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Accueil arrow newsitems arrow Juncker Appeals to EU Member States+Citizens, proposes Measures, to Build a Better Europe

Juncker Appeals to EU Member States+Citizens, proposes Measures, to Build a Better Europe

Ecrit par ACM
mercredi, 14 septembre 2016

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*Strasbourg/Angelo Marcopolo/- In a carefuly Prepared, but Unusual Move, the New EU Commission's President, Experienced Long-Time former Prime Minister of Luxembourg and f. Chairman of €uroGroup, Jean-Claude Juncker, speaking at a landmark Public Debate at EU Parliament's full Plenary Session in Strasbourg, launched a vibrant Appeal to EU's 27 Member States, but also to EU Citizens, to take decisive Action, with the Help of  EU Institutions, and already Proposed a Series of Measures, in order to Saveguard the Best Achievements, Ensure and Develop Europe's Future, at the eve of a Crucial forthcoming EU Heads of State/Government Summit at Bratislava, chaired by "Visegrad" Group Member, Slovakia, whose Leadership is notoriously part of European Dissidents vis a vis some, perhaps, "Politicaly Correct", but Controversial and  UnPopular EU Choices, (particularly those recently yielded under intense "Blackmail" Pressure by the Turkish regime around the 2015-2016 Unprecedented Mass Asylum-Seekers/Irregular Migrants influx though Turkey, and subsequent Deadly Terrorism, Violent Sexual Abuse, Harassment, and other various Attacks against Innocent Civilian People, meanwhile. Comp. f.ex. : ...), as EU Council's President, former Prime Minister of Poland, Donald Tusk, had already strongly Denounced in a Dramatic Letter to EU Countries' Leaders, just Published Yesterday, (See : .....).

Characteristicaly Addressing himself, several Times, to the "European People", or to "the Europeans", as he often said, Juncker Warned from the outset, that, despite having Personaly "Witnessed several Decades of EU Integration,", until now, "Never before have I seen so much Fragmentation" : National "leaders speak only of their domestic problems, with Europe men-


tioned only in passing, if at all", "representatives of the EU institutions set... very Different priorities, some-times in direct Opposition to National governments", while "Never before have I seen national governments so Weakened". "It is as if there is almost No intersection between the EU and its national capitals anymore", he Denounced.



In fact, "Our European Union is, at least in part, in an Existential Crisis".
Promissing to speak "with ... Realism, and with ... Honesty", Juncker observed that, currently, "we have many unresolved problems in Europe".


F.ex., "high unemployment and social inequality", "mountains of public debt", from "the huge challenge of  integrating refugees, to the very real threats to our security" (etc), "every one of Europe’s Member States has been affected by ...continuing crises", while "even ...  a member le Leaving our ranks", he observed.  


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=> Therefore, "We now have a very important Choice to make" :


>>> "will Europe disappear from the international scene and leave it to others to shape the world?


- Will we "let our Union unravel before our eyes?"

- "Is this not the time when Europe needs more determined Leadership than ever, rather than politicians abandoning ship ? Is this not the time to roll up our sleeves and double, triple our efforts? ", he Questioned.


=> -In Fact, "It is Time, We – the Institutions, the Governments, the Citizens – all took responsibility for Building that  Europe. Together.", Juncker stressed, urging to "Work for a Europe that EmPowers our Citizens".

 

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In particular, even EU "Commission has to ... become Political, and Not Technocratic", he stressed. And "a Political (EU) Commission is one that ... Listens to the People !", Juncker concluded.

"Europe can only work if we all work for unity and commonality, and forget the rivalry between competences and institutions"

In particular, "Member States must build a Europe that protects. And we, the European institutions, must Help them deliver this promise", he pointed out, inter alia.

Indeed, "Europe is a cord of many strands – it only works when we are All pulling in the same direction: EU institutions, national governments and national Parliaments alike", at least "in a selected number of areas where common solutions are most urgent".

"In our Incomplete Union, there is No European Leadership that can Substitute National leadership", Experienced Juncker observed. "European Nations have to defend the rationale for unity. No one can do it for them. They can", he stressed.

In general, "Europe can only be Built with the Member States. Never Against them", Juncker acknowledged.

