carry out a More Robust exercise" : "We will take a long, Hard look at what progress has been made and, on that basis, I will make Recommendations" Quinn anounced for "Next Year" (2014). Then, "we (EU) are going to have (a) Major Reflexion, .. so that, in other words, it's Crunch Time for ERA next year", because "we (EU) will need to take some very Tough Decisions", and "All 0ptions are on the Table, and Nothing is ruled Out". But, "whatever we (EU Commission) decide to do, the European Parliament is going to be a very important Partner", as she promissed.



+ Meanwhile, an interesting new opportunity was however given recently, when EU Commissioners Hahn and Quinn worked together in order to make it possible, "for the 1st time", to "Match" EU Structural and Horizon 2020 Funds, for various aspects of one Project, she observed. (I.e. practically allowing f.ex. indebted EU Member Countries to both Reform their Economy and Invest in Scientific/Technological Innovations, at the same moment, as "EuroFora" had been advising to various Ministers and/or EU Officials, inspired by a Key-remark made by German Chancellor Angie Merkel at a Press Conference during a 2012 EU Summit in Brussels).


+ But, meanwhile, it's also an Outward, overall look for the Development of EU's Scientific Research and Technology, which occupied EU Parliament's attention this week, focusing on Big Concrete issues, such as, particularly the adoption by MEPs of a Mandate for EU Commission to start Negotiations with China for an Investment Agreement :

- MEPs being obviously Glad that a recent row on Solar Panels was succesfully overcome by a Deal agreed this Summer, (Comp. f. ex. : http://www.eurofora.net/newsflashes/news/euscientistsforglobalcooperationprepareworldsummit.html ), EU Parliament's Resolution "Calls on the EU and on China to pursue a Well-Balanced relationship of Partnership, .. and Mutual Benefits, rather than engaging in Confrontational Competition", and, therefore, "Welcomes the (recent) Strengthening of Economic Relations between the EU and China".

-The main Direction for such adequate Solutions is given by "a large Number of Shared Interests and Common Challenges", which are included in "the Development Goals expressed in China's 12th Five-Years Plan, and the "Europe 2020" Strategy" :


=> It results that "a Higher Level of Integration and Technological Exchanges, between the EU and the Chinese Economies, could lead to Synergies and Mutual Benefits", EU Pariament rightfully points out.

- In particular, by ensuring also a -"crucial" for the EU side- "due Protection of Intellectual Property Rights", as well as Elementary Social Rights and Environmental Standards, etc., "a Greater degree of Integration of the European and Chinese Economies", "would be" "Fostered" in a "Mutually Beneficial" way, "on the Basis of a more Strategic approach to Economic Cooperation, that isOriented, among other things, towards Environment-Friendly Technology and Innovation", stressed Wednesday's MEPs' Vote.


>>> This Strategic "Pivot" point Fits perfectly well with the main aim of an exceptional "World Summit" with Top Scientists, Big Businesses and European/International Policy-Makers, organized next week in Strasbourg at the PanEuropean CoE, by the International Union of Material Research Societies and those of the EU (EMRS), Russia, China, India, Africa and Brazil, as well as UNESCO, EU, CoE. and with the participation of American a.o. Officials, in order to focus on concrete Proposals for International Cooperation in various areas of Innovative Materials, as Enabling Technology for Global Competitiveness, key for safe Energy and Sustainable Development, (See, already : http://www.eurofora.net/newsflashes/news/euscientistsforglobalcooperationprepareworldsummit.html ).


Co-organized for the 1st time in the Pan-European Capital of Strasbourg, the "World Materials Summit"(WMS) was initiated in Portugal's capital city Lisbon on 2007, but developed further-on in China's economic capital Shanghai on 2009, and recently in USA's Washington DC on 2011, always held at October's first half, before its forthcoming arrival at the CoE on 14-15/10/201. It will hear keynote Speakers from a large variety of Top Decision-makers Worldwide, includiing, f.ex. EU Commissioner for Industry and Space Tajani (from Italy), FAO's Climate-Energy Director Yao, CEA's Research Director Crean, UNESCO's assictant Director-General for Natural Sciences, Kalonji, and Academy of Science's Heads from Russia : vice-President Alferov (Nobel Physics Laureat 2000), France : President Brechignac, Poland : President Kleiber, (also Chief of European Materials Forum : EFM), Morocco : Bousmina, India : Raj, (etc), USA's National Science Foundation's Director on Materials : Galvin, Brazil's CAPES President Giomaraes, European Materials Research Society's (EMRS) President Martins (from Portugal), Chinese MRS' Secretary General Han, Africa's MRS immediate Past President Zimba, MIT's Dresselhaus, and ENSCP's professor Amouroux, International Nuclear Fusion project ITER's Director : Orlandi ; European Science Foundation's President Olmling, South Africa's Science/Technology Department Chief Director on Hydrogen+Energy: Sita ; EU Parliament's STOA Committee President : De Campos, and long-time EU Research Rapporteur Linkhor, as well as EU Parliament's Rapporteurs for "Horizon 2020" RST program, Carvalho, and on Shale Gas, Tzavela ; EU Council President's Chief Scientific advisor Glover, French Minister of Research : Fioraso, Alsace Region's vice-President on Economy/Technology, former Research + Trade Minister, long-time Head of France's Energy/Environment Agency ADEME : Loos, and other leading actors of relevant Global Economic Players such as BMW-Toyota, FIAT, VW, Areva, BASF, Audi, EON, Yingli (China), USA's Advanced Resources International, etc.


