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Home arrow newsitems arrow New Big French Region bordering 5 EU core Countries' Prefect Fratacci to EuroFora: Economy+Security

New Big French Region bordering 5 EU core Countries' Prefect Fratacci to EuroFora: Economy+Security

Written by ACM
Monday, 03 August 2015
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*Strasbourg/Prefectoral Palace/Angelo Marcopolo/- Take the Best in close Cooperation with Neighbouring Countries and inspire Initiatives to Advance ahead, in an Interesting situation at Europe's Heart : This seems to resume the Initial Thinking of the New Prefect of Strasbourg's Future Greater Region (ACAL), which will link, from Jan. 2016, Five Countries at Europe's core, (France, Germany, Switzerland, Luxembourg and Belgium), Stephane Fratacci, as it results from his Replies to "EuroFora"s Questions, where he stressed, in substance, his wish to "Focus" particularly on TransBorder "Joint Efficiency" in "Economic dynamism" and "Human factor" issues.

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    + While being also Ambitious for a "very Rock-Solid" Intra-European and "particularly" Franco-German "Cooperation on Security issues", mainly in front of the current "Jihadist" Networks problem, including by eventualy "proposing some Initiatives" for more "Joint Efficiency", as he told "EuroFora" further on, (See Infra).


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    Before that, the New Strasbourg Great Region's Prefect Marked the First Day in which he took over his New Duties, by paying Hommage at Republic Square's Monument to those who Sacrificed their Lives to defend Democracy, guarded by Veterans holding Flags and a Group of Soldiers, ostensibly surrounded by Local Political and Military Leaders, that he was going to meet, in particular, later-on at the Prefectoral Palace, just after his 1st official Press Conference.8

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    The Republic Square's Ceremony took place between the recently, spectacularly renovated National University Library (BNU), and the prestigious Rhine Palace, (currently Headquarters of the Oldest European Institution : that of Rhine River's Navigation Committee, as well as of the French State's Regional Direction for Cultural affairs), where Fratacci had already participated at European Conferences organized during the 1997 French EU Presidency, as he later reminded.

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    Together with Dominique Bemer, already appointed from last April 2015 Project Director for the Reforms preparing the Greater Region, (who comes from Belfort, in the Franche-Comté Region where Fratacci worked previously), as well as the experienced Jacques Garau, currently Secretary General for Regional and European affairs in Alsace, the New Strasbourg's Prefect hopes to have completed most of ACAL's organisation in about 6 or 7 Months Time.

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    - "You have the Task to Organize the Only Region of France which Borders 4 other Countries (Germany, Switzerland, Luxembourg and Belgium), i.e.  linking 5 Countries, and, evenmore, at the Heart of Europe", observed "EuroFora", during the New Prefect's Press Conference.


    => - "How do you think that this could contribute to the Economic and Cultural Development in that Core European area, and, at the same time, how to ensure its Security in front of Challenges such as, f.ex., Transit Networks of "Jihadist" Foreign Fighters, who often cross from Neighbouring Countries ?", "EuroFora" asked Stephane Fratacci, raising a Double Question on 2 Differend but both Topical Issues, on Economy and Security, both related to the particularly Wide TransBorder aspects of the New Great North-Eastern Region of ACAL.


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     - Choosing to Start Replying on the Security aspects, "at this moment I haven't yet thoroughly examined the Situation on the spot, and, therefore, I'm Speaking with great Reserve", he carefuly said.  However, "It's clear that Security Issues are of an Important nature Today", he stressed, while a Recent, June 2015, Report by the French National Assembly, already found that, 325 "Individuals linked to Jihadist Networks" came from the Future ACAL Region, (157 through Alsace, 76 through Lorraine, and 92 through Champagne-Ardennes), out of some 1.704 for the entire France.

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    - "I think that we'd have a very Good Cooperation on Security issues with the Neighbouring Countries", f.ex. by "regrouping" energies to "structure a Joint Efficiency", Fratacci characteristicaly stressed.


    - "I have already worked a lot on such kind of issues", and intend to get personaly "Involved, from now on", by "Contributing" particularly with "my Experience on Legal Grounds" for such Actions, as well as "a certain knowledge of relevant European structures".


