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Home arrow newsitems arrow New Big East French Region President Richert to Eurofora on 5 Countries Borders at EU core and China

New Big East French Region President Richert to Eurofora on 5 Countries Borders at EU core and China

Written by ACM
Thursday, 14 January 2016

*Strasbourg/Press Club/Angelo Marcopolo/- The First Elected President of the New, Big East, French Region "ACAL", Unique to link Together 5 EU  Countries at the Heart of Europe, (France, Germany, Switzerland, Luxembourg and Belgium),  Philippe Richert, speaking to "Eurofora" at the conclusion of a meeting with Journalists co-organized by the 3 Press Clubs of Strasbourg, Metz and Reims, confirmed his intention to use this particularity as a key asset for the New Region's Economic Attractivity, as well as his Readiness to examine a Fresh New Start for the overall area's aleady existing links to China's Global Economic PowerHouse, despite some Blunders reportedly committed by a few Local Former Administrations, (f.ex. on High Speed Train projects, etc), in the context of the New Region's wider Mission to Forge "a New Dimension" for the whole area's Future, while also Integrating its Rich European Cultural History.

(On the New Strasbourg's Big East Region, and the Recent Election won by Philippe Richert , as well as his Earlier relevant Statepents to "Eurofora" , see also: http://www.eurofora.net/newsflashes/news/newstrasbourgbigregionprefect.html , http://www.eurofora.net/newsflashes/news/newstrasbourgbigregionprefect.html , http://www.eurofora.net/newsflashes/news/sarkozyeveofeuturkeysummit.html , http://www.eurofora.net/newsflashes/news/franceregionelelectionsrepublicanswithgreensorfnrightistsforstrasbourg.html , http://www.eurofora.net/newsflashes/news/sarkozyautonomousalternativewinsregions.html).


    - In fact, "the Challenge is to Advance Ahead" into the Future, but "without Forgetting the Identities and those Rich Traditions which made the History of these very Ancient Departments and Regions ,(currently ReGrouped inside the New Big Eastern area of ACAL), while, at the Same Time, we'll be giving it all a New Dimension", strongly stressed Philippe Richert.

    - Because, Today, "It's our Duty to  Build some New common Foundations for us all, to serve during the Years and Decades Ahead". So that, "in order to Advance Ahead, We have to do a litttle bit more and Differently from what we were Used to do", he urged.

    - He was Speaking of "an area which has many UNESCO-protected Assets",


including "Strasbourg's (Highest and over-Millenary) "Cathedral in Alsace", (a Symbol of Franco-German Reconciliation and a Masterpiece which remains still Unfinished, both outside and inside, where, Together with its Catholic and Protestant main structure, was added also an Orthodox one, pointing at a PanEuropean Horizon);





"as well as Reims"' (Historic) Cathedral at Champagne", (i.e. there where Kings of France were Crowned, as f.ex. Charles the "Victorious", who Ended the "War of a Hundred Years" and Build a Centralized State, with the Help of famous Popular Heroine "Jeanne d'Arc", for whom even German Modern Rock Group "Eloy" has composed an Epic Song);




"and Saint-Nicolas Basilica in Lorraine", (an Historic Monument linked to the Crusades and Spain's Saint-Compostela EU-PathWay, as well as to a Popular Tradition still alive throughout most Europe, from France to Russia, and from England to Cyprus) etc.




+ To which should be also added some Old Jewish Synagogues, he also pointed out, as far as Europe's History is concerned.



Find a New overall NAME

    - For all that New Area, "I find that "Alsace - Champagne - Ardenne - Lorraine" (alias : "ACAL") may be quite Cute, but it's Too Long. So, I intend to Cooperate with the Media" on Finding a New Name.

    - Mainstream Center-Right Politician, "Valerie Debord will be in charge of this work. And afterwards, we shall submit to the Vote of our Citizens, in order to Choose among the best Proposals", he anounced.

    => For that purpose, Philippe Richert didn't deny that a possible Name such as, f.ex., "French Part of Europe's Heart", as suggested by "Eurofora", very close to a similar term, Earlier reportedly supported by the New Region's President himself, might ....

