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Accueil 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

Ecrit par 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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Recent developments proved that Europe can suceed to overcome challenges by aiming at great objectives, and this is needed also in 2009, said EU chairman, French President Nicolas Sarkozy.

    - "It's in the name of Great Ideas, Projects, Ambition and Ideals, that EU can overcome" challenges, stressed Sarkozy at EU Parliament in Strasbourg, in conclusion of a dense 7 months EU Chairmanship. "It's even easier for Europe to have Great projects, able to overcome national egoism, instead of limiting itself only to small projects" (unable to do alike), he observed.     

- "Europe must remain Ambitious and understand that the World needs her to take Decisions". "The World needs a Strong Europe", which "thinks on its own, has convictions, its own responses, its imagination" : "A Europe which does not limit itself into following" others, (as it did in the Past, when it followed USA, f.ex. on Bosnia). On the contrary, "Europe should undertake its own responsibilities", he said, after a series of succes in stopping the War between Russia and Georgia, and organizing the 1st EuroZone's Summit in Paris, which incited the Washington DC G-20 Summit to extend similar decisions World-wide.  


    - "When you sweep it all under the carpet, prepare yourself for hard tomorrows", he warned. "What hinders decisions is the lack of Courage and Will, the fading away of Ideals", he stressed before EU Parliament's 2008 debate on Human Rights and Sakharov prize on Freedom of thought attributed by MEPs to Chinese cyber-dissident Hu Jia, followed by an EU - Turkey meeting on Friday.

    - "I don't abandon my convictions" and "I will take initiatives" on EU level also in 2009, Sarkozy announced later. "France will not stop having convictions and taking initiatives" on Europe. + "It's an Error to wish to pass over the Heads of those who are elected in their Countries" : "It's an integrism I always fought against"', he warned.
---------------------
French EU Presidency faced 4 unexpected Crisis :

- An institutional crisis, with the Irish "No" to EU Lisbon Treaty, just before it started. A geopolitical crisis, wth the threat of War between Russia and Georgia risking to throw Europe back to Cold-war divisions, on August. A World-wide Financial and Economic crisis, arriving at a bad moment before crucial 2009 EU elections. And even a Strasbourg's mini-crisis, with EU Parliament's roof curiously falling down, from unknown reasons, in a brand new building on August, provoking an unprecedented transfert of the 2 September Plenary Sessions...

But it wasn't enough to stop Sarkozy ! On the contrary, it stimulated him...
---------------------------------------

- "The better way to deal with the recent problems of EU institutions (as the "3 NO" by France, the Netherlands and Ireland) is to take them as a "Test" in order to find solutions closer to Citizens' concerns", said later in Strasbourg Sarkozy's new choice as Ministe for EU affairs, Bruno Le Maire.

- On the Institutional front, Sarkozy gave Time to the Irish to think about it, and stroke on December a deal including a New Referendum after the June 2009 EU Elections, in exchange of a promise to keep the rule of "one EU Commissioner for each EU Member Country", and some opt-outs on Defence and Fiscal EU policies, Abortion, etc. If the Irish get a "Yes" Majority, then the institutional package could be completed in 2010 or 2011 on the occasion of Croatia's probable EU accession.

He was accused in Strasbourg to upgrade EU Council and downgrade EU Commision, but he replied that "strong Political initiatives by EU Council reinforce also the more technical role of EU Commission, under the political-technical leadership of its President", all 3 "working together with EU Parliament".


- But, meanwhile, Sarkozy energetically spearheaded an Historic 1st Summit of EuroZone's 15 Heads of State and Government at EU's core, exceptionally enlarged to a partial participation of British Prime Minister Gordon Brown, on October 12 in Paris' Elysee palace, which started to tackle succesfully the growing world Financial crisis.

    It also paved the way for its endorsement by a subsequent Brussels' 27 EU Member States' gathering, before it all come to Washington's G-20 Summit. And "Europe was united, it asked for the 1st G-20 Summit, and it will also organise the next G-20 Summit on April in London", he observed.   

 But a Conference with EU, Russia, African and other Developing Countries, hosted in Strasbourg shortly after Washington G-20 Summit by the French EU Presidency, took a Resolution asking to enlarge participation to Global Economic Governance. Many found, indeed, illogic and unacceptable that f.ex. states as Turkey were given a seat at G-20 level, while all African Countries, and even the African Union itself, representing the greatest Continent on Earth, were excluded...


    Meanwhile, even USA''s "Paulson No 3" Plan, was, in fact, inspired by Europe's No 1 Plan", Sarkozy observed, largelly applauded by MEPs.