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Because, "This (EU) is Not the USA, where the President gives a "State of the Union" Speech to both  Houses of Congress, and millions of Citizens follow his every word, live on television"... "We are Not the "United States of Europe". Our EU is much more Complex", he pointd out.

Nowadays, "Europeans are tired of the endless disputes, quarrels and bickering". "Europeans want concrete solutions to the very pertinent problem(s)". "Europeans want Common Decisions followed by swift and efficient implementation". "What our Citizens need much more is that someone Governs. That someone Responds to the Challenges", Juncker noted.

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In this regard, "the next 12 Months (9/2016 - 9/2017) are Decisive".

It is so, "if we want to reunite our Union. ...to  overcome the tragic divisions between East and West which have opened up in recent months. ../.to show that we can be fast and decisive on the things that really matter", and "to show to  the World that Europe is still a force capable of joint action", he urged.

=> "Therefore", EU Commission's new President "Proposed a Positive Agenda, of Concrete European Actions, for the Next 12 Months"

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The Move should Go well Beyond a simple "Vision for the Long Term".

"Yes, we (EU) Need" that, Juncker acknowledged. In consequence, EU "Commission will set out such a vision for the Future in  a White Paper in March 2017, in time for the 60th Anniversary", he anounced.

In particular, it "will address how to strengthen and reform our Economic and Monetary Union". "and ...will also take into account the political and Democratic Challenges", while Both "EU Parliament", "as well as National Parliaments", "will be Closely Involved in that process", he promissed.


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But, "the next 12 Months are the Crucial time to Deliver a better Europe, .. that protects, ... preserves the European way of life, .. empowers our Citizens, .. Defends at home and abroad; and .. takes Responsibility", Juncker projected.


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- "many seem to have forgotten what being European means". But, in fact, "I am convinced the European way of life is something worth preserving" :

- "Above all, Europe means Peace" : "the Longest period of peace in written history" in our Continent "Started with" the Beginning of the European Integration, he reminded.

=> Resulted "70 years of lasting peace in Europe", while, almost at the Same Time, the rest of the "World (is facing) ... 40 active armed Conflicts, which claim the Lives of 170,000 people every year".


+ In Addition, "An integral part of our European way of life, is our Values", such as "freedom, democracy, the rule of law".

F.ex., "We Europeans can never accept Polish workers being harassed, beaten up or even Murdered on the Streets", (from "Harlow", up to Reutlingen recently, etc).

++ Also "the Free Movement of (EU Workers is as much a common European value, as our fight against discrimination and racism", while, also, "we Europeans stand firmly against the death penalty" too, and "believe in independent, effective Iustice systems", because "Independent Courts keep  governments, companies and people in Check", while "Effective justice systems support economic growth and defend fundamental rights", Juncker observed.

We, Europeans, also prefer to "Trade", instead of "going to War", and EEU has become "the Biggest Trading Block" in the Planet, while more than "1 in 7 of all Jobs in the EU now, depend on Exports to the Rest of the World", he pointed out.


--------------

+++ "Being European (also) means the Right to have your Personal Data Protected", particularly "by Strong European Laws", Juncker observed. "In Europe, Privacy matters", because it "is a question of Human Dignity", Juncker strongly defended, (Comp. : .... + ....)


Indeed, "Europeans do Not like Drones overhead recording their every move, or Companies stockpiling their every mouse click", EU Commission's President stressed,  

Thus, f.ex., among others, EU "Parliament, Council and Commission agreed in May this year (2016) a common European Data Protection Regulation. This is a strong European law that applies to companies wherever they are based and whenever they are processing your data". he reminded.


------------------------------

 

"Being European also means a fair playing field", so that, f.ex., "workers should get the same pay for the same work in the same place", as a matter "of social justice". "Internal Market is Not a place where Eastern European Workers can be Exploited, or Subjected to Lower Social Standards", because "Europe is Not the Wild West, but a Social Market Economy". And "every Company, no matter how Big or Small, has to Pay its Taxes, where it makes Profits", as, f.ex., also "Giants like (USA-Headquartered) "Apple too", whose "Market Value is Higher than the GDP of 165 Countries in the World", Juncker Timely pointed out.


