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Home arrow newsitems arrow French Economy Minister Le Maire to EF+ on €uroZone Pact for Growth/Innovation, in Wider EU Overhaul

French Economy Minister Le Maire to EF+ on €uroZone Pact for Growth/Innovation, in Wider EU Overhaul

Written by ACM
Friday, 06 September 2019

*Strasbourg/Euro-Fair/Angelo Marcopolo/- Speaking to Journalists, including "Eurofora", at a Press-point during the Inauguration of Strasbourg's 2019 popular EuroFair, experienced French Minister of Economy and Finances, Bruno Le Maire stressed Mainly the Need to Boost Growth and Innovation in €uroZone, in the Context of a Wider Critical Review of EU's Potential and Shortcomings, which must be overcome asap, in his domain, in order to Become Able to Efficiently Face Both Economic and Political Challenges in the forseeable Future, as he said Earlier in his Official Speech, largely attended, at Strasbourg's ReNovated Palace for Congresses and Music, near EU Parliament.


 - Just After Saluting kindly "Eurofora", Bruno Le Maire noted, at his "Press Point", that he "came in Strasbourg to speak about European Issues, because there is a major Challenge that we have to face : the current  weakness of Growth in the €uroZone".

- "That's why we have made certain Proposals, (together with President Macron), and mainly to launch a Pact for Growth in €uroZone, for more Prosperity and Jobs thoughout all Member Countries of €urozone".  

- In this regard, "Each one should act in a Responsible way :"

-  I.e., "those who have to Restore their Public Finances, should restore them. That's the 1st Pillar".

- "Those who should make Structural Reforms, they do make them : That's the 2nd Pillar, and that's what we are doing nowadays in France, by Multiplying the Structural Reforms which ameliorate the Competitivity of our Economy", as he said-

- "Then, the 3rd Pillar, it's for those who have Budgetary Leeways, (Margins/Playing Field), with their Public Finances Balanced : They should immediately make More Investments, on Innovation, Research, New Technologies, in order to allow to all €uroZone to get more Impetus in Economy, and, therefore, become more Prosperous"

+ In Fact, "it's Not Only Economy, which is at Stake. It's Also the Political life which is at Stake", he Warned :

- F.ex. "if, Today, Populists are Booming in Europe, it's Also Because we doN't bring yet Sufficient Replies, to our Citizens, concerning the Economy", i.e., "Prosperity, Employment, Purchasing power, (etc), that they Rightfully Expect"...

>>> Indeed, "we caN't claim that <<Europe is the Solution>>, and", at the same time, "doN't make any Move, when Growth in Europe is close to Zero !", he criticized.

=> That' why, "France is at the ForeFront of all those States which want More Growth, and advances Proposals, which, naturaly, are to be Discussed. They are not a "Revealed (Divine) Truth", but, at least, let's Discuss them Together",

"and let's do it during the Next Meeting of €uroZone's Economy/Finances' Ministers at Helsinki", (on September 13-14, 2019),

in order to say What Collective Decisions we must take, Nowadays, We, i.e. the 19 Member States of €uroZone, in order to have More Growth", he announced.

+ It's in this Context, that the French Minister also told "Eurofora", that more concrete matters concerning, f.ex., the Development of certain Key "Digital" Technologies, should be considered "Later-On", during the following steps, in the forseeable Future.


-"Eurofora"s relevant Question meant to point at the Topical and Strategic Issue of Smart-Phones' Operating Systems (OS) in a Fast-Growing Global Market, where the Recent Quarrel between USA's "Adroid" OS dominated by "Google", and Chinese "Huawei" Telecom Giant, which notoriously led the Latter to Start Launching an Alternative OS, "Harmony", was Both an Opportunity and a Challenge, for France and all Europe to, at last, Prepare and Launch also an Independent, European SmartPhones' brand New OS, as a matter of Economy, but also "Digital Sovereignity", and Strategic Technology Development, given France and Other EU Countries' (f.ex. Scandinavian, etc) Capabilities in certain Software products.

- Following that, surprisingly, even Bruno Le Maire's experienced Press Spokesman, told "Eurofora" that, in his view, France and all Europe didn't seem to have yet any Really Developed and Competitive products in That key Area, at least Until Now. But, in Fact, already since the October 2013 EU Summit in Brussels, i.e. just When the World-Famous Eduard Snowden-revealed Scandal of Global Surveillance, by USA's Digital Monitoring, of all SmartPhones and other Internat Data in the World, including Europe, had just erupted, the mainstream German Medias, (as, f.ex., the Newspaper "Die Welt", etc), in a Ground-Breaking Attempt to systematically Search and Promote various Relevant Independent European, Alternative Digital products, a priori Considered to have a Good Potential and More Safety, they included, on the Key Issue of Smart-Phones OS, mainly a ...French Company's Software, nick-named "Lin-Phone", already produced at Grenoble, on the Basis of the European Computer OS "Linux", inviting to Use and Support its further development !...



