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Home arrow newsitems arrow Simone Veil to Eurofora (Original 2010-2017) : Europe in a Transitional stage, before a New Era ?

Simone Veil to Eurofora (Original 2010-2017) : Europe in a Transitional stage, before a New Era ?

Written by ACM
Monday, 03 July 2017

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*Paris (Sorbonne) 2010-Strasbourg 2017/Angelo Marcopolo/- When "Eurofora" met the 1st EU Parliament's President, Simone Veil, back on 2010 in Paris, the Famous Academician Lady, survivor of NAZI Camps, had pointed towards a New Stage in European Integration, which has not yet arrived until Today :


It was during a Political, Cultural and Economic Forum co-organized at the Prestigious "Sorbonne" University also by our collegues of mainstream Newspaper "Les Echos", (whose Director had earlier told us in Strasbourg that Both the Printed and OnLine Versions of his Media were profitable, working well, and full of potential), which had invited "Eurofora", and had chosen Veil as the Keynote Speaker, at the Concluding Day.


Polls had just revealed that Simone Veil was, in fact, the most Popular political personality, then, among French People, and well beyond. Indeed, Sorbonne's amphitheater was full.

 

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On Stage, she developped, inter alia, one of her favorite points : That, when she was Young, she had been politicaly exploited as an "Alibi", particularly as she had been "La Pétite", i.e. he Youngest, by far, in a Family almost decimated at the Concenration Camps.

Afterwards, we were Surprized to see her, suddenly, emerge out of nowhere, in a quiet Room of Sorbonne's Historic Building, that we were crossing, accompagnied by an old but athletic and tall man, who was, apparently, taking care of her, and kindly let her speak with us.


- "Eurofora" questioned Simone Veil, who was EU Parliament's President during the 1st and 2nd European Elections of 1979 and 1984, (remaining MEP until 1993), about the following Historic "Paradox" :

 

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- How it was possible to have Succeeded, at that Previous period, to attract a Big Majority of EU Citizens to Vote, despite the fact that European Institutions didn't have, then, any of the various, important and numerous Competences to Act, as those that EU Parliament has got during Recent Years, where, on the Contrary, Abstantions notoriously skyrocketed until recently ? (Particularly since the Controversial and UnPopular Turkey's EU bid of 1999).


>>> Simone Veil's Reply, (after carefuly giving a Thought on that matter), was quite UnExpected, and Brief, but very Dense:


  - "You know, I Think that Europe currently is, still, in a kind of Transitory stage, in Transition", Veil stressed, pronouncing her key words distintively, one by one, and in a crystal-clear way.
 

- However, when "Eurofora" asked her, also, what she thought that should be done in order to reach, asap, the Next Stage, Simone Veil declined, at least for the Time being, to give any more concrete indication on that second point, now.

 

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  Instead, with a Smile, she made a vague but vast Gesture with her hand, (she murmured something, almost inaudible; and not clearly registered by our Tape Recorder, that we might try to decipher), and excused herself kindly:  


  - We were, then, on Spring 2010. I.e. at a Key Moment, particularly for joint Franco-German efforts, with then French President Nicolas Sarkozy and German Chancellor Angie Merkel, mainly to Deepen EU's Franco-German "engine"'s activities, as well as to Boost €uroZone, for Stronger European Integration.

 

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    These Moves unfolded, rouphly speaking, all the way between January 2010 (with Elysée's Franco-German Summit in Paris, adopting a relevant Road Plan of scheduled joint Projects : Comp., f.ex., "Eurofora"'s NewsReport then, from Elysée, at : ....) ; continuing on December 2010 at nearby Freiburg, Germany, with a full Franco-German Inter-Governemental Summit, (Comp. relevant "Eurofora"s NewsReport from Freiburg, just after the neighbouring Offenburg, then :....); and evolved, Surprisingly, in the Middle of ...August 2011, at an Exceptional, Summer-Time Franco-German Summit anew at Elysée Palace, (on August 16th !), which launched the Pioneer Idea for an Ambitious "€uro-Area" Treaty, for the 1st Time in History. (See also Infra)


    + In the Meantime, just after the Entry into Force of the "Simplified" Lisbon EU Treaty, its annexed European "Charter for Fundamental Rights and Freedoms", had just Started to exist, also that Same Year of 2010, (after also a Relevant landmark EU Summit in Berlin, back on 2009: Comp. "Eurofora"/TCW's NewsReports from the spot, at ...+...), concerning obviously a Key Issue also for EU Citizens, as well as for Simone Veil's own Legacy, (who had notoriously surprized many by openly supporting Sarkozy, already as early as since the eve of 2007 crucial French Elections, that he had brillantly won. Followed also by a 2009 Joint, Franco-German+ Victory of ChristianDemocrat/EPP Parties of Merkel and Sarkozy, headed then in EU Parliament by Strasbourg's Top MEP Joseph Daul, at the 2009 European Parliament's Elections).


