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Home arrow newsitems arrow EU Commission's vice-President Tajani to EuroFora : EU can become Autonomous in Space High Tech.

EU Commission's vice-President Tajani to EuroFora : EU can become Autonomous in Space High Tech.

Written by ACM
Monday, 18 January 2010

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*Strasbourg/- Europe is able to develop all High-Tech means guaranteing an "Autonomous Access to Space in the next 5 years", and can become "a Protagonist" on Space Technology, fex. with GALILEO's Sattelite Navigation System, replied to an "EuroFora" question EU Commission's vice-President in charge of Transports, Antonio Tajani, who is designated, in the Barroso II New Commission, to lead EU's "New Industrial Policy".


- "EuroFora" asked Tajani if, when he refered to "Space" as a "new area" of EU competence "after the entry into force of Lisbon Treaty", at an earlier Hearing by EU Parliament's Commission on Industry and Research, he believed, or not, that EU could and should ensure an "Autonomous Access to Space in 2010-2015".


Currently it's only USA and Russia, probably followed by China, who notoriously try to develop new re-usable vehicles both for Orbital and outer Space flights, starting by projects such as "Orion" and "Kliper", etc. respectively. But ESA's latest proposals to cooperate on building a Space Vehicle, either faced a refusal (USA), or were droped because of internal disagreements, as fex. after a December 2005 ESA session in Berlin, when, reportedly, the lack of only one (1 !) vote, cancelled a Russian offer..


- "In my view, Yes.. I think that we (EU) are pretty able to make it", clearly replied Tajani to "EuroFora"'s question.


- Considering also that "Europe must have its own Space Policy, according to Lisbon Treaty", he added. "We (EU) are already working with GMES ("Global Monitoring for Enironment and Security") and GALILEO (EU's Satellite Navigation System, equivalent to USA's GPS and Russia's Glonass, etc), We have already EGNOS, which works well", and "on 2014 we shall see also GALILEO working".


-"That's why, I think that Europe will be a Protagonist" on Space Tech., particularly "if we'll (EU) have the Political Will to support this great project : I think that GALILEO is a pretty great Challenge, that Europe must win. I am committed to succeed on that", Tajani promissed.

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Significantly, EU Commission's vice-President made these statements in Strasbourg, located near Stuttgart, whose Stockmarket hosts the German "Family" SME which won recently the competition for the EU procurement to fabricate 24 GALILEO Satellites. Strasbourg also hosts a World-famous Seismologic Laboratory at its "Globe Institute", which was recently cited by Reuters even for the analysis of the Earthquake which stroke ... Haiti, at the other side of the Earth, in the Gulf of Mexico (!), as well as an "International Space University", a performant Earth Observation Center for Maps made by Satelites (CERTIT), etc., while being also close to the EU "Space Operation Center" at nearby Darmstadt (between Frankfurt and Strasbourg), the European Austronaut Center (at Mainz), Germany's biggest Atmospheric Dynamics' Research Labo, etc. An even longer list of interesting Space-related EU assets, that the "European Science Foundation" (HQ in Strasbourg) has already tried to synthetise all together as "Earth Sciences", and that French Senator Philippe Richert recently anounced his intention to support as "Pole of Excellence" for "Eco-Technologies"     
 
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    "2014 will be a key year for GALILEO", because "we (EU) shall start to see Practical Benefits" from it.  But, as far as GMES is concerned, it has already started to be used in Crisis situations, f.ex. after the recent Earthquake at Haiti, where it helped dispatch aid on the ground, he anounced earlier.


    He was replying  to a British MEP concerned if what she called "alarming Costs" for GMES and GALILEO might "delay" them further ("550 Millions € per Year", and "74 Millions €", as she said),  the EU Commissioner did "not exclude" to ask EU Parliament to act "if there is a need for further funds", since, eventually, there might be "extra costs of about + 16% in average".


    But, "for the moment", on GMES, "we are IN the Budget", he observed. Moreover, the realisation of such Space programmes could generate ..."Savings of 90 Millions €", Tajani observed.

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    Curiously,  some British worries about comparatively small overcosts on Space High Tech projects, did not extend also on the controversial old A400M military transport Airplane project, deprived of any important novelty, but requiring ...more than  5 Billion € as overcostrs, in addition to the 22 Billions € already wasted there, (and which could become available for   other, much more interesting EU projects, as in Space Tech., "Airplane of the Future", etc,  if the controversial A400M was droped, as various people suggest)...Meanwhile, however, GMES' Satelite Earth Observation's mecanism succeeded to help Rescue operations after Haiti's tragic earthquake, while A400M would never be of any help there, because it's unable to fly so far..


    "Galileo is a Global project, and not only European", observed Tajani in another reply to the same MEP's questions about China's moves and Galileo Satellites' "safety". That's why  EU Commission's President, Barroso himself recently 'wrote to  the Chinese President, in order to find a way to  "harmonize the EU and the Chinese systems", for a future use of both infrastructures, so that Galileo will be able to pick up Signals compatible to both systems, so that it won't damage any of them, but work with both. For a similar aim, "Barroso wrote also to Russia", Tajani revealed.


