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Accueil 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

Ecrit par ACM
mardi, 03 juillet 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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    Scientific innovation joined to Faith for Human Rights, Eastern Partnership and fight against the Crisis, but above all, the need to overcome the "Crisis of Trust" from EU Citizens, are the main priorities for new EU Parliament's President, Polish Jerzy Buzek, that a 555-votes-strong majority of MEPs on July 14,  Strasbourg made a living symbol of the fact that, 20 years after the fall of Berlin Wall (1989 - 2009) there is no more an Eastern or Western Europe, but only one Europe, as the head of the largest group of MEPs, ChristianDemocrats/EPP, Joseph Daul, stressed after the event.

    Speaking later to a group of Strasbourg's Journalists, including "EuroFora", the new EU Parliament's President clarified his stance on concrete topical issues, as f.ex. that of Turkey's controversial EU bid, which was one of the main issues of the June 2009 Electoral campain, clearly won by his party of ChristianDemocrats/EPP :  - "At present, Turkey does not fullfil none of EU conditions", he stressed, (See infra).

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    Buzek is well known in Strasbourg and to "EuroFora" as EU Rapporteur for the Framework Program of Scientific Research and Development of Technologies. A Natural Science Professor from the Historic and Religious landmark Polish City of Częstochowa, active in the famous Solidarnosk grass-roots social movement, he served 4 years as Prime Minister (1997-2001), before being elected as MEP in 2004 and 2009, after he brillantly won the latest EU Election at the head of his party (EPP) almost doubling the number of its MEPs from 15 to 28 !

    - "Innovation" and "Energy safety", as well as fight against the "Cimat change", but also "Eastern Partnership", the "Mediterranean", "Strategic partnerships" with Russia, the USA, etc, and the search for "solutions to the Economic Crisis" that EU Citizens "expect" from us, will be his "priorities", announced from the outset the new EU Parliament's President, reminding also that the quest for "Human and Civic Rights" played an important role in his experience with the Solidarnosc grass-roots social movement in Poland's History

    But, the most important of all, is the urgent need to overcome the "Crisis of Trust" between EU Institutions and the People he stressed : - EU "Citizens often don't understand us", denounced Buzek, launcing a call to "do anything for EU Citizens to understand our work" in EU Parliament : "We (MEPs) need to make EU Citizens involved" in "what we are doing every week, in Strasbourg and Brussels", he proposed. Pointing f.ex. to the hot "Debates" with "strong arguments" exchanged between MEPs during the preparation of their Legislative Decisions, in Committees, delivering often hard struggles between initially opposed points of view, long before forging a majority at the final vote, sometimes more than a year..

    Therefore, EU Parliament will be "open to your criticism, for discussion and exchange of views", he promissed to Journalists in Strasbourg.

    In this way, Buzek, in fact, highlighted "EuroFora"s main idea, that we strongly advocate since 1997-2007, to systematicaly and actively involve EU Citizens in public debates during the decision-making process of important EU measures, which affect their lives and the society in which they live, (and not only just a few weeks each 4 or 5 Years at the eve of EU Elections)...
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    This is related also to the symbolic gift that Buzek chose to give to the out-going former EU Parliament's President, Hans Gert Poettering, (2007-2009), his collegue in the ChristianDemocrats/EPP, who brillantly won 2009 EU Elections in Germany : A genuine statute of sainte Barbara crafted in Silesia's black Coal by Polish Miners : Those simple but strong people who fought for social change against some technocrats and bureaucrats disguissed into so-called "real-socialists" of old times. (PHOTO).

    It's enough to have seen a popular open air mass, at Warsaw's center, with many thousands of people, old and young, simple workers and intellectuals mixed together, with references to Poland's history and struggles for survival and liberty, through various ages, (as fex. that organized at the eve of CoE's 2005 panEuropean Heads of State and Government for the beatification of late Pope John-Paul II), in order to understand what such symbols mean..

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    But, overcoming the "Crisis of Trust" with EU Citizens obviously implies also to rectify any errors done in the past, fex. on Turkey's controversial EU bid, with controversial decisions taken in 1999 and 2004 to give a "candidate" status and to start EU negotiations, provoking an unprecedented series of 3 "No" to EuroReferenda and 3 Majoriy Abstentions in EU Parliament Elections : 1999, 2005 and 2009, (even if the latest one succeeded to decelerate and almost stop the drop of participation rates, opening hopes for vote's revival after an electoral campaign clearly critical to Turkey's claims in several mainstream EU countries)
    
    Therefore, Buzek was faced with manifold critical Questions on EU Enlargement, most of them citting concrete examples of certain political problems  :  But his replies were almost always given as a matter of general principle :

    F.ex. Questioned on the suspension of EU - Croatia talks because of a Border conflict with EU Member Slovenia, Buzek prefered to speak about principles :

- "We know that during Enlargement, the process can be blocked by failure to resolve this kind of issues",  This concerns also other enlargments' cases", and "these rules are always in force" he warned.


But Buzek avoided to directly reply to a queston on "French and German EPP' calls to define the Borders of Europe", as a German journalist asked him by making a reference to French President Nicolas Sarkozy, and German Chancellor Angie Merkel's, critical statements on Turkey at the June 2009 Electoral campain.    

- "Concerning Enlargement, there's always the same rules : There have to be Criteria, which have to be respected if a Country wants to join the EU", he started to simply reply.

- "For my country (Poland) it took us 15 Years to fullfil these Criteria", Buzek reminded, indicating, if proportions are kept, that Turkey, fex. would have to spend some 25 years before eventually joining the EU..

- "Countries wishing to join the EU need to Change their Systems", as we (Poland and other former Eastern European Countries) did, he stressed.

- "'For me, meeting the condition of Human Rights is one of the Key conditions for membership in the EU", preferring again to speak from the point of view of General Principles, on the occasion of an untimely question on Serbia (which is not even a candidate yet)...

- "Turkey" has, "first of all", to fullfil (EU) Copenhagen criteria". Bevause, currently, none of them is fullfiled by Turkey", New EU Parliament's President, denounced, speaking later to a group of Journalists, including "EuroFora".

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In particular, on Human Rights :  - "We (EU) can never forget Human Rights", because "this is at the very Foundations of the EU", Buzek added.

On the contrary, when he referred to EU Enlargment for the  "Western Balkans Countries ", Buzek appeared upbeat, finding "promising situations", despite "difficulties" in the Past, since "Countries are queuing to become EU members", and this "generated changes", as he said.

As for Russia, Buzek observed that it was a "very important" country, located "in the same Continent", Europe,  "close to our borders", and "we need eachother". "But Russia' has 'differend poblems : "They claim that their system is Democratic, but rules are differend", and we must be "aware of such differencies", fex. "on Human Rights", that we can't ignore, as he said;

Concerning China, where a journalist observed that the recipient of EU Parliament's latest "Sakharov prize" for freedom of thought is "still in prison", Buzek found that since the 1999 events in Tien Amin square, "we see differencies on Human Rights still today", and expressed his "support" for those who try to ameliorate the situation.

On the contrary, speaking recently to "EuroFora" he strongly supported the idea for an EU - Ukraine cooperation, fex. between Airbus and Antonov, in order to build a  less costly but more performant than the old and problematic A400M, new Military Transport Airplane : - "They (Ukranian Antonov Company) can certainly do it. I'm sure they can. It's a good Idea, and I'd be glad if it was done", he told us. (See : http://www.eurofora.net/newsflashes/news/airbusantonov.html )


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