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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

Parašė ACM
Thursday, September 29, 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.

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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 ....).

 

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++ 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".

 

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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).

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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.

 

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(../..)

 

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  Ten Years of ECHR : 1998 - 2008 show need of Revival in 2009-2010 coinciding with 2009 EU Election
   

A threefold, coordinated move by new Top French Political actors in the 2009 EU Parliament Elections, expressed in Strasbourg a will to boost Europe's Political dimension close to Citizens' concerns, going from protection of Economy to defence of Human Rights.    

The move met an exceptional ECHR's call for a "revival" of Human Rights' protection mechanism', in a Mega-Conference, early 2010.   

Obviously focusing on June 2009 Elections to EU Parliament, it involved from the outset the recently nominated "dual" Head of French Governing Party (UMP)  Michel BARNIER and Rachida DATI :

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     - "As President Sarkozy has clearly said, we (France) are in favor of a Strong, Sovereign and Independent, Political Europe, which protects its Citizens, and not for a large Super-Market, nor for a Europe under influence",

    "This goes for everything, including Energy", added to "EuroFora" the experienced former EU Commissioner, Minister of Foreign affairs, currently of Agriculture and Sarkozy's new pick as Leader of the Governing party UMP to EU 2009 Election, Michel BARNIER                                              .                             

  - Human Rights are important because they are at the Heart of the Political Europe that we aspire for : I.e. a Europe able to act and protect its Citizens, stressed also the New French Minister for European affairs, Bruno LE MAIRE, while meeting Strasbourg's Journalists at his first visit to the CoE.   

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This is one of the main interests for CoE, which is also a natural place for cooperation between EU countries and Russia or Turkey, which was recently helpful at the Middle East crisis, he added.

The move gained momentum with French Minister of Justice, Rachida Dati's main observations at ECHR's 5Oth Anniversary :   

- "While we are seeking Europe's Borders and Identity, you (ECHR) remind us also of its Values", Human Rights, Dati noted.   

Citizens seek more and more often ECHR's help, and the tempo accelerates, Europa awaits a symbol, while national legal orders are not freezed   

And she expressed "support" to ECHR President Jean-Paul Costa's call to satisfy the vital need to revigorate the PanEuropean Court by deciding big changes at a High-Level Conference open to a large audience, a kind of "Etats Generaux" of Human Rights, at the beginning of 2010.       

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It's not so much the recently growing number of applications for Russia or Ukraine etc, which seems to be Costa's main concern : In fact, the cases declared "admissible" are much fewer...    

But rather the persistent violations of Human Rights, sometimes very grave (ie. murders, torture, abritrary deprivation of liberty, oppression of freedom of speech, destructions of homes/properties, etc), despite numerous, repeated condemnations by ECHR. So that CoE's Ministers, due to "supervise execution" of ECHR's judgements, are overloaded.   

F.ex. most Media noted that Turkey still remains, even in 2008, the 1st among 47 CoE member States in the number of condemnations by ECHR :  257, compared to 233 for Russia, with a population more than the double..    

The problem is that it's not the 1st time at all : During all the last Decade 1998-2008, Turkey was condemned by ECHR much more than any other State, and for particularly grave violations :   

- 1.652 condemnations, compared to 605 for Russia, 548 for Poland, 494 for France, 476 for Ukraine, etc.   

Italy's second place with 1.394 condemnations is a misleading false appearance : In fact, most of them (999) concern mere "procedural delays" in national courts. Same for France.   

On the contrary, Turkey was condemned 180 times for Killings, 192 times for Torture or Inhuman/Degrading treatments, 340 times for arbitrary deprivation of Liberty, 528 times for "Unfair trial", and 169 times for oppression of Freedom of speech, (etc). And the latest, 2008 numbers, indicate no change in this trend, (See supra).   

The current Spanish CoE Presidency (November 2008 - May 2009) has made of the implementation of ECHR's judgements its 1st Priority.   

ECHR's President, Jean-Paul Costa, stressed in its 2009 Annual Press Conference, CoE Member States' obligation to implement the judgements, according to Article 46 of the European Convention on Human Rights.   

Moreover, if CoE's Committee of Ministers delays to ensure implementation, then, the repetition of violations in similar cases provokes a multiplication of complaints tabled to the Court, which overload the mecanism for the protection of Human Rights, denounced Costa.          

A series of Debates on "the situation of Human Rights in Europe", focusing on the "need to fight against Impunity" of perpetrators of grave crimes, is  currently prepared by CoE's Parliamentary Assembly for the session of June 2009.  

The final Timing comes shortly AFTER the EU Elections, but the main Reports should have been adopted before.

Meanwhile, French President Sarkozy and German Chancelor Merkel's recent call "for a Political Europe" in 2009 EU Elections (See earlier "correspondence from Paris, Elysee Palace), seems more and more endorsed also by other EU Countries' Top MEPs :

Thus, f.ex., EU Parliament's 1st vice-President, Greek MEP Mrs Rodi KRATSA, speaking to "EuroFora", agreed that 2009 EU Election would be a "naturally good" opportunity to debate what really interests EU Citizens : "The Future of a Political Europe, able to face the Economic Crisis, with a Culture and identity which attracts the People"

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(Photo taken earlier during Sarkozy's 1st visit at EU Parliament, in 2007 : Sarkozy and Merkel's Ideas for a Political Europe inspire also other EU politicians accross the continent)..
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