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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 ?

Parašė ACM
Monday, July 03, 2017

 simone_veil_at_sorbonne_conference_2010_monumental__original_photo_by_eurofora_400

*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.

 

paris_sorbonne_2010_forum_with_simone_veil_2010_details__eurofora_400


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" :

 

paris_sorbonne_forum_2010_simone_veil__agg_eurofora_400


- 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.

 

paris_forum_sorbonne_simone_veil_start_19.09__eurofora_400


  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.

 

chapelle_de_sorbone_april_2010_conference_with_simone_veil_eurofora_400


    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.

 

sorbonnes_chappelle_outer_version_conference_week_with_simone_veil_eurofora_400


+ 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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    The incoming Swedish EU Presidency (July-December 2009) may still remain in favour of Turkey's controversial EU bid, despite June 2009 EU Elections' results, but it has "very strong demands on Turkey"'s obligation to respect EU Rules, said the Head of Swedish Foreign Ministry's Press Service, Cecilia Julin, to "EuroFora", reacting to critical Press reports.

    - "I know (that) the link is often made also to Sweden's position on Turkey"'s controversial EU bid. Indeed, "we (Swedish EU Presidency) are very much engaged in the future membership of Turkey, but not without fullfiling all the Criteria".

    - "It's very clear that we (Swedish EU Presidecny) have very Strong Demands on Turkey, in a sort of concept for Future membership of the Union, ...which will be a Long Process...", she stressed.

    This means, in particular, "the Copenhagen Criteria (on Human Rights, Democracy and Rule of Law), and also the adaptation to the Acquis of the European Union".

     - "If you listen to what Mr. Bildt (the Swedish Foreign Minister) says on Turkey at different occasions, it's very clear : We want Turkey to become part of the Union, in the Future. But we want it to fullfil all the Criteria : The Acquis of the European Union. That's very clear", she concluded.

    The Senior Official of the Swedish Foreign Ministry was reacting to critical Press Reports, from Brussels' Journalists invited by EU Commission's secretariat to Stockholm, who claimed that Bildt was abusing of a ..."Whip" (sic !) against Cyprus, by "threatening" the presence of UNO's Peace-keeping force at the "Green line" which separates the island's Government-controlled areas from the territories occupied by Ankara's army, if Nicosia didn't accept any political solution, regardless of Turkey's demands, before the end of 2009.

        Governing AKEL Party's new Secretary General, Andros Kyprianou, reacted by declaring that no-one can threat the People of Cyprus : -"We shall decide for our Future, and nobody else",  he reportedly said, asking to "keep calm". "In order to find a Solution soon, certain basic Principles must be respected", he stressed, calling those who feel an urgency to use their influence on Turkey. Other Political Parties were more critical.

    This was a reference to recently reported statements by Turkish Minister Bagis, Prime Minister Tayip Erdogan and Turkey's National Security Council (a Military-Political body), accused to push towards a partitionist "2 States" solution, contrary to UNO SC Resolutions for Cyprus' reunification.

    December 2009 is a crucial moment for EU's appraisal of Turkey's controversial EU bid, because EU Council has decided to review then Ankara's compliance with the European position on the recognition of Cyprus' Government, which was clearly set out by an EU reply of 21 September 2005 to Turkish Prime Minister Tayip Erdogan's claims, refusing to recognize even the existence of EU Member Cyprus, in controversial statements he made to London (former EU chair) on July 29, 2005.

    EU Parliament's latest Resolution on Turkey, adopted on March 2009 in Strasbourg, warned Ankara that "the non-fulfillment of Turkey's commitments... by December 2009, may further seriously affect the process of Negotiations" with the EU.

    In practice, the issue boils down to Ankara's "embargo" against Ships and Airplanes using Cyprus' seaports or airports at the strategic EU island, which traditionaly hosts one of the World's biggest Shipping flags. EU has already "freezed" 6 relevant Chapters in EU - Turkey Negotiations since December 2006, after Ankara refused to fullfil a commitment it had undertaken when EU had decided to open controversial "accession" negotiations with Turkey, back on December 2005.

    - "As far as EU - Turkey relations are concerned, it's clear that Turkey needs to fullfil its obligation of full, non-discriminatory implementation of the additional Protocol (to "EC-Turkey Association Agreement"),  This is an important issue....and should be addresseed as soon as possible as it clearly affects the pace of the accession negotiations.Issues covered by the Declaration of September 2005 will continue to be followed up, and progress is urgently awaited", warned earlier in Strasbourg the out-going Czech EU Presidency (former vice-Prime Minister Alexander Vodra).