+ "For most of us, being European, ... also means the €uro" Currency, which "Stayed Strong", "During the Global Financial Crisis, and Protected us from even Worse Instability", and Nowadays "is a Leading World currency, bringing huge, often in-visible economic Benefits. Euro area countries saved €50 billion this year in interest payments, thanks to the European Central Bank’s monetary policy. ...that our finance ministers can and should Invest". And, "while public Deficits stood at 6.3% on average in the euro area in 2009, Today they are below 2%", Juncker observed, obviously referring to the "Fiscal Brake" Treaty of 2011-2012, (alias known as Treaty of the "€uroZone").


------------------------------

+ Moreover, Nowadays, "Europe must Not cower in the face of Terrorism", Juncker stressed, speaking just after the Numerous Recent Deadly Terrorist Attacks by Extremist Islamistic fans if "ISIS", etc.

- "No – Member States must Build a Europe that Protects. And we, the European Institutions, must Help them deliver", he urged.
                                                                                                                        

++  To "emPower our Economy" and "our Citizens", who "Both have gone Digital", Europe "Needs to be Connected" in "Digital Communications", because "our Economy Needs it", and European "People Need it", Juncker went on to Add.

=> "That's why, Today (EU) Commission is Proposing" to "Create a New Legal Framework that Attracts ... Investments in Connecitivity", by "a Reform of our European TeleCommunications Markets", he anounced.

    Advancing eve,n Further, EU "Commission is (also) Proposing to Fully Deploy "5G", the Fifth Generation of Mobile Communication Systems, accross the EU by 2025", so that almost "Everyone (would) Benefit from Connectivity", "Not Matter Where you live, or How Much you Earn", Juncker promissed, adding that Both these 2 Moves would also create "Millions" of "Jobs in the EU".

    In this Direction, he also "Proposed ... to Equip every European Village, and every City, with Free Wireless Internet Access, ...by 2020", (a Movement which has already Started, in several EU Regions, while Others, on the Contrary, still remain more or less "Deserts" vis a vis a  "Digital Divide", Globaly growing, elsewhere in the World).

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    But, to "EmPower Economy", EU naturaly also Needs "to Invest also in Job Creation", as he said, Anouncing that  EU Commission "proposes Today to Double the Duration of the "Investment Plan for Europe", (that Juncker has notorioously Introduced since 2015 : See, f;ex. .....),"and Double its Financial Capacity":
    
    - Already, from the "€ 315 Billions ... which we Agreed Together (with EU Parliament) .. just 12 Months ago, ... € 116 Billions have been Raised ... in its First Year", while "over 200.000 Small Firms and Start-Ups accross Europe got loans", and an estimated "over 100.000 People got New Jobs", Juncker noted.
    
    + "Now, we will take it Further : ... We will make sure that our (EU's) Fund will provide .. at least € 500 Billions - i.e. Half a Trillion - of Investment, by 2020, and we will Work Beyond that to Reach € 630 Billions (i.e. the Double of the initial Sum) by 2022", he Promissed, (while also noting that, If "Member States would Contribute", then, "we Can Get There even Faster").

    ++ "But", in order Not to Depend Only on Banks, European Economy also Needs "to Accelerate our (EU's) Work for a Capital Markets Union", Juncker added, "putting a concrete RoadMap for this at the Table, Today", so that Euroepan "Companies" would have "Easier and  Diversified Access to Finance", (F.ex. a Start-Up that "cannot get a Bank Loan, right Now", "will be Offered Alternative, Vital Sources of Funding", as he said).

    ------------------------------------

    +++ Even (much) More  : "Today", EU Commission also "Launched an ambitious Investment Plan" extended "for Africa and the Neighborhood", with a "Potential to Raise € 44 Billions", and able to "Go Up to € 86 Billions, if Member States pitch in", Juncker also anounced, (as it was partly Expected : See, f.ex., Yesterday's relevant "Eurofora" NewsReport at : ....).

    Operating with the "Same Logic", as also it has Started to be done "for the Internal Investment Plan", (See Above), this "will be Using Public Funding as a Guarantee to Attract (other) Public and Private Investment", he explained.
    
