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Inicio 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.

Escrito por ACM
02.02.18
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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.


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+ 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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=> - 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").

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(../..)

 



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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.

croatian_president_mesic_ 

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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