    + In this regard, since "we, as responsible for such Territorial entities", as the Future Great East Region, etc.,  "have also the capacity to make, from times to times, some Proposals for Initiatives", I'll  consider, eventualy, doing that, "from my side", he added.

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    - However, "for the Time being, I haven't a Diagnosis to make yet", he noted Carefuly, prefering  not to make yet any concrete suggestion" now, but "I'm satisified by a very Rock-Solid Cooperation functioning with our (France's) Neighbours, in particular our German neighbours", as he stressed in fine, pointing to a Strong Franco-German cooperation on the current Security issues.


    ---------------


     + "Economic aspects, are another (Topical) Issue", he went on to add, in Reply to "EuroFora"s initial Question : In fact, "there are very Strong Links,  both Economic, but also on the Human factor,  between the German Länder (3 : Baden-Wurtemberg, Rheinland-Palatinat, and Saarland) and us", (the French future Great East Region ACAL), "but also Switzerland, that we can't forget, given its Extremely Dynamic Regional" character, (as observed the Swiss-Experienced former Prefect of nearby Franche-Comté Region, towards Geneva, etc), as well as  with Luxembourg and Belgium, (Added by the Teritorial Extension towards the Future Big Region, by the recent Reform in France : Comp. Supra).

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    - F.ex., "at the Superior Rhine Department ("Haut-Rhin"), there is a very Dynamic Cooperation" in Economy, Fratacci observed. "There are also Common Initiatives on Joint Professional Training, on which we (France) wish to Continue Investing", etc, he noted, inter alia.

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    - "Looking at  the Better cases of already existing kinds of Economic Cooperations, including on Economy,  between the Borderline (French) areas of Champagne-Ardennes and Lorraine with Belgium and Luxembourg, as well as, together with Alsace, vis a vis Germany and Switzerland, we'd rather Focus on what is Best in such Cooperations, Trying to forge a wide OverView from the Wider point of view of the (French) State", Fratacci advised.

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     - "in order to Try to get the Best out of what Works Well, and which might, eventualy, be applied also in other situations, as well as, not an Exclusive Vision, but at least a  Point of View, from which we can find some Inspirations that can help Advance ahead", Strasbourg's New Prefect  pointed out with a natural Ambition for the Future Greater Region.

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    => - Thus, "I think that we'll find an Interesting Situation, concerning Economic and other Cooperation with our Neighbbours", he Optimisticaly observed, pointing at the Future Horizon of that Unique possibility to localy interlink 5 European Countries at the Heart of the EU, of €uroZone, and of the Franco-German Integration.


    - "This stands, for the moment, somewhat in Theory, and according to my relevant Experience, but (for Final Decisions) I Wait also until to  Meet soon all my Interlocutors, in Other Countries' Neighbouring Regions", Strasbourg's New Prefect modestly but practicaly anounced, in conclusion of his Reply to "EuroFora"s relevant Question, (Comp. Supra).
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    + Indeed, "we are, here, in a Region which is located at the Heart of Europe, which was the Territory where many Intiatives were forged and played a role in the European Construction"'s  History, "in particular with France and Germany taken Together, but also our Other Neighbours, in the (Future, 2016) Greater Region, with Luxembourg (f.ex. the Shengen system of "Security ad Freedom of movement" for EU Citizens, as well as, already, the Initial "Coal and Steel" Community, which lay the Foundations of Schuman's EU Idea, etc), and Belgium", (i.e. Brussels' EU Commission's Headquarters and EU Council Post-2001 Summits, etc), "with which we (Strasbourg's French Big Region) are developing very Close Relations", he later added, while stressing his personal "attachment to the TransBorder Dimension", in further statements to Strasbourg's Journalists, including "EuroFora".


