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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.


------------------------------------------------


=> 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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Former "Green-Red" German government's Foreign Minister Joschka Fischer's job at the controversial Turkish pipeline "Nabucco" was denounced as "not proper", "very bad", and "incompatible with Democracy", by the new President of EU Parliament's EuroLeft Group, German Lothar Bisky, replying to an "EuroFora" question.

For once, criticism of Joschka Fischer's doings with Turkey affecting Europe, didn't come only from the Center-Right of the political spectrum, but even from his Left side : The experienced Bisky, who has been chairing all over 1993-2009 the PDS - Die Linke party :  

- "Former Foreign Minister Joschka Fischer got involved in dealings with oil-gaz business in a foreign country, Turkey, and its controversial Nabucco pipeline. This raises questions about Democracy, also because of the well known problems of Human Rights violations in that country. Do you thing that this might be abused in order to cover up and close EU's eyes on Human Rights violations ?", "EuroFora" asked Bisky.

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- "Nabucco pipeline is (only) at the planning stage". And "there are some difficulties",  he observed from the start. But "'I don't want to get into the details of Nabucco pipeline, because I don't think that there is any point for it at the moment".
 
At any case,  "we  (EU Parliament's EuroLeft Group) strongly believe that Politicians should not get involved in the Energy Business, and all these commercial transactions", President Bisky declared on the Joschka Fiischer's affair.

- "We feel that it's something that shouldn't be done. It's not proper !"           

- "We don't think that it's compatible with Democracy either, and it gets politics into a very Bad track", Bisky went on to denounce.
                                                                                                                                                                        
- "EuroLeft  and "Die Linke" always spoke against that, saying that politicians should not get directly into the arms of private enterprises"

- "It is pretty bad if a former Minister takes a job f.ex. in a major Energy producer. So, it's an issue if a Minister who may have seen excellent opportunities, subsequently gets personally grasp of them, in very serious parts of the economy, once he has given up his (Government) job."

- "It doesn't really make politics in general look any better'", Bisky concluded.

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Earlier, this week in Strasbourg, other Journalists had also raised critical questions on former Foreign Minister Joschka Fischer's involvement in the conroversial Turkish Nabucco pipeline to the President of his own EuroParty : Kohn-Bendit of the "Greens", who, contrary to Bisky, tried to find excuses for Fischer, while criticizing his long-time partner, Schroeder for having done a similar move :

- "Shroeder was chancellor", and he "negociated" with "Russians", who gave him a job only "3 Months" after he resigned from the Government. While "Joschka Fischer", on the contrary, got a job with the controversial Turkish Nabucco pipeline only "4 Years after" he left the Government. "He didn't negociate Nabucco", so I have "no objection", Kohn Bendit claimed.

But, many Facts indicate the contrary :

Joschka Fischer was Foreign Minister in Germany from 1999 up to 2005 : I.e. from the year that EU took the controversial decision to give Turkey a "Candidate" status, until he year it started controversial "accession negotiations, (later declared "open-ended" after Sarkozy-Merkel's arrival from 2005-2007).

During that period was prepared the controversial so-called "Annan" Plan (in fact, drafted by others and attributed afterwards to the former UN SG) on Cyprus, which failed after a Popular Referendum said "No" on 2004 with a large Majoriy of 3/4 : 75%. Mainly because it was criticized for making too much concessions to the Turkish side :  Particularly by restricting Greek Cypriot Refugees' Human Right to return to their ancestral Land and/or get restitution of their Familiy Homes and private properties, usurpated by Ankara's Army since the 1974 militay invasion and continuing occupation of the northern part of Cyprus. And by weakening the Central Government, leaving to 2 "constituent States" so much powers and separate interests that more conflicts appeared inevitable, provoking the danger of a break-down in the foreseable future, with more crisis, troubles, perhaps bloodshed, etc., instead of creating an harmoniously integrated, really one federal State.

The controversial Plan was finalized on March-April 2004 at Burgenstock (Switzerland), curiously in the presence of an Envoy by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Germany, then governed by Joschka Fischer, but in the absence of a French and not even an European Union's Envoy, contrary to what was usually practiced on similar occasions in Switzerland (fex. in 1997 at Montreux, in 2000 at Geneva, etc).

Turkey notoriously exploited the failure of the "Annan" Plan in order to convince the EU to decide to start accession Negotiations on December 2004. This provoked an unprecedented series of Institutional Crisis inside the EU, shortly afterwards, when French and Dutch People rejected, 2 popular EuroReferenda by a majority "'No" vote to the EU Constitutional Treaty on 2005, aggraveted in 2004 a Majority Abstention to EU Elections, etc., followed by the recent Irish "No", etc.

"Nabucco" Gas pipeline was notoriously planned since ..2002. It follows an even earlier idea, for an Oil pipeline Baku-Ceyhun, which started to be prepared on 1999-2001 and was meanwhile recently completed.  

So, facts indicate that what is now at stake is based on decisions made during Joschka Fischer's term as former Foreign Minister, closely interested in Turkey's controversial EU-bid.

To the point that he now practically ...switched jobs with a poliician from Turkey, (the State which pays today openly Joschka Fischer), Mr. Ozdemir, who came earlier in Germany, got fast the nationality, and became EiuroMP in a few years, continuing now as head of the "Greens" in Germany, i.e. in Joschka's former job !...

Such astonishing facts risk, unfotunately, to give to German politician Lothar Bisky's criticism of  representative Democracy a topical meaning :

 - "We (EuroLeft Group) think that what is really at stake is Democracy. It's not only about Gas Pipelines or Energy sources", President Lothar Bisky went on to add in his reply to "EuroFora"'s question on Joscka Fischer's personal interests in the controversial Turkish "Nabuco" pipeline.

Such facts, "make People get more distance from Politics. ...People had had enough, and they are fed up !".

- "That's why we (EuroParliament's "EuroLeft" Group) want to strengthen Direct Democracy in Europe. Citizens should be involved in the (EU) Decision-making. In the end of the day, it's not going to help anyone if Politicians are always taking decisions, without involving Citizens. We want to give a voice to the People of Europe. They've got to have their say in the decisions that are taken. That's one of our absolutely fixed and steadfast views. We want more Direct Democracy in Europe. That's how it can become more effective and stronger", he concluded.

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