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Home arrow newsitems arrow Sarkozy for a New Era of Mediterranean Renaissance, key for EU-fast developing Africa links

Sarkozy for a New Era of Mediterranean Renaissance, key for EU-fast developing Africa links

Written by ACM
Wednesday, 31 August 2011

    *Paris/Elysee Palace/Angelo Marcopolo/- Endorsing an "EuroFora"s Spring 2011 suggestion to EU's rotating Chair (See infra) to actively seek a "Renaissance" in EU's Mediterranean, after the Eastern European, neighborhoods, French President Nicolas Sarkozy launched a call for "a New Era" in Euro - African links, of growing Economic and Demographic importance, and stressed EU's emerging GeoPolitical Role in the surrounding area, including Middle East, and €uroZone's Monetary strength compared to other Currencies in the World, as well as EU's new leading role in NATO's  and/or other UN-sponsored operations, calling for renewed Global Cooperation to definitively overcome the Global Crisis
        Artfuly pointing at a Strategy which dynamically combines GeoPolitical and Structural Values' aspects inside one and same vision for the Future, Sarkozy, in one among his best performances, with a fighting spirit among various difficulties and/or attempts to divert attention elsewhere, decisively focused at the essentials, speaking to an Annual gathering of French Ambassadors and Foreign Diplomats, at the eve of a crucial International Conference tomorrow here on Libya's future; urging them to "be Voluntary" and "Imaginative" enough in order to become able to face with "New Ideas" the Challenge of a "New World", emerging after a series of "Crisis", with "a New Governance".


    Starting by African developments, Sarkozy observed from the outset that 2011 will certainly stay on Record for "Major Progres of Democracy" in the Continent, with "more than 20 important Elections at the South of Sahara",  the recognition of the electoral success of President Quattara in the Ivory Coast, the victory of President Conde in the 1st Democratic Election since the Independence of Guinea, and a return to the Constitutional Order in Nigeria, as well as Peace in Sudan. But the "unacceptable Somalian Crisis and the famine hitting Africa's Horn, Eastwards, "should  incite the whole World to do more in order to put and end to such Tragedies", 

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        - North of Sahara, Young People started the "Arab Springs", from Tunisia, afterwards Egypt, they won, one by one, the Countries from Maghreb to Machrek", speaking "not against the West, or USA and Israel", but "asking for Freedom and Democracy, Respect and Dignity", Sarkozy observed. Meanwhile, "Moroco and Jordany proved that Real Reforms can have equally significant Results as Revolutions".

After the Ivory Coast, "when an out-going former President refused to recognize Electoral Results endorsed by the African Union and the UNO, and tried to keep power by Terror and Massacers", also in Libya, "when People asking for Liberty were threatened to be crashed under fire from Canons, Tanks and Gaddafi's Airplanes", France made a "decisive"; but "Politicaly and Moraly Just choice", "supported by the Arab Ligue and our African Union partners", on the basis of an Explicit Mandate by UNO's Security Council", which marked a progress in International Law respect, by concretely materializing, for the 1st time in History on 2011, with acts, not only words, the 2005 Principle of the Responsibility to Protect" "populations martyrized by their own leaders", and, also for the 1st time, "Unanimously", UNO's SC brought to the International Criminal Court the Crimes of Libyan former leaders", he added.

- But,"What about the Massacers in Syria ?". The Syrian President" Bashar Assad, "already committed irreversible" crimes. "Dama's Regime shouldn't make the Error to believe that it might be protected from its own People", Even if "I regret the fact that UNO's Security Council doesn't always undertake its Responsibilities vis a vis the Syrian Tragedy", nevertheless, "together with our Partners, we shall do Everything Legaly possible for the Syrian People's Aspirations for Liberty and Democracy to Triumph", "But inside the UNO's framework, i.e., it's up to us to fight for a Consensus" in the UN SC, he invited.