    - This obviously included, among others, "the Free Circulation of Persons inside the so-called "Shengen area"", as Fratacci confirmed in Reply to anOther Question by a Collegue Radio-Journalist on "Migrants" in general, (while also defending his "Polyvalent Background", "without focusing on any particular issue", as he said), but without excluding also various other Interesting European Issues, Highlighted more clearly by the Future Great Region's extension from Switzerland to Belgium, as, f.ex., the Possibility to, at last, meet the obvious Need for "a High Speed Train link between Geneva, Strasbourg, Luxembourg and Brussels", as "EuroFora" asked the New Prefect :


    - "We shall certainly Examine that Issue, but Later-on", "and we shall have other opportunities to speak about it", Fratacci simply Replied with a Promisse for the Future, to the above mentioned "EuroFora"s Question, Smiling carefuly but positively, revealing an Open Mind for more concrete Ideas on the Need and the Opportunity to better Link Together, by High-Speed Transport New Technologies, almost "All the European, PanEuropean and International Organisations based in the European Continent, which are all located along the Future Great Region of ACAL, from Geneva up to Brussels, via Strasbourg and Luxembourg", as we reminded on this occasion. (F.ex. UNO's main European Offices at Geneva, Strasbourg's CoE and EU Parliament's full Plenaries, EU Ombudsperson, Shengen's Secretariat, EUROCORPS, etc, to Luxembourg's EU Cout of Justice and EU's Court of Accounts etc., up to Brussels' EU Commission, EU Council's Post 2001 Summits, EU Parliament's main Secretariat etc, even NATO's Headquarters, etc). I.e. an exceptional Concentration of almost ALL European, PanEuropean and International main Bodies, connected by a relatively Short common Line, at the Heart of the Continent : Something which has No Equal anywhere else in the World, except only from a partly Similar close Geographical Link between Washington DC and New York in the USA, (i.e., bringing closer f.ex. amog others, also the IMF, World Bank and UNO, etc).


    +  Moreover, by the way, Fratacci, who has mainly a Solid Educational (f.ex. at ENA) and Professional Background career as Judge in Rule of Law cases, between Citizens and the Public Sector, (f.ex. at the prestigious French "Conseil d'Etat" and Constitutional Court), may possibly also usefuly contribute to a logical development of various possible Synergies and/or Projects related to the Fact that Strasbourg's New Greater Region would help to practicaly link Together the PanEuropean Court of Human Rights, based in Strasbourg, with Luxembourg-located EU Court of Justice and ECA, the Federal Constitutional Court of Germany at nearby Karslruhe, as well as the French ENA Higher School of Administration for Top State Officials, including of "Conseil d'Etat"s, France's Highest Court for Administrative (State) Law cases, that he has personaly experienced both as a former Student in the Past and recently as Professor :

An Idea that had been already proposed by a German Professor in Law, at a Superior Rhine's  (OberRhein) Franco-German Euro-Regional Meeting at nearby Offenbourg as early as since December 2010, with the participation of former EU Affairs Minister for Germany, Werner Hoyer, currently President of the influential European Investment Bank (EIB), which is at the Heart of new EU Commission President, experienced long-time former Prime Minister of Luxembourg, Jean-Claude Juncker's brand new EU Investments Plan for the period of 2015-2017 . (Comp. President Hoyer's statements to EuroFora, then, on Franco-German Integration, at :http://www.eurofora.net/newsflashes/news/hoyeronfrancogermansummit.html).

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   ++ Perhaps, one might Dream even something more, naturally depending also from the forthcoming, December 2015 Regional Elections' political debates and results : Strasbourg's New Prefect, who has had also a particular Experience, as former Secretary General of the French Ministry of Integration and Migration, of the Challenge on how to help develop and strengthen a conscious adherence to a common National identity, might, eventualy, contribute, during his Mandate at the Only Region at Europe's Heart that links Together 5 core Countries, that of Strasbourg's Headquarter ACAL, at least to Mark with a White Stone some interesting Steps towards Helping the gradual emergence of a kind of common European Identity consciousness, or not. At any case, on that crucial issue, one thing seems logicaly sure : If absolutely Nothing happens in this Direction, in the near Future, not even around ACAL's  Greater Region, (in an area Bigger than Switzerland and with a Population of more than 5,5 Millions People), which is the only one to interlink 5 key Countries at Europe's Heart, such as France, Germany, Switzerland, Luxembourg and Belgium, then, Nothing at all could be expected throughout all the rest of Europe !

 

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    Meanwhile, from the Practical point of view, Strasbourg has just been Confirmed, (by the Latest Official ReDistribution by the French Government, just a few Days ago, of the various deconcentrated State Services in the New Bigger Regions), in addition to its role as Capital of the Political Power, also as Headquarters for All specialized Services of the State, (including, f.ex., on Cultural, Economic, Social, Labour and Financial issues, etc), except of Defense and Housing, Education and Forestry, which went to Metz, Nancy and Chalons en Champagne, respectively, (See relevant MAP with Graphics).