+ In Wider, and more Fundamental Terms, Bruno Le Maire had Focused, Today in Strasbourg, from the Outset, at "the European Project", which should, as he said, "Respect its Nations" and "Better Coordinate" them, as well as be "Re-Founded" in order to "Become Stronger", since "the Status Quo is Impossible Today", particularly when "Giants like f.ex. China" are emerging at a Global Horizon.

- In such conditions, when we see, f.ex., that some inside EU Commission committed such "Strategic Errors" as to "Refuse us the Project of Alsthom and Siemens" Fusion on High-Speed Trains, (for so-called "Competition" claims inside the EU), it becomes Evident that things Must Change, he Denounced. Indeed, "Eurofora" remembers well a Recent period, when France and Germany were still in Competition between them on Selling such High Speed Trains' technology to China, (Comp., f.ex., relevant Statements of a French Presidential Counselor, from Elysee Palace, to "Eurofora", during 10/2012 EU Summit in Brussels, at: http://www.eurofora.net/newsflashes/news/frenchpresidentsdipomaticadvisoronchina.html, etc), while Nowadays, it is ...China itself which Exports, even towards Europe, such High Speed Trains, having, Meanwhile, developed its own Huge Business, which threatens to Become the Biggest in the World, as Bruno Le Maire has also Earlier pointed out at EU Parliament in Strasbourg, (See, f.ex.: http://www.eurofora.net/newsflashes/news/taxgafaandbuildeudigitaltech.html, etc).

- He added, to that, even the Different, but almost Synchronous, Issue of "Solar Panels", where China also Bypassed recently Europe, after some in EU Commission reportedly left the EU Producers without protection : - "They told us that France, Germany and Italy should not Subsidize our Producers of Solar Panels, while, at the Same Time, China and USA were heavily subsidizing their businesses", he Denounced.

- "We (EU) have to Review our Competition Rules, in order to allow to European Businesses to Face the Giant Chinese or American competitors" at a Global level, he stressed, on these occasions. "We are in favour of Free Trade Rules, but they should be applied in Terms of Reciprocity, f.ex. concerning on Markets' Opening to Competition", the French Minister added.



=> More Generally, Fustigating the "Hesitations to Decide", inside some EU Institutions, including EU Parliament, Bruno Le Maire Criticized a Trend to hold "Long Talks, Time Consuming Discussions, withOut Reaching the required Decisions", (something which feeds "EuroScepticism", as he said), and Launched a Call for the EU for "Less Discussions, but More Decisions !"

>>> A Topical Example is that of the so-called "Digital Tax", particularly on some Foreign, Multi-National Companies at the Internet, which "have Not Employees, Neither Installations in Europe", But Ripe remotely the abundant Original Digital Data that they Find Here, "Making several Billions $ of Profits", "WithOut Paying for Taxes in Europe but Only a Few Cents !", as he Denounced.

- "We (EU) are Talking about that During More than 2 Years !" And, Inside EU Council, we've arrived at a (Big) Majority of 24 Member States against Only 4". However, the only "Result is : No Decision !"...

=> In consequent, "the Time has Come to Pass from Unanimity to Qualified Majority" in EU's Decision-Making, "so that the Majority bypasses a Minority", he Urged, largely Applauded, by a Numerous Audience in Strasbourg's "PMC" Center.

+ Even Worse is "an Incapacity to Coordinate and Take the necessary Collective Decisions : F.ex., "the 19 €uroZone's Member States, canNot be Satisfied by a Situation withOut enough Growth and/or Employment", nowadays.

=> Therefore, "I Proposed, and will ANew Propose, Next Week, at Helsinki('s Ministerial EU Meeting) an €uroZone Pact", the French Minister announced.

- Indeed, "Whoever thinks that We (myself and my Collegues) would stay withOut Doing Anything, to Only Watch the Growth Falling Down, Jobs to be Destroyed, with a Low Inflation, and Negative (sic !) Interest Rates, WithOut Proposing Nothing to Boost the European Growth, and create Prosperity in Europe, has got it Wrong !", he warned.

- Because, in fact, "We have the Will, and are Determined to Persist in proposing Solutions against such a Lack of Impetus at nowadays €uroZone's Economy, which Harms Everybody involved", he stated Firmly.