    But the Head of the Swedish Foreign Ministry's Press Service, Cecilia Julin, dismissed "interpretations" by "some" that Foreign Minister Carl Bildt was reportedly "threatening" Cyprus with consequences on the UNFICYP, if it doesn't accept any solution until December 2009, while Turkey is reportedly delaying in an attempt to impose a partitionist "2 States" solution.

    On the contrary, Julin, stressed that "Sweden has strong demands on Turkey'"s respect of "Copenhagen Criteria and EU Acquis".

    Meanwhile, Sweden  is "concerned" about the risk of "Stalemate" in Cyprus' Talks, but is well aware that "the main responsibilities lie with the two leaders and the UNO", Europe playing only a role of "facilitator".

    After carefully verifying, the Head of Swedish Foreign Ministry's Press Service, stressed to "EuroFora" that Bildt's reference to UNFICYP "was not linked to a Threat", and dismissed those who "interpreted" it so.

    On the contrary, the Swedish EU Presidency acknowledged the fact that Peace Talks are mainly for the UN and the leaders of the Cypriot communities, EU's role being limited into that of a "facilitator".

    As for Turkey's reported attempts to impose a "2 States' solution", the Head of the Swedish Foreign Ministry's Press Service sharply replied by stressing that Turkey must respect the "EU Acquis" rules.

    In particular :

    - "Basically he (Bildt) underlined that it's the leaders of the two communities in Cyprus and the UN that have the main responsibilities for solving the problem", started to say the Swedish Senior Official to "EuroFora", referring to the above-mentioned "briefing".

    - "But the EU had a role in sort of pointing out the benefits and facilitating a little bit the outcome for the settlement of the whole Cyprus' issue", she added.

    - "And he did state the Fact, that the rest of the World (i.e. USA, etc) will, of course, look at the differend issues which are at the table, and the future of the UN Peace keeping force is part of what is at the table", she admitted.

    - "I understand that some have interpreted that as a Threat, by the Swedish Minister" "But", in reality, "it's a statement of a Fact, that, when we'll look at the differend issues, one of the issues on which we shall have to take a stand on, is the future of the UN Peace keeping force in Cyprus".

    Indeed, one of the questions usually raised for a Solution of Cyprus' issue is what International and/or European or other Guarantees, by a Peace-keeping force, might be needed afterwards, eventually for a transitory period.

    Questioned anew by "EuroFora" whether (according to critical Press Reports) this could be taken as a veiled warning that, if Cyprus didn't accept any Turkish demand for any solution whatever, it might be left alone to face Ankara's Military Invasion/Occupation, she denied :

    - "He (Bildt) didn't say it in that way"... "It was not linked to a threat, or anything like that", the Head of the Swedish Foreign Ministry's Press Service stressed.

    On the contrary, "he (Bildt) underlined that the main responsibility lies with the parties concerned on the island". "The EU can try to facilitate and show the benefits of reaching a settlement. But also, when the EU and the rest of the World (i.e. USA) will have to look at it, they will look at all the Facts on the table, and the presence of the UN Peace-keeping force is one".

    And "he (Bildt) didn't speak about that at all", she replied to "EuroFora" question on Turkey's reported attemps to impose, in one way of another, a partitionist "2 States solution".

    Asked whether Bildt's aim was to incite both parties to move forward efficiently, she agreed :

    - In fact, "the EU is really very concerned with the Stalemate in the situation. Yes !", the Head of Sweden's Foreign Ministry's Press Service anounced. That's why Bildt "was hoping for the two parties (i.e. for Turkey's also) to engage and break, a little-bit, the present stalemate, come to a solution of the issue" of Cyprus.

    But, replying  to a "EuroFora"s question on the risk, denounced by several politicians in case of strict Time Deadlines, for Turkey to provoke a stalemate and wait for the time to come to impose a partitionist "2 States' solution", she reacted by pointing at Turkey's obligation to respect "EU Acquis" :

    - "Turkey must fullfil the EU Acquis : That's clear !", the Swedish Senior Official stressed.

    More details are expected when Swedish Prime Minister Reinfeldt will debate his Programme with new MEPs at EU Parliament's plenary mid-July in Strasbourg, that he has visited already in 2008.

    Foreign Minister Carl Bildt became familiar with Strasbourg's CoE last year, when Sweden chaired the PanEuropean organization of Human Rights. As EU chairman-in-office, he will also chair the 27-member States strong EU Group inside the 47-member States strong CoE.

    Minister for EU affairs, Cecilia Malmstrom is well known at EU Parliament, where she has been an active MEP of the Liberal Group for many years, following also Press Freedom issues.

    Both have already made various statements at "EuroFora", on differend topical matters.

    ***

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