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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
lundi, 03 août 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).

(../..)

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(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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Sarkozy and Merkel want deals with Obama on European Security at Strasbourg's NATO 2009 Summit

oscenato
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In parallel but concording moves, EU Chair, French President Nicolas Sarkozy and German Chancellor Angie Merkel both invited this week US-President elect, Barack Obama, to discuss important deals breaking new ground on European Security during the NATO's 60 Years Anniversary Summit of Heads of State in Strasbourg, where Obama is expected to make his 1st visit to Europe as a President on April 2009.

Merkel focused mainly on smoother NATO - EU Defence and Security policy cooperation, while Sarkozy spoke about PanEuropean Security, associating both Russia and the USA, proposing to freeze missile and shields' deployement until an agreement is reached.

But both tackled some hard nuts to crack : Turkey's VETO against the participation of EU Member Cyprus to EU-NATO cooperation, and Russia's anouncement on deployment of missiles up to Kaliningrad, at EU's belly, in reply to USA's wish to set up missile shields in EU States such as Poland or Czech Republic, etc.


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- "Certainly...one of the points that we'll dicuss with the New US President", Barak OBAMA, "who will come f'or the 1st time in Europe as president, at the NATO Summit", co-hosted by France and Germany in Strasbourg, ""concerns, above all, the European Security and Defence Policy" (ESDP), and "the relations between NATO and its partners", with whom it should "work together", anounced earlier this week Merkel.

We must find "a reasonable and adequate concept to articulate NATO and European Security and Defense policy", because of a "series of practical issues, sometimes difficult to understand", but that "we must discuss".

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- "An example" of that is "the issue of Cyprus and Turkey", said Merkel, where Ankara raises problems "from Kosovo up to Afghanistan", as also CoE's chair, Swedish Foreign Minister Carl Bildt recently observed in Strasbourg replying to EuroFora's questions.

- "We must do something to smoothen this problem for good, and not only on a case-by-case basis, laboriously negotiated each time". Here, we must find "a reasonable and adequate concept to articulate NATO and European Security and Defense policy", Merkel stressed.

- "With good will from all sides, it could and should be posible. Germany wants also to help on that". Otherwise, "the coming generations will not understand why it took Decades to do so". But, if we "don't even achieve that for Decades, this would be an Historic Failure !", the German Chancellor warned

- "I think that our American partners are increasingly realizing that", Merkel said, pleading for "a stronger European Security and Defence policy, with which, I believe, the Atlantic Security Partnership can also strengthen and solidify".

Meanwhile, USA is also due to take in 2009 a special status inside EU-led EUROCORPS, the European Army HeadQuarters, based in Strasbourg.

Merkel said that after meeting in Berlin with NATO's Secretary General, Jaap de Hoop Scheffer, earlier this week, precisely in order to "prepare NATO's Summit", scheduled for the beginning of April 2009 in Strasbourg.

Scheffe, knows well Strasbourg, since he chaired the CoE, as Holland's Foreign Minister, when he brokered a controversial deal precisely on Turkey and Cyprus about the implementation of ECHR judgements on Greek Cypriot displaced persons' houses and properties in 2003. He returned later at least once, for a WEO meeting at the CoE, where he precisely had highlighted such EU - NATO issues.

EU Commission's 2008 Report on Turkey has just observed that, on European Defense - Security policy, "Turkey continues to object to EU-NATO Cooperation which would involve all EU Member States". "This created Problems for EU-NATO co-operation in the context of Civilian ESDP missions, in particular in Kosovo and Afghanistan".
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 French EU Chair, President Sarkozy and Merkel are visiting Washington on Friday and Saturday for a Global G-20 Summit with current US President George Bush, on the sidelines of which are expected preparatory contacts with US President-elect Obama's entourage, even if himself might stay in Chicago until he takes over on January 21.

Before going to Washington, Sarkozy concluded today an UE - Russia Summit with Dmitry Medvedev, where they "spoke in length on PanEuropean Security" :

- As EU President, I proposed that we meet on mid-2009 in a framework such as OSCE's in order to set the foundations of a Future Pan-European Security, which would associate Russia and USA, and that, meanwhile, nobody speaks about deploying missiles or shields, which complicate the situation".

- NATO's Summit in Strasbourg-Kehl, on April 2009 is a perfect occasion to discuss with our American friends and to prepare a possible OSCE Summit for these issues f.ex. for June or July", Sarkozy concluded.

- We must all abstain from Unilateral measures" dangerous for Europe's security. "Russia only reacted to decisions taken by some other countries. But if they are ready to cooperate, we are ready to discuss. EU could be an intermediary", added Russian President Dmitry Medvedev, before going himself too at the Washington G-20 Economic Summit.

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