 - "The Ways that we are proposing, are Far from Any Irresponsible act : On the Contrary, they point Sharply at the Responsibilities of Each one : F.ex., those Countries which have to Put in Order their Public Finances, they Must Do so. That's the case also for France". "The 2nd Pillar of these Proposals is to say that Those Countries of €urozone, which, despite Belonging in the most Prospere Region of the World, are No More Competitive, Must, Now, Make all those Structural Reforms and Transformations which would allow them to Gain in Competitivity : That's what We have been Doing in France, Since 2 Years now", (f.ex., in Taxing Jobs, or Capital, in Education, Qualifications, etc), in order to Face that Challenge. And there is also a 3rd Pillar, which, apparently, has some more Difficulties to be accepted, for those Countries which have a Budgetary margin of manouvre (i.e. larger Surplus), particularly Germany, should Invest More".

- In fact, "it's Germany's Interest to Invest more in Europe. Otherwise, What's the use to have a Balanced Budget, if your Growth Weakens", since "your Neighbouring European Countries canNot Benefit from Your Economic Impetus ?", he Wondered, (F.ex. provoking Less Exports to Impoverished Countries of its neighbourhood, etc). "I wish that Germany, and All Member States which have that Budgetary Margins, Invest More, in the Months and Years to come, Because, more Innovations, Investments and Growth, would Not Only develop a more Dynamic Economy, but also Face the Political Challenge of Populism growing all over Europe", he urged.


- However, as "accross several Other EU Countries, there might be, more or less, Political Instability, Chaos, or Complicated Alliances, etc, nevertheless, Countries which have a Stable Political Situation, and Solid Institutions, as France, have a particular Responsibility", Bruno Le Maire added. Indeed, while "Other Nations Faced various Crisis or Difficalties, on the Contrary, we (France) remained Steady : It's Our Number 1 Advantage in Europe", he stressed, pointing to De Gaulle's Presidential Constitutional System since 1958, Strengthened even further by Jacques Chirac's 2002 Reform (which practically Excluded shaky "Co-Habitations" between Politically Opposed Parties).

=> "We should put that at the Service of our Compatriots, as well as of our Mission in Europe, he concluded in his official Speech.


+ Questioned, Later, on the foreseeable Future of Strasbourg's Euro-Fair, during a subsequent Press-Point, Bruno Le Maire, (who has Studied and Worked in the Past in Strasbourg, as he reminded), found that Such Events are even more Necessary Today, in the Digital era, than ever !"

- "I don't believe in DesIncarnated Societies. People need to be able to Meet Together, Shake Hands, Speak to eachother, and hold a Dialogue. That's what such Euro-Fairs are made for, and Strasbourg is a good Meeting Place. People can speak and exchange about Perspectives in Economy, Jobs, etc., according to Alsacian (Strasbourg's Area) Traditional Culture of conviviality, that France (and Europe) still Need Today", he concluded,

- before Jumping, gaily, into 2019 Strasbourg Euro-Fair's Best Stands, naturally Starting from "the Delicious Garden"s Tasting, since it was, already, late for Lunch Time...


+ Quite Logically, "Eurofora" anew Met a Smiling Le Maire, Later-on, at a Pittoresque Stand for Alsace Region's Fresh Vegetables and Fruits' Natural Juices, immediaTely treated by smooth Electric Devices, (which Tested really Delicious and Healthy, from what we could judge on the spot)...




This positively concluded a 2019 additional Press Contact with that Experienced French Minister of Economy, formerly on AGriculture, and even EU Affairs, from whom, "Eurofora" had AlReady Published various Replies that he kindly gave to our Questions on several Topical Issues, as Early as Since 2008. F.ex.: http://www.eurofora.net/newsflashes/news/shipgas.html), as Also, among others, http://www.eurofora.net/newsflashes/news/frenchministerlemaireonagriculturalpotential.html (2012), http://www.eurofora.net/newsflashes/news/internationalpressdebateongermanelection.html (Paris, 2013), etc., while Covering, in Addition, varous Other Press Statements, as, f.ex.: http://www.eurofora.net/newsflashes/irish/sarkobigprojects.html (2008), http://www.eurofora.net/newsflashes/irish/2009_2010.html (1/2009), http://www.eurofora.net/brief/brief/blablablablabla.html (4/2009), Moreover Meeting and briefly Exchanging with him, also when we was Together with President Macron, during the "G20" Summit in Hambourg, on 2017, (Comp: http://www.eurofora.net/newsflashes/news/macrontoprotectcyprusisraelenergyforeurope.html), or during his Visit to EU Parliament and Strasbourg's City Hall, with EU Commission's Vice-President Vestager, on 10/2018, (http://www.eurofora.net/newsflashes/news/taxgafaandbuildeudigitaltech.html), etc.






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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.


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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