Unique Region linking Together 5 European Countries at EU's core

 - "Eurofora" asked President Richert if he found that a Key-point for the Economic Attractivity of the New Big East Region of "ACAL" is the Fact that it's a Unique Region in France and in all Europe which has Direct Links to 5 European Countries located at EU's "Heart", by Bringing Together the Borders of France, Germany, Switzerland, Luxembourg and Belgium, (while also going almost from Geneva up to Brussels, via Strasbourg and Luxembourg, etc).

 - "Yes, of course. I haven't yet spoken about that here, but I intend to use this (argument)", Philippe Richert spontaneously Replied Positively.

- In fact, "It's mainly about our (New) Borders and the (core European) Territories which are Around us", he observed.

     + ACAL is also located throughout the Historic Battle areas which had Separated Europe during the Franco-German War and the 2 subsequent World Wars, back on 1870 -1945, but has also become, later-on, the main area of Franco-German ReConciliation Symbols, as well as the Host of most European, PanEuropean and International Institutions located at the Continent, all accross its proximity to Geneva UNO and other Global bodies, through Strasbourg's CoE, EU Parliament's Plenary Sessions, ECHR, EU Ombudsperson, Shengen Secretariat and EUROCORPS, to Luxembourg's EU Court of Justice and several EU Council's Ministerial meetings, up to Brussels' EU Commission's Headquarters, EU Heads of State/Government Summits, and NATO, etc, i.e. allowing to InterLink Together almost all among the most Important relevant Trans-National Organizations actively present in our Continent.                                                                                                                                                                             - -------------------------

Out-going, controversial "Socialist" former Lorraine Chief, Masseret, undermined Strasbourg- Brussels "TGV" link ?!...

    + But, regarding various practical details, "you don't know yet what pops up when you just start looking around" this New ACAL Big Area, at this Initial stage, President Richert added, referring to an Earlier encounter with "Eurofora", about a possible Geneva-Brussels TGV link, (Comp. : ....).

"F.ex.,  in Lorraine, I found  that they", (i.e. the Out-going former Direction by Controversial "Socialist" Politician Masseret, who had notoriously prefered, Contrary to his National Political Leadership in Paris, to keep some Seats for himself inside the New Region's Assembly, instead of Calling to Vote for Richert between the 2 Electoral Rounds, even if this Risked to throw ACAL into the grip of "FN"'s Far Right), "had done Nothing, about a Plan to Start regular High Speed Train ("TGV") links, mainly between Strasbourg and Luxembourg, from 2016". (He had already Explained earlier to "Eurofora" that Belgium Authorities didn't want for  High Speed Train to Advance beyond Luxembourg, inside Belgium in order to reach Brussels, and that forthcoming Rhine-Rhone "TGV" could be ultimately Extended up to Strasbourg). => "This practicaly means that the whole Project (in principle due to Link mainly Strasbourg to Brussels by High Speed Trains Every Day) "would have to be Postponed, at least for 2017, risking even to be automaticaly Droped after a Time Deadline. "Otherwise, they should have to find soon some 25 Millions €, (i.e. something that it's currently not even possible to Dream of"), as he concluded critically...

+ Ideal location for EU - China links' boost ?


+ Adding, in this context, also the Topical Issue of the possible Development of Economic and Cultural Relations with China's Global Growth Powerhouse, "Eurofora" reminded to President Richert the main already Existing ACAL Region - China Links (See, f.ex., Infra), of which he is Personaly Familiar, and pointed out also the latest EU - China Summit's Conclusions in Brussels, last June 2015 (See "Eurofora"'s NewsReports from the spot), according to which, the two sides Intend to Boost not only mutual Trade, as in the Past, but also Joint Co-Productions, right from the Start, already from the Research/Technological Development stage. I.e. a move which Naturaly implies also an Extension of Educational links, from High Schools/Colleges up to Universities/Post Doc. a.o. segments.

(Regions in France have, indeed, Extensive Competences on High Schools/Colleges, but can also act vis a vis Universities/Post Doc. Research, etc., mainly through Programs due to Boost Economy).


=>  Proactively, President Richert replied sharply to "Eurofora"s query with a Short but Open observation : - "I have just 6 whole Days in my new job, so I didn't yet have enough Time to deal with all main Issues, "even for those which are Legitimate", except from what was Urgent. But one thing is for sure :  - I will always Read all the Projects which will be presented in my Office !", as he characteristicaly stressed, (i.e. obviously Inviting to Move from General Ideas towards Concrete Projects, related to Topical Needs and ready for Taking Action)...