- In fact, "only People make History, and can take their Destiny in their Hands, without anyone being able to anticipate, even less provoke from far away or trigger their Movement towards Freedoms and Democracy, even if it might be foreseen. But there is No "Arab Exception" which might have Condemned those People to Dictatorship !" Advancing Today well beyond Past Risks to be accused of "Neo-Colonialism", if you did too much, or, on the contrary, of "Guilty Indiference", if you didn't act enough, and/or delayed, what is "New", now, is that the "Principles on which is based our New Policy", express a "will to resolutely accompagny People's Movement towards Democracy", the French President stressed.

The New trend cuts short with a policy of the Past which deyfied "Stability"at any price, putting us (EU) in Contradiction with the (Democracy and Human Rights') Values that we should promote"; Sarkozy pointed out.


=> This is the Meaning of our Initiatives with the "Deauville Partnership launched by the G-8 Summit last May 2011 (See "EuroFora"s NewsReports from the spot), and in the framework of the EU, the G8/G20 Chairman observed.

Because the "Democratic Earthquake" which has recently shaken authoritarian regimes in the Mediterranean, even if it has an equally important Historic significance as the Berlin Wall's Fall (in Eastern Europe), nevertheless, might have a more complicated aftermath, because of a "Threefold Difference" :

- A Demographic Difference, with Youth representing 2/3 of the People, bringing each year Millions of Young People, often with several Diplomas, to the Labor Market, etc..

- An Ideological difference, where what is at stake is to prove that Democracy is not contrary to Islam, while it was incompatible with Marxism.

- And an Organisational difference, because the way was "obvious" for the former Central-Eastern European Countries, which had just to Integrate themselves inside an Enlarged EU, while, on the contrary, at the other side of the Mediterranean Sea, it's important to develop a Partnership, respectful of these States' Independence and Sovereignity, as that recenty proposed at the May 2011 Deauville G8 Summit of Heads of State/Government, which took Long-term Commitments proposing 40 Billions $ to Tunisia and Egypt between 2011 and 2013, as well as BERD's unique Expertise (and Loans), etc (See "EuroFora"s NewsReports from Deauville's G8 Summit).

Since that G8 Summit, (8-11/8/2011), two more Countries joined the Deauville's Partnership", Moroco and Jordany, while, now, If New Libya would like to join, it will be very Welcome", he added



+ Because, at the same time, in parallel,  there is also an overal "Progress in Development in Africa : "For 15 Years, African Economies experience a Growth superior to + 5% annualy", and, during the present Decade (2001-2010), 6 out of 10 Economies (i.e. 60%) in the World which experienced the Biggest Growth Rate, were African", while the continent's Population will Double before 2050, so that "Africa will become more populated than China !".

=> "Africa is Booming and becoming the Youth of the World", he concluded.

- "All this makes of Africa's Economic Boost a Priority for Europe, for whose Economy, Africa's Proximity is a Chance", the French President pointed out.

  - "EU's and Africa's Destinies are interwoven together", Sarkozy stressed, launching a call for an "Equilibrated and Modern Partnership", with full "Transparency" on all Agreements, even on Defense, as he promissed.

 => F.ex. "Tomorrow, when we'll welcome here, at Elysee palace, the New Authorities of Tripoli (Libya), together with all represented Countries (including China and Russia), the UNO, the Arab Ligue, the African Union, etc., we shall turn the page of the (former Gaddafià Dictature and of Clashes, to open a New Era of Cooperation with Democratic Libya", he anounced.
        + In extension, the Middle East issue seriously concerns Europe, which should be placed at the Heart of the Peace process, together with the indispensable USA, but not left aside, in order for it to succeed, particularly now, when it woud be unacceptable if, even at the moment of the "Arab Spring" movement towards Democracy, some might "freeze" the Middle East !            

=> The "Mediterranean Sea is first of all a European affair, before becoming also a US affair", Sarkozy stressed in an overall GeoPolitical conclusion, based on an obvious GeoPoliical and Historic/Cultural vision, while reminding also his well-known reputation as "America's Friend".

