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Home arrow newsitems arrow Strasbourg Region Prefect Marx to EF on European University: Wait FrancoGerman Summit+TransBorder c.

Strasbourg Region Prefect Marx to EF on European University: Wait FrancoGerman Summit+TransBorder c.

Автор ACM
Friday, 02 February 2018
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*Strasbourg/Pefectoral Palace/Angelo Marcopolo/- Replying to an "Eurofora"s Question, during his Press Conference for the New Year 2018, the Prefect of Strasbourg's "Great East" new big Region, Jean-Claude Marx, pointed, concerning a recent query for the eventual Creation of a European University here, at relevant Decisions that might, perhaps, be taken during a forthcoming Franco-German Summit, focused on TransBorder Cooperation and Integration at EU's core, which is expected during the 1st Semester of 2018.

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The creation of a European University was strongly Supported recently by the New President of Strasbourg's University, Professor Michel Deneken, while speaking with Journalists, including "Eurofora", at an Annual Event organized Previously this Week, in the Historic University Palace by the City's Press Club.


strasbourg_universitys_president_michel_deneken__agg_press_club_annual_2018_event_university_palace_eurofora_400


+ In addition, Strasbourg University's President told "Eurofora" that he was Interested to a Parallel Project, recently presented by the New CoE Assembly's President Michele Nicholetti, to establish PanEuropean Inter-University Networks for Studies and Research on COE's Human Rights, Democracy and Rule of Law-related Conventions (including BioEthics, etc : Comp. relevant statement by PACE President Nicoletti to "Eurofora" at ..), and looked forward to Meeting with him asap.

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minister_vidal_visits_deneken_dna

 (Minister Vidal + University President Deneken - DNA)


Deneken had just met, Earlier that Same Day (Monday Morning/Noon), with the New French Minister for Education, Universities and Scientific Research, Mrs Frederique Vidal, who discussed, during her visit, mainly Issues related to "Innovation Campus" and "Excellence" projects, funded by the National Government.

 education_minister_fvidal_in_strasbourg_ab_photo_400
(Minister Vidal at UniStra - AB's Photo)
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In Recent Years, (since 2016), German, French and Swiss Universities of the "Superior Rhine" river TransBorder "Euro-Region", have Established Together a Pioneer "European Campus", which, as its President, Professor Hans-Jochen Schiewer, Dean of nearby Freiburg University (Germany), replied to an "Eurofora"s Question mainly by stressing that this was a 1st Step, "Test" and Example towards concrete Integration at EU's Core.


But the then President of Strasbourg's University in France, Alain Beretz, (currently Director of Innovation/Research at the Education Ministry), had made it clear to "Eurofora" that the move concerned, at least for the Time being, much more the creation of "Links between Infrastructures" for Higher Education and/or Research between the adjacent Border Regions of the 3 Countries, including the possibility to get National or EU Funds for Joint Research Projects, etc.


(Comp. also EU Commissioner for Science, Research and Innovation, Carlos Moedas' Statements to "Eurofora", at that occasion : http://www.eurofora.net/newsflashes/news/eusciencecomissioneronchinaandeuuniversitiesgroup.html + ...).


However, already, World-Famous Sismology Professor Michel Granet, former Vice-President for Research at Strasbourg's University and Director of the Institute on Earth's Physics, had agreed with "Eurofora", in the Context of a Press Conference on his Report for the Scientific Research Policy in Strasbourg's Region Alsace, prepared at the request of the French National Government, as Early as since the End of 2012, that a Logical and desirable Horizon for the foreseable Future would be, indeed, the progressive Creation of a Franco-Germano-Swiss University, due to evolve also at a Wider EU scope. And he observed that, among others, it's also Strasbourg's Region which appeared interested in such a possibility, (particularly on "lato sensu" Earth/Environment Science/Technologies, including Law/Politics/Economy, Philosophy/Religion, etc, according to an original Definition, used since 2005 by the European Foundation of Science, HeadQuartered in Strasbourg).


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strasbourgs_prefectoral_palace_eurofora_400 

 

=> - Thus, during Today's Press Conference's Question Time, "Eurofora" asked Prefect Jean-Claude Marx, what he thought about such various, but converging, Thoughts to Advance, from a "Euro-Campus", towards the eventual Creation of a "European University" in Strasbourg, naturally Based mainly on Franco-German Cooperation, in the foreseable Future.

 

And, by the way, What were the current Prospects for the Further Development of the Recently Established "Euro-Campus", initially between French-German-Swiss Regions of the "Superior Rhine", (which, naturally, might usefully serve as an important 1st Step towards the above-mentioned, Deeper and Wider Idea : Comp. Supra).

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 - Prefect Marx, in his Reply to this prospective Question by "Eurofora", significantly, did Not Deny such an eventual possibility in he foreseable Future, at least not a priori.


