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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

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.


"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).


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.


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.  


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).


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.


- "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.


- "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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    The incoming Swedish EU Presidency (July-December 2009) may still remain in favour of Turkey's controversial EU bid, despite June 2009 EU Elections' results, but it has "very strong demands on Turkey"'s obligation to respect EU Rules, said the Head of Swedish Foreign Ministry's Press Service, Cecilia Julin, to "EuroFora", reacting to critical Press reports.

    - "I know (that) the link is often made also to Sweden's position on Turkey"'s controversial EU bid. Indeed, "we (Swedish EU Presidency) are very much engaged in the future membership of Turkey, but not without fullfiling all the Criteria".

    - "It's very clear that we (Swedish EU Presidecny) have very Strong Demands on Turkey, in a sort of concept for Future membership of the Union, ...which will be a Long Process...", she stressed.

    This means, in particular, "the Copenhagen Criteria (on Human Rights, Democracy and Rule of Law), and also the adaptation to the Acquis of the European Union".

     - "If you listen to what Mr. Bildt (the Swedish Foreign Minister) says on Turkey at different occasions, it's very clear : We want Turkey to become part of the Union, in the Future. But we want it to fullfil all the Criteria : The Acquis of the European Union. That's very clear", she concluded.

    The Senior Official of the Swedish Foreign Ministry was reacting to critical Press Reports, from Brussels' Journalists invited by EU Commission's secretariat to Stockholm, who claimed that Bildt was abusing of a ..."Whip" (sic !) against Cyprus, by "threatening" the presence of UNO's Peace-keeping force at the "Green line" which separates the island's Government-controlled areas from the territories occupied by Ankara's army, if Nicosia didn't accept any political solution, regardless of Turkey's demands, before the end of 2009.

        Governing AKEL Party's new Secretary General, Andros Kyprianou, reacted by declaring that no-one can threat the People of Cyprus : -"We shall decide for our Future, and nobody else",  he reportedly said, asking to "keep calm". "In order to find a Solution soon, certain basic Principles must be respected", he stressed, calling those who feel an urgency to use their influence on Turkey. Other Political Parties were more critical.

    This was a reference to recently reported statements by Turkish Minister Bagis, Prime Minister Tayip Erdogan and Turkey's National Security Council (a Military-Political body), accused to push towards a partitionist "2 States" solution, contrary to UNO SC Resolutions for Cyprus' reunification.

    December 2009 is a crucial moment for EU's appraisal of Turkey's controversial EU bid, because EU Council has decided to review then Ankara's compliance with the European position on the recognition of Cyprus' Government, which was clearly set out by an EU reply of 21 September 2005 to Turkish Prime Minister Tayip Erdogan's claims, refusing to recognize even the existence of EU Member Cyprus, in controversial statements he made to London (former EU chair) on July 29, 2005.

    EU Parliament's latest Resolution on Turkey, adopted on March 2009 in Strasbourg, warned Ankara that "the non-fulfillment of Turkey's commitments... by December 2009, may further seriously affect the process of Negotiations" with the EU.

    In practice, the issue boils down to Ankara's "embargo" against Ships and Airplanes using Cyprus' seaports or airports at the strategic EU island, which traditionaly hosts one of the World's biggest Shipping flags. EU has already "freezed" 6 relevant Chapters in EU - Turkey Negotiations since December 2006, after Ankara refused to fullfil a commitment it had undertaken when EU had decided to open controversial "accession" negotiations with Turkey, back on December 2005.

    - "As far as EU - Turkey relations are concerned, it's clear that Turkey needs to fullfil its obligation of full, non-discriminatory implementation of the additional Protocol (to "EC-Turkey Association Agreement"),  This is an important issue....and should be addresseed as soon as possible as it clearly affects the pace of the accession negotiations.Issues covered by the Declaration of September 2005 will continue to be followed up, and progress is urgently awaited", warned earlier in Strasbourg the out-going Czech EU Presidency (former vice-Prime Minister Alexander Vodra).

    But the Head of the Swedish Foreign Ministry's Press Service, Cecilia Julin, dismissed "interpretations" by "some" that Foreign Minister Carl Bildt was reportedly "threatening" Cyprus with consequences on the UNFICYP, if it doesn't accept any solution until December 2009, while Turkey is reportedly delaying in an attempt to impose a partitionist "2 States" solution.