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An immediate Result of the creation of that Greater Region should obviously be also an Economy for 2/3 on former Regional Staff and Buildings, while, on the contrary, ony 1/3 of it would come from Districts' ("Departements") staf, which is considered as more necessary to closer relations with Citizens. Considering that similar Reforms are also made, in parallel, in many other French Regions throughout the whole Country, an overall consequence of such Administrative Changes could be also to Help France meet its €uroZone Macro-Financial Obligations vis a vis Brusssels, f.ex. by reducing or avoiding to raise even more its National Public Debt.


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   Last, but not least, Starting his New Duties in Strasbourg, by a coincidence, under a particularly "Hot" Summer Sun, with Record-High Temperatures, at the Beginning of August, Fratacci kindly welcomed with a Bright Smile "EuroFora"s spontaneous expression of the obviously  sincere wish to ..."help bring us some Fresh Air from (his) Natal Monacco"... , (where he was, indeed, Born, and whose current King Albert II, has already visited Strasbourg  : Comp. f.ex., Prince Albert's Replies to various "EuroFora" co-Founder's Questions, since 2005 in his 1st Press Conference at the CoE, published at "TCWeekly", on 2010 at a Scientific Colloquium in Paris' Oceanographic Museum, as well as later-on a CoE's event for its PanEuropean partial Agreement on Sport, etc).

(../..)

***

(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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3 EU Parliament votes to boost EuroGroup !

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After EuroZone Paris Summit's succes, Sarkozy calls to "think anew how to re-construct Europe !

"EuroZone and EU Institutional debates pave the way to 2009 discussions on EU Future, including Enlargment, Turkey etc. ?


23 October 2008

After EU Parliament strongly suppported in 3 successive Votes this week in Strasbourg French EU Chairmanship's move to boost Euro-Group at EU's core, while ideas on EU Institutional problems are awaited on December, "it's an open Question now" if this may lead to a debate on EU's Future, or not, told us French President, Nicolas Sarkozy''s Spokesman, Pierre-Jerome Henin.

MEPs voted on Thursday fresh Funds to support EuroGroup, after adopting on Wednesday a Resolution asking a "further Evolution" to "the 1st ever meeting of Heads of State and of Government of the Euro-Zone, taking decisions in that capacity", while earlier this week a Report asked "a stronger Institutional setting" for "EuroGroup", extended from "competitiveness/industry" to "environment, employment and education", with "increased powers for Political decision-making", according to a text drafted by French MEP Francoise Beres and German MEP Werner Langen, "10 Years after the creation of Euro" (1999 - 2009).

- Brussels' subsequent "EU Council ..(simply)..ratified the measures decided by EuroGroup on October 12" in Paris, which "were necessary to contain the current Financial Crisis", Resolution observes, expressing also support to the new process succesfully initiated by Sarkozy and due to be completed by agreements with USA and other countries at a Global level.

From now on, it's between two differend but parallel moves : EU's delay, and EuroZone's acceleration, that Enlargement and particularly Turkey's controversial EU bid, will have to search its way :

Indeed, EU's 27 expect a "Roadmap on how to deal with the Irish problem" on Lisbon Treaty ratification after December, risking to pass even 2009 Elections and next Commission with the old Nice Treaty of 2000, out-dated and unfit even for 2004's Enlargement...

On the contrary, EU's core launches a real "Economic Governance for EuroZone at the highest level of Heads of State/Government" of the 15, which started in Paris on October 12 and was strongly supported this week in Strasbourg by Sarkozy and EU Parliament.
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- "It's a good idea, to launch such a debate ("on EU's Future") in EU Parliament in view of 2009 Euro-Election : Perhaps some MEPs will seize an opportunity", told us mainstream French MEP Alain Lamassoure, former EU Minister and EU Spokesman for France's governing party UMP.

