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Home arrow newsitems arrow New EU Head, Austrian Chancellor Kurz: build Bridges in Challenging Times before 2019 EU Elections

New EU Head, Austrian Chancellor Kurz: build Bridges in Challenging Times before 2019 EU Elections

Written by ACM
Tuesday, 03 July 2018
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*Strasbourg/Angelo Marcopolo/- EU Parliament's MEPs debated for almost 2,5 Hours New EU Chairman-in-office, the Young Austrian Chancellor Sebastian Kurz's vow to strive to "Build Bridges" among Europeans over the Troubled Waters of these "Challenging Times", just "Before the 2019 EU Elections", as he stressed here in Strasbourg, face to face with EU Commission's President Jean-Claude Juncker, but in the Middle of a Torrid Summer Heatwave flowing Northwards, just After kicking off Symbolically the Beginning of the Austrian EU Presidency for the period of July - December 2018, already since last Week-End, in the Fresh Oxygen up to the Top of Alpes Mountains, Together with EU Council's President Donald Tusk, out-going Bulgarian former EU Chair, Boyko Borisov, and a lot of simple People, carried there Free of Charge, in Reply to Earlier Public Appeals on the Web.

 

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- As a matter of General Principle,  "We (EU) Respect People's Votes verdict", and hold "Solid Relations" with Elected Leaders : That's the Duty of any EU Official, Sebastian Kurz significantly Replied, Later-on, to a Press Question on ...the New, notoriously Atypical "Italian Government", Smiling brightly...

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- "I Know that Kurz is Moved by European Spirit", stressed from the outset in EU Parliament's Plenary the Experienced EU Commission's President, Jean-Claude Juncker, who also Dismissed a curiously provocative and oppressive Question by a "Socialist" Radio Correspondent from Portugal about why there were no current attempts to Isolate (sic !) the New, 2018 EU Austrian Presidency, Contrary to what some had already attempted, in the Past, towards 2000, during the era of controversial but popular Rightist former Political Leader Georg Haider, who faced Later an ill-elucidated Violent Death in a strange Car Incident at his Carinthian Region, (where he held a Coalition with ... "Socialists"!).

 

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- "The Difference is that this (2018) new Austrian Government has a Program which is Clearly Pro-European !", sharply Replied, at a short but dense Press Conference, Juncker. (For recent Kurz's statements to "Eurofora", during the March 2018 EU Summit in Brussels, See: http://www.eurofora.net/newsflashes/news/austrianchancellornexteuchairkurzonturkey.html, etc.). 

 

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+ Moreover, Kurz has just come back from the Latest EU Summit in Brussels, where he met also the Popular ...Norwegian Prime Minister Ema Solberg, as he had already told "Eurofora" as early as since 2017 (See: http://www.eurofora.net/newsflashes/news/austriankurzmetalsowithnorwaypm.html), and showed Now, on 2018, in a Frontline Picture published by the ChristianDemocrat/EPP Party there : Solberg is among the First to conclude a "Unity of the Right" Governemental Coalition, and German Chancellor Angie Merkel has notoriously revealed, at the Eve of the latest German Elections of 2017,  that she considers the Norwegian Top Politician as "the Best Prime Minister" in the World !

 

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- Inter Alia, "We (EU) must Create the Conditions for the Development of a High-Tech. Europe" also at the Internet, etc. Because, Otherwise, Nowadays, "Most of the Web Giants are in USA or China", warned Sebastien Kurz at his speech in EU Parliament's plenary, Earlier Today. This a Key-part of the in-coming Austrian EU Presidency, whose Program aims to "Protect" also the European Citizens' "Welfare", mainly by realistically Safeguarding and Developping further its "Competitivity" vis a vis the rest of the World, particularly in the Nowaday's Strategic Areas of "Automatisation and Digitalisation".


For those who have Forgotten the Fact that, f.ex., the 1st Mobile Phone (and later-on SmartPhone) was a European Invention, Industrial Fabrication and Commercialisation, as well as the Electronic "Chip", etc., respectively in Finland and in France, it's, therefore, Time to Note also that even the President of the Biggest Political Party in Europe, that of ChristianDemocrats/EPP : former Strasbourg's MEP and Chairman of the ChristianDemocrat/EPP Group of MEPs in EU Parliament, Joseph Daul, had already warned that he Intended to Speak to the main EU Countries' Leaders from 2017-2018 about the Need to Create and Develop European Products particularly on Telecoms, including SmartPhones, etc., as "Eurofora" has heard him saying.