    => Also Because "this will Complement our (EU's) Development Aid, and Help Address one of the Root Causes of Migration" from Africa, Juncker pointed out.

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        Concerning "Young" People, in Addition to the Continuation, even Further, of EU's "Youth Guarantee", which already helped "get a Job, Traineeship^or Apprenticeship" by "More than 9 Millions of Youngsters", EU Commission Decided Today to officialy Propose "to set up a European Solidarity CORPS", where Young People across the EU will be able to Volunteer their Help where it's Needed most, to Respond to Crisis situations", such as, f.ex., "the Recent Earthquake in Italy", etc.
    
    This "European Solidarity Fund" should be "Up and Running by the End of the Year" 2016, "and by 2020" it should "see the First 100.000 Young Europeans taking part". accordiung to Juncker. In this way, "These young people will be able to Develop their Skills, and get not only Work but also invaluable Human Experience", he noted.


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    But, Nowadays, "Europe ... must Defend" its Citizens also "against Terrorism", both "at Home and Abroad", EU Commission's President stressed, as eagerly Expected by many.

    >>> Already, almost 50% (i.e. "13") of the 30 Terrorist Attacks in Europe, which emerged "Since the Madrid Bombing of 2004", (i.e. during 12 Years), took place just "in the Last Year (2015-2016) Alone !", Juncker observed. "More than 600 innocent (Civilian) People Died in cities like Paris, Brussels, Nice, or Ansbach", he Denounced.
    
    In Addfition to Measures against "Terrorism and Foreign Fighters", "Terrorist Propaganda OnLine", and "Radicalisation in Europe's Schools and Prisons",  EU should Now Focus also on "Defending our (External) Borders with the New European Border and Coast Guard", recently Voted by EU Parliament on Last July, (-See : ....),and that "Now, EU Institutions and Member States should Work, very Closely Together, to Quickly Set up", Juncker guaranteed.

    => In Addition to "over 600 Frontex Agendts .. at the Borders with Turkey in Greece, and over 100 in Bulgaria", Now, "I Want to see at least +200 extra Border Guards, and 50 extra Vehicles, Deployed at the Bulgarian External Border" Facing Turkey, "as of October 2016", Juncker urged.

    ++ "We (EU) will defend our (External) Borders, as well, with strict Controls, adopted by the End of the Year (12/2016), on everyone Crossing them", "Every time someone Enters or Exits the EU", he added.

    +++ Moreovern "By November (2016), we will propose a European Travel Information System – an automated system to


determine who will be allowed to travel to Europe. This way we will know who is Travelling to Europe, Before they even get here", he boasted.


--------------------------


    But, "Europe Needs to Toughen up", even more, nowadays, and this is "nowhere Truer than in our Defence Policy", Juncker stressed in Conclusion,

    F.ex., "it is Time taht we (EU) had a Single HeadQuarters for these Operations", he urged.

    +We should also Move towards Common Military Assets, in some cases Owned b the EU", (while Keeping"Complementary with NATO", as he said).

    Fopr such purposes, the "European Defense Industry Needs t Innovate", Juncker acknowled, whila also Anouncing that EU Commission intends to "Propose, before the End of the Year (December 2016), a European Defense Fund, to Turbo-Boost Research and Innovation", (Comp.: ....)

    In this regard, the forthcoming Bratislava EU Summit, could be a 1st Politiical Step" towards that Direction", he suggested, since, already, "the Lisbon Treaty enables (EU) Member States who Wish to Pool their Defence Capabilities, in the Form of a Permanent Structured Cooperation", and, "the Time to make Use of this Possibility is Now", he urged.


----------------------

    Last, but not least, EU now Needs "a Political Commission", which "Listens to the People", and, "this means Correcting Technocratic Mistakes", Juncker concluded.

    F.ex., he cited also some Recent Developments related to "Mobila Phones' Roaming" costs-cutting when EU Citizens travel Abroad in other European Countries, as well as the Introduction of some "Flexibility" in EU's "Stability and Growth Pact", etc.

    More Widely, "we (EU Institutions) should ...seek the Necessary Rendez-Vous with Democracy", and Not Prevent this", EU Commission's experienced President Highlighted in Conclusion, (Comp. also Supra).

