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Home arrow newsitems arrow Strasbourg New Prefect Chevalier to EF: For Joint Projects between 5 Neighbouring European Countries

Strasbourg New Prefect Chevalier to EF: For Joint Projects between 5 Neighbouring European Countries

Written by ACM
Friday, 04 September 2020

 
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*Strasbourg/Angelo Marcopolo/- Replying to an "Eurofora" Question at a Press Conference (See Infra), the New Prefect of Strasbourg's "Great East" Region, Josiane Chevalier, stressed her Wish to develop "Joint Projects" here between France and the 4 Neighbouring European Countries, (Germany, Switzerland, Luxembourg and Belgium), in this unique area at the Heart of Europe.

strasbourgs_great_east_region__5_european_countries_borders_eurofora_400 

Due to Time constraints, at this massive Return back from Summer Holidays and Entry of Classes, Resumption of Collective Activities, etc., Period of the Beginning of Autumn, added to a Continuing "Bumpy" situation in the Virus' Crisis all over Europe and the World, Exceptionaly,  this 1st Venue of the New Prefect in Strasbourg's Press Club, took place at an Unusual Early Time of the Morning (since 8.30 am), and, Moreover, several Journalists were unable to be physiclly present, including, particularly, "Eurofora", for additional unprecedented circumstances.

Therefore, we were practicaly Obliged, for the 1st Time, to Raise our Question, at real Time, but by Digital means and remotely, through the Head of Strasbourg's Press Club, (and after having Also Spoken on that with the Head of the Prefecture's Press Office for the "Great East" Region). Here is the Full Original Text of "Eurofora"s Question, as it had been, Earlier, send also by E-Mail :

<<Question de la part d'un journaliste (exceptionellement empeché d'être ici) : - "Angelo Marcopolo - EUROFORA : -Quelle est vôtre Vision pour les Défis et les Atous des relations de la Région Grand-Est avec ses 4 Pays voisins (Allemagne, Suisse, Luxembourg, Belgique) ?">>. This was, Later, shortly Resumed, (probably for Time constraint reasons), by the Press Club's Head herself, as : - "What is Your Vision for the Trans-Border Cooperation ?"

Chevalier's Positive and Interesting Reply's main point, Focusing on "Joint Projects", naturaly Fits Well "Eurofora"s overall approach in these Issues, and the "Great East" Regions' Unique Geo-Political Location, allowing to Bring Together 5 Core European Countries (4 of the EU + Switzerland, of the EEU), all representing and even hosting Exceptionaly Important European, PanEuropean and/or International outlets, Right Accross Geneva and Strasbourg, Luxembourg and Brussels, (which has been a Constant "Eurofora"s Point of reference, with All French Strasbourg's Prefects, Presidents of the "Great East" Region, and Other Top Key Public Authorities here, (See, f.ex., inter alia, also: http://www.eurofora.net/newsflashes/news/strasbourgregionpresidentrottneronhightech.html , http://www.eurofora.net/newsflashes/news/regionpresidentoneuropeantransportlinks.html + http://www.eurofora.net/newsflashes/news/firsteuuniversityleadersonhorizon.html + http://www.eurofora.net/newsflashes/news/strasbourgpregionprefectontransborderlinks.html + http://www.eurofora.net/newsflashes/news/frenchregionschiefrichertquits.html + http://www.eurofora.net/newsflashes/news/francogermancoreregionleaderseyescienceandethics.html + http://www.eurofora.net/newsflashes/news/prefetfrataccistrasbourgasgebevanyorshanghai.html + http://www.eurofora.net/newsflashes/news/frenchprimeministervallsonhightechfunding.html http://www.eurofora.net/newsflashes/news/frenchregionspresidentricherttoeurofora.html http://www.eurofora.net/newsflashes/news/strasbourgregionpresidentrichertandfrencheconomyministermacrononhighspeedinternet.html  + http://www.eurofora.net/newsflashes/news/newbigfrenchregionheadricherton5eustatesandchina.html + http://www.eurofora.net/newsflashes/news/newstrasbourgbigregionprefect.html + http://www.eurofora.net/newsflashes/news/alsacepresidentrichertonacaleuropeanprojects.html, etc).