>>> By adapting and relaunching innovative institutional Tools such as "the Union for the Mediterranean" (founded by the EU and 3rd Mediterranean Countries' Heads of State/Government in a July 2008 Summit in Paris, during the French EU Presidency : See "EuroFora" co-founder's NewsReports at "TCW" from the spot), can become "the Motor for a Mediterranean Renaissance"; Sarkozy highlighted.
    - As for far away Afghanistan, he reminded that the implication of French forces was due to a decision taken many years ago by Mr Jospin (former Socialist Prime Minister) and Mr Chirac (former ChristianDemocrat President, of the same party with Sarkozy, in fact towards the end of his mandate), but refused a precipitated withdrawal, because of Security concerns today, prefering an orderly "Tranfert" of all power to the regular Afghan Authorities, "according to a determined Timetable, and observing that "Taliban don't have, no more, the means for Military actions, but are obliged to abuse of sly, criminal Terrorism, aggressing blindly anybody".
Meanwhile, EU plays a greater role inside NATO, as the example of an operation led by France and the UK clearly indicated in Libya, he observed, comparing today's action to protect dissident Libyan People, with contrary Past moments of dramatic EU inaction, almost totally replaced by USA Military, as f.ex. in the former Yugoslavia war, particularly in Bosnia, etc.

However, Sarkozy observed that it's mainly 2 EU Countries, France and the UK, who currently invest 2/3 of European funds for Defense, warning all EU Countries, that Europe needs to muscle its Capabilities, if it wants to really play a political role proportional to its important Economic Power in the World.
 - "Libyan Clashes brought the better Reply to the Prophets of "Schock of Civilisatons and Religions : In fact, side by side, Arab Forces, European and North American, helped a martyrized People to realize its Aspirations for Freedom", Sarkozy rightfully stressed.

    In the case of Libya, "those who anounced Negative Reactions from the Arab World", on the contrary, saw "the United Arab Emirates, Quatar and Jordany, participate to the Coalitions' operations right from the start", while, "our Libyan Friends were asking every day more action", he reminded ...

By the way, in the Future, the manner in which 3rd Mediterranean Countries a.o. will protect their own ancestral Christian Minorities, will be a "Mark" measuring Democracy's importance in each Country concerned, the French President concluded.


 NDLR: Meanwhile, it's topicaly interesting to note that the very same Logic which underlies Sarkozy's main observations (See supra) can also be found in a questions-reply exchange between "EuroFora" and EU's rotating Chairmanship, during a Press Conference at EU Parliament, back in Strasbourg at the beginning of Spring 2011, as far as it concerns, precisely, the integration of the recent 3rd Mediterranean Countries' recent developments and EU's Neighborhood policy :

Hungarian EU Minister Nemeth, then chairing the EU Council, had initially described the situation as follows :


<<To "Highlight Key elements of the Debate :"

"EU's Southern Neighbourhood policy is Now facing Serious Challenges : We now see compeletely New Tendencies, that we've never seen in the Past. We are now seing new symptoms of Democratic Transition. We have now to deal with this so-called "Arabic Spring"".

=> Therefore, "we (EU) need to come up with a New Concept, a completely New Concept, that is able to provide a Response to very Differend and specific Situations :

- "I mentioned 3 Countries, but, of course, I could mention 2 more where there is a(n EU) Military presence based on a UN Mandate. The EU, with the support of its Member States, is pursuing this.

I could also mention Other States, where the Transition Process has already started.  And here, the Targets are Differend :   Constitutional Monarchies, or Republics, etc. so that the Final Goals of these Countries are differend. So  now see also some Transitional processes that are quite significant : Such as in Egypt, Tunisia, etc. But we could also mention Morocco.

So I think (that) we have a lot on our plate.... Although we postponed the Eastern Partnership Summit, we now have to use our Time very well,  to encompash all proposals related to (EU) Neighbourhood policy, and to integrate them into a New Neighborhood policy, which could deal with both Areas : Southern and Easterrn Regions".

Unless we are able to do this, we (EU) loose Credibility, our Neighbourhood and Partnership policy loses credibility,  and we also lose Support. I think that, looking to the past Decades, we can that whenever the EU is not unified, we lose credibility, Neighbour in our Neighbour's eyes.

Now, our Southern and Eastern Neighbours are looking upon us, and I think they deserve a Unified Policy, a credible, Robust Neighbourhood policy.