-------------------

 + Juncker on Turkish VISA Blacmail

-----------------------------

    => Finally, Replying to European People's elected Representatives, among several EU Parliament's MEPs' critical observations, particularly on the Topical Issue of Ankara's notorious Attempts to again Blackmail Europe (by Threatening to unleash even More Mass Migrants anew) about the Controversial and UnPopular demand for a Totaly VISA-Free status for all 80 Millions of Turks, (who could then Enter and Stay inside the EU whenever they Wanted, for at least 6 Months Each Year), President Juncker confirmed a Crystal-Clear stance, based on Principles : 

 - He "emphasized" that an eventual "Liberalisation of Visas for Turkey mightOnly be considered IF ALL (EU standard) CONDITIONS would be Fullfiled by Turkey". "This is a very Tough Issue", I Hope Possible, But Not necessarily ready to be resolved by Turkey. "F.ex., withOut an adequate Reform of its Anti-Terror Law, it woN't be possible for Turkey" to obtain that, he ensured. 

 

(../..)

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Benedict's "Source" to revitalize Europe : - "The World needs Hope", Pope says, calling to relaunch E.U. via Human Rights !

Paris - Lourdes - Strasbourg : 12 - 17 September 2008.

The vital need to re-launch Europe can be succesfully met by defending fundamental Human Rights of the People, said Pope Benedict XVI in his 1st speech in France, at his meeting with President Nicolas Sarkozy, who currently chairs the EU.

Sarkozy replied by welcoming Christian and other religions' contribution to indispensable Public Debates on crucial issues which affect Human Dignity, Europe, even Humankind, as BioGenetics.

- "When Europeans will see and personally experience that the inalienable Rights of the Human Person .., those of their free Education, their Family life, their Work, ..their Religious Rights, ..are respected and promoted, then, these Europeans will fully understand the greatness of the European construction and will be actively involved in it", Benedict XVI stressed.

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- "It's important that during France's EU Presidency, there is, indeed, a desire for the Church to contribute to protect Human Person's integrity, and I think that there is also a growing Conscience, beyond any polemics, to defend Human Rights, and, thus, contribute to ensure respect for Human Dignity", added to "EuroFora" the Pope's Spokesman, Vatican's Press Director Federico Lombardi.

- "Nobody really told us here that Lisbon Treaty was good for this or that reason to the People. They only told us that we "had" to ratify it, and tried to scare us, but failed", said 2 Irish pilgrims to "EuroFora", after 2 Majority Abstentions in 1999 and 2004 EU Elections and 3 "NO" to Referenda in France and the Netherlands in 2005, followed by the Irish "No" in 2008, during a Decade of EU Crisis since the controversial Turkey EU- bid (1999-2008).

More than .."224 cases of Murders, Torture, "Disappearancies" or Destructions" by "agents of Turkish Security forces", where all those responsible for so heavy Crimes still remain scandalously unpunished, despite regular condemnations of Ankara by Strasbourg''s European Court of Human Rights from 1996 to 2008, were examined the same week by CoE's Ministers, who decided to launch a fresh call "urging" the Turkish Authorities to end this dangerous "virtual Impunity" of criminals, without comparison to European countries.

- "Why not Ukraine, instead of Turkey ?", asked EuroFora a Journalist from "Kiev : the city where it's enough to cross the streets in order to realize that it's a European town", as Sarkozy recently said, before solemnly declaring this week, together with Ukranian President Jushenko and EU Commission's chair Baroso, EU's "recognition that Ukraine is a fully European Country, linked to Europe by culture and History".

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Europe's "Christian roots" and Values, with "openess and mutual respect" to other cultures and beliefs, were highlighted by Sarkozy in harmony with Benedict XVI.

The Human person should be protected "from his inception until his natural death", added the Pope, faithful to BioEthic principles defended by his predecessor and collaborator, John Paul II, of topical importance in France, Europe and the World today, as Sarkozy announced :

- "Fast and important progres in Genetic Science and procreation raise delicate BioEthical Questions to our Democracies", which "involve our view of Humans and Life, and can lead to Social Mutations. That's why they cannot remain only a business of experts", hestressed.