Focusing now on Advanced Materials, able to transform Industries in Knowledge-intensive, (representing, just for the EU, an estimated Market Value of 646 Billions € back on 2008 and projected to grow up to over 1 Trillion € by 2015), the 2013 World Summit is due to deal with Topical issues such as : Rare Elements/Earths, Shale Gas, Bio-Mass and Synthetic Fuels ("SynFuel"), Electricity production and management, Carbon recovery and Energy Storage, Future Cars, Batteries and Light Materials, etc. by combining Keynote Presentations with Panel Discussions among top Experts and exchanges with invitees, in order to conclude on current Needs for International Cooperation, Top Scientists discussing how to power the World with Electricity, including from Solar RES, while also Reducing C02 in Atmosphere, followed by European/Global Policy Makers' final word, and resulting in concrete Recommendations on Scientific, Technological and Industrial issues with proposals for Inter-Governemental Cooperation, due to be Published and sent to International Policy-Makers and Key Economic Players.


In practice, the main organisational team has as central pivot Strasbourg-based experienced EMRS' Secretary General Siffert, together with EMRS' current President professor Martins, French Professor Amouroux, and long-time CoE's Director of "EurOPA-Major Hazards" Agreement, past EMRS President and current EMF vice-President, Massué, often active also at UNO's premisses in nearby Geneva, or in Brussels, etc., a very active supporter of Science - Politics - Industry link, mainly in order to create European/International Synergy, f.ex. in protecting People and Countries against Natural and/or Man-made Major Catastrophes, (which have recently grown spectacularly, from the Armenian 1988, Turkish 1999, and Iranian 2003 Mass-Killing Earthquakes, to the 2003 French , 2010 Russian and 2013 Chinese Record-breaking, Deadly and vital Energy Infrastructure-threatening Heatwaves, USA's 2005 "Katrina" Hurricane,, the South-Asian 2004 and Japan/Fukushima 2011 Mega-"Tsunamis", as well as many other Tragic "Extreme Environment Events" -Huge Quakes 1976, 2008, Giant Rainfalls, Inondations and Mudslides, 2013 Heatwave, etc- in China and elsewhere in the World), who has often evoked, speaking to "EuroFora", also China's traditional and recent efforts to help develop New Technological means for Human Lives' and vital Infrastructures' Safety by trying to prevent, predict, alleviate and/or help restore after such Catastrophes, (largely attributed by the WMO a.o. to Climate Change), and obviously is a key-Person for efforts to boost PanEuropean and/or International Cooperation in manifold related domains, (including; f.ex., on EU - China relations : Comp. Supra).


But it's not so surprising to find at least some among those main 2013 WMS' issues (Comp. Supra), also in 2 (Energy Storage and ReCycling of Materials : strongly pushed by Professor Amourouxx a.o., particularly concerning Co2 as Future Fuel) out of 7 key areas where France and EU could become a competitive Global Key-player, reportedly according to the draft Conclusions of a "2030 Innovation Committee", chaired by Anne Lauvargeon, experienced former Areva's Head, due to be officially presented to French President Hollande these days...


(2013 Winner, Chancellor Angie Merkel, the most Popular Political leader in Germany, including among Half of "Greens" sympathizers, actively involved in ...Deep Green Coalition Talks)


Even less surprising is to observe 2013's World Materials Summit's focus on materials' Innovations for safe Energy and Sustainable Growth, respectful of Climat (comp. supra), almost at the same moment that brillantly re-elected German Chancellor Angie Merkel iscurrently trying to bridge a 4 Votes only distance to Absolute Majority, inter alia, by negotiating, for the 1st time, also with a "Green" party's leadership under Renovation Today in Berlin, after the recent National Elections for the Bundestag, (See, f.ex. : http://www.eurofora.net/newsflashes/news/germanelectionresultsandprospects.html ), as yet another converging recent event in an already long but coherent series if various exceptional facts pointing, mutatis-mutandis, towards a similar, if not the same, Direction, (Comp. Supra) ...


(The most popular "Green" political leader, Wilfried Kretschmann, Head of Strasbourg's neighbouring Laender of Baden-Württemberg, arriving to Berlin new Coalition Talks with Chancellor Angie Merkel, as seen through Phoenix German TV at EU Parliament's Pressroom in Strasbourg today)




(NDLR : "DraftNews", as already sent, earlier, to "EuroFora"s subscribers/donors. A more accurate, full Final Verion might be published asap).