A policy that is built on all the Tools that are available to us : So I think, a sound Analysis should be reflected in this New Neghbourhood policy that we really examine our House in order too.

So, as regards the 3 Countries (See supra), there is one thing I'd like to emphasize, on behalf of Baroness Ashton, and that's the following :

- We (EU) do not accept any form of Violence, We refuse to accept any form of Violence, and this is a Starting point of our (EU's) policy. So, Violence is completely Unacceptable. That is our Starting point.

- Second : These Countries are Differend, very differend from one another. And, although these Dictatorships covered on the face their differencies, now we'll see that it's (coming ?) into the surface, and we hope to welcome this Diversity. We hope to see this in Societies. We think that it's important for this Diversity to come forward, and also to be shown in the Decision-making : It can't be any Democracy without an internal Dialogue, and that's our 2nd Principle : When representatives of very Differend Opinions have to engage in Dialogue.

+ And the 3rd one : This is an Irreversible process. So, now, Changes have started in the Arab World, (and) we (EU) hope that these Changes will lead to Democratic Systems. We need to keep up these processes. We need to give them a Boost.

And, let me remark, just in practice ; Central and Eastern EU Countries have valuable Experience in this field, and they would likehese Countries concerned. So, the main thing is that we shouldN't let this process Stop !

But we (EU) are not the Owners of theses processes, the NATO or the EU : We are just Facilitators. These Countries own the Transition Processes. We (EU) provide the Support. >>
Question  : East - South  : too much Differencies, between the South and the Eastern neihbours, i order to have a Unified Approach. Isn't this Difference too Big ?

Nemeth : ... - Of course there are big Differncies between our Neighbours?But, I have to emphasize, that there are Differncies, significant Differences, within our Southern Neighbourhood.

The Eastern and the Southern Dimensions may be treated in a Unified distance,  But this Unified Approach is about the EU : (I.e.) That We have an Environment that will determine our Future.

Are we able to look towards our Outside Environment ? Now, Rightaway we (EU) have two Libers (Southern and Eastern): If we had a Northern Neighbourhood we'd consider it. But now it's the Atlantic Ocean. So, we need to Focus on our Environment, on our Vicinity, and that's what Neighbourhood Policy is about.

And, of course, our Eastern Neighbourhood policy will have its Particularities, as Compared to the Souhern Neighbourhood : F.ex. we don't have a 80% illiteracy, and we don't have to deal with that, we don't have to be prepared for that in the Eastern policy.

But, at the same time, there are points of contacts on the Development policy, Trade, etc. But also there will be another range of efforts towards the Rule of Law, and that will have to be reflected on. And we also have to focus on Energy partnersship, that used to be part of the Southern partnership, but will have to be reflected also to our Eastern policy.

So, when we speak about Armenia, Georgia and Azerbaidzan, etc., the Eastern and Southern policies will overlap.


+ Turkey, is an important factor. It's Difficut to Distinguish, but, Is it an interesting factor towards the Caucasian Region, or more and more under the Southern sphere of influence ?

So, I think, we have to put an End to the Mechanical Separation between the East and the South.  Instead, the EU has to be "open" towards its outside Environment, in our own, best interests. The only Risks we face in these Regions are the Crises around the EU. ----------------


 - In our Question, "EuroFora" reminded that Nemeth "represents, here (at EU Parliament), both the Hungarian EU Presidency and (EU's High Representative on External Action) Cathy Ashton :

- "You spoke about an interesting General Concept, the Need to find something that will respect the Diversity, but also a Coherence between the Eastern and the Southern (EU) Neighbourhood policy.

- Do you think that one among the words which might be useful, with a Positive projection, is that this might become, a little-bit, a kind of "RENAISSANCE" ?  