- "All MEPs' debates on such EU Councils are also part of the larger debate on Europe's future : Now with EuroZone, and even more when, on December, Irish Prime Minister is due to table proposals in Strasbourg on how to deal with EU Treaty's ratification", replied earlier to our question EU Parliament's Press Director and Spokesman, Jaume Duch.
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Sarkozy has formally anounced his intention to open EU Debates on Economy, Identity/Enlargement (i.e. mainly Turkey), etc. both linked to a popular Political view of Europe, since his Historic speeches on EU in Strasbourg, on February and July 2007, when he stressed that "Europe needs a New Renaissance". At the beginning of the French EU Presidency, on July 2008, replying to a MEP, he suggested that EU Parliament takes an active part in Debates on EU's Future.

- Now, in 2008, "Crisis are an opportunity to re-think how to re-construct Europe", Sarkozy stressed. At any case, the Historic 1st EuroZone Summit of Heads of State/Government, which started replying to the Financial crisis,"is a Turning Point : After that, Europe cannot be governed as before, but differently" : People "like a Europe with Strong Will".

- "We must make the System move !", "Europe needs Innovation" and free political debates. EU "Elections are in a few Months", Sarkozy warned.

He invited EU Parliament to fully play its role as "the Democratic Heart of the Europe we want : United, Independent and Voluntarist, because the World needs Europe's voice".

- "It's no more possible for Euro-Zone to continue without an Economic Government" at the Highest Level of Heads of State/Government, who provide "Democratic Legitimity" and can take important decisions, he announced, strongly supported by EU Parliament's Economic Committee which just voted to boost the "Institutional" aspects of "EuroGroup".

Plasticity offered by the current absence of a special Treaty on EuroZone's Institutions "made it easy to adapt the organization of the 1st Summit with imagination, to efficiently meet urgent needs", he observed, on the occasion of Brittish Prime Minister's exceptionnal presence at the greatest part of EuroGroup's Paris Summit.

- "In EuroZone we have the same Bank, the same Money, and, thus, a same duty for Unity" : "By bringing together EuroGroup's 15 members States we suceeded to find a solution and prepare a Giant Plan of 1.800 Billion euros", Sarkozy reminded of Paris' 1st Historic EuroZone's Summit.

Afterwards, Brussels' EU Council followed the move, and USA's Paulson II Plan was inspired from that. "Europe must promote the idea of Global Economy's Refoundation", he stressed.

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- "I was frankly astonished when I found, at the EU, a rigid system, where any New Idea was seen from the outset as a sacrilege, while, on the contrary, Europe needs Innovation !", he described.

F.ex. ,"'When we first spoke about the "Union for the Mediterranean", it was misunderstood as something extraordinary.. When later we had the Russia -Georgia crisis, it seemed against EU's custom to act "in the middle of August", instead of staying a passive spectator ! And when, in front of the Financial ciris, we gathered the 1st EuroZone Summit of the "15", some thought of it as a lese-majesté", he denounced.
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On Geo-Political Principles :
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- But, by moving resolutely, "EU obtained the ...withdrawal of Occupation Troops in 2 Months !", reminded Sarkozy, observing that Russia "fulfilled its commitments", in the Georgian crisis, where a "disroportionate reaction" from Moscow followed a "totally inappropriate action" from Tbilisi's troops. "It would be crazy to reply by military means : EU should not become accomplice of another Cold War, imposed by lack of cool heads".. as he said.

In future, "the creation of a common European Economic Area with EU and Russia, would also obtain a raprochment on our Human Rights and Democratic Values", added Sarkozy, in a statement which should logically be applied, a fortiori, to controversial EU "candidate" Turkey..

Particularly when, the same week that EU Parliament voted 2009 EU Funds for Turkey's controversial EU bid, ECHR took a series of judgements condemning Turkey for grave Violations of Human Rights, such as : Torture, death of a political prisoner in unclear circumstances followed by failure to conduct a proper Investigation, "enforced Disappearance" of a youngster aged 17, Killing of a sepherd with Tank Shells, persecuting Journalists for articles on "Missing" People, even a former President of Human Rights' Association, (etc)

- "We (EU) can defend our ideas on respect of Sovereignity and territorial Integrity, on Human Rights and other differences ... without confrontation", Sarkozy stressed, on the occasion of Russian/Georgian conflict, reminding that : "we were only 2 steps from catastroph", when a Peace agreement brokered in Moscow prevented, at the last minute, Russian troops' advance towards Tbilisi.

