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Home arrow newsitems arrow Strasbourg Region Head Richert+Economy Minister Macron to EF+o.Media: Broadband = Human Productivity

Strasbourg Region Head Richert+Economy Minister Macron to EF+o.Media: Broadband = Human Productivity

Written by ACM
Monday, 11 April 2016
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*Strasbourg/Big East Region HeadQuarters/Angelo Marcopolo/- Live at superb Natural Landscapes in the French part of EU's Franco-German Core, with High Speed Internet, and near EU Parliament plenary sessions, CoE, ECHR, EU Ombudsperson, Shenghen, EUROCORPS, European Radio-TV ARTE, etc., would soon become a real possibility in Strasbourg's new "Big East" Region, thanks to a huge, 100% Optic Fiber  Infrastructure Investment on the Biggest Network in the Country, for which, the productive development of the Human factor is part of its Public Service Mission, as the Region's President replied in substance to "Eurofora"s Questions, joined by the French Economy Minister at a meeting with the Press.

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Speaking to "Eurofora" and other Media Just before a Debate at EU Parliament with EU Commissioner for Internal Market, Industry, Businesses and SMEs, Elzbieta Bienkowska and MEPs on Industrial reconstruction, f.ex. in Steel etc., French Economy, Industry and Digital Minister Emmanuel Macron and New "Big East" Region President, experienced former Minister, Philippe Richert, after anouncing a new project of Modern Big Infrastructure for High Speed Internet in the Next few Years throughout all Strasbourg's rural areas, stressed, in substance, that Large Access to High Speed Internet can boost Human Productivity which is a key factor of Industrial Competitivity.

Macron pointed, in particular, at the "Human Capital", (including "Training" of Workers for new jobs in Reconstruction sectors), together with Scientific Research and Technological development for critical "Innovations", among the "upper" side factors of Industrial Competititivity, which have a decisive role to play in the European and Global competition, in addition to the also necessary "defensive" factors of "Cost", (such as Taxes, Wages, Energy, etc), as he said.


 -In this regard, Strasbourg's "Region has a lot of Wonderful (Natural) Landscapes. By adding there also High Speed Internet, wouldn't it become even more attractive, well beyond the establishment of new Businesses, also for the Residence (or even permanent Homes) of People working in Cities as Strasbourg, f.ex. in the European/Paneuropean Institutions, University, Public and/or Private Enterprises, etc ?", "Eurofora" asked Richert, (indirectly, but surely, pointing, f.ex., at the well known precedent of Texas/USA, certain Swiss, German and/or British areas, etc).

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  - Indeed, President Richert had just stressed, earlier, to "Eurofora", that High Speed Internet set up "is already done for the European Institutions and Urban areas"; so that "Now, it's also about Rural space", i.e. mainly in the middle of Nature, (which is, notoriously, near Strasbourg).


 The New "Big East" French Region, which Borders 3 German Länders, Switzerland, Luxembourg and Belgium Comp., f.ex. : ....) , is one of the Less Populated yet, in that Central €uroZone area, as its particularly low Population/Space Ratio clearly reveals, while several splendid Natural spots are notoriously near Strasbourg.


 - From such points of view, (including  also Historic Cultural assets), "already, Today Alsace is an attractive region, which has many Advantages to develop from the point of view of Tourism", in addition to the forthcoming HSI new infrastructures, he replied now to our complementary question, (Comp. Supra).


 - "However, it's not first in Tourism Services that the valorisation (exploitation, use) [of High Speed Internet] will  be more immediate", he soberly replied.


- " Even if it could boost Tourism too, in order to fullfil its Mission", for the overall development of the region, he observed, concluding.


=> In fact, Richert appeared more keen to focus on various immediate advantages of High Speed Internet for Old and New "Inhabitants" of the Region. I.e.  obviously including those who would be attracted here in the foreseable Future also because they would like to have a Home in the middle of Nature, connected to High Speed Internet, and near European/Paneuropean Institutions, as well as various other outlets.


With the right choice made for a 100% Optic Fiber Network, the new Big East Area's Inhabitants will be able to make good use of the various opportunities opened by the latest Digital developments, such as, f.ex., "the Internet of Things", and/or "Big Data", etc. added Macron, (while, this might have been curtailed by more classic technologies, such as, f.ex., an enhanced Cable network, etc).

 

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+ Moreover, both President Richert himself and Minister Macron, underlined also another, notoriously Important parameter, concerning Human Productivity, i.e. the World famous Risk of "Digital Divide", that Strasbourg's Region is decided to strive to overcome :


Indeed, the projected High Speed Internet Network is due to cover, progressively, all the areas of the "Big East" Region, starting by 3 departments which have already "advanced" in the necessary preparations for that, (mainly around Strasbourg, in Alsace, etc), and continuing, further on, its extension also to 7 other Departments, which need to catch up.


