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Home arrow newsitems arrow French Minister Gourault to EF on Cohesion, Digital, Quality of life in Aachen Treaty + EU Election

French Minister Gourault to EF on Cohesion, Digital, Quality of life in Aachen Treaty + EU Election

Written by ACM
Monday, 11 February 2019
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*Strasbourg/ENA/Angelo Marcopolo/- French Territorial Cohesion Minister, Jacqueline Gourault, Replying to an "Eurofora" Question at a Press-Point after her Lecture in the prestigious "ENA" Top Senior Officers' Higher Education Institution of the National State, Headquartered in Strasbourg, including its International/European Sections, stressed the potential Importance of both Franco-German and Europe-wide Programs for the Development of Rural and other Areas, including by the Spread and Use of Modern Digital Technologies, starting by the forthcoming, May 2019, EU Electoral Issues at stake :

                                                   

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- "Eurofora" had pointed to the Fact that the competent French Minister had just attributed a particular Importance to Digital Networks, while speaking about Territorial Cohesion to a numerous Audience in ENA's fully-packed main Auditorium "Michel Debré", corresponding to EU's current "Big Issue" about Digitalisation Policies, but also to the recent Franco-German Cooperation/Integration "Aachen Treaty", signed by President Macron and Chancellor Merkel, added to "Quality of Life" in France's large and Beautiful Natural Landscapes, the Widest in Europe, (here, near to Germany's landmark "Black Forest" Green Mountainous areas).

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- Minister Gourault had, indeed, mentioned, inter alia, also that a recent "Fusion" between Various pre-existing Public Services, inside a New "Agency for Territorial Cohesion", included from Craftmanship, and Local Authorities, etc, up to Digital Networks, expressing the Wish that, f.ex., the "G4" Network would have Spread all over the entire National Territory, "until 2020".

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- "Certainly", Jacqueline Gourault replied to the above-mentioned "Eurofora"s Question, firmly.


 - "As you noted yourself, in the Aachen Treaty there are relevant Cooperation Projects between the two Countries".


+ "And, this goes, also, even inside the European Union in general".


=> "Thus, it's a valuable Asset, those Sharing Technologies, which are absolutely indispensable, in order to ameliorate, also, the Quality of Life for all Europeans".


>>> "So, I guess that this will be one of the Issues in the forthcoming European (Electoral) Campaign, which will be Soon anounced", the French Miister highlighted in conclusion, at the foreseable Future.       

                 
    Already, French President Emmanuel Macron, had personaly concluded and signed certain Key Agreeents with Strasbourg's Region Alsace, precisely for the Digitalisation of surrounding Rural Areas, at the Countryside, as early as since he was Economy Minister, back on 2016, (See "Eurofora"'s NewsReport from that event at : http://www.eurofora.net/newsflashes/news/strasbourgregionpresidentrichertandfrencheconomyministermacrononhighspeedinternet.html , etc). Macron had evoked, on that occasion, the idea that Broadband in Natural Countryside, helps also develop Human Productivity.


    + Significantly, the French Minister's visit to Strasbourg, (which continued, during the Afternoon, also at the National Institute for Territorial Studies: INET), arrives in the Same Week that EU Pariament's plenary session here (11-14 February 2019) is due to examine, inter aiia, a relevant, important Report on the "2021-2027 European Funds for Regional Development and Cohesion, co-authored by MEPs Constanze Krehl and Andrey Novakov, a Socialdemorat and a ChristanDemocrat, from Germany and Bulgaria, respectively, which has been prepared in the Committee on Regional Development, Chaired by Liberal MEP Iskra Michaylova.

 

 

(../..)

 

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    The recent paradox of freezing EU Talks with front-runner Croatia, while continuing controversial EU - Turkey talks, despite Zagreb's acceptance of Refugees' Human Rights to return, that Ankara refuses fex. in Cyprus, while both have "Good Neighborhood" problems vis a vis Slovenia, or Greece, Cyprus and Armenia respectively, can it be justified by the non-fullfilment of EU criteria, as Slovenia says, or, is it "Double Standards" ?    

The question became unavoidable after statements by Presidents of Slovenia and Croatia, Tuerk and Mesic, respectively, to "EuroFora", exclusively or among Strasbourg's journalists this week at the CoE, on the sidelines of its 2009 Summer University for Political Schools, which topically brought them together as successive key-note speakers.


    Comming only a few Months before EU checks Turkey's compliance to its commitments on Cyprus, etc., scheduled for December 2009, this obviously has a special importance for the coherence of EU Enlargement's principles.

     Suspension of EU Negotiations is a normal consequence in case of a Candidate Country's failure to fullfil EU Conditions, such as "Good Neighborhood relations", stressed at first Slovenian President Danilo Tuerk, current CoE's chair.