 - "Your Question is obviously Related mainly with the Cooperation between Neighbouring Countries, and particularly with the TransBorder Cooperation among adjacent Regions, observed in substance the Prefect of Strasbourg's New and much Bigger than in the Past, "Great East" Region : I.e. "the Only Area in Europe to have a Quadrilateral Border", (Nowadays, Both with Germany and Switzerland, as well as with Luxembourg and Belgium, thus Bringing Together 5 core European Countries, including France), as stresses an official Press File, (to which pointed Marx at this occasion).


 + Adding that this Fact gives to Strasbourg's new Region "a Vocation to become a Laboratory for European Territorial Cooperation, But Alsoo a Model of Regional Integration", (i.e. with Deeper Links).


-  Among the essentual issues on which such a TransBorder Cooperation can evolve, "is, indeed, included the Higher Education", (i.e. Universities), Prefect Marx, carefully but positively observed in Reply to "Eurofora"s above-mentioned Question.


 - He also revealed that, during the recent 3 Visits of new French President Macron in Strasbourg's Region, where he had several Contacts, including, particularly, by meeting the New German President Steinmeier, near Basel, in the framework of an Event for the Commemoration of the 100th Anniversary since the 1st World War, with the Symbolic and Practical Creation of a Joint, Franco-German History Museum, for the 1st Time, (See: ..., + Comp.: ..., etc), issues related to Higher Education were discussed.


 - "Such a Trans-Border Cooperation on Universities can take Various Forms", including, f.ex., particularly "in the Development of Language-learning", in German and French, for which, there is a Strong and Widely-shared Wish to Boost it further, he added, in Practical terms.


 - However, naturally, "there are also Many other interesting Areas", for Higher Education Cooperation/Integration, Prefect Marx observed.


 - In this regard, "I refer you to the Franco-German Summit, which has been just anounced for the 1st Semester of 2018", he told "Eufofora" on the above-mentioned issue.


- Because, it seems "Due to be Largely Focused on TransBorder Cooperation", he revealed.


 - As things stand Today, "I think that this is the Best Way to Address Your Question", (even if it doesn't yet give a direct, full and explicit reply, for the Time being), Prefect Marx added in fine, diplomatically, but with openess...


 - Especially when it concerns certain very "Advanced Issues", as that which you raised, for which it's obviously necessary to have the Time to Examine and Discuss seriously, before giving a more concrete and profound Reply, which might not yet be feasible to give immediately Nowadays, he concluded, as far as "Eurofora"s above-mentioned Question is concerned, i.e. (once again) leaving the Future Open.


 In the Press File handed Today to Journalists, including "Eurofora", is also reminded the Fact that, the Pre-Existing situation on TransBorder Cooperation for Strasbourg's New and much Larger "Great East" Region, extends in "2 Areas" : One around the "Big Region", bringing Together France, Luxembourg, Germany and Belgium, (chaired on 2018 by Luxembourg), and anOther around the "Superior Rhine (OberRhein)", which brings Together, France, Germany and Switzerland, (currently Chaired by Germany for 2018).


+ Meanwhile, Prefect Jean-Claude Marx also Ensured that, currently, the still on-going work to Prepare the New, 3 Years-Long : "2018-2020", Agreement between the French State and Strasbourg's Euro-Metropole, as Headquarters for European/PanEuropean Institutions, is "well Advanced" and due to be Concluded "during 2018's First Quarter", (i.e. until the End of March).  


Already in the Previous one, concerning the Period of 2015-2017, which has just Concluded, the "Development of "Euro-Campus" at University level, was clearly included, (Together with the traditional and wider "Strengthening of Strasbourg Region's "European Cultural Appeal").

strasbourgs_prefectoral_palace__interior_eurofora_400 

 

(../..)

 



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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..

     - "It's on EU Council's presidency to take political initiatives. EU Commission has other competences", stressed Sarkozy. The "European Ideal" is to "build Europe with the States, not against them". "Ask Europeans to chose between their countries and Europe won't work. You don't choose between your two parents : We must add them together".

    "France and Germany have an Historic Duty to work together, precisely because of what happened to the Past. We have to work hand by hand. We cannot be separated.It goes beyond me and Mrs Merkel today, Mr Schroeder and Mr. Chirac yesterday. It's not a choice, it's a duty to Europe and to the World".  "We need Germany, as Germany needs Europe". Compromise is inevitable, here as everywhere, and each one made some steps towards eachother's positions.

    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.

    "I always thought that Great Britain has a special role to play in Europe. ... Now, everybody "saw what it cost payed the UK for having been too exclusively open towards the US (and) Financial services. Europe needs the UK, but also the UK needs Europe" :- "We were able to face the hardest moment of the Financial crisis because the UK clearly chose Europe", stressed Sarkozy, reminding Gordon Brown's exceptional participation to the Historic 1st Heads of State/Government Summit of EuroZone, October 12 in Paris (See EuroFora's Reportage from Elysee Palace then).

     - "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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