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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... 

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- 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...

 

 

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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.

 

 

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+ 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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Facing a 70% Abstention threat in 2009 Election, EU endorses EuroFora's idea for Citizens' debates on crucial EU decisions !

- Different views on "Europe's Future", should be debated among Citizens at June 2009 EU Elections, thanks to political Parties' "Manifestos", says EU Parliament's Report


                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                               
A main idea, initiated and promoted by EuroFora's founders since 1997: the vital need to develop European Citizens' democratic right to actively participate in multilingual debates on EU decisions, is formally endorsed by the EU from 2009 !

The move is a key attempt to overcome "catastrophic" Polls which warn that only ...30% of Citizens are ready to vote in the forthcoming June 2009 EU Election !  This was revealed by EU Commission's vice-president, in charge of Communication policy, Margot Wallstrom, during a "hot" meeting of EU Parliament's Committee on Culture and Education, during the December 2008 Strasbourg session.

Wallstrom faced criticism, but also suggestions from various MEPs, naturally worried by Abstention threats which herself found even "worse" than in 1999 or 2004...

A Report on "Active Dialogue with Citizens",examined at the same time, presented some useful practical tips, on "facilitating Interviews"; etc., but also a  potentialy important call to "incorporate the conclusions of ...debates...into (EU) policies, and take into consideration the expectations that Citizens have of the EU when deciding". An amendment even implies that Citizens' participation in debates on EU decisions is a democratic "Right".

More importantly, it finds that  a Debate "on the Future of Europe", (as French President Nicolas Sarkozy has asked since 2007), would be a good idea " for the 2009 European parliamentary Elections", because "clarifying the political differences between the EU political parties would help citizens to identify themselves with, and choose between various concepts", for which "all parties (should) present their Manifesto".

A "Joint political declaration on Communicating Europe in Partnership", co-signed by "the European Parliament, Council and ... Commission", confirms that they "attach the utmost importance to improving communication on EU issues", by "enabling European citizens to exercise their right to participate in the democratic life of the Union, in which decisions are taken as openly as possible and as closely as possible to the citizens, observing the principles of pluralism, participation, openness and transparency".

This should "enable Citizens to exercise their right to express their views and to participate actively in the public Debate on European Union issues", while also "promoting the respect of multilingualism". In this regard, EU confirms its "wish to develop synergies with national, regional and local authorities as well as with representatives of Civil Society".

    It's since 1997 that a group of EuroFora's founders have officially presented a pioneer Project (then called "EIW", for "Europe in the World"), which aimed to develop Strasbourg's "Polyphonic music", by providing "Interactive information", on "main issues ... during the Decision-making process of European Organizations which engage in Transparent and Public Democratic Debates"

    This should be done, inter alia, by "exploring the potential of New Communication Tools (mainly Internet)", as well as classic-form debates, the 1997 EIW pioneer project's anounced in its "Synopsis". It was formally "accepted for evaluation" by EU Commission in Brussels in order to be examined for a grant in the framework of the "Research/Technology/Development (RTD) Programme in the field of Information Technologies", then called "ESPRIT", as a "Best Practice Pilot Project".

eiw_project_eu_program_esprit_ds_1997.._400

        But the vital, urgent Political need for EU to search new, efficient ways to reach the People and interact with European Citizens, was really felt in Brussels and elsewhere only after the unprecedented in History 1999 and 2004 Majority Abstention in EU Elections, followed by 3 "NO" in Referenda in France, the Netherlands and Ireland, on 2005 and 2008...
    In this New Political Landscape, we prepared a new, actualised and more developed version of our initial idea, in a simplified and more efficient form, thanks also to a large Experience accumulated during many years of EU/CoE/UNO Press work and Multi-lingual debates, with the New project "EuroFora" :

    On 2006 we presented in Public its main lines during Questions/Replies that we raised at two Press Conferences by EU Commission President, Jose Baroso, and mainly EU Commission's vice-President, in charge of Communication policy, Margot Wallstrom, together with EU Parliament's vice-president, Alejo Vidal-Quadras, in Strasbourg, (Videos available), and we reminded it at various brief contacts with Commissioner Wallstrom in 2007 and 2008.

    Meanwhile, a new Text was also presented for "EuroFora" Project mainly to certain Political and other personalities, at European, National or Regional/Local level, mainly in 2007, but also in 2008..

    Now, after the unexpected 2008 Irish "NO", and before the 2009 EU Elections, which are due to be of exceptionally crucial importance for Europe's Future, the moment has obviously come to launch that project, progressively, but in real practice.

    Whoever really cares for Europe and its Citizens is welcome to join, in one way or another. Only anti-European, anti-democratic, obscure or ignorant groups might oppose or attempt to "steal" and deviate the main idea.

    But European Citizens, incited by enlightened political leaders, are those who will finally write the real History.

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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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