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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

Parašė ACM
Friday, September 04, 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.

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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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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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    EU Rapporteur on Enlargment Strategy, maistream German MEP Elmar Brok, speaking to "EuroFora", welcomed the proposal made earlier this week by French President Nicolas Sarkozy for the EU to"start Now Talks with Turkey to create a common Economic and Security area", instead of full Accession, at a period when Ankara looks more and more unfit and/or unwilling to respect EU conditions.

    - "For Europe to have strong Political will, it must stop dilutiing itself in an endless Enlargement. It must have borders...Diversities enrich, on the condition that they don't undermine European Cohesion, and don't weaken EU Unity", Sarkozy stressed.
    
    - "Countries like Turkey share a part of common destiny with Europe, with which they have a vocation to build a Privileged Relation, to be closely associated, but not to become Member of the EU"  : "Noone respects his friends by telling them lies. Noone respects his friends by making them promises that will be never kept", he added.

    That's why "we'd better start, from now, negotiating with Turkey to create a common Economic and Security area", Sarkozy proposed.

Significantly, the French President was repeatedly and largely applauded by EU citizens, 3 times, when he made the Turkey point, (strategically placed between Europe's "Political Will" and its cultural heritage, historically open to mutually enriching dialogue with all the World, but never diluted).

    - "We could propose such a great ambition also to Russia, which must not be percieved as an Adversary of Europe, but as a Partner. Thus, we'd create a wide area, of more than 800 Million inhabitants, sharing the same Security, the same Prosperity", he concluded.

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    Sarkozy's move was anounced at the eve of a Franco-German Top meeting with Chancellor Angie Merkel in Berlin on Sunday, to jointly launch the EU Elections campain, after an EU Summit at nearby Prague, to launch a new kind of relations, called "Eastern Partnership", with neighboring countries such as Urkaine, Belarus, Moldova, Georgia, Armenia, Azerbaidjan, etc, (to which Russia, reportedly, is not - and does not want to be - included).

    As for Ukraine, which has already expressed her wish to join the EU in future, "Kiev will have a special place, and a very important role to play", replied earlier this week in Strasbourg, to an "EuroFora" question EU Chairman in office , Czech vice-Prime Minister Alexander Vodra.

    - "This direction is more Realistic for Turkey than Accession negotiations", reacted immediately EU Parliament's Rapporteur for Enlargment Strategy, mainstream German MEP Elmar Brok, commenting Sarkozy's idea for "EuroFora"

     Particularly "as far as it concerns the respect of EU Rules by both sides", he added, hinting at Turkey's now obvious inability and/or unwillingness to abide with EU Acquis, EU Commitments (fex. on Cyprus, etc), and European Democracy/Human Rights rules. (Comp. infra).

    Brok added that, in his view, a similar proposal might be made also to Ukraine and other neighbouring Countries, regardless if they have, or not, a "European vocation". This would not necessarily mean that there couldn't be any accession prospects at all." for all the countries that might be included in this area, according to Brok.  But it's preferable, particularly for Turkey, "because it's a more Realistic approach than full Membership".

    On this point, Sarkozy's proposal, (which he'll share with German Chancellor Merkel), seems more crystal-clear.

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    - "Turkey does not fullfil EU Criteria, and will never fullfil EU Criteria" on Human Rights, Democracy and Rule of Law. "Some have been lying to Ankara, but we must tell the Truth, and have honest and close relations with her", said meanwhile to "EuroFora" on the same issue also the President of EU Parliament's largest Group of MEPs (ChristianDemocrats/EPP), Joseph Daul.
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"Hot" Debate at EU Parliament reveals CHANGE of mood towards "Suspension" of EU - Tukey talks.
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    Earlier this week, many MEPs, and even some of those who were previously in favor of Turkey's controversial EU bid, strongly criticized the persistance and even aggravation of serious Human Rights violations in the country, that ECHR continues to "unanimously" condemn ":

      - "After winning a big victory in the latest Local Elections, the pro-Kurdish party DTP almost doubled its Elected Mayors from 52 to 98", but afterwards "more than 400 politicians were thrown to Prison and prosecuted" by the Turkish Authorities, denounced on behalf of the ChristianDemocrat/EPP Group, Belgian MEP Frieda Brepoels.

     At the same time, "more than 1.500 Children are closed in Turkish Prisons", she added. "What will the EU Commission do" against these facts ?

- "Turkey appears to be at greater Distance away from Copenhagen Criteria after 4 Years of accession Negotiations, than when they started !", denounced on behalf of the Liberal Group, German MEP Alexander Lambsdorf.    

"On the central issue of Press Freedom, Critical Journalists face obstacles for their accreditation, others are prosecuted, condemned, fined and/or jailed, Media blocked or closed", he denounced.   

 - "EU Made 2 grave Mistakes with Turkey : To start accession negotiations, and to continue them", despite everything, criticized Dutch MEP Bastian Belder, on behalf of the Ind/Dem group.

(../..)

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