    The Principle of Respect due to "Human Dignity" (something certainly Dear to People as Simone Veil) became, thus, an Explicitly Recognized Value in Modern Europe, as that EU Charter extended wider the example of Post-NAZI, Modern and Democratic Germany's Constitution (Article 1st). While, as a well known (particularly at Nearby Geneva's UNO's PanEuropean headquarters) Austrian Professor in Law used to Teach also in Strasbourg's High European Studies' Institute, Human Dignity, at least according to contemporary Christian Theology, stands at the Roots of All Human Rights, (i.e. including those of the pre-existing PanEuropean ECHR, (headquartered here as part of the 47 Member States-strong CoE).


    >>> That August 2010 €uroArea Treaty's Franco-German Draft, had Ambitiously seeked to Establish the principle of 18 €uroarea's Heads of State/Government Regular Summits ...each Month (i.e. with the Same Frequency as EU Parliament's Plenary Sessions : at least 12 Times each Year !), and introduced an -often underestimated, but potentialy "Revolutionary"- clause giving to €uroArea's Leaders a very Wide possibility to Deal, in their Monthly Summts, with Any Issues, whatever, which might concern their Countries !


    The Historic Draft, was, Later-on, Restricted but collectively Adopted and Signed at the December 2011 and February 2012 European Summits in Brussels, (where, nevertheless, the initial Monthly €uroArea Summits disappeared, replaced with a much "Softer", Discretionary but Irregular possibility to convene, whenever necessary).


    The Following French President, "Socialist" Party's Francois Hollande, after some initialy Controversial Attempts to reportedly Threaten to "Freeze", or even Abolish that €uroTreaty, (which, however, were always Inspired in fact, by his "Wish to put inside that, also Something about Economic Growth", as Hollande had said to "Eurofora" in Strasbourg, already at the Eve of Spring 2012 Presidential Elections), however, at the end, Accepted its Ratification, and its subsequent entry into force, as such.


    As for new French President, Emanouel Macron, nowadays on Spring-Summer 2017, "Eurofora" had, for the 1st Time, met him at a Press Conference in Strasbourg, a Year Earlier, on September 2016, as Minister of Economy and Finances, then, when he appeared Eager to Push, (Together with his German Counterpart), for More Franco-German Integration, inside €uroArea, etc., in the foreseable Future, (for which, he wanted, then, to Launch a Public "Debate").


    This was so Obvious, Natural, and even already Widely Known, then, that "Eurofora"s Question to Macron, then, followed by his relevant Reply, Focused on a Concrete and Topical aspect of a Europe possibly revived thanks mainly to its Franco-German engine, regarding an Economy-relevant, but also GeoPoliticaly important, including even EU Values and Europe's potential Role in the World, concerning New Energy sources' Projects, (See:...).


    Meanwhile, during the Last 4 or 5 Years, European Integration had advanced Only on "Banking Union", (already Scheduled, also by a Sarkozy -Merkel Agreement, endorsed in principle by EU Summits, at least since the Beginning of 2012), as well as by the Creation of some Funds, and BEI's  greater role (Ibid), before the latest, June 2017 EU Summit in Brussels starts, at last, to mark some concrete 1st Steps towards the Creation of a potentialy Autonomous EU Security and Defense policy, (Comp.  f.ex. "Eurofora"'s NewsReport from the spot in BRX at :...), which obviously still has to be further and adequately Developed in order to really Start to play an Original and Significant Role in the World.


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=> But, What is most Important to Note, at this point Today, is that Simone Veil's above mentioned Reply to "Eurofora"s Question, remains, in Fact, much more Topical than what some might believe at First Sight :


- Indeed, by speaking about a "Transitory" Stage in European History, the Experienced 1st EU Parliament's President, MEP and twice Minister, as well as Academician, and one of the most Emblematic Figures of Post-War Europe, in Fact, indirectly but surely, pointed inevitably also at a necessary Forthcoming ... "New Stage" in European developments.

 

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+ However, any New, Higher Level of EU Integration, even if Necessary, won't succeed unless it becomes Able to Attract and Stimulate European Citizens' active support and involvement, has Warned even the Sober German Minister of Finances, the Experienced Wolfgang Schauble, speaking some time ago on EU's foreseable Future, at a Conference at the CoE in Strasbourg, together with ChristianDemocrat/EPP Party President Joseph Daul, as well as, more Recently, to "Eurofora".


>>> Today, as, Chancellor Angie Merkel notorioously stressed, in Conclusion of the recent European/Interfnational Ceremony in Honor of Helmut Kohl, at EU Parliament in Strasbourg last Saturday (See:...), 

- "Now, it's up to us, to defend the Legacy" of the Best Values that such Exceptional European Personalities entrusted us !


=> How Long will still be that frustrating, bumpy and even dangerous,  "Transitional" stage, of which spoke Simone Veil to "Eurofora", before Europe's "New Era", at last, comes ?

 

(../..)


***


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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 :

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     - "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.   

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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.       

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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"

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(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)..
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