- "It's Politician's responsibility to set a proper framework for such Public Debates", as "France will do on BioEthics in 2009". "Religious and Philosophic traditions must take part, with their ideas and centuries' long experience : A positive Laicity is an open invitation to Dialogue", he said.

- "France engaged in Europe at another Debate on how to make Financial Capitalism more moral", and the "Social doctrine of the Church fits well what is at stake in modern Globalized Economy"

- "But, a "Real Dialogue is not for an elite of a Globalized world : It penetrates deep into the People : That's why Churches should actively participate : .. It's bringing New Oxygen to Public Debates", stressed Sarkozy.

- "Democracy must not be cut off Reason", which is "compatible with Faith", thanks to "the meeting between Christianism and Greek philosophy ", he added, referring to Pope's views. "It means to advance with logic arguments, search what's best and respect common principles of thinking :... It's an everyday need for Public Administration and the Political Debate", he added.
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Pope Benedict's 1st visit to France looked like the start of a brillant, manifold demonstration that this was well-founded and could become true in the lives of the People : After its Theoretical foundations unfolded at a "speech to the world of Culture", inaugurating Bernadins' cultural centre, and its dogmatic instrument shaped at an address to the Clergy in the Historic Notre Dame' Cathedral, he started to resolutely reach out to the People :

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The move went upwards like Bach's music : Begining with a call to more than fifteen thousand enthousiastic Youngsters gathered at Notre Dame's parvis with overnight celebrations, it gained strength in an impressive open-air Mass at Paris'central Invalides'area facing Alexander III's bridge, attended by more than 150.000 people, French Prime Minister Fillon, many Ministers, Foreign Ambassadors, etc, and culminated in a series of pan-European Mega-meetings at Lourdes 150th anniversary, together with all French Bishops, EU Commission's vice-Chairman Barrot, and some 200.000 enthousiastic People from all over Europe and beyond : After a Sea of Lights astonishingly braved Saturday Night's rain, an open-air mass at riverside fields among Pyrenees' Mountains Sunday Morning, was followed on Monday by a Sea of "Compassion" to those facing Health or Life threats, surrounded by an endless gathering of People, whose gigantic dimensions obviously surprised the organisers..

Meanwhile, Benedict had the occasion to speak to the French Priests at Notre Dame of Paris, and with the Bishops at Lourdes, where they prepare a crucial November plenary meeting, due to take important decisions on imminent EU debates and choices about Europe's identity, BioEthics, etc.
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- "A new way of thinking about Laicity has become necessary", agreed the Pope with President Sarkozy at Elysee. While keeping the "distinction between Politics and Religion, to guarantee Citizens' Liberty", "religion is important for shaping Consciousness and contributing, together with others, to create a basic Ethical Consensus in society".

- "Searching Essential realities", (as "God" for christians), needs "Speech : "Logos" in greek, i.e. Reason", "able to shape a Community","with creative work transforming Human History". But "Dialogue" is instrumental for "Reason", because it's the way to "search" for Truth", in "Liberty", according to Greek Platonic Philosophy, with Socrates' dialectics. "Reason" implies "Spirit and Liberty", hence the polyphonic "Music" of "Dialogue", in a responsible, "well balanced" way, to avoid "destruction".

Starting with a "Dialogue between christians and intellectual or artistic movements" highlighted at Bernardins' Cultural Center. with former Presidents Chirac and Giscard d'Estain, UNESCO's chair Anastassopoulos, etc., as well as representatives of Muslim Communities, (including a separate Turkish), after contacts with Jews at Vatican's Embassy, the Pope turned towards the People :

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To French Priests : "Church built on the rock" !
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- Speaking to thousands of French Priests at Notre Dame's Cathedral, Benedict highlighted a solid "Church built on the Rock" of conscious and active persons, transmitting "a lively, energetic and sharp" "God's Speech, actively working on Human History".

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"Praying together" with "representatives of Christian Churches and ecclesiastic communities", (as Orthodoxes, Armenians, Protestants, etc), he called "to reinforce the Unity of the church", against "any form of Division", around Holy Spirit', "the Word","Christ's Justice", and "Love" to fellow- humans : Essentials which "resume all holy scripts", as he said.

