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Inicio 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

Escrito por ACM
05.10.17
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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.


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    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 recent paradox of freezing EU Talks with front-runner Croatia, while continuing controversial EU - Turkey talks, despite Zagreb's acceptance of Refugees' Human Rights to return, that Ankara refuses fex. in Cyprus, while both have "Good Neighborhood" problems vis a vis Slovenia, or Greece, Cyprus and Armenia respectively, can it be justified by the non-fullfilment of EU criteria, as Slovenia says, or, is it "Double Standards" ?    

The question became unavoidable after statements by Presidents of Slovenia and Croatia, Tuerk and Mesic, respectively, to "EuroFora", exclusively or among Strasbourg's journalists this week at the CoE, on the sidelines of its 2009 Summer University for Political Schools, which topically brought them together as successive key-note speakers.


    Comming only a few Months before EU checks Turkey's compliance to its commitments on Cyprus, etc., scheduled for December 2009, this obviously has a special importance for the coherence of EU Enlargement's principles.

     Suspension of EU Negotiations is a normal consequence in case of a Candidate Country's failure to fullfil EU Conditions, such as "Good Neighborhood relations", stressed at first Slovenian President Danilo Tuerk, current CoE's chair.

    But, regarding EU's Criteria,  there shouldn't be any "Double Standards",  reacted Croatian President Stjepan Mesic, commenting the fact that Turkey's controversial EU negotiations continue, while they were recently "freezed" in the case of Croatia, an "unquestionably European Country", which oficially accepts to respect Refugees Human Rights, contrary to Ankara's notorious refusals or reluctance.                                       

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                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                           - "EU itself has set as a Criterium (for EU Enlargement) the "Good Neighborhood relations",  and their absence justifies the "Suspension" EU Negotiations, (f.ex. with Croatia), because of a Border dispute affecting the territorial integrity of an EU Member Country, stressed Slovenian President, Danilo Tuerk, CoE's Chairman in office (May - November 2009), speaking to Journalists in Strasbourg including "EuroFora".    

Questioned earlier what "consequences on EU's Enlargement policy" can have the "Ban on EU Membership Negotiations", imposed to Croatia, Tuerk replied that "this question comes down to the fulfillement of (EU) Criteria for membership. One has to look at each Candidate Country ., from the point of view whether it fullfils the Criteria that EU has set. One of them are Good Neighborhood Relations, I'd like to remind. And also, there are other factors, such as Justice, Home affairs, Rule of Law, and others".


    - "Now, ..Candidate Countries are at Different Levels of fulfillement of Criteria", he observed.

    - " Croatia is obviously the closest to that. I'm rather optimistic : I think that in the coming Months we'll have an opportunity to look at all these issues constructively and hopefully we'll be able to make progress". "My main concern, at this point, is the situation in Bosnia : We haven't seen enough progres domesticaly. We haven't seen enough during ..political parties within their country.We need a New Energy, a new energetic move towards the Candidature for EU membership. "Other (Western Balkan) Countries (Serbia, Montenegro, FYROM, Albania) have been making soaring Progress, and I think that they should be ready, in a few Years, for the Candidate status".

    - "As far as the Western Balkans are concerned, .. nobody should be left outside" the EU, Slovenian's President concluded, ommitting to mention Turkey's controversial EU bid.

    - "This process may be seen as Slow, but..  Slovenia has also has also been exposed to various "Booms of Slowness" in our accession period. But now we can say that the process was relatively quick, because changes which occur after becoming EU member, are quite large, and they require proper Preparations before the (EU) membership becomes a new factor, an impacting line for a new (EU) member country".
----------------------------

EU "Solidarity" ?
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Slovenian statements made some participants from certain 3rd Countries as FYROM, etc. claim that "the Principle of EU Solidarity" would "produce a.. rising European Union Nationalism (sic !), against Non-EU Countries", as they said, asking unhappy foreign countries to form a "bloc" to exert pressure on the EU...    

But Croatian President Stjepan Mesic dismissed that, supporting "EU Integration", "after the Economy also in Political" issues, as "the achievement" of our times. In EU there is "diversity, but it's United", he stressed, "EU has to be United so that it can become a central factor of Peace" also at the surrounding areas, he replied.

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Speaking later exclusively to "EuroFora", the experienced twice President of Croatia, former President of the International "Non-Aligned" movement, denounced "Double Standards" in the way EU treats recently Croatia compared to Turkey :   

 - "I think that there shouldn't be Double Standards", stressed the Croatian President, in reply to a Question comparing the freeze of EU - Croatia talks, with the continuation of EU - Turkey talks, despite the fact that Croatia is an "unquestionably European country", while Turkey's EU bid is notoriously controversial.


    Mesic was reacting to the observation that, even if he confirmed his "respect of Refugees' Human Rights to return, etc. (See infra), nevertheless, EU talks are suspended with Croatia.. While for oher, controversial candidates, who refuse to respect Refugees' Rights to return, etc., as fex. Turkey does in occupied Cyprus and elsewhere, EU negotiations continue".

    - "I believe that Croatia's accession will confirm that all European Countries who fulfill all of the Conditions and achieve European Standards, have to join the EU. There shouldn't be any Double Standards", went on to add in reply President Mesic.

    In this relation, Croatia's President found "of paramount importance", CoE's "mechanisms enforcing ECHR's judgements"
    
    - "On Refugees and Displaced persons, the process will be completed only after the last person demanding to return will be allowed to do so !", President Mesic Croatia stressed earlier, setting a general standard of obvious importance also for otherr candidates, as f.ex. Turkey, often accused to exclude or heavily restrict Greek Cypriot Displaced persons' return to their Family Homes and ancestral land, provoke difficulties to Turkish-Kurd IDPs return to their home regions at the South-East, etc.

    Some "2.000 People are still reported Missing" in former Yugoslavia, for some Years, (as in Cyprus, modern Europe's oldest case, for 3 Decades. Nagorno-Karabach, Tcecnya in Russia, etc, more recently), and Investigations "will only be completed after establishing the fate of the last one of them", he added.
    
    Speaking earlier on "War Crimes", President Mesic stressed that "Leaders are responsible for (the) Wars (of the Past), not the People", and called against Impunity :  "Individuals have to be held Responsible for Crimes. International Penal Tribunals have to persecute those individuals", perpetrators of War Crimes, he underlined.

    Such statements naturally made Mesic rather popular at ECHR, whose President, French EuroJudge, Professor Jean-Paul Costa, looked particularly smiling when he welcomed him later on Wednesday afternoon, after Slovenian President Daniko Tuerk earlier this week.
           

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