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Home arrow newsitems arrow French EU Minister Lellouch to EuroFora: Franco-German Environment coop +Iceland Volcano Ash Clouds

French EU Minister Lellouch to EuroFora: Franco-German Environment coop +Iceland Volcano Ash Clouds

Written by ACM
Wednesday, 21 April 2010
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Franco-German and larger EU cooperation on Environment might include also Atmospheric Dynamics if it's really needed to face extreme Weather Phenomena such as this week's Icelandic Volcano Ashes' clouds, which blocked practically all EU AirFlights and even EU Parliament's votes in Strasbourg, replied in substance the new French Minister for EU Affairs, Pierre Lellouch, to "EuroFora"s questions.

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"EuroFora" referred to the fact that both 2003's exceptional Heatwave, which killed more than 15.000 People in France alone and threatened Energy independency (by restricting Water needed for Nuclear Power Plants), and Katrina 2005 giant Tornado in the U.S., which devastated New Orleans and threatened Texas, as well as 2010's Icelandic Volcano Ash-Clouds, which provoked some 1,7 Billion € losses to EU's Air Companies, (etc), were all due, reportedly to strange Atmospheric phenomena : F.ex. an Atmospheric Depression pushing Sahara's Hot Air masses towards the EU, in the 1st case, or Iceland's Volcanic Ashes towards the UK, France and Germany, in the 2nd case, while another strange Atmospheric event changed a routine tornado among many usually ccoming from the Pacific Ocean, into devastating Katrina shortly before it arrived at US Coasts, (etc).

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But, while the American Authorities immediately reacted after August 2005 Katrina's destructions, also by deciding to create many "Weather Science" Research Projects throughout several U.S. Universities, as 'EuroFora"'s co-founder, who was exceptionaly visiing New York and Chicago then, remembers that U.S. Media abudantly anounced throughout the country, on the contrary, still today, even at EU's core, in Strasbourg, a pre-existing "Franco-German Center for Research in Environment", remained paradoxically .. empty and abandoned inside an otherwise Performant Natural Sciences' conglomerate concentrating Top Research in Physics, Chemistry and Biology at Cronenbourg's Campus, which was by a coincidence celebrating this week its 50th Anniversary since it was founded by a former student of World famous Polish-French Scientist Marie Curie (1960-2010), Marguerite Perey, and inaugurated by former EU Parliament's President Pierre Pflimlin.

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Initially located close to Strasbourg's outer Hills, on the heights of which Pflimlin had dreamed to build all EU Parliament, CoE, ECHR and other European and PanEuropean Institutions' Buildings (See earlier, specific "EuroFora"'s Publication on that), Strasbourg's Franco-German Center for Research on Environment was curiously abandoned at about 2001-2002, i.e. only a year before the 2003 Giant Killer Heatwave, followedf by the 2005 devastating Katrina in the U.S., etc., revealed that it was, on the contrary, necessary to develop it, as its former Director, Dr. Cilliox (who has just contributed to a 2009 overview of Scientific Research in the surrounding Alsace Region, and is currently S.G. of a National Organization dedicated to make all Industries able to face any risk of pollution etc.), observed to "EuroFora" earlier this week.  

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While Strasbourg has the rare privilege to host a performant "Earth Science Institute" (EOST) currently headed by World-famous Professor Granet, (a well known Earthquakes' specialist, who has organized an important research pole on Terrestrial dynamics, etc), and keeps solid research on Water Bassins' and/or Atmospheric pollution, etc., curiously it seems to lack a noteworthy perspective on the Dynamics of the Atmosphere, contrary to a High-Tech Atmospheric Dynamics' research spearheaded by nearby German Institutes from Baden-Wurtemberg up to Bavaria, risking also to miss a rare chance to develop a coherent, large and full "Earth Science" Modern Technology, highlighted by Strasbourg-based European Science Foundation's 2005-2010 RST Overview Report, despite the co-existence also of Strasbourg's Astronomic Observatory, SERTIT's Earth Observation fast-track Mapping centre, and International Space University, ESA's "Space Control Centre" at nearby Darmstadt (Germany), EU's GALILEO Satellites' construction bid won by a SME headquarted at nearby Stuttgart (Germany), not far away even from the European Austronaut Centre at Koeln, etc, while EU is currently developing its GMES Space Program : "Global Monitoring for Environment and Security", as EU Commission's vice President Tajani recently stressed in reply to "EuroFora"'s questions (See previous NewsReports from Jan. 2010).