    And "Europe showed Solidarity" by mobilizing some 22 Billion credit for Hungary, 1,7 billion for Ukraine, as we do nowadays for Baltic States, etc., he added.

    The move on Economy was extended on December by an EU stimulus' plan totalling some 200 billion Euros, including 5 Billions released by EU Commission for big Projects, as well as various parallel National plans for Economic revival, (fex. 26 billions in France alone). They might appear limited, compared to USA President-elect Obama's reported plan to boost the American economy with 800 billion $, but at least succeded to overcome Europe's divisions for the first time on Economic governance, opening new horizons.

- The French President stressed even harder the unique role of an active EU Council's chairmanship, when he moved swiftly and efficiently, at the beginning of August, to succesfully stop War between Russia and Georgia, at the last minute, which threatened to bring Europe back to Cold War division.

"We (EU) also wanted to avoid a situation like in Bosnia, in the Past, when EU was absent, so that our American friends took their responsibilitues, and EU only followed", despite the fact that the conflict took place in Europe. Now, it was the EU who took its responsibilities".

A roadmap towards a new PanEuropean Security policy, before which all unilateral moves to place new Missiles (from USA or Russia) would be freezed, was proposed by Sarkozy after a meeting with Russian president Medvedev, at the eve of Washington DC's G-20 Summit.

Ukraine's "European" character was stressed at a Sarkozy - Jushenko Summit, September in Paris, while EU adopted on December an "Eastern policy", in which, "I'm convinced that our (EU's) future is to find with our Neighbours the conditions for Economic Development. Peace and Security, by explaining them that.. they must respect (Human Rights') Values, and adopt behaviors different from the Past", explained Sarkozy in Strasbourg.

Meanwhile, the "Union for the Mediterranean" was created, since July's Summit if 45 Heads of State and Government in Paris, as "an organisation for a permanent Dialogue, that we need", mainly in order to tackle the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, by bringing together, for the 1st time, Israelis and Arabs, where "Europe must be present, in order to avoid a frontal clash".

- "If Europe doesn't take its part for Peace in the Middle-East, nobody else will do that in our place", Sarkozy stressed.
-----------------------
    Meanwhile, other EU Agreements were brokered during the French EU Presidency on Immigration, (fex. common Asylum rules, etc), and Climat- Energy :

    - On Climat-Energy, the 2007 German EU Presidency had fixed a triple 20% aim for 2020 (20% renewable Energies, 20% reduction of CO2 emmission, 20% energy efficience/economies), and the 2008 French EU Presidecny realized that, making the necessary compromises in order to modernize EU's industry, but without throwing some former Central-Eastern European Countries into abrupt Economic break down risking "social explosion".

    - Defence-Security EU policy was mainly postponed for April 2009, since both German chancellor Merkel and French president Sarkozy want to strike a deal with the new American president Obama in Strasbourg's NATO Summit.

    However, with all these 4 unexpected Crisis diverting attention to other urgencies, People wil wonder now, what happened to the famous deal proposed by freshly-elected French President Sarkozy on Turkey's controversial EU bid, back on August 2007, to continue EU - Turkey negotiations, but on the double condition that core chapters, intrinsequally linked with EU Membership, will be excluded, and that a collective Reflexion and Debate on Europe's future would start before the end of 2008.

    It was meant to reply to the crucial question : What kind of Europe do we want in 10 or 20 Years from now : A large Market, or a Political Europe, with a popular identity ? In Sarkozy's thinking, presented in his 2 landmark speeches on Europe in Strasbourg, shortly before and after the 2007 Elections, (on February and July 2007), Turkey's controversial EU bid would be incompatible with the second choice.

    It's true that EU Commision's Chairman, Jose Barroso, (who had notoriously declared, as former Portuguese Prime Minister, that he found "nonsense" the idea that Europe might become equal to the US), had repeatedly tried to avoid that Sarkozy's criticism on Turkey might start winning a larger audience in Europe, preferring a discrete "wismens' committee" work. And that most of the personalities later chosen in order to participate in a Committee on Europe's Future, are too much linked with Socialist parties and/or American policies, to be really critical of USA's notorious wish to impose Turkey to the EU, as Sarkozy had noted himself since March 2007..

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    But "it's true that Mrs Merkel didn't chose her Socialist partners, while I chose mine", Sarkozy said, in an indirect hint that the Socialist Minister of Finance in Germany might be a cause of minor past disagreements in Economy, which were overcome in recent negotiations.

    "We (France and Germany) have particular duties in Europe", but "in a Europe of 27 Member States, it's not enough for France and Germany to agree between them.

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     - "Some look at Europe with old glasses aged 30 years ago. While we must look at her in relation to what it will be in 30 years" in the Future, Sarkozy concluded.

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