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Home arrow newsitems arrow Macron and Merkel appeal to "EU Citizens"/"Europeans" for a "Crucial" Year 2018+

Macron and Merkel appeal to "EU Citizens"/"Europeans" for a "Crucial" Year 2018+

Parašė ACM
Monday, January 01, 2018
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*Strasbourg/Angelo Marcopolo/- From Both sides of the Rhine river, French and German Leaders, Emmanuel Macron and Angie Merkel, (the Youngest and the most Experienced), joined their forces by launching parallel Vibrant Appeals, for the 1st Time directly addressed to "EU Citizens", speaking as "We, Europeans", etc., on the occasion of their Wishes for the New Year 2018, which point at an Horizon of forthcoming Crucial Public Debates and Moves for Europe's foreseable Future.

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 - "My dear fellow European Citizens : 2018 is a very Particular Year", because "it will be of Decisive importance on a European level", stressed from the outset French President Macron.


 - "As you know, I am fully Committed to this Fight, since I'm very deeply convinced that Europe is Good for France", and "that France can't succeed withOut a Stronger Europe" he reminded.


 >>> -  In fact, "I will Need You (EU Citizens), this Year". Because "I wish, indeed, that you'd be able to Express yourshelf, through (EU) Citizens' Consultations, (and) Say What you Want for Europe, some Months Before our European Elections" of May 2019, in order "to allow for your (EU Member Countries') Governments to Design a Great Project", he highlighted.


- Because "We Need to Find anew the European Ambition, to find a Europe with more Sovereignity, more Unity, more Democratic, because it's Good for our People".


- Indeed, "I profoundly Believe that Europe can Become that Economic, Social, Ecological and Scientific Power, which will be Able to Face China, (and) the USA, by supporting those Values which shaped our lives and are our Joint History", Macron vowed.

- "For that European UpSurge, I Need Your Determination, so that, Together, we don't yield anything, neither to (narrow-minded) nationalists, nor to euro-Sceptics"

- "As far as I'm concerned, I'll continue to Work with Each one of our European Partners, and particularly with Germany", he promised in this regard.

- Because "such an Intimate Colloquium with our German Friends is the Necessary Condition for any European Advance ; it doesn't exclude Dialogue with All our other (EU) Partners, but it's by this, that Everything Starts", he observed, (speaking just one year before UK's 2019 BREXIT).


- And "it's Necessary to Advance much Further, on that area too, Breaking up with the Habits of the Past", in order "to Find anew that shared Taste of a Future that We Decide for ourselves".


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- Making an indirect but crystal-clear Hint to a Method strikingly Similar to "Eurofora"'s 1997-2017 Project (for Public Debates between Citizens and EU Institutions Before they take Important Decisions affecting their lives or Society at large), Macron, characteristically promised, as far as the Decision-Making Process is concerned, to "Respect, and Always Listen" to "Many among you (Citizens) who don't share such a Policy Today". And "I'll make sure that All Debates take place, and All Voices - even Dissident - are Heard. But ... I won't stop Acting : I'll Always Listen, I'll Explain our situation and its Realities, i'll Respect (People's Views), and, at the End (of that Process), I'll Do, because that's what is Needed, and that's what you Expect", he described earlier, mutatis-mutandis.


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+ Almost at the Same Time, from the Other Side of Rhine river, German Chancellor Angie Merkel, stressed that "the Crucial Issue of the Coming Years" , "will be" the fact that "the 27 EU Countries (after UK's BREXIT) must be Motivated, more Strongly than ever, to Hold Together, as 1 Community".


- Indeed, regarding the "Challenges of the Future" and "the Needs of All our Citizens", "Germany's Future is InSeparable from the Future of Europe", "because the World will Not Wait for us", accross "All" main points, she observed :


- "We must Act Today to Create the Conditions ... to Thrive 10 - 15 Years from now. And (we'll) truly Thrive, when, .. Success Benefits Everyone, improving and Enhancing our Lives", the German Chancellor Highlighted :
- F.ex., "In this pursuit, the Key principle of the social market economy – that Economic Success and Social Cohesion are two sides of the same coin – can also be the Compass guiding us through this era of Digital progress".

=> "This means, on one hand: - securing existing jobs while also creating entirely new jobs for the future, - supporting companies even more when it comes to researching and developing innovative technologies, - making the state a digital pioneer,- and especially preparing ourselves and our children for digital progress through the best education and further training".


+ "And, on the other hand, it means: - focusing on Families, relieving the Financial burden on them, so that they can find an even better balance between the demands of professional and family life, - making good and dignified Care possible by strengthening the care professions and providing even better support to people who care for family members at home, - and – not least – providing for Equal living conditions in every region ..., whether in cities or in the countryside. And we will have to invest even more in a Strong state that Defends the Rules of our society, and provides for your Security – for all of our security"


>>> But the overall Main point "will be a matter of whether, WE : EUROPEANS, represent our Values in a Globalised and Digital World", Merkel characteristically underlined.


=> - "Germany and France want to work Together to make this a success, and in doing so help make Europe fit for the Future", she vowed.


- This must be done "assertively and in a spirit of Solidarity, both Internally and Externally, thus also working for an Economically Successful and Equitable Europe".


+ "As well as consistently standing up for the Protection of our External (EU) Borders, and the Security of our (EU) Citizens".


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 - In this regard, French President Macron vowed to "Win the Battle" "against the Islamist Terrorism", both in the Middle-East and at SubSaharian Africa, as well as inside Europe, but Also to "Win the Peace" at an "International" area, by "guaranteing the Stability of States, and the Respect of All Minorities".

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+ As Macron (Comp. Supra), mutatis-mutandis, Angie Merkel also pointed at "a Vibrant Democracy", "part" of which is "the Struggle to Find the right Answers", in "a Society with Many Voices, in the best sense", (i.e. via Public Debates too).

- However, "at the same time, we are United by the Values of ... Respect for the inviolable Dignity of every Individual, and of every individual's Liberties", the German Chancellor concluded.

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>>> But a Crystal-clear Common overall Concern, shared by Both Franco-German Leaders, is, for "2018," to Ensure the Social Cohesion" of EU Countries' People, as they described in extenso, (on a key point deserving a specific publication for itself).


    While "Social" measures, "Work", and "Education", etc. were cited, in this regard, from Both, Macron also added the "Need for a Cultural Imaginary of a Future, where Everyone can find his/her place".

 

(../..)
 
 
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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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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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