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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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They voted to "freeze" UK Government's draft to put People in jail for 42 Days on "anti-terrorist" suspicion without charge, or they abstained. Don't they look suspect ?
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CoE's debate on UK controversy stirs PanEuropean check of anti-terror suspects' imprisonment

Former Leftists of the Sixties would boil in hot water if they heard PACE's debate on the controversial 42 days detention without charge, currently drafted by the British Government :

A "Socialist" Government, a Socialist PACE Rapporteur and a Socialist Chair of PACE's Legal Committee, opposed a .. "Conservative" amendment (supported by .. Liberals, Democrats, etc), to freeze the measure, in order to protect Citizens' Freedom, by "waiting" until CoE's Venice Committee checks its conformity with Human Rights' principles.

"Left"'s support to Conservative-Lib.Dem's criticism, wasn't enough to obtain a majority, nor to make things as they were back in the good old days, when "Left" and "Right" had a clear meaning, as "liberty" and "restrictions"...

Conservatives and most Democrats were joined by the Left in voting for the "freeze", as well as Liberal Paul Rowen, while Socialist MEP Ivan Popescu, an experienced MEP from Ukraine (PACE Member since 1996-2008) abstained. But most Socialists, added to a few Liberals and EPP's Right, voted against.

Fortunately, someone inside PACE had the wise idea to shorten the Debate for less than 1 Hour, and put it on the Agenda only at the end of an exceptionally busy day, towards the end of the Evening, when most MEPs had already gone to taste wins and foods at various Receptions all around Strasbourg's "European" area : As a result, not even 42 MEPs weren't present..

Socialist Lord Tomlinson accused the leaders of the PanEuropean Assembly, in its highest body : the "Bureau", to "lack wisdom" by deciding to hold a Debate on an issue that neither the Socialist Chair of the Legal Committee, nor its Socialist "reluctant Rapporteur", did "not want to do", ...

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Finally, everybody (critics and supporters alike) was happy to agree, in substance, that the controversial measure "may" gravely violate Human Rights, and therefore, PACE asked Legal Experts of Venice Commission to check UK Government''s plans.

But this might take more than .. 42 Days to do, since PACE's Rapporteur asked the Experts to enlarge their study in a PanEuropean comparison of all that is happening on "anti-terrorism" legislation in 47 CoE Member Countries, including Russia, Turkey and Azerbaidjan..

Bad lack : "The existing 28 days’ detention without charge in the UK is, in comparison with other CoE member countries, one of the most extreme : In Turkey, the period is 7,5 days, in France 6 days, in Russia 5 days, and in .. the U.S. and Canada just 2 and 1 days respectively", denounced Democrat MEP Ms WOLDSETH from Norway..

woldsteth

"Numerous respected human rights organisations, including Liberty and Human Rights Watch, have expressed serious concern" "The proposed legislation ...could easily lead to extensive abuses. ...Detention for 42 days means six weeks in which one is taken away from one’s family, friends, home and livelihood only to be let off without being charged. That will destroy lives and isolate communities", she added.

- "3 years ago, the UK Government sought to increase the period of pre-charge detention from 14 days to 90 days. Not long before that, it had been only 7 days. There was a vigorous debate ...and a ...compromise was reached of 28 days. We have to ask whether there are proper safeguards in place to extend the period to 42 days. I suggest that there are fatal flaws", reminded British Conservative Clappison.

- "What sort of society holds someone in detention for 42 days and does not have to tell the person who is in prison why they are there, or explain the suspicions that arose and led to their detention? What sort of society believes that that is the way to treat its citizens? That is an appalling injustice, ...A 42-day detention period will not make the UK safer. Instead, it will be the first step to giving in to terrorists; it is saying that we are prepared to sacrifice our democratic rights and the principles for which we have stood for centuries", criticized British Liberal Michael Hanckock

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"Comments made ...by Norwegian delegates are unfortunate", replied British Socialist MEP Ms.Curtis-Thomas, accusing them to "besmirch the reputation of our police force, which is one of the Best in the World", as she said, believing that "there are significant safeguards ...to ensure that individuals are not subjected to unlawful detention"

curtis

PACE "has serious doubts whether ...the draft legislation are in conformity with the ...case-law of the European Court of Human Rights. A lack of ..safeguards may lead to arbitrariness, resulting in breaches of ... liberty and ...right to a fair trial". PACE "is particularly concerned that: ..the judge ..may not be in a position to examine whether there exist reasonable grounds for suspecting that the arrested person has committed an offence;"; that "... representation by a lawyer may be inappropriately restricted or delayed;" that "information on the grounds for suspicion of a person ...may be unduly withheld.. ;" that this "may give rise to arrests without the intention to charge;", and; in general, that "prolonged detention without proper information on the grounds for arrest may constitute inhuman treatment", says Klaus De Vries' Report, adopted with 29 votes against zero.

vries

Records don't say if it took him 42 Days to draft his Report, but, at least, he knew why...

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