    On the contrary, Julin, stressed that "Sweden has strong demands on Turkey'"s respect of "Copenhagen Criteria and EU Acquis".

    Meanwhile, Sweden  is "concerned" about the risk of "Stalemate" in Cyprus' Talks, but is well aware that "the main responsibilities lie with the two leaders and the UNO", Europe playing only a role of "facilitator".

    After carefully verifying, the Head of Swedish Foreign Ministry's Press Service, stressed to "EuroFora" that Bildt's reference to UNFICYP "was not linked to a Threat", and dismissed those who "interpreted" it so.

    On the contrary, the Swedish EU Presidency acknowledged the fact that Peace Talks are mainly for the UN and the leaders of the Cypriot communities, EU's role being limited into that of a "facilitator".

    As for Turkey's reported attempts to impose a "2 States' solution", the Head of the Swedish Foreign Ministry's Press Service sharply replied by stressing that Turkey must respect the "EU Acquis" rules.

    In particular :

    - "Basically he (Bildt) underlined that it's the leaders of the two communities in Cyprus and the UN that have the main responsibilities for solving the problem", started to say the Swedish Senior Official to "EuroFora", referring to the above-mentioned "briefing".

    - "But the EU had a role in sort of pointing out the benefits and facilitating a little bit the outcome for the settlement of the whole Cyprus' issue", she added.

    - "And he did state the Fact, that the rest of the World (i.e. USA, etc) will, of course, look at the differend issues which are at the table, and the future of the UN Peace keeping force is part of what is at the table", she admitted.

    - "I understand that some have interpreted that as a Threat, by the Swedish Minister" "But", in reality, "it's a statement of a Fact, that, when we'll look at the differend issues, one of the issues on which we shall have to take a stand on, is the future of the UN Peace keeping force in Cyprus".

    Indeed, one of the questions usually raised for a Solution of Cyprus' issue is what International and/or European or other Guarantees, by a Peace-keeping force, might be needed afterwards, eventually for a transitory period.

    Questioned anew by "EuroFora" whether (according to critical Press Reports) this could be taken as a veiled warning that, if Cyprus didn't accept any Turkish demand for any solution whatever, it might be left alone to face Ankara's Military Invasion/Occupation, she denied :

    - "He (Bildt) didn't say it in that way"... "It was not linked to a threat, or anything like that", the Head of the Swedish Foreign Ministry's Press Service stressed.

    On the contrary, "he (Bildt) underlined that the main responsibility lies with the parties concerned on the island". "The EU can try to facilitate and show the benefits of reaching a settlement. But also, when the EU and the rest of the World (i.e. USA) will have to look at it, they will look at all the Facts on the table, and the presence of the UN Peace-keeping force is one".

    And "he (Bildt) didn't speak about that at all", she replied to "EuroFora" question on Turkey's reported attemps to impose, in one way of another, a partitionist "2 States solution".

    Asked whether Bildt's aim was to incite both parties to move forward efficiently, she agreed :

    - In fact, "the EU is really very concerned with the Stalemate in the situation. Yes !", the Head of Sweden's Foreign Ministry's Press Service anounced. That's why Bildt "was hoping for the two parties (i.e. for Turkey's also) to engage and break, a little-bit, the present stalemate, come to a solution of the issue" of Cyprus.

    But, replying  to a "EuroFora"s question on the risk, denounced by several politicians in case of strict Time Deadlines, for Turkey to provoke a stalemate and wait for the time to come to impose a partitionist "2 States' solution", she reacted by pointing at Turkey's obligation to respect "EU Acquis" :

    - "Turkey must fullfil the EU Acquis : That's clear !", the Swedish Senior Official stressed.

    More details are expected when Swedish Prime Minister Reinfeldt will debate his Programme with new MEPs at EU Parliament's plenary mid-July in Strasbourg, that he has visited already in 2008.

    Foreign Minister Carl Bildt became familiar with Strasbourg's CoE last year, when Sweden chaired the PanEuropean organization of Human Rights. As EU chairman-in-office, he will also chair the 27-member States strong EU Group inside the 47-member States strong CoE.

    Minister for EU affairs, Cecilia Malmstrom is well known at EU Parliament, where she has been an active MEP of the Liberal Group for many years, following also Press Freedom issues.

    Both have already made various statements at "EuroFora", on differend topical matters.



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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