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Home arrow newsitems arrow Great East Region President Rottner to EF: Boost EU Transport Links "Brussels-Strasbourg-Geneva+"

Great East Region President Rottner to EF: Boost EU Transport Links "Brussels-Strasbourg-Geneva+"

Written by ACM
Friday, 08 June 2018
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*Strasbourg/Press Club/Angelo Marcopolo/- Replying to an "Eurofora"s Question, the New President of Strasbourg's "Great East" Region, Jean Rottner, stressed the Importance of "European Corridors" in the Development and Valorisation of Transport LInks, particularly between the Cities which the most Host European, PanEuropean and/or International Organisations.

 - "Eurofora" has Questioned Rottner, during a Press-Lunch on Transports' Strategic Policy Choices (discussed nowadays also with the Civil Society), organised Today Noon by Strasbourg's Press Club,  about his View on the Fact that this New, (and much Bigger than in the Past), "Great East" Region, facilitates Strasbourg's location Between Brussels and Luxembourg, at its West Side, and Geneva, at its Eastern Side :
 

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 >>> i.e., Potentialy Linking Together the Headquarters of EU Commission, EU Council, NATO, EU Court of Justice, EU Parliament, Paneuropean CoE, ECHR, EuroCorps, Shenghen, and several UNO's Bodies (particularly in Human Rights but also Economy, Telecoms, etc) as well as the WTO, ILO, a.o., throughout a kind of "Europe in the World" Pathway, Unique in the entire Globe. (With the Only Exception of the Washington D.C. - New York close links in the USA, in a lesser extend : f.ex. between IMF, World Bank's and UNO's Headquarters there).

 

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- President Rottner replied to "Eurofora"s Question Positively, in substance, mainly by Stressing, First of all, the great Importance that he gives for Strasbourg's "Great East" Region role in Transports, to what he named as "European Corridors" in general, as a matter of Principle.

 

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- Naturally, this goes, particularly, for the EU Corridor Linking to Brussels, which is of Major Importance, underlined the French Politician, (who was, for a Long Time, Mayor of Mulhouse City, facing Basel at nearby Switzerland, and, therefore, is an Ideal person also for the Brussels - Strasbourg - Geneva link evoked by "Eurofora" . Comp. Supra).


Traditionally, Brussels can already be Linked by quite Good Railway transports to Strasbourg and Geneva, either through Paris (France) or through Frankfurt (Germany). But, in both cases, Luxembourg is Ommitted, and a Longer Zig-Zag becomes necessary, Westwards or Eastwards, (respectively). While, on the Contrary, a Real Brussels - Luxembourg - Strasbourg - Geneva Railway Link would be, in principle, Direct, and, thus, comparatively, much more short and Straight.


+ Moreover, the European Transport Corridors which are Interesting for us, (i.e. Strasbourg's new and much bigger, "Great East" Region) are "Multi-Modal" : I.e. they include, well beyond Airplanes and Railways, also Car Highways, Bus, River Ship Transports, etc., Rottner went on to add.


++ Last, but not least, for us it's Not a Problem at all if such Corridors might, eventually, be developped, Partly, at the One Side of Rhine River (i.e. in France), or at the Other Side, (i.e. Germany), as long as they are Inter Connected and Interoperable, facilitating "Complementarity", as he pointed out.


+++ President Rottner had already pointed, earlier, at "the Centrality of Strasbourg", as he called the Fact that this City is located at the CrossRoads of various European/Paneuropean routes, being a Key part of EU's Core area, as well as, at the Wider Potential that the City gets from its New - and much Bigger - French Region in which it is included :


- "The Great East (new, Wider Region) is Strasbourg's Chance !", he characteristically stressed, mainly pointing at the Fact that, by InterLinking 5 European Countries, at EU's Core, (France, Germany, Switzerland, Belgium and Luxembourg), the "Great East" Region makes possible Manifold Transports' InterConnexions.

 

 
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Thus, f.ex., anOther European "Corridor" for Strategic Railway and other Transport links crossing Strasbourg, notoriously is the Paris - Budapest "Magistrale" Plan, (already endorsed, in principle, by the EU, several Years Earlier), which Connects also Munich, Wien and possibly Bratislava, etc. From a Geo-Political point of view, very probably, its actual Realisation may depend from Possible Developments concerning possibly a closer European Integration towards the adjacent Western Balkan Countries, (since this Leads very Near to Zagreb, Ljubljana, but also Belgrad, etc), in the foreseable Future.


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This is Added, obviously, also to a Madrid - Paris - Strasbourg- (Berlin)-Prague - Warsaw - Minsk - Moscow Axis, throughout almost all the European Continent, which can, naturally also go via Madrid - Paris - Strasbourg - Berlin - Saint Petersburg/Moscow, serving, additionaly, as the Strategic Central Backbone of Various InterConnections heading towards Several different Directions Around it.

 

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+ Another kind, River Ship Transports' PanEuropean "Centrality" of Strasbourg's area, can bring together Rhone - Rhine - Danube Rivers, interLinking the Mediterranean to the Northern and Black Sea, (with Strasbourg:Kehl's Ports etc. : See seveal relevant "Eurofora"s NewsReports on that Specific Issue, of Strategic potential Importance also for EU's direct Energy Supplies). 

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Significantly, Rottner was Together with Strasbourg's Euro-Metropole President Robert Herrmann, (confirming once again that they cultivate a Good Working Cooperation, despite the Center-Right and the Center-Left Political origin affiliations of each one of them, which had already started with Senator Kennel, former President of Lower Rhine's Department), who has already Expressed, previously, in Reply to anOther "Eurofora"s Question, during another Press Conference in the Recent Past, precisely, his Readiness to Consider Useful Comparisons and Develop New Relations between European/PanEuropean/International Non-Capital Cities, such as Strasbourg and Geneva, but also New York, Saint Petersburg, Sanghai, etc, (See, f.ex., at : ..., etc).

 

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Herrmann, Today, Replying to anOther Topical "Eurofora"s Question on Key Transports' Choices, (See: ..., etc), also said, in Substance, that he personaly was in favor of Both Developing More and Better Transport Links, (from Airplane, Rail or Bus until Bicycle, including Electronic, but also, whenever Necessary, Car Highways, etc), while also Acknowledging that, sometimes, certain valuable Natural, Cultural and/or Historic Landscapes/Monuments, particularly of this Core European Area, between France, Germany and Switzerland, etc, should be Protected, as much as Possible, (including, f.ex. by the use of "PlexiGlass" Technologies, as it has been done in Luxembourg City, etc), on the condition that all sides accept to Negociate, as he said. (Something which, obviously, leaves open some still on-going Debates on Highway Projects, whose Plan's lines might have been irrevocably Drawn by a Private Company -sometimes Non-European- which has signed a Contract with the National State, even if it's also a Fact that it systematically includes some Crystal-clear Clauses about Nature, Culture, and Balanced concrete Choices, especially through adequate and sufficient Protective/Corrective Measures to imagine in each case. Comp., f.ex.: ... ).

 


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(NDLR : "DraftNews", as already send, Earlier, to "Eurofora" Subscribers/Donors. A more accurate, full Final Version, might be published asap)

 

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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.
------------------------------
    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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