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They voted to "freeze" UK Government's draft to put People in jail for 42 Days on "anti-terrorist" suspicion without charge, or they abstained. Don't they look suspect ?

CoE's debate on UK controversy stirs PanEuropean check of anti-terror suspects' imprisonment

Former Leftists of the Sixties would boil in hot water if they heard PACE's debate on the controversial 42 days detention without charge, currently drafted by the British Government :

A "Socialist" Government, a Socialist PACE Rapporteur and a Socialist Chair of PACE's Legal Committee, opposed a .. "Conservative" amendment (supported by .. Liberals, Democrats, etc), to freeze the measure, in order to protect Citizens' Freedom, by "waiting" until CoE's Venice Committee checks its conformity with Human Rights' principles.

"Left"'s support to Conservative-Lib.Dem's criticism, wasn't enough to obtain a majority, nor to make things as they were back in the good old days, when "Left" and "Right" had a clear meaning, as "liberty" and "restrictions"...

Conservatives and most Democrats were joined by the Left in voting for the "freeze", as well as Liberal Paul Rowen, while Socialist MEP Ivan Popescu, an experienced MEP from Ukraine (PACE Member since 1996-2008) abstained. But most Socialists, added to a few Liberals and EPP's Right, voted against.

Fortunately, someone inside PACE had the wise idea to shorten the Debate for less than 1 Hour, and put it on the Agenda only at the end of an exceptionally busy day, towards the end of the Evening, when most MEPs had already gone to taste wins and foods at various Receptions all around Strasbourg's "European" area : As a result, not even 42 MEPs weren't present..

Socialist Lord Tomlinson accused the leaders of the PanEuropean Assembly, in its highest body : the "Bureau", to "lack wisdom" by deciding to hold a Debate on an issue that neither the Socialist Chair of the Legal Committee, nor its Socialist "reluctant Rapporteur", did "not want to do", ...


Finally, everybody (critics and supporters alike) was happy to agree, in substance, that the controversial measure "may" gravely violate Human Rights, and therefore, PACE asked Legal Experts of Venice Commission to check UK Government''s plans.

But this might take more than .. 42 Days to do, since PACE's Rapporteur asked the Experts to enlarge their study in a PanEuropean comparison of all that is happening on "anti-terrorism" legislation in 47 CoE Member Countries, including Russia, Turkey and Azerbaidjan..

Bad lack : "The existing 28 days’ detention without charge in the UK is, in comparison with other CoE member countries, one of the most extreme : In Turkey, the period is 7,5 days, in France 6 days, in Russia 5 days, and in .. the U.S. and Canada just 2 and 1 days respectively", denounced Democrat MEP Ms WOLDSETH from Norway..


"Numerous respected human rights organisations, including Liberty and Human Rights Watch, have expressed serious concern" "The proposed legislation ...could easily lead to extensive abuses. ...Detention for 42 days means six weeks in which one is taken away from one’s family, friends, home and livelihood only to be let off without being charged. That will destroy lives and isolate communities", she added.

- "3 years ago, the UK Government sought to increase the period of pre-charge detention from 14 days to 90 days. Not long before that, it had been only 7 days. There was a vigorous debate ...and a ...compromise was reached of 28 days. We have to ask whether there are proper safeguards in place to extend the period to 42 days. I suggest that there are fatal flaws", reminded British Conservative Clappison.

- "What sort of society holds someone in detention for 42 days and does not have to tell the person who is in prison why they are there, or explain the suspicions that arose and led to their detention? What sort of society believes that that is the way to treat its citizens? That is an appalling injustice, ...A 42-day detention period will not make the UK safer. Instead, it will be the first step to giving in to terrorists; it is saying that we are prepared to sacrifice our democratic rights and the principles for which we have stood for centuries", criticized British Liberal Michael Hanckock


"Comments made ...by Norwegian delegates are unfortunate", replied British Socialist MEP Ms.Curtis-Thomas, accusing them to "besmirch the reputation of our police force, which is one of the Best in the World", as she said, believing that "there are significant safeguards ...to ensure that individuals are not subjected to unlawful detention"


PACE "has serious doubts whether ...the draft legislation are in conformity with the ...case-law of the European Court of Human Rights. A lack of ..safeguards may lead to arbitrariness, resulting in breaches of ... liberty and ...right to a fair trial". PACE "is particularly concerned that: ..the judge ..may not be in a position to examine whether there exist reasonable grounds for suspecting that the arrested person has committed an offence;"; that "... representation by a lawyer may be inappropriately restricted or delayed;" that "information on the grounds for suspicion of a person ...may be unduly withheld.. ;" that this "may give rise to arrests without the intention to charge;", and; in general, that "prolonged detention without proper information on the grounds for arrest may constitute inhuman treatment", says Klaus De Vries' Report, adopted with 29 votes against zero.


Records don't say if it took him 42 Days to draft his Report, but, at least, he knew why...


2009 EU Elections were won by Parties against Technocracy and Turkey's controversial EU bid, while the 1999-2004 Majority Abstention trend decelerated. What should be done in 2009-2014 ?


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