It's, indeed, True that, concerning China, several PathWays are already  prepared, throughout all the New Big East Region of "ACAL" :


Alsace Region is linked to Jiansu Region, which has the 2nd net Growth in China, hosts Nankin City, i.e. the former long-time Capital of the Country, and is located near Shanghai's International Hub, where it has build an Innovative, Ecological High-Tech Building for its own Pavillon during the 2010 World Expo. The Number of Chinese Students in Strasbourg University is 2nd only to Neighbouring Germany, while some of the Best Private High Schools/Colleges based in Strasbourg eye their expansion mainly to Shanghai from 2016 on. China is already Alsace's 4rth Foreign Trade Partner, competing with USA, and has here a "Confucius" Institute, a Budhist Temple, and an expanding Consulate General, also competent for relations with the Council of Europe. Lorraine Region hosts a Chinese "Technopole" with an important poential, near Metz. And Champagne-Ardenne is linked to Sichuan province, even by Airplane, focusing mainly on Education and Culture (from University and High School/College, up to Traditional Chinese Medicine, Cinema and Communication, etc), but eyes also an Industrial Cooperation Project., etc.


Thus, Richert's faithful and Experienced Head of Office, Christophe Kieffer, confirmed, shortly Afterwards, to "Eurofora", that, indeed, the Political Leadership of the New, Big East Region of "ACAL", is already "Aware" of the existence of several China-related Strong Points in each one among the various Areas which were included in that New Big Territorial Grouping,  and is currently Considering how to Wrap it all up in a New Coherent Whole, and according to which overall  Strategy to proceed.



("NDLR" : Fast Translation from the Original in French).


("DraftNews", as already send to "EuroFora"s Subscribers/Donors, earlier. A more accurate, full Final Version, might be Published asap).




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    The recent paradox of freezing EU Talks with front-runner Croatia, while continuing controversial EU - Turkey talks, despite Zagreb's acceptance of Refugees' Human Rights to return, that Ankara refuses fex. in Cyprus, while both have "Good Neighborhood" problems vis a vis Slovenia, or Greece, Cyprus and Armenia respectively, can it be justified by the non-fullfilment of EU criteria, as Slovenia says, or, is it "Double Standards" ?    

The question became unavoidable after statements by Presidents of Slovenia and Croatia, Tuerk and Mesic, respectively, to "EuroFora", exclusively or among Strasbourg's journalists this week at the CoE, on the sidelines of its 2009 Summer University for Political Schools, which topically brought them together as successive key-note speakers.

    Comming only a few Months before EU checks Turkey's compliance to its commitments on Cyprus, etc., scheduled for December 2009, this obviously has a special importance for the coherence of EU Enlargement's principles.

     Suspension of EU Negotiations is a normal consequence in case of a Candidate Country's failure to fullfil EU Conditions, such as "Good Neighborhood relations", stressed at first Slovenian President Danilo Tuerk, current CoE's chair.

    But, regarding EU's Criteria,  there shouldn't be any "Double Standards",  reacted Croatian President Stjepan Mesic, commenting the fact that Turkey's controversial EU negotiations continue, while they were recently "freezed" in the case of Croatia, an "unquestionably European Country", which oficially accepts to respect Refugees Human Rights, contrary to Ankara's notorious refusals or reluctance.                                       

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                           - "EU itself has set as a Criterium (for EU Enlargement) the "Good Neighborhood relations",  and their absence justifies the "Suspension" EU Negotiations, (f.ex. with Croatia), because of a Border dispute affecting the territorial integrity of an EU Member Country, stressed Slovenian President, Danilo Tuerk, CoE's Chairman in office (May - November 2009), speaking to Journalists in Strasbourg including "EuroFora".    

Questioned earlier what "consequences on EU's Enlargement policy" can have the "Ban on EU Membership Negotiations", imposed to Croatia, Tuerk replied that "this question comes down to the fulfillement of (EU) Criteria for membership. One has to look at each Candidate Country ., from the point of view whether it fullfils the Criteria that EU has set. One of them are Good Neighborhood Relations, I'd like to remind. And also, there are other factors, such as Justice, Home affairs, Rule of Law, and others".