Curiously, due probably to the Exceptional Circumstances, there were Not Other Questions raised by the Journalists following that Press-Point, (beyond a Dialogue between the Prefect and a Presentator appointed by the Club for this event).

+ Concerning the above-mentioned "Eurofora"s Question, Chevalier went on to Add that, naturaly, Each Local Vice-Prefect, specialy Competent for the French Districts/Departments of Higher Rhine, Lower Rhine, Moselle or Ardennes, (Parts of the "Great East" Region), should Focus, particularly, on relations with Switzerland, Germany, Luxembourg, or Belgium, respectively, (herself taking over the Franco-German TransBorder Cooperation, since she is Also Vice-Prefect of Strasbourg's District/Department of "Bas-Rhin", which is adjacent to 2 German Länder).

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In this regard, she noted that France currently holds the rotating Presidency of the Superior Rhine (Ober-Rhine) Inter-Regional Organisation for 2020, (between Germany, France and Switzerland). 

The Main thrust of Our Question eyed, however, the Overall Relations between All the "Great East" Region of France, and those 4 Neighbouring European Countries, taken Together, (i.e., f.ex., for Joint Mega-Projects Including All those 5 Regional Actors at Europe's Core, from Geneva to Strasbourg, until Luxembourg and Brussels, included : See the above-mentioned earlier "Eurofora"s NewsReports). But the Exceptional Lack of a Direct Contact, this time, (Comp. Supra), Hindered any such Reminder/Clarification with an eventual Follow-up Question at this specific point...

 ++ Spontaneously, Chevalier went on to Add, at her own Initiative, that, among the Challenges of such Trans-Border Relations, (Comp. "Eurofora"s Full Original Question, Supra), was also the fact that, all those 5 Neighbouring European Countries, normaly, Should Better "Avoid eventualy Closing their Borders with Anyone among their 4 Neighbours, "particularly even withOut previous Consultation", as she pointed out, (Obviously making Reference, indirectly but surely, to Germany's previous Decision to Suspend Free Movement of Citizens from and to France around its "Great East" Region -Except from Trade traffic, etc- during the Hardest Moment of this Virus' Crisis, a few Months ago, due to a Particularly Elevated percentage of Infections' cases here, then). At any case, "the Virus knows No Borders", she also Claimed, in this regard.

Despite the Fact that, Indeed, the above-mentioned UnPrecedented Suspension (around March-April+ 2020) of EU Citizens' Free Movement between France and Germany, concerning particularly the "Europa Bridge" linking Strasbourg to Kehl, etc., did realy Shock a lot of People, here, since the Intra-€uroZone, at the Shenghen Area, Freedom of Movement had been Always, until now, Positively Identified by the Local Population as a Fundamental Gain and Advance in the process of European Integration, after the 1990ies, Nevertheless, it's Also true that, in real Practice, things were quite Complicated then...

Unfortunately, various (negative or positive) recent Examples from all over Europe as well as throughout the whole World, Proved, during this Virus' Pandemic, that, very Often, a Timely and Proper Border Protection Against real Risks of Infections' Spread, is a quite Effective Measure, (sometimes even Necessary, as, f.ex., Wuhan's Regional Quarantine, notoriously Saved, practicaly, China asap, and Similar Tight Borders' Closure, mutatis - mutandis, Also by Taiwan, Vietnam, initially Russia vis a vis China, etc, proved its Efficiency. While, on the Contrary, France and Germany's Delay to Close Borders towards NW. Italy, as well as Russia's subsequent Under-estimation of Infection Transmission from EU Countries, until it became too late, Attest of Harsh Consequences in case of Laxist Negligence).

