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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
president_philippe_richert_to_agg__eurofora_reims_2016_400

*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.

rof_2016_convention_at_reims_president_richert__people__eurofora_400

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 .....) :

 

richert_rof_speech_closest_eurofora_400


 - 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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 sarko_merkel_mieux

The official presentation of a "Program" respecting People's choices voted in the June 7, 2009 EU Elections, to be debated in EU Council and EU Parliament during its 1st Session on July in Strasbourg, is the No 1 Priority, according to Democratic principles, for the Franco-German axis, said the main winners at the ballot box, French President Nicolas Sarkozy and German Chancellor Angie Merkel.

They stressed  that the New EU Commission's President must have a "Program" in favor of an EU which "protects" its Citizens, regulates financial markets and aims at a "Political" Europe" : a wording they have used as incompatible with Turkey's controversial EU bid.

They also declared ready for a "political" endorsment of "Mr. Barroso's candidacy" in June's EU Council, considering that an official decision would have to be made after EU Parliament's debates and votes, possibly from next month (July), with the legally necessary final acceptance shortly after Lisbon Treaty's entry into force, hoped for September or October.


- "A Program, and Mr. Barroso" : This resumes, in substance, the anouncements made by Sarkozy and Merkel, on the question of current EU Commission's President, Barroso's declared wish to succeed to himself for a second mandate, to be extended during the following 5 years.

 In their 1st meeting after EU Elections, they observed that "the Franco-German axis counted in European Elections' campaign... But, we both keep a realistic view : We saw the number of those who abstained, and we must absolutely give them an answer. We also see the disilusionment of an important number of Europeans vis a vis Europe, and we are aware of the responsibilities we have".

sarko

 - The "Duty" of the new EU Commission's President, after June 7, 2009 EU Elections' result, "is to act for a Europe which protects the Europeans, to commit himself into working for a better Regulation of Financial transactions, ... and to have a Political will for Europe", underlined Sarkozy.

Therefore, "we have asked M. Barroso... to clarify, to officialy present the intentions he has", he anounced.

- "We want to speak also about the Programme", explained Merkel.

- "It's important that for the next EU Parliament's mandate (2009-2014) we take the right Decisions for Europe.  Obviously on Persons, but mainly Decisions on Issues", she stressed.

- "It's not simply a question of a Person, it's also a question of a Programme". We are "really asking Mr. Barroso to commit himself on a Program, and on Principles, on Values", Sarkozy added.

EU President-in-office, Czech Prime Minister Jan Fischer, accepted the Franco-German stance :

- "Barroso must present his Programme. The Czech Presidency agrees with that", Fischer reportedly said later, after meeting Sarkozy.

But Press reports from Brussels claimed that Barroso had preferred to be officially appointed by EU Council since June, (i.e. next week), "because this was implied by the current Treaty of Nice, according to him", and considered any delay until the possible ratification of the new, Lisbon Treaty on September/October, as "undemocratic".

- "At any case, independently of what Germany and France ask, it's also EU Parliament's wish". "We shall propose Mr Barroso's candidacy... But even in the framework of Nice Treaty, EU Parliament has to be associated in this Decision", the French President observed.

If this is correctly done, then "we support Mr. Barroso's candidature", and "if the (EU) Parliament agrees, we might ratify this decision since July", (i.e. next month), they both said.

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- "France and Germany support Baroso's candidacy, But we want to speak also on the Program. We believe that this Program should be established in close cooperation with EU Parliament, and that's why we have followed an appropriate way", said Merkel.  - If EU Parliament wants, this election can take place on July,  but this must be done in full agreement.

- "We shall support Mr. Barroso's candidacy, without doubt", said Sarkozy. "But we have asked from Mr. Barroso, as I told him yesterday, to put into detail.. his intentions, at the eve of his 2nd mandate, if the situation avails itself.


    France and Germany "don't want to take an Official Legal Decision by writting" during "the next (EU) Council" (on June 18-19), declared Sarkozy.  Because they prefer, at this stage, only "a Political decision" on June, "so that we (EU Council) can work together with EU Parliament", which starts to meet only Next Month, since July in Srasbourg, "leaving a Legal decision by writting for later".

    - "If the Conditions are fuillfiled in EU Parliament, we (EU Council) are ready to give the agreement and make it offficial", said Merkel

    - "But, now we are working in the base of Nice Treaty. If tommorow we want to work in the spirit of Lisbon Treaty, we have to find a proper way", she added.

