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Home arrow newsitems arrow New Strasbourg 'Great East' Region Prefect Marx to "EF": TransBorder Links now = Necessity+Dynamism

New Strasbourg 'Great East' Region Prefect Marx to "EF": TransBorder Links now = Necessity+Dynamism

Written by ACM
Thursday, 05 October 2017
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*Strasbourg/Press Club/Angelo Marcopolo/- A New French President, Emmanuel Macron, bringing also a New Prefect, Jean-Claude Marx, in Strasbourg's strategic PanEuropean Headquarters of the CoE, EU Parliament's full Plenary Sessions, ECHR, EU-Citizens' Defensor, Shenghen system's Secretariat, Euro-Corps Army, ARTE RadioTV, Euro-Campus, Human Frontier project, etc, soon after the local New Region of the "Great East", Extended its Borders throughout the (mainly Franco-German+) €uroZone's Core area (See Infra), it was Natural to ask for his Plans in relation to this rare responsibility, important for all the European Continent, and well Beyond, (particularly at these Times when Debates about EU's more Franco-German Future after UK's BREXIT, due at Early 2019, have just Started).


    The 1st relevant Occasion was offered by his Press Conference to Strasbourg's Press Club, symbolically and practically oganized just before his 1st Meeting, Later Today, with All Representatives of the European and International Community present in Strasbourg, as he Noticed himself, in the context of his reply to our query, (See Infra).


    - "Eurofora"s Question to the New Prefect of Strasbourg's "Great East" Region, (much Bigger than in the Past), pointed at its main Characteristic, (Unique in Europe), to Bring Together 5 Key European Countries (including the Two Biggest) : France, Germany, Switzerland, Luxembourg and Belgium, at EU's Core, (by Linking their common Borders to Strasbourg's New Region). And we asked his View on the foreseable Future of TransBorder Cooperation/Integration, etc., (both via the "Superior Rhine" agreements, already linking France, Germany and Switzerland, as well as in other, Wider terms).

(On earlier "Eurofora" NewsReports around Strasbourg's Region and Franco-German+ TransBorder Cooperation/Integration, See, f.ex., among others, also : http://www.eurofora.net/newsflashes/news/hoyeronfrancogermansummit.htm lhttp://www.eurofora.net/brief/brief/alsacenotoalcaponearea.html ; http://www.eurofora.net/newsflashes/news/alsacepresidentrichertonacaleuropeanprojects.html ; http://www.eurofora.net/newsflashes/news/franceregionelelectionsrepublicanswithgreensorfnrightistsforstrasbourg.html ; http://www.eurofora.net/newsflashes/news/newbigfrenchregionheadricherton5eustatesandchina.html ; http://www.eurofora.net/newsflashes/news/newstrasbourgbigregionprefect.html ; http://www.eurofora.net/newsflashes/news/strasbourgregionpresidentrichertandfrencheconomyministermacrononhighspeedinternet.html ; http://www.eurofora.net/newsflashes/news/prefetfrataccistrasbourgasgebevanyorshanghai.html ; http://www.eurofora.net/newsflashes/news/frenchregionspresidentricherttoeurofora.html ; http://www.eurofora.net/newsflashes/news/francogermancoreregionleaderseyescienceandethics.html ; http://www.eurofora.net/newsflashes/news/frenchregionschiefrichertquits.html , etc). 


    - Even if "Some may have seen with Question Marks and Perplexity the Creation of New, Bigger Regions in France, back on 2014-2015", nevertheless,


    >>> "a Big Advantage of this New, "Great East" Region is that it extends through All the Franco-German Borders", sharply replied Marx.


    - Indeed, "that's an Extremely Strong Point, in order to facilitate the Continuation and further Development of the TransBorder Cooperation" in wider terms, Strasbourg's New Prefect underlined.


    - The latter "is expressed mainly in 2 Big Areas : (A) The Superior Rhine (OberRhein) cooperation, which interests Alsace (French area), Baden-Wurttemberg (German Länder), and Switzerland, as well as (B) a Central part of French Borders with Lorraine, and Luxembourg, a part of Belgium, the Saarland and Rhineland-Palatinate" (German Ländern), he described.

 


     => - This "gives a Global View of All our Borders with the North-Eastern Neighbouring Countries, including the Total of Franco-German borderlines", observed Prefect Marx, (who holds particular competences, in addition to a recent Experience on Security at his previous job in France's South-Eastern Region of PACA, among Italy and the Mediterranean Sea, also on Geography).


     - A fortori, "it includes the Totality of Franco-German Borderlines, which have recenly become much More a sort of a Link !"


    - Such realities obviously concern also a Growing Number of many EU Citizens' EveryDay Lives, as, f.ex., "I had the opportunity to oberve, just between Lorraine and Luxembourg, where More than 90.000 Persons travel, Each Day (from and to France) in order to Work around Luxembourg City", he added, (a Spectacular and sympathetic Human and Social phenomenon, that has, indeed, surprized "Eurofora" personally, in particular during our Return trips towards Strasbourg from Brussels' EU Summits).