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At any case, it's true that, Diplomaticaly speaking, Prefect Chevalier placed an Accent on the "Concertation" aspect of Such Eventual Suspensions of Trans-Borders' Free Movement (Comp. Supra), while, at least Until Now, Despite a Recent notorious ReBound of Virus' Infections throughout the EU and most of the World, including, particularly France, etc., (and Even if, unfortunately, Strasbourg's "Great East" Region still remains with the Highest Proportion of Deaths in France, Compared to its Population), Nevertheless, this time, Germany did Not Issue any "Travel Warning" against Our Region (Contrary to what it has Just done for Paris', Marseille's and Brussels' areas), Neither, a fortiori, any Border Closure, for the Time being.

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virus_patients_transfered_from_strasbourgs_region_to_germany_a.o._european_countries_french_gov.__eurofora_patchwork_400 

Let's Hope that, at least this time, Trans-Border Cooperation, (and, Eventually, some adequate "Joint Projects" in the Fight Against the Virus, also Preventive, Beyond the really Vital Help by the German Hospitals' which notoriously Hosted, Earlier, Many People affected by the Virus in Strasbourg's area, who were Urgently Transported in order to be Cured there, Easing a serious Overload here, then), might Succesfully Find some Better Solutions, (even if, naturaly, the Number 1 Priority always remains, for all, to Protect Human Lives, from any serious Infection Risks).


(../..)

 

("Draft-News")

 

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 politkovskaya_gongadze_adali_400

Hu Jia's prize brings SAKHAROV's wife to "EuroFora" on murders of Journalists Politkofskaya, Gongadze and Adali :

- Elena Bonner : "All Journalists' murders must be fully investigated", without Double Standards.                                                                                    

During a special Mega-Event to celebrate 20 Years of SAKHAROV Prize for "Freedom of Thought", attributed in 2008 by EU Parliament to jailed Chinese Cyber-Dissident Hu JIA, the move was reinforced by strongly criticizing the persisting impunity in three cases of Journalists' Murders, such as POLITKOVSKAYA in Russia, GONGADZE in Ukraine, and ADALI in Turkish-occupied part of Cyprus.

Any bureaucratic doubt about whether Cyber-dissidents like Hu JIA might have, or not, a right to be protected as all Journalists must be, particularly when they take risks to search, find and publish original and critical News on issues of general interest to the society, could not resist to the emotion provoked by the message of his Wife, Zeng JINYAN spectacularly transmitted at a big screen in EU Parliament's hemicycle :

- "The most important and most interesting thing he did was to ... say the Truth :.. to write about the phenomena he observed... He never stopped Publishing.. on websites, so that the Public could learn about the reality .. and understand it.  In my view, this has been his greatest contribution", stressed the young wife of the jailed man, eager to cite also the cases of other critical journalists who faced various kinds of "harassment".

 - "Welcoming all those who have suffered for defending Human Rights", EU Parliament's President, German MEP Hans Gert POETTERING, who had invited to Strasbourg all former Sakharov prize-winners from various Countries throughout the World, said that "China needs Europe, and Europe needs China : A great nation" with which "we want to have a good relationship", "association and ..friendship". "But we are never going to stop our fight for Human Rights, and No Government can expect this from us".

    - "It's impossible  to achieve goals of Peace, if Human Rights are left out. In fact, Peace and Human Rights are intrinsequaly linked", added POETTERING.

    It's in this spirit that MEPs adopted, on Thursday, a Resolution denouncing that "the criminal
investigation and trial following the murder of (a) Journalist ...raises serious concerns with regard to transparency and respect for the rule of law", when a "brutal killing has not yet been fully investigated and solved in a satisfactory way".

    The text refered to dissident Journalist "Anna POLITOVSKAYA", a critic of Tchechen conflict, killed some years ago in Moscow, where Russian Authorities have found, arrested and are currently judging two executants, while also searching to arrest also a 3rd one, allegedly escaped in Belgium. But they have not yet found the instigators.

     Similar texts were adopted recently also on dissident Ukranian Journalist Georgiy GONGADZE's murder, for which Ukranian Authorities have at least found, arrested and condemned 2 executants to 12 and 13 Years of jail, but not yet the instigators. For that purpose, they recently accepted an International Experts team to participate to the investigations.     