Richert strongly confirmed Strasbourg Region's "political Will" to guarantee universal Access of all Inhabitants to High Speed Internet throughout all the areas, without exclusions, and Macron saluted this commitment, stressing both its "Economic and Social, but also Civic" importance.


>>> For this purpose, more than 600 Millions € are invested initially at the Alsace, (closest to Strasbourg), and a Total of more than 1,5 Billion € is expected for all the "Big East" Region, later-on, with about 377.000 Plugs in Alsace (in 6 Years), and more than 2 Millions Plugs throughout the entire New Region to follow, making it the Biggest High Speed Network in France.

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In this regard, the European Investment Bank (EIB), headed by President Hoyer, (Comp. Hoyer's Replies to "Eurofora"s Questions, both when he served as German Minister for EU Affairs, and as EIB's Chief, f.ex. at : ....... + .......), played a Crucial role by adding 102 Millions € which allowed to form the "Bankers' pool" supporting financialy this project of Public-Private partnership, where 60% of the Investment comes from Private sources, while the French State covers 50% of the Public cost, and the Local and Regional Authorities the rest.


EIB's role was particularly hailed by Macron, speaking in Strasbourg almost a the same moment that the Prime Minister of France, Manuel Valls, was making an official visit in Luxembourg, at EIB's Headquarters, where he signed several Agreements, after meeting with President Hoyer and making a Speech on the usefulness of this Strategic main tool of the famous "Juncker" Plan for support to EU Investments during the next few years, (Comp. f.ex. Statements by the new EU Commission's President to "Eurofora", just after his Press Conference at EU Parliament in Strasbourg in which he presented for the 1st time his overall Plan : .....).


Valls is due to vist EU Parliament in Strasbourg tomorrow, Tuesday, April 12, mainly in order to exchange views with its Conference of Presidents and hold a Press point with EU Parliament's Head, Martin Schultz, later in the afternoon, in addition to various other political contacts, at the eve of exceptionaly important Debates and Votes, including on the PNR, EU-Turkey deal for Migrants, the Annual EU Report on Turkey's controversial and unpopular EU bid, etc. According to the latest news, he is due to be succeeded, (after Portuguese President, Rebelo de Sousa's official venue and Plenary speech on Wednesday, 13 April), also by Greek Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras, who scheduled a Launch with Schultz at Thursday Noon, April 14, (i.e. almost during the Voting time : Comp. Supra).


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+ Meanwhile, it's also People's Historic Cultural Identity and assets which could be Saveguarded and/or promoted thanks to Broadband, High Speed Internet, as reminded Today f.ex. the opening of a landmark Exhibition, at the Big East Region's Headquarters, on "God : From Speech to Writtings", organized by the experienced Expert on European/International issues, Peter Meyer, currently President of the Conservatory of Religious Heritage.

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Indeed, as "Eurofora" had already discussed several times in the Past with key CoE's Senior Officers, Digital Technologies, (including 3D for Monuments, but also "simple" Digitalisation for Historic Texts, Photo technology for Paintings, etc) can find some very useful and interesting applications in helping to Reproduce, Saveguard and/or Transmit and Publish for a selective or Universal Access, many Religious and other Cultural Heritage gems, (some of which might be, otherwise, threatened to be of difficult access, forgotten, degraded or even destroyed by various risks).


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++ Last, but not least, another Interesting point is also that the Neighbouring German Regions have had prepared some more or less similar Plans on Broadband Internet, etc., at the German side of EU's Franco-German core.


Moreover, already, as early as since December 2010, in a key meeting for the Superior Rhine Euro-Region (Oberrhein), at nearby Offenburg, (his Printing business' HQ), the famous Head of one of the Biggest Media Companies, Hubert Burda, (who controls also "Focus" and various other Publications in Germany and other European or Third Countries), had proposed to create a big and dense broadband Internet Networks' cluster linking both sides of the Rhine river between them, which would boost this EuroRegion's potential for innovative development, (See "Eurofora"s NewsReports from that exceptional Offenburg's Franco-German event).


In this regard, Today, Richert regretted the fact that, until now, all French Regions invest just about 100 Millions € on Scientific Research and Technological development, (a key factor also for industrial Competitivity : Comp. Supra), at the same time that the German Länder invest on RST more than 10 Billions €, as he said.


Meanwhile, parallel to President Richert's well known readiness to support Franco-German integration particularly at this core €urozone's area around Strasbourg, Minister Macron (who has recently proposed a Public Debate about making  a Leap forward in this direction), anounced also his intention to visit soon Germany anew, in a few weeks' time, including in order to discuss some relevant matters.

(../..)

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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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