- But, meanwhile, notoriously, the Number 1 Need, recently badly Felt among a large Majority of EU Citizens, certainly is for Europe to "Protect" them from Insecurity (including, naturally, from Deadly Islamist Terrorism, as that of ISIL's Coward Killings Targetting innocent Civilians), and from Manifold Negative aspects of the recent Mass Asylum Seekers/Irregular Migrants' Giant "Tsunami", which suddenly intruded in Europe since 2015/2016 from Turkey, without any sign that they might Return Back Home, at least until now, provoking, in the meantime, a lot of various Incidents, including Brutal Mob Attacks, Bullying, etc, but also Altering Europe's Cultural landscape, particularly with a much More Abrupt massive and systematic "Islamization", even at the Public Sphere, etc., to the point that it became a "Political Issue", as various Recent Elections, in several Countries, have notoriously shown. To the point that the Popular, 4 Times re-Elected, Prime Minister of Hungary, Victor Orban, has just reportedly stressed, during the latest EU Summit in Brussels, that "the People Request 2 things : ... No More Migrants coming in... (and) that those (Mass Irregular Migrants) who are in (Europe), Should Go Back".


=> That's why Kurz, even More than Other EU Politicians nowadays, gives a Key Importance to a "Decent" "Protection of EU's External Borders", also as a Guarantee for a Satisfactory Free Movement inside the EU, without undue obstacles accross National Borders, that he vowed to struggle to fully realize at least "in the middle/long term".


Considering the Latest EU Summit in Brussels' results, at the End of June 2018, as "a 1st Step in the Right Direction", revealing "a New Trend", (f.ex. with its Decisions for "Desembarcation Platforms" at the Outer, and "Controlled Centers" at the inner Suroundings of Europe), Kurz has also explored the idea even for EU - Protected, Safe Areas for Asylum Seekers in Neighbouring Countries, including by a European Force.


Since the progressive Integration of the Western Balkans inside the EU, "Will Complete the European Dream", as the Austrian Chancellor said,
a Parallel Quest for "Stability at the Neighbourhood" of the EU nowadays, takes a Special Character as far as it concerns "Cooperation with 3rd Countries", i.e. mainly vis a vis Africa, Turkey, and Other, such Neighbours that EU should Fund also in order to keep External Asylum Demands' processing areas, whose Safety might be protected even with the Help of EU's Military, as he has reportedly just pointed out in recent Press statements.


In this Direction, both EU Parliament's President, Antonio Tajani, and EU Commission's President, Jean-Claude Juncker, pointed at the Need to Advance well Beyond the Recent Addition of +400 Millions € in EU Funds for Africa, while a 2nd package of 3 Billions € in full Grants was, in parallel, Decided for Turkey.

Juncker vowed to "Speed up" an "EU External Borders Force", able to Add + "10.000 Agents by 2020", to Help the 100.000 National Forces in those areas, and claimed that the 400.000 Millions € added by the Latest EU Summit for Africa would bring the Total EU - African Fund up to 4,1 Billion €, which would be able to Raise about 44 Billions €, (and eventualy Double its overall Financial Impact even to more than 88 Billions €, if EU Member States added their own Contributions, as he speculated. Without, however, clarifying if this would consist just in Loans, or in full Grants, as Turkey has notoriously obtained from the EU by Blackmailing when Ankara send more than 1,5 Million of Irregular Migrants/Mass Asylum Seekers suddenly flow inside the EU via Smugglers, since Back on 2015-2016+s).

 

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- Meanwhile, Sebastian Kurz, speaking After a Long and "Lively Debate" with various MEPs, noted that there are "Differences of Views", and expressed his support for "Discussions", on the condition of mutual "Respect", but stressed his Belief, that, in fact, "much More Binds us Together, than Separates us", as he concluded.


  - "It's not necessary to agree on everything. We can have Different Views. But we Must Focus on what Unites us, and need to Build Bridges, in order to Move the EU Forward !", Kurz urged MEPs.


  - Particularly Nowadays, when "we can't take the EU for Granted, but have to Work Hard in order to Preserve it, and Make it Better", the Young Austrian Chancellor Warned.


  - Indeed, in addition f.ex. to the imminent BREXIT's outcome, and to the need to Decide soon on EU's Multi-Annual Financial Perspectives", where "Negotiations are Tough", as he observed,

 

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    - Nowadays, we are living in the Context of  "an Age of Upheavals", where even "International Order is Changing", while "Tensions are Rising". "Before, Countries were Quewing in order to Enter in the EU", while, "Now the UK goes Out", with "BREXIT", and even "Rule of Law, Democracy and Human Rights, canNot be Taken for Granted", he warned.


    - Expressing his "Hope to Build Bridges in Difficult Areas", the incoming, Austrian EU President in office, stressed in Conclusion that, In fact, still, "We are Fortunate to be Europeans !"

 

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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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