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To Young People : "New Horizons"
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To some 15.000 enthousiastic Young People at Notre Dame's parvis, along Seine's river, Benedict spoke about "the Energy of the Holy Spirit" and "the Mystery of the Cross" : - "The Holy Spirit opens New Horizons to Human Intelligence .. and makes it conscious of the real greatness of Christ's sacrifice, dying and resurecting for World's life".

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Some "may slander you as crazy, laugh at you, or even persecute you. But, "the Holy Cross is a symbol of God's love", and "givesmoral strength" : "Witness of People's pains, it's at the same time, a precious, unique expression of their Hopes", he told them at Paris' dawn.

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Invalides' plateau : "People chosen to become God's friends"
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At the 1st open-air Mass in Paris' center area of Invalides, facing the Grand Palais, along the river Seine, during an impressive gathering of more than 150.000, French Prime Minister Fillon, Ministers Alliot-Marie, Bachelot, Dati, Jouyet, Assembly's President Accoyer, Senate's Chair Poncelet, former 1st Lady Bernadette Chirac, former Prime Minister Raffarin, many foreign Ambassadors, and other political personalities were present. (While earlier, from the Socialist opposition, Paris' Mayor Delanoye, artist Robert Hussein a.o. assisted at the Elysee meeting).

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But the "Entry Song" focused on the "People chosen to become God's Friends". The September 11 mass was Dedicated to "Saint Chrysostomus, that great priest of Constantinople", with his "wonderful eloquence and great courage to face challenges", who "made out of despaired and godless people, a people of brothers", opening a possibility to "become all one complete entity", as Pope Benedict reminded.

- "Reason never enters in real contradiction with Faith", stressed Pope Benedict, who prepared his speeches for France during a short Summer rest at Brixen/Bressanone's Seminar, whose Library honors both "Faith and Science".. - "We must use not only our Reason, but also our Faith" : "Get away from Idolatry", "cupidity", "avidity for money, power or even knowledge deviating from essential aims", and other "falses appearances". and "build your Home on the Rock", "with the force that Holy Spirit gives to those who let it act in them", he said to the People of Paris.

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Benedict at Lourdes : - "Become Light (even) in the Dark !"
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- "Our World needs Hope", stressed Pope Benedict, addressing an impressive TorchLight procession at Lourdes' sanctuaries, where a Sea of Lights held by Hundreds of Thousands of People gathered at Pyrenee's Mountains from all over Europe astonishingly kept their flames despite a heavy Rain at a windy Dark Night...

- "150 years earlier (1858 - 2008), ..here, in the cave, ... a simple young girl, Bernadette .. saw a Light". "The everyday life of her Family was, however, made of Misery, Sadness, Sickness, Misunderstandings, Rejection and Poverty... It was hard to live in Jail". Today, "we think to all Human Beings who suffer : The innocent Victims who face Violence, War, Terrorism, Hunger, Injustices, Catastrophes, Hate and Oppression, Violations of Human Dignity and of their fundamental Rights, of their Liberty to act and think. We also think to those who face Familial problems, sufferings from Unemployment, Sickness, Infirmity, Isolation, or their situation as Immigrants, without forgetting those who suffer and die for the name of Christ", he said.

- "But the Shadows of the Earth, did not hinder Sky's Light to shine : <<The Light shines in the Dark>>" ..."A Way full of Light opens in Human History even in its Darkest moments" : ..."As Night falls, Christ tels us : <<- Keep your Lamps alight !>>."Hold a Light while walking in the Night .. sums up our condition as Christians on their way : "We need light, and we are called to become Light !", Benedict stressed to People setting in motion Lights, Flags and Songs with enthousiasm.

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"<<- She looked at me as a Person, who speaks to another Person>>, the poor girl had noted."Light emerges from such a Dialogue", stressed the Pope : "A small Flame called Hope, Compassion and Tenderness dwells inside those who return after being moved by Lourdes' experience". "Christ .. entrusts us with the Mission to let the Light of Charity shine : To make of our Prayers an Act of Love to our brothers and to Fraternal Charity", he concluded.

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