    But, regarding EU's Criteria,  there shouldn't be any "Double Standards",  reacted Croatian President Stjepan Mesic, commenting the fact that Turkey's controversial EU negotiations continue, while they were recently "freezed" in the case of Croatia, an "unquestionably European Country", which oficially accepts to respect Refugees Human Rights, contrary to Ankara's notorious refusals or reluctance.                                       

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                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                           - "EU itself has set as a Criterium (for EU Enlargement) the "Good Neighborhood relations",  and their absence justifies the "Suspension" EU Negotiations, (f.ex. with Croatia), because of a Border dispute affecting the territorial integrity of an EU Member Country, stressed Slovenian President, Danilo Tuerk, CoE's Chairman in office (May - November 2009), speaking to Journalists in Strasbourg including "EuroFora".    

Questioned earlier what "consequences on EU's Enlargement policy" can have the "Ban on EU Membership Negotiations", imposed to Croatia, Tuerk replied that "this question comes down to the fulfillement of (EU) Criteria for membership. One has to look at each Candidate Country ., from the point of view whether it fullfils the Criteria that EU has set. One of them are Good Neighborhood Relations, I'd like to remind. And also, there are other factors, such as Justice, Home affairs, Rule of Law, and others".


    - "Now, ..Candidate Countries are at Different Levels of fulfillement of Criteria", he observed.

    - " Croatia is obviously the closest to that. I'm rather optimistic : I think that in the coming Months we'll have an opportunity to look at all these issues constructively and hopefully we'll be able to make progress". "My main concern, at this point, is the situation in Bosnia : We haven't seen enough progres domesticaly. We haven't seen enough during ..political parties within their country.We need a New Energy, a new energetic move towards the Candidature for EU membership. "Other (Western Balkan) Countries (Serbia, Montenegro, FYROM, Albania) have been making soaring Progress, and I think that they should be ready, in a few Years, for the Candidate status".

    - "As far as the Western Balkans are concerned, .. nobody should be left outside" the EU, Slovenian's President concluded, ommitting to mention Turkey's controversial EU bid.

    - "This process may be seen as Slow, but..  Slovenia has also has also been exposed to various "Booms of Slowness" in our accession period. But now we can say that the process was relatively quick, because changes which occur after becoming EU member, are quite large, and they require proper Preparations before the (EU) membership becomes a new factor, an impacting line for a new (EU) member country".
----------------------------

EU "Solidarity" ?
------------------------------   

Slovenian statements made some participants from certain 3rd Countries as FYROM, etc. claim that "the Principle of EU Solidarity" would "produce a.. rising European Union Nationalism (sic !), against Non-EU Countries", as they said, asking unhappy foreign countries to form a "bloc" to exert pressure on the EU...    

But Croatian President Stjepan Mesic dismissed that, supporting "EU Integration", "after the Economy also in Political" issues, as "the achievement" of our times. In EU there is "diversity, but it's United", he stressed, "EU has to be United so that it can become a central factor of Peace" also at the surrounding areas, he replied.

croatian_president_mesic_ 

Speaking later exclusively to "EuroFora", the experienced twice President of Croatia, former President of the International "Non-Aligned" movement, denounced "Double Standards" in the way EU treats recently Croatia compared to Turkey :   

 - "I think that there shouldn't be Double Standards", stressed the Croatian President, in reply to a Question comparing the freeze of EU - Croatia talks, with the continuation of EU - Turkey talks, despite the fact that Croatia is an "unquestionably European country", while Turkey's EU bid is notoriously controversial.


    Mesic was reacting to the observation that, even if he confirmed his "respect of Refugees' Human Rights to return, etc. (See infra), nevertheless, EU talks are suspended with Croatia.. While for oher, controversial candidates, who refuse to respect Refugees' Rights to return, etc., as fex. Turkey does in occupied Cyprus and elsewhere, EU negotiations continue".

    - "I believe that Croatia's accession will confirm that all European Countries who fulfill all of the Conditions and achieve European Standards, have to join the EU. There shouldn't be any Double Standards", went on to add in reply President Mesic.

    In this relation, Croatia's President found "of paramount importance", CoE's "mechanisms enforcing ECHR's judgements"
    
    - "On Refugees and Displaced persons, the process will be completed only after the last person demanding to return will be allowed to do so !", President Mesic Croatia stressed earlier, setting a general standard of obvious importance also for otherr candidates, as f.ex. Turkey, often accused to exclude or heavily restrict Greek Cypriot Displaced persons' return to their Family Homes and ancestral land, provoke difficulties to Turkish-Kurd IDPs return to their home regions at the South-East, etc.

    Some "2.000 People are still reported Missing" in former Yugoslavia, for some Years, (as in Cyprus, modern Europe's oldest case, for 3 Decades. Nagorno-Karabach, Tcecnya in Russia, etc, more recently), and Investigations "will only be completed after establishing the fate of the last one of them", he added.
    
    Speaking earlier on "War Crimes", President Mesic stressed that "Leaders are responsible for (the) Wars (of the Past), not the People", and called against Impunity :  "Individuals have to be held Responsible for Crimes. International Penal Tribunals have to persecute those individuals", perpetrators of War Crimes, he underlined.

    Such statements naturally made Mesic rather popular at ECHR, whose President, French EuroJudge, Professor Jean-Paul Costa, looked particularly smiling when he welcomed him later on Wednesday afternoon, after Slovenian President Daniko Tuerk earlier this week.
           

***

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