Because we had also an Arab Civilisation in the Past, (destroyed later by the Ottoman-Turc Military Invasion and Occupation), which (had) helped to keep some kind of Classic European Civilisation, i.e. Greco-Roman, f.ex. by Texts in Alexandria, etc.,

- And, at the same moment, during that period, the Eastern part of Europe was very much Closer than later-on, Europe was more United, including your own country (Hungary), and others, that are far away (f.ex. Russia, Ukraine, Kazakhstan, etc), than it was after, during the (subsequent) Cold-War period"; "EuroFora" reminded.
In this direction, don't you think that the various Minorities, Religious (f.ex. various traditional Christian communities) and others, who are Historically living there, who might be themselves (also) Arabs or others, instead of being considered as something coming from the Exterior, (on the contrary), they might be helpful to "Bridge", in the Future, if they integrate inside Pluralist Democracies, as you said, (f.ex.) in Egypt, Syria, etc. and hopefully also other Countries (in the Future), and the European Union, in the Future".


- "Not easy questions, but very Interesting", spontaneously reacted the EU President-in-office.

"Concerning your 2nd Question, I find it very Interesting", the EU President-in-office observed in reply to "EuroFora"'s suggestion and interrogation (See supra).  

- "I'm sure that, after the Fall of the Homogenizing, Authoritarian Rule, in the Arab World, (a) Colourful Patchwork of Identities is going to be reflected" in the Mediterranean area, Minister Nemeth stressed from he outset.

- "And I hope that these Countries will be able to avoid the Danger of Sectarianism, which is an inherent Risk for the Region : Just look at the Danger of the Division inside Libya, the Territorial type of Division, or you can Identify a very similar Challenge in Yemen in that respect as well. But, if we don't just look at these Questions from a Territorial aspect, we can look at the Religious Challenge of Sectarianism : (f.ex.) Christianity versus Muslims, (etc), in Countries like Lebanon or Syria, or even Egypt. Or just the differend Wings of the Muslims, (f.ex. Shiites, Sunites, etc), also in Syria or in Bahrein or other Countries (f.ex. Iraq, Iran etc).

- "So, I'm sure (that) some kind of Pluralistic Democratic Model is needed, and Not any more the Homogenizing, (traditional) .. type of Centralized Democracy, but (preferably) that Tendency which is reflected in the Recent developments of, let's say, (f.ex.), British Democracy, with these Devolutions to Welsh and Scotland, I could also mention Spain,  or Italy, Post-War developments, (etc). But this is a very Sensitive and Theoretical question at this stage".

- "We (EU) hope that the Transition is going to be towards Democracy. Be it Constitutional Democracy, or Republican type of Democracy, and we (EU) are very much encouraged by the developments of the Arab Spring. For us (Hungary, Poland, etc), the Central European Countries, it reminds the developments in 1989-1990, and that's another Source of Solidarity from our side, towards these Countries", the Hungarian EU President-in-office concluded.


(NDLR : Draft News, as already sent
earlier to "EuroFora"s Subscribers/Donors. Watch out for a more Complete and Accurate, Final Version asap.)




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  Ten Years of ECHR : 1998 - 2008 show need of Revival in 2009-2010 coinciding with 2009 EU Election

A threefold, coordinated move by new Top French Political actors in the 2009 EU Parliament Elections, expressed in Strasbourg a will to boost Europe's Political dimension close to Citizens' concerns, going from protection of Economy to defence of Human Rights.    

The move met an exceptional ECHR's call for a "revival" of Human Rights' protection mechanism', in a Mega-Conference, early 2010.   

Obviously focusing on June 2009 Elections to EU Parliament, it involved from the outset the recently nominated "dual" Head of French Governing Party (UMP)  Michel BARNIER and Rachida DATI :


     - "As President Sarkozy has clearly said, we (France) are in favor of a Strong, Sovereign and Independent, Political Europe, which protects its Citizens, and not for a large Super-Market, nor for a Europe under influence",

    "This goes for everything, including Energy", added to "EuroFora" the experienced former EU Commissioner, Minister of Foreign affairs, currently of Agriculture and Sarkozy's new pick as Leader of the Governing party UMP to EU 2009 Election, Michel BARNIER                                              .                             

  - Human Rights are important because they are at the Heart of the Political Europe that we aspire for : I.e. a Europe able to act and protect its Citizens, stressed also the New French Minister for European affairs, Bruno LE MAIRE, while meeting Strasbourg's Journalists at his first visit to the CoE.   