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Meanwhile, new Strasbourg-headquartered Alsace Region's President, Philippe Richert, has repeatedly anounced his intention to boost a new "Eco-Technology" pole here, in close cooperation with nearby German and Swiss research centres and enterprises, (See earlier "EuroFora"'s publications on this point), and French President Sarkozy has already anounced his intention to examine the possible creation of such a "New Competitivity Pole" and/or of a new "Pole of Excellence" in this direction here, as he revealed in his December 2009 statements on future Billions € of investments, nationwide, thanks to a "Great Loan" due to unfold in the forthcoming Months, "EuroFora"'s question also reminded at Lellouch President Sarkozy and German Chancelor Merkel's recent anouncements, last February 2010, of a joint Franco-German intention to create common "Poles of Excellence" in University Education and Research, as well as an "Eco-Mobility" show-case between Stuttgart and Strasbourg.

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- "Even Today, in fact, Iceland's Ash-Clouds, which have blocked EU's AirFlights and even  EU Parliament's Votes, are not due to the sole Volcano by itself, (already expected since January 2010),  but to an Anticyclone near UK's Seawaters which is pushing Ash-Clouds towards France, Germany and other EU Countries, by provoking at the Atmosphere strong Winds.

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- "I'm not a volcanologist, nor omniscient", joked initially Lellouch. "Recently we created at Berlin a Franco-German Institute on Climate, and decided a joint Satellite project on CO2 Observation", he  started to reply Lellouch to "EuroFora"'s question, apparently realizing, however, that these good steps were insufficient to cover also the "Key" sector of "Atmospheric Dynamics", of crucial importance in both the Heatwave, Katrina and Iceland's Volcano Ashes (See supra) :


 - "But, is that really complete",  and enough to meet all the present needs for Franco-German cooperation on Environment at EU's core, "or should we add, perhaps, also some other components, here in Strasbourg ?", Lellouch started to reflect.


- "May-be yes !", the French Minister for EU Affairs concluded with an "open" reply...


EU's Franco-German motor, in possible cooperation with other Countries, should start moving in such Strategic directions for the development of Key Technologies, even more when one considers Lellouch's expressed concern that Europe is currently threatened to be over-shadowed by other Poles in the World, such as not only the U.S., but also China, India, and other "emerging" areas, risking to become too small in the future, compared to the rest of the World, as he said.


Considering that, probably, he didn't mean that only from a purely quantitative Population point of view, since it would be obviously difficult to prefer the situation .. f.ex. of Indonesia, or India to that of EU Citizens', just because of their number, (which never hindered Europe,  the smallest continent in the World, to lead Global Historic developments for Thousands of Years), it's much more in the direction of the development of Key High-Tech on Strategic "Weather Science" and other knowledge-power sectors, that the comparison between USA's reaction to Katrina, (See supra), and EU's reaction to Iceland Volcano's Ash Clouds, should lead.


At any case, it would certainly be much more profitable, (including in unexpected by-products), to invest 1,7 Billion € in order to boost Scientific Research and  Modern Technologies on Atmospheric Dynamics and other "key" Environmental issues, instead of having to pay heavy damages for cancelled AirFlights allover Europe..


Lellouch, who also participated to the inauguration of an Exhibition in EU Parliament together with its President Buzek, saw with his own eyes the unprecedented spectacle of MEPs hindered to vote during all the April 2010 weekly Plenary in Strasbourg, and cancel its Thursday's debates, just because a British AntiCyclone pushed towards France and Germany  Iceland's Volcano Ash-Clouds, hindering most MEPs from arriving here by Airplane..

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    EU Rapporteur on Enlargment Strategy, maistream German MEP Elmar Brok, speaking to "EuroFora", welcomed the proposal made earlier this week by French President Nicolas Sarkozy for the EU to"start Now Talks with Turkey to create a common Economic and Security area", instead of full Accession, at a period when Ankara looks more and more unfit and/or unwilling to respect EU conditions.

    - "For Europe to have strong Political will, it must stop dilutiing itself in an endless Enlargement. It must have borders...Diversities enrich, on the condition that they don't undermine European Cohesion, and don't weaken EU Unity", Sarkozy stressed.
    