But, it's only for the Murder of dissident Turkish Cypriot Journalist ADALI, in the occupied territories of Cyprus, that Turkey has NOT yet found ANYONE responsible, and even claimed recently inside CoE that it would be "impossible" to do so !    

These astonishing differences exist despite the fact that ECHR condemned alike Ukraine and Turkey with 2 Judgements on the same year : 2005, for the murders of  Journalists GONGADZE and ADALI, strong critics of Corruption in Ukraine, and of Ankara's policies on mass-influx of Turkish Settlers in the Occupied Territories of Cyprus, respectively.    

Regarless of that, CoE's Committee of Ministers, who is entrusted with the duty to supervise execution of ECHR's judgements, has just asked Ukraine's Government to reply to further questions on Gongadze's murder before March 2009, while Turkey, curiously, got a longer postponement for answering questions on Adali's murder, until June...   

A comparison of these cases, raises serious questions about Double Standards :

------------------------

On TRANSPARENCY :
--------------------------
    On Gongadze's murder, CoE's body speaks even about the participation of
"an INTERNATIONAL group of Experts" in the Investigation, (f.ex. of "Tape Recordings"), accepted by Ukraine.
    On the contrary, on Adali's murder, CoE is obliged to repeatedly ask (for a 2nd
time) Turkey whether, at least, it informed the victims' Family, or not...
------------------------------
- On EFFICIENCY :
-----------------------
On Gongadze's murder, CoE formally "recalls that the Committee (of Ministers) ..URGED the Ukranian authorities.. to TAKE ALL NECESSARY INVESTIGATIVE STEPS TO ACHIEVE CONCRETE and VISIBLE RESULTS in the INVESTIGATION, aimed at the Identification of the INSTIGATORS and Organisers of the Murder", and "STRONGLY INVITED the Ukranian Authorities to provide information on the PROGRESS IN THE INVESTIGATION", before MARCH 2009.

But, on Adali's murder, on the contrary, CoE's body merely .. "took note" of the "arguments presented by" Cyprus, which denounce the absence of any proof of new "investigation" by Turkey. Following Turkey's own suggestion (!), it simply "noted" that there is "no limitation period" for "any new element" to "lead potentialy (sic !) to a Re-Opening of the Investigation". Without saying who might find any such "new" fact, since Turkey stoped searching... It also POSTPONED the issue until .. JUNE  !
-----------------------
 - On the PUNISHMENT OF THOSE RESPONSIBLE :
----------------------
 -  On Gongadze's murder case, Ukranian Authorities already arrested and condemned, at least 2 suspects, to 12 and 13 Years of jail. And on Politkovskaya's murder at least 2 suspects are judged, and a 3rd one "wanted".

On the contrary, on Adali's murder case, the Turkish authorities simply claim that "it had not been possible to obtain new .. information .. on the basis of which criminal charges could be brought against ANY person" !...

Moreover,  a LETTER sent by Turkey ...2 Years after CoE's 2006 call to re-investigate anew Adali's murder case, is totally EMPTY of Facts ! As Cypus' Delegation denounced earlier, Turkey's Letter ONLY CLAIMS that a "New Investigation" was made without any result, but does NOT even cite ANY FACT to prove it :

F.ex.,on the crucial issue of the "MOTIVATIONS" behind Adali's murder, noted by ECHR, Turkey MERELY CLAIMS that "all allegations  were investigated; without result", but OMITS ANY FACT TO PROVE IT !..(It doesn't even remind which were these "allegations").. .

+ On ECHR's astonishment that the Turkish Occupation regime didn't produce any "BALLISTIC REPORT" on the Shots which murdered Adali, Turkey again repeats, 12 years later, that, still, even until now, "it  was not possible to obtain the BalisticReport"...

- As for the astonishing absence of key-WITNESSES' Testimonies, denounced by ECHR, Turkey agains repeats various pretexts avoiding to reveal anything, (Fex. that a person "left" the Occupied Territories  "on 2002", or that another witness was heard, but without revealing nothing of what he said, etc).