    - "Now, ..Candidate Countries are at Different Levels of fulfillement of Criteria", he observed.

    - " Croatia is obviously the closest to that. I'm rather optimistic : I think that in the coming Months we'll have an opportunity to look at all these issues constructively and hopefully we'll be able to make progress". "My main concern, at this point, is the situation in Bosnia : We haven't seen enough progres domesticaly. We haven't seen enough during ..political parties within their country.We need a New Energy, a new energetic move towards the Candidature for EU membership. "Other (Western Balkan) Countries (Serbia, Montenegro, FYROM, Albania) have been making soaring Progress, and I think that they should be ready, in a few Years, for the Candidate status".

    - "As far as the Western Balkans are concerned, .. nobody should be left outside" the EU, Slovenian's President concluded, ommitting to mention Turkey's controversial EU bid.

    - "This process may be seen as Slow, but..  Slovenia has also has also been exposed to various "Booms of Slowness" in our accession period. But now we can say that the process was relatively quick, because changes which occur after becoming EU member, are quite large, and they require proper Preparations before the (EU) membership becomes a new factor, an impacting line for a new (EU) member country".

EU "Solidarity" ?

Slovenian statements made some participants from certain 3rd Countries as FYROM, etc. claim that "the Principle of EU Solidarity" would "produce a.. rising European Union Nationalism (sic !), against Non-EU Countries", as they said, asking unhappy foreign countries to form a "bloc" to exert pressure on the EU...    

But Croatian President Stjepan Mesic dismissed that, supporting "EU Integration", "after the Economy also in Political" issues, as "the achievement" of our times. In EU there is "diversity, but it's United", he stressed, "EU has to be United so that it can become a central factor of Peace" also at the surrounding areas, he replied.


Speaking later exclusively to "EuroFora", the experienced twice President of Croatia, former President of the International "Non-Aligned" movement, denounced "Double Standards" in the way EU treats recently Croatia compared to Turkey :   

 - "I think that there shouldn't be Double Standards", stressed the Croatian President, in reply to a Question comparing the freeze of EU - Croatia talks, with the continuation of EU - Turkey talks, despite the fact that Croatia is an "unquestionably European country", while Turkey's EU bid is notoriously controversial.

    Mesic was reacting to the observation that, even if he confirmed his "respect of Refugees' Human Rights to return, etc. (See infra), nevertheless, EU talks are suspended with Croatia.. While for oher, controversial candidates, who refuse to respect Refugees' Rights to return, etc., as fex. Turkey does in occupied Cyprus and elsewhere, EU negotiations continue".

    - "I believe that Croatia's accession will confirm that all European Countries who fulfill all of the Conditions and achieve European Standards, have to join the EU. There shouldn't be any Double Standards", went on to add in reply President Mesic.

    In this relation, Croatia's President found "of paramount importance", CoE's "mechanisms enforcing ECHR's judgements"
    - "On Refugees and Displaced persons, the process will be completed only after the last person demanding to return will be allowed to do so !", President Mesic Croatia stressed earlier, setting a general standard of obvious importance also for otherr candidates, as f.ex. Turkey, often accused to exclude or heavily restrict Greek Cypriot Displaced persons' return to their Family Homes and ancestral land, provoke difficulties to Turkish-Kurd IDPs return to their home regions at the South-East, etc.

    Some "2.000 People are still reported Missing" in former Yugoslavia, for some Years, (as in Cyprus, modern Europe's oldest case, for 3 Decades. Nagorno-Karabach, Tcecnya in Russia, etc, more recently), and Investigations "will only be completed after establishing the fate of the last one of them", he added.
    Speaking earlier on "War Crimes", President Mesic stressed that "Leaders are responsible for (the) Wars (of the Past), not the People", and called against Impunity :  "Individuals have to be held Responsible for Crimes. International Penal Tribunals have to persecute those individuals", perpetrators of War Crimes, he underlined.

    Such statements naturally made Mesic rather popular at ECHR, whose President, French EuroJudge, Professor Jean-Paul Costa, looked particularly smiling when he welcomed him later on Wednesday afternoon, after Slovenian President Daniko Tuerk earlier this week.



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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