    - "Countries like Turkey share a part of common destiny with Europe, with which they have a vocation to build a Privileged Relation, to be closely associated, but not to become Member of the EU"  : "Noone respects his friends by telling them lies. Noone respects his friends by making them promises that will be never kept", he added.

    That's why "we'd better start, from now, negotiating with Turkey to create a common Economic and Security area", Sarkozy proposed.

Significantly, the French President was repeatedly and largely applauded by EU citizens, 3 times, when he made the Turkey point, (strategically placed between Europe's "Political Will" and its cultural heritage, historically open to mutually enriching dialogue with all the World, but never diluted).

    - "We could propose such a great ambition also to Russia, which must not be percieved as an Adversary of Europe, but as a Partner. Thus, we'd create a wide area, of more than 800 Million inhabitants, sharing the same Security, the same Prosperity", he concluded.

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    Sarkozy's move was anounced at the eve of a Franco-German Top meeting with Chancellor Angie Merkel in Berlin on Sunday, to jointly launch the EU Elections campain, after an EU Summit at nearby Prague, to launch a new kind of relations, called "Eastern Partnership", with neighboring countries such as Urkaine, Belarus, Moldova, Georgia, Armenia, Azerbaidjan, etc, (to which Russia, reportedly, is not - and does not want to be - included).

    As for Ukraine, which has already expressed her wish to join the EU in future, "Kiev will have a special place, and a very important role to play", replied earlier this week in Strasbourg, to an "EuroFora" question EU Chairman in office , Czech vice-Prime Minister Alexander Vodra.

    - "This direction is more Realistic for Turkey than Accession negotiations", reacted immediately EU Parliament's Rapporteur for Enlargment Strategy, mainstream German MEP Elmar Brok, commenting Sarkozy's idea for "EuroFora"

     Particularly "as far as it concerns the respect of EU Rules by both sides", he added, hinting at Turkey's now obvious inability and/or unwillingness to abide with EU Acquis, EU Commitments (fex. on Cyprus, etc), and European Democracy/Human Rights rules. (Comp. infra).

    Brok added that, in his view, a similar proposal might be made also to Ukraine and other neighbouring Countries, regardless if they have, or not, a "European vocation". This would not necessarily mean that there couldn't be any accession prospects at all." for all the countries that might be included in this area, according to Brok.  But it's preferable, particularly for Turkey, "because it's a more Realistic approach than full Membership".

    On this point, Sarkozy's proposal, (which he'll share with German Chancellor Merkel), seems more crystal-clear.

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    - "Turkey does not fullfil EU Criteria, and will never fullfil EU Criteria" on Human Rights, Democracy and Rule of Law. "Some have been lying to Ankara, but we must tell the Truth, and have honest and close relations with her", said meanwhile to "EuroFora" on the same issue also the President of EU Parliament's largest Group of MEPs (ChristianDemocrats/EPP), Joseph Daul.
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"Hot" Debate at EU Parliament reveals CHANGE of mood towards "Suspension" of EU - Tukey talks.
------------------------------
    Earlier this week, many MEPs, and even some of those who were previously in favor of Turkey's controversial EU bid, strongly criticized the persistance and even aggravation of serious Human Rights violations in the country, that ECHR continues to "unanimously" condemn ":

      - "After winning a big victory in the latest Local Elections, the pro-Kurdish party DTP almost doubled its Elected Mayors from 52 to 98", but afterwards "more than 400 politicians were thrown to Prison and prosecuted" by the Turkish Authorities, denounced on behalf of the ChristianDemocrat/EPP Group, Belgian MEP Frieda Brepoels.

     At the same time, "more than 1.500 Children are closed in Turkish Prisons", she added. "What will the EU Commission do" against these facts ?

- "Turkey appears to be at greater Distance away from Copenhagen Criteria after 4 Years of accession Negotiations, than when they started !", denounced on behalf of the Liberal Group, German MEP Alexander Lambsdorf.    

"On the central issue of Press Freedom, Critical Journalists face obstacles for their accreditation, others are prosecuted, condemned, fined and/or jailed, Media blocked or closed", he denounced.   

 - "EU Made 2 grave Mistakes with Turkey : To start accession negotiations, and to continue them", despite everything, criticized Dutch MEP Bastian Belder, on behalf of the Ind/Dem group.

(../..)

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