Turkey obviously "FAILS TO MEET THE CRITICISM made BY THE COURT" for lack of any efficient Investigation in Adali's case, concluded Cyprus' Government.
---------------------------------------------
Replying to our Question which COMPARED these 3 outstanding cases of "JOURNALISTS MURDERS", Adali, Gongadze and Politkovskaya, in order to avoid "Double Standards" by asking from Ukraine and Russia more than what is asked EU candidate Turkey, many European personalities were critical /

They criticised Ankara's recent claim at the CoE to stop investigating, because it would be "impossible to find anyone" responsible for the 5 bullet shots which killed Kutlu ADALI in front of his Family Home, contrary to the other two Journalists' murders, where Ukraine and Russia at least arrested the executants, searching now for the instigators :
----------------------------------

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    - "Where was that ? In Turkish Occupied Cyprus ? WITHOUT ANY DOUBT : Any murder of Journalist should be investigated in full ! All these Murders must be investigated !", replied the famous SAKHAROV's wife, Elena BONNER to our question on Adali's case, compared to Gongadze and Politofskaya.

    Elena Bonner spoke us EXCLUSIVELY shortly after being honored by the President
of EU Parliament on the occasion of 20 Years of her husband's SAKHAROV Prize.

    A strong personality, Sakharov's wife even had to struggle against an anonymous EU staffer who, astonishingly, tried to stop her speaking when h heard our question on "Turkey" (!) : - "Please, let me translate, she continues
speaking, don't stop us !", had to cry Sakharov's daughter, (a Journalist
herself), who was translating her mothers' reply, (obliged to speak louder to
make her voice heard despite the harassment).. (= + Audio Proof !)

    Earlier, Elena Bonner also fustigated "Double Standards" at another case, on
Western countries' attitude vis a vis Kosovo and the Kurds : -F.ex. "You have
recognized a few 400.000 Kosovars as an "independent" country, but you still
deny that to 30 millions of Kurds in Turkey !", she denounced.
-----------------------------
    - "This (ADALI's murder) is an issue which should be pursued by the Committee
for Human Rights. That's why we have one, and it's its duty to examine cases of
Journalists' murders as the one you referred to. You should bring the case in
front of that Committee", suggested in reply to our question on Adali, EU
Parliament's President, German MEP Hans Gert POETTERING.

    - "It's impossible  to achieve goals of PEACE, if HUMAN RIGHTS are left out :
in fact, Peace and Human Rights are intrinsequaly linked", added POETTERING.
--------------------------------------
    + "For us (European/International Federation of Journalists) it's clear :
Whenever a Journalist is Murdered, the Investigation should continue until
those Responsible are found !", replied earlier to another question on ADALI
EFJ/IFJ's Secretary General, Aidan WHITE.

    Speaking as a matter of General Principle, White asked us for "concrete data"
on the execution of ECHR's judgement on Adali case, in order to "look at it in
depth" and "make a formal statement", in comparison with the other Murdered
Journalist case, also pending at CoE's  Ministers for completing its execution,
on Ukranian Gongadze.
----------------------------------------------------
     From EU Rapporteur on Human Rights, vice-President of EU Parliament Liberties' Committee, MEP Giusto CATANIA, we were told that, since there is an ECHR judgement in both Adali and Gongadge's cases, "Turkey must naturally execute the judgement and make a full and efficient investigation, until those responsible for the Journalist's murder are found and punished".

    Even if "we (Catania's "EuroLeft" Group) support Turkey's EU perspectives, this does not mean that Ankara should not behave properly. On the contrary, it means that they have to meet tough conditions, particularly on Human Rights", was added on the occasion of Adali's murder case.

    Moreover, "since you raise the issue of Mr. Adali's muder as a part of a Series of Journalist's murders, including fex. Gongadze, Politkovskaya, ao., tthen we (EU) could also act together with CoE's Commissioner on Human Rights, Thomas HAMMARBERG, it was suggested.

    - "We (EU) must step up efforts against the problem of IMPUNITY : Real Peace cannot exist without Justice",  stressed also this week at EU Parliament in Strasbourg, French Minister on Human Rights, Mrs Rama YADE.
------------------------
                     

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