    - "Recent Changes" also brought, f.ex., Near the Borders between Lorraine area and Luxembourg, New Installations by "a University, the Ministry of Environment, several Modern High-Tech. Enterprises", he said earlier.


    + Similar phenomena, with TransBorder Workers, Businesses, etc,  naturally exists also in Alsace area, (for which they constitute a well-known, Traditional Issue), "up to Switzerland", and they are all "Sources of (Economic-Sociocultural) Dynamism", New Prefect Marx found now.


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


    Meanwhile, in an Interesting intervention by the CEO of "Würth" Company for France Pierre Hugel, (a pioneer German Family Business headquartered at Neighbouring Baden-Wurttemberg German Länder, which evolved from Family-run Manufacture to a Big, Innovative Enterprise exporting in 26 Foreign Countries with about 250.000 Clients, creating, inter alia, Solar Panels with Selenium -instead of Silicon, Electric Batteries, etc., and Sponsoring Electric Cars "E-Rallies" around the World), found that a "Relaunch of the Franco-German motor, including with a warmer ambiance also after the election of new French President Emmanuel Macron, highlights a Better Future for Europe, (pointing, f.ex., also to the Fact that his Enterprise, after a +12% Benefit back on 2011, followed by "Stagnation", just Re-Started to have a +1 - 2% Benefit on 2016, now followed by an estimated +3 - 4% in 2017).


    He was referring to the Wider Fact that, as the "Great East" Region's new Prefect had saod earlier, even if Statistcs show that UnEmployment has Not Yet been Absorbed, remaining at a Too High Level, However, New Data indicate that the Mood of Businesses is becoming Better, and this may "Boost Investments".


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

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    => - "In consequence, I think that TransBorder Cooperation and more, are here, Nowadays, an Absolute Necessity !", stressed Jean-Luc Marx, continuing on his reply to "Eurofora"s above-mentioned question.

    => - That's why, inter alia, "Later-on, this Afternoon, I am Hosting, at the Prefectoral Palace, a collective Meeting with all the Diplomatic Corps in Strasbourg, i.e. mainly numerous Countries' Consuls and Consul Generals, etc.", he revealed.


    + This is "in order to have Exchanges, not only on TransBorder Cooperation, but also, in much Wider terms, on what is usually called <<Strasbourg's European and International vocation>>", he concluded, in reply to "Eurofora"s Question,


(knowing that this includes not only Russia and other CoE's PanEuropean area's 47 Member Countries, but also the USA, Canada, Japan, Israel, Brazil, China, etc).


    - Indeed, Strasbourg's new and bigger "Great East Region", (that Recent Presidential and Parliamentary Elections in France also revealed that it has even a quite Specific Political Characteristics among its Citizens), after all, (as he had already pointed out in his Introductory remarks), "is almost Twice as Big as Belgium !"...

    => - So, Today, this "Great East" Region, can speak without being ashamed f.ex. with Baden-Wurttemberg and Rhenania-Palatinat (German Länder/Federated States)", New Prefect Marx added, later-on, (at anOther reply to a Different question by our Collegue from the Local Strasbourg's Newspaper "DNA"'s experienced Political News Director, Jacques Fortier).

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

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    + By the way, concerning the Different, but adjacent Debate about the Future of the Historic "Alsace" area's former Region (Comp., f.ex.: ...), Prefect Marx observed, Earlier, that French President Macron had clearly Excluded any new Reform of the Country's overall Regional DeCentralisation System during the Next 4,5 Years, after that which had been made by his predecessor, Hollande, back on 2015, which notoriously fusioned Alsace, together with Lorraine and Champagne-Ardennes, inside the Bigger, New "Great East" Region. But, the "Reality" of Alsace still exists, f.ex., among others, also in his own relations with Rural Police ("Gendarmes"), Airport and Borders Police ("PAF"),  the Attorney's Office at nearby Colmar, etc., (while, Alsace had Not really Disappeared, not even in the Period of 1918-1955, when Not any Regional Entity did Not Exist in France). Thus, if tehre is a wish to re-create an "Institutionalized" Alsacian entity, this could be done, even Now, by a Fusion of the 2 existing Departments of Lower and Superior Rhine, into a Unified New Alsatian Department, adding, through negotiations, Complementary Competences, f.ex. among others, also : "on Tourism, Spatial Planning, TransBorder Cooperation".


 (..e. around "Superior Rhine/OberRhein"' pre-existing Structure : Comp. Supra. See also, on the possibility of French Departments' Fusion : http://www.eurofora.net/newsflashes/new/frenchregionschiefrichertquits.html)

 

 

(../..)


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***

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

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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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