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Home arrow newsitems arrow French Regions Head Richert to EF:RoF New King coronated at Reims-No Digital Gap-Paris Decision asap

French Regions Head Richert to EF:RoF New King coronated at Reims-No Digital Gap-Paris Decision asap

Written by ACM
Thursday, 29 September 2016
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*Reims/Convention Palace/Angelo Marcopolo/- Experienced New President of French Regions' union, and recently Elected Head of Strasbourg's New "Great East" Region, which now Extends along the Borders of 5 European core States : France, Germany, Switzerland, Luxembourg and Belgium, (i.e, potentialy inter-Linking Geneva, Strasbourg, Luxembourg city and Brussels' European, Paneuropean and International Organisations' Headquarters in our Continent), former Minister on Territorial matters, Philippe Richert, (a ChristianDemocrat/EPP Top Politician), speaking to "Eurofora" at several occasion Today, on the sidelines of his Press Conference, Together with other Key Officials, and just after his Concluding Speach, at the 1st Annual Conventions of the recently Reformed 18 Regions of France, shortly after Fresh Elections of all their Political Leadership, (See : ..), strongly Stressed, in substance, the particular Importance of a New Period Ahead for Regional Decentralisation, Defended the Development of Digital New Networks throughout all concerned Territories, in principle against some "Digital Divide" well-known Risks, but also Pointed at the Importance for certain Crucial Final Decisions on New Big Regions' public Funding instruments, to be made by the French National Assembly in Paris during the Next few Months.

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Symbolicaly speaking in the Historic City of Reims, in whose Cathedral the World-Famous Mythic Figure of Joan of Arc had Strived to Coronate the King of France who would Liberate the Country from a former English Military Invasion and Occupation of its Western Regions in the Past, (putting an End to a "100 Years War", and Starting a Long era of Peace, between the two Neighbouring Countries), Richert, at first, Smiled at "Eurofora"s half-Joking, half-Serious Query about the Fact that, instead of guessing, during this 2-Days long Collective Top Political Gathering with freshly Elected Representatives throughout All France, perhaps, Who might be "coronated King" at the Crucial, forthcoming French Presidential Elections of April/May 2017, on the Contrary, it seems, in Conclusion of the various Developments and Anouncements made during these 2 Days, that, in real Practice, it was rather another kind of "King" that was "Consecrated" now at Reims : that of the New French Regions' union... 

reims_cathedral_by_night_during_draftnews_due_to_abnormal_eutech_funding_esperons_that_it_doesnt_wark_at_all..._400_01


- Indeed, "the former simple "Association of French Regions", "does No Longer Exist : We have Now Created the <<Regions of France>> (RoF) union my Friend", brightly Smiled President Richert, spontaneously reacting to the above-mentioned "Eurofora"'s unusual Query, speaking under "RoF"s brand New Logo...

 

 

richerts_inauguration_speech_at_reims_rof_2016_annual_convention_closer__eurofora_400

 


Philippe Richert, who is due to Topicaly Meet, Tomorrow in Strasbourg, also with his German counterpart, the Popular Winfried Kretchmann, President--Prime Minister of the Neighbouring German Länder of Baden-Wurttemberg, who has also served, until Recently, as President of the National BundesRat (Senate-like) in Berlin, which brings Together all Regional Länder of Germany, (almost as De Gaulle had notoriously wished to do also for France, with a Popular Referendum, as Early as, already Back on 1969), stressed that, in his view, the recent Advances towards a Wider Regional DeCentralisation in France, should be closely Linkes with a "Modernisation" of Regions, including in Research and New Technology, so that they would Better respond to several current Social, Economic and Political Challenges which concern Citizens Today.

 

 

reims_convention_palace_2016__eurofora_400

 


+ In this regard, inter alia, Richert was also invited by "Eurofora" to react to a Call by French Senate President Gerard Larcher, (that he had invited to Speak Today in Reims' Convention Center during the RoF's Annual Plenary Top Political Gathering), to urgently Act adequately in order to "Prevent a Gap among (various) Territories", throughout France's 18 Regions, which extend from Paris' area up even  to OverSeas Territories located f.ex. in the Indian or Pacific Oceans, or in the Caraibean, Latin-America, etc.

 senates_president_larcher_at_rofs_2016_convention__eurofora_400

He chose to Focus, in Priority, to "Digital Networks", (a Topical Issue, which was Discussed Today at RoF's 2016 Annual Convention in Reims, but also throughout all the EU Countries Nowadays, as results also by a relevant Franco-German-EU Summit Ysterday Evening in Berlin, between Chancellor Angie Merkel with the French and EU Commission's Presidents Hollande and Juncker : Comp."Eurofora"s NewsReport at .....) :

 

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 - Indeed, "there must be No Digital Divide accross our Territories", Philippe Richert topicaly Replied to the above mentioned "Eurofora"s Query, as a matter of general Principle. And, at any case, already, as far as it concerns, at least, "in (Strasbourg's initial Region) Alsace, we have Recently Decided to Boost Modern, Broadband Digital Networks throughout the Entire Territory of the Region", he Reminded, as a Concrete Example, pointing at Recent Decisions signed between Richert and former Economy Minister Emmanuel Macron in Strasbourg, (See relevant Richert and Macron' Statements at "Eurofora"'s NewsReport from that event, at ....).

 

 innovation__eco_priority_for_french_regions__2016_reims_rof_convention__eurofora_400

 

++ However, such Topical Issues, are interLinked, in real practice, also with some Important public Funding Issues, which are currently Pending in fact, including a landmark and Welcomed Strategic Decision to pass from a State Grant, decided annualy, to a systematic Quota of VAT, almost automaticaly reconducted each year, as far as All 18 French Regions are concerned, whose Principle was anounced officialy Today by Prime Minister Manuel valls here in Reims (Comp. + other Valls' statements to "Eurofora", at http://www.eurofora.net/newsflashes/news/frenchprimeministervallsonhightechfunding.html).

 

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=> In this regard, President Richert, stressed, in Conclusion, that he  Hopes for a Final Decision on 2017, and not on 2018, in that Key Issue, which depends, in practice, from Decisions to be Taken in Paris' National Assembly "in the fothcoming Days/Weeks", along the "Vote of the Annual Budget", as he confirmed to "Eurofora".

 

 president_richerts_concluding_remarks_at_rofs_2016_convention__eurofora_400

To this Fundamental Pending Issue, is also Added a purely Financial matter, on the Total Amount of public Funds for the New Regions' wider Competences transfered by the State, which is estimated by the RoF at about 600 Millions €, while Valls' current Anouncement stays at 450 Millions €, at the same moment that, in many Other European Countries, including, f.ex., not just Federal Germany or Belgium, but also Unitary States such as Italy, Spain, Nordic Countries, etc., the various Regional self-Administered entities benefit, Comparatively, from a much Higher Funding than in France nowadays, Philippe Richert clearly pointed out at FoR's 2016 Convention, (both during his Press Conference, Together with other FoR's Officials,and at his Concluding speech in the Plenary).

rofs_press_conference_2016_convention__eurofora_400 

Something which should, however, logicaly also include a Comparative Estimation of each Country's regionaly DeCentralized main Competences, as well as Figures in terms of National GDP percentages, in order to give a Complete image of the real situation in practice, of an Issue which appears to be, at any case, undeniable.

 

 rof_2016_public_funding_comparative_eu_figures_for_various_countries_regional_entities__eurofora_400

 

(../..)

 

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 slovenian__croatian_presidents_at_coe_400

    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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