    - "Of course it's Legally complicated, because we are going to make a Political proposal to the forthcoming Council, for an EU Commission's President, on the basis of Nice Treaty : So, we (EU Council) will not appoint the Commissioners. Only the President.  If EU Parliament agrees, it could endorse this position on July", explained Sarkozy.

    But, on Autumn, "if Ireland ratifies Lisbon Treaty, there will be, at any case, a 2nd Decision, to appoint the Commission's President, this time on the basis of Lisbon treaty, and then, we, the EU Member States, would have to appoint (also) the EU Commissioners", he added.

    As for the precise Timing :  - "Everything is suspended until the Irish vote... Now, we must all make everything possible to help Ireland to say "Yes"" to Lisbon Treaty... The Irish Referendum, ..will take place either on September or on October. It's a Question which depends on the Irish. And,  then, we shall have the Choice of the Candidates for the permanent Institutions of Europe".

    However, "if Ireland says No, we, French and Germans, have to assume our responsibilities, and we'll do so", he concluded.

    But British and Swedish governments were reportedly eager to have a final EU Council decision on Barroso since this month, on June's European Council. While the other EU Member Countries are divided, several of them preferring to wait until EU Parliament pronounces itself, on July, and/or until Lisbon Treaty might be ratified by Ireland at the beginning of the Autumn. Barroso's current mandate ends on November.

    There are also various, contradictory and/or unpredictable reactions inside EU Parliament vis a vis Barroso's wish to continue a 2nd mandate, because many MEPs are openly or secretly opposed, reluctant, or hesitating.

    In the biggest EU Countries, as France and Germany, EU Citizens voted on June 2009 EU Elections for a renovated, non-technocratic but Political Europe which cares for its Citizens, with an Identity, Values and Borders, declared incompatible with Turkey's controversial EU bid, by mainstream, pro-European Governing Parties. Similar choices were also supported in several other small or medium EU Countries.

    On the contrary, whenever, in other Countries, Governing and other mainstream Parties didn't make these choices or eluded them, EU Citizens massively voted for euro-Sceptics whenever they were the only ones to to promise anti-bureacratic change and oppose Turkey's demand to enter into the EU, (f.ex. in the UK, Netherlands, etc).

    It's seems to be an Open Question whether Sarkozy and Merkel's conditions will be really accepted by Barroso, who was appointed on 2004 in a different political context, (with Socialist Prime Ministers in Germany, France, etc), had rejected in the Past the idea of EU becoming "equal to the USA" as "ridiculous", and pushed for Turkey's contoversial EU bid, trying to "soften" or contain the changes desired by the People who voted for Merkel and Sarkozy with another policy vis a vis Turkey on 2005 in Germany and on 2007 in France, as they did all over Europe on 2009.

    In addition to many EPP Governments, it's 3 remaining Socialist Prime Ministers : Gordon Brown in the UK, Zapatero in Spain, and Socrates in Prortugal, who support Barroso, as well as Liberal Swedish Prime Minister Reinfeldt. But their Parties lost the June 2009 EU Elections.

    Questioned whether there was still "Time" for "other" possible "Candidates", Sarkozy and Merkel did not deny, nor made any comment on that, but simply said that "it's not for us to make publicity for any candidates. We anounced our choice ("A Program, and Mr. Barroso"). But we respect any other candidate".

    Among various other names cited are former Belgian Prime Minister Verhofstadt, former UNO's Human Rights Commissioner Mary Robinson of Ireland, Italian former EU Commission's vice-President Monti, etc. Meanwhile, Luxembourg's PM Juncker, (who had been unanimously accepted by EU Council for EU Commission's Presidency on 2004, but refused), announced his intention to resign from "EuroGroup"'s Chair. Thus, he might be available for another Top EU job.

    As "EuroFora"'s "opinion" said (See publication dated 9/6/09) : - "If the current candidates (i.e. Barroso, etc) to the Top EU jobs promise and guarantee to respect People's democratic choices, then, it's OK".

"Otherwise, Europe must find new candidates, really motivated and able to implement these democratic choices of the People."

    Because, "in Democracy, the forthcoming choices for EU's Top Jobs,...should be made according to EU Citizens' Votes in June 7, 2009 European Elections, and main EU Governments' strategic policies".
        

***

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