An EU Parliament Resolution adopted Wednesday in Strasbourg on the occasion of Russia - Georgia conflict, outlines a set of Principle which apply elsewhere too, (particularly when EU Rapporteur for Russia and Turkey is one and same person ; Dutch MEP Ria Oomen-Ruijtanen !)

Clearly rejecting any "military solution to the conflicts", MEPs "condemn ..all those who resorted to force and violence". They denounce a "disproportionate military action", "as well as (an) unilateral decision to recognise the independence" of brekaway regions, "calling.. to respect the sovereignty and territorial integrity" of the concerned country, "and the inviolability of its borders recognised by all EU Member States". They warn that "EU must review its policy towards" a 3rd Country, "should .(it)...not comply with its commitments", and "stress that the withdrawal of.... troops from the areas ....is an essential additional step".

EU Parliament "calls for the safe and quick return of refugees, (accepted by Russian President Medvedev) accompanied by the deployment of EU observers on the ground", and "regrets ...that ..EU Monitoring Mission (EUMM) is not allowed to enter the ...breakaway regions". Moreover, "It's important to ensure that persons and NGOs ..engaged in defending human and civil rights can operate". "Until ...all remaining issues (are) resolved..., and notably the continuing ...Military presence", "relations with the EU ..cannot be fully normalised", MEPS warned.

As nobody likes to be accused to practice "Double Standards", this should be regarded as "Principles" applicable to any Third Country at EU's Neighborhood.. No ?

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On Economy :

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- "When Financial crisis shook US and EU's Banks, without result from the 1st (American) Paulsen plan, it was the common reply of the 1st EuroZone's Summit, involving some 1800 Billion euros, which started a positive move in the markets, soon strengthened by the follow-up of the US Paulson 2 Plan, noted Sarkozy.

- "Europe should not be only on the defensive, but, if necessary, know also how to take an offensive", he said, brushing away hesitationsto act on Economy: - "I'm for a refondation of Capitaliism, but against Speculators, who betray its values" : "Lack of Rules was profitable to speculators, Not to businessmen !" We must make sure to prevent any such crisis in future". "We, the rest of the World, cannot continue to bear the deficits of the 1st World power without saying anything !", the French President said, applauded by EU Parliament. All this needs "a New Global Governance", on which EU Parliament must debate. That's why "we proposed together with USA, several Summits from mid-November", to which G-8, enlarged to China, India a.o. countries, should participate. UNO's SG; Ban Ki Moon, the IMF, etc.

Financial crisis lowered shares' prices even for healthy companies, sometimes to 1/3 of their initial price, so that strangers might buy EU industries for only a portion of their real value, and Europeans may wake up one day with their main industries sold out to foreigners !

That's one of the reasons for which EU should debate about creating "Golden Shares" for States to jointly take Strategic participations to help European Industries until the end of the Crisis, particularly against distording competition, he suggested, pointing at USA's 35 billion $ plan for American Car Industry."We shall struggle for Europe to be able to build Airplanes, Ships, Trains, Cars, because we need a strong Industry", he concluded.

"F.ex. as we did back in 2004, when as Finance Minister, we bought Alsthom's shares for 800.000 euros, and, after restructuring, we sold them for 2 Millions : Help a company and make money is not so bad"...

As for the UK, "when Ireland announced that it would guarantee only Irish Banks, London City emptied from liquidities in 24 hours : It's the EU which helped to restore the situation, Not the UK alone !", reminded Sarkozy to nationalist British MEP Nigel Farage.

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On the contrary, in a last-minute attempt for the EU to catch-up with its Institutional delay "before the European Elections" of June 2009, MEPs simply voted a call for a "set of proposals" to be made for the "Irish public opinion" at the end of the year...

- "As long as Lisbon Treaty is not ratified by all 27 EU Member States, there is an unanimous decision to stop Enlargement, reminded Wednesday in Strasbourg the French Minister for EU affairs, Jean-Pierre Jouyet..

Added to an indirect but clear warning that, without Lisbon Treaty, all 27 EU Member Countries may not have a Commissioner in the 2009 resuffle, MEPS in the Constitutional/Foreign affairs Committees applauded hoping that this might motivate their Irish friends..

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