This is one of the main interests for CoE, which is also a natural place for cooperation between EU countries and Russia or Turkey, which was recently helpful at the Middle East crisis, he added.

The move gained momentum with French Minister of Justice, Rachida Dati's main observations at ECHR's 5Oth Anniversary :   

- "While we are seeking Europe's Borders and Identity, you (ECHR) remind us also of its Values", Human Rights, Dati noted.   

Citizens seek more and more often ECHR's help, and the tempo accelerates, Europa awaits a symbol, while national legal orders are not freezed   

And she expressed "support" to ECHR President Jean-Paul Costa's call to satisfy the vital need to revigorate the PanEuropean Court by deciding big changes at a High-Level Conference open to a large audience, a kind of "Etats Generaux" of Human Rights, at the beginning of 2010.       


It's not so much the recently growing number of applications for Russia or Ukraine etc, which seems to be Costa's main concern : In fact, the cases declared "admissible" are much fewer...    

But rather the persistent violations of Human Rights, sometimes very grave (ie. murders, torture, abritrary deprivation of liberty, oppression of freedom of speech, destructions of homes/properties, etc), despite numerous, repeated condemnations by ECHR. So that CoE's Ministers, due to "supervise execution" of ECHR's judgements, are overloaded.   

F.ex. most Media noted that Turkey still remains, even in 2008, the 1st among 47 CoE member States in the number of condemnations by ECHR :  257, compared to 233 for Russia, with a population more than the double..    

The problem is that it's not the 1st time at all : During all the last Decade 1998-2008, Turkey was condemned by ECHR much more than any other State, and for particularly grave violations :   

- 1.652 condemnations, compared to 605 for Russia, 548 for Poland, 494 for France, 476 for Ukraine, etc.   

Italy's second place with 1.394 condemnations is a misleading false appearance : In fact, most of them (999) concern mere "procedural delays" in national courts. Same for France.   

On the contrary, Turkey was condemned 180 times for Killings, 192 times for Torture or Inhuman/Degrading treatments, 340 times for arbitrary deprivation of Liberty, 528 times for "Unfair trial", and 169 times for oppression of Freedom of speech, (etc). And the latest, 2008 numbers, indicate no change in this trend, (See supra).   

The current Spanish CoE Presidency (November 2008 - May 2009) has made of the implementation of ECHR's judgements its 1st Priority.   

ECHR's President, Jean-Paul Costa, stressed in its 2009 Annual Press Conference, CoE Member States' obligation to implement the judgements, according to Article 46 of the European Convention on Human Rights.   

Moreover, if CoE's Committee of Ministers delays to ensure implementation, then, the repetition of violations in similar cases provokes a multiplication of complaints tabled to the Court, which overload the mecanism for the protection of Human Rights, denounced Costa.          

A series of Debates on "the situation of Human Rights in Europe", focusing on the "need to fight against Impunity" of perpetrators of grave crimes, is  currently prepared by CoE's Parliamentary Assembly for the session of June 2009.  

The final Timing comes shortly AFTER the EU Elections, but the main Reports should have been adopted before.

Meanwhile, French President Sarkozy and German Chancelor Merkel's recent call "for a Political Europe" in 2009 EU Elections (See earlier "correspondence from Paris, Elysee Palace), seems more and more endorsed also by other EU Countries' Top MEPs :

Thus, f.ex., EU Parliament's 1st vice-President, Greek MEP Mrs Rodi KRATSA, speaking to "EuroFora", agreed that 2009 EU Election would be a "naturally good" opportunity to debate what really interests EU Citizens : "The Future of a Political Europe, able to face the Economic Crisis, with a Culture and identity which attracts the People"

(Photo taken earlier during Sarkozy's 1st visit at EU Parliament, in 2007 : Sarkozy and Merkel's Ideas for a Political Europe inspire also other EU politicians accross the continent)..


2009 EU Elections were won by Parties against Technocracy and Turkey's controversial EU bid, while the 1999-2004 Majority Abstention trend decelerated. What should be done in 2009-2014 ?


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