    In general, there is, today, "a Political Need for a New Industrial Policy" for Europe, based on "Innovation", "Green" Growth, and open to SMEs,, Tajani stressed earlier, speaking with MEPs.


    On the Topical point of "Carbon Tax" extended at EU's external Borders, his statements were welcomed by several MEPs, including French MEP Rachida Dati, traditionally close to President Sarkozy, because, unlike other Commissioners, he appeared open to "Anti-Dumping" measures, if EU has to face "Unfair Competition" by "Social and/or Environmental Dumping"  from 3rd Countries, (fex. China or Turkey, etc), who produce "cheaper" just because they don't respect neither Workers' elementary Rights, nor the Environment.


    -  The idea of a "CO2 tax .. is an Hypothesis to consider, actually laid down in the ITC Legislation", but "it's better to wait until (UNO's) Copenhagen Summit's process is completed, (i.e. by collecting the Commitments of each Country, on January 2010, and by advancing towards a Binding Treaty : See "EuroFora"'s NewsReports from Copenhagen, 12/2009), assess the situation, and take EU decisions on the basis of informations given by the UN also on other Countries' stance, Tajani advised.

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    Indeed, Copenhagen was "a 1st step", insufficient but useful, achieved by Europe in the Global World, since it incited USA, China, and other Countries to undertake commitments to fight against Climate change for the 1st time, the EU Commission's vice-President observed.


    Meanwhile, the "Green Economy" is a New Market growing more than +5% per year  : It's not only about Environment, but also an Economic choice, and has already become a huge Economic opportunity, Tajani stressed.


    But, while placin "Innovation" as "1st Priority", Tajani was also careful to address the issues of immediate concern to EU Citizens :


    - Markets are not only about Economy, but also about Human Health, Environment, Jobs and other Social issues, etc., he said, reiterating his promisses (See relevant "EuroFora"'s 12/2009 Publication) to systematically "consult" all People involved before taking important decisions, to update and "revise" EU Regulations on Dangerous Substances (as "Reach", etc), to defend the "Memory of Sacrifices done by our Fathers" who created the first factories, by protecting "Europe's Industrial Heritage",  to support "Solidarity" as a European value, and to "tell the Truth" to workers, whenever they have to face hard "industrial restructuring" provoked by the "Global Crisis".


    In particular, Tajani, who is also in charge of "Enterpreneurship", stressed the importance of "SMEs", both as "Start-ups" for Technologic Innovations, and as "Micro-Enterprises" helping Workers who became "redudant" in some old big Industries, to find an immediate way to re-integrate the Labour market and gain a living.


    Therefore, Tajani anounced his intention to push for an adequate implementation of EU's "Small Business Act", and mainly struggle to guarantee "SME's Access to Loans", as well as to "Public Procurements", etc., by slashing "Bureaucracy" and convincing Banks : It's unacceptable, f.ex., for EU's Investment Bank to keep some 30 Million € unused, while they should had been distrubuted to SME's, he criticized, agreeing with MEPs' remarks, and promissing to "go to Luxembourg" to try to unblock the situation at the EIB, but also to generalise almost everywhere the Simplification facilitating SME's access to EU and National Public Funds and/or Procurements, as he has earlier done, as Transports' EU Commissioner, on the "Marco Polo" programme for intermodal transports.¨

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    Often SME's are hindered to benefit from States' procurements at all levels, simply because "they don't know" what, when and how to act in cumbersome Bureaucratic procedures, unlike to "Big" Companies, Tajani critically observed : A timely remark which  could apply even to Financial incentives and support given fex. by the French State to new On-line Media, which were practicaly usurpated by some old apparathiks coming from traditional big Media without any really new idea, simply because they were informed before others when exactly the legislation was completed, while, on the contrary, really innovative On-line Media projects of quality, lost "tight" Time Deadlines merely because they were not timely warned...


    But, at any case, Europe should face Global Competition and threats of outsourcing industrial production, by promoting "Quality", and not necessarily by "Quantity", he argued, pleading f.ex. for "New Cars of the Future", and other Innovative products, while also supporting the view that even the oldest industry in the world : that of Textile, "can become a key in the Future"; a,d "Modern", particularly if it creates innovations with High Tech, (as  a recent Exhibition at EU Parliament has shown in Strasbourg, pointing at concrete realisations, fex. by fabricating clothes for Austronauts and/or other textiles used in various Air-Space or Defence activities, during special Industrial processes, etc, extending even to innovatie "Nanomaterials"). ..

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Former "Green-Red" German government's Foreign Minister Joschka Fischer's job at the controversial Turkish pipeline "Nabucco" was denounced as "not proper", "very bad", and "incompatible with Democracy", by the new President of EU Parliament's EuroLeft Group, German Lothar Bisky, replying to an "EuroFora" question.

For once, criticism of Joschka Fischer's doings with Turkey affecting Europe, didn't come only from the Center-Right of the political spectrum, but even from his Left side : The experienced Bisky, who has been chairing all over 1993-2009 the PDS - Die Linke party :  

- "Former Foreign Minister Joschka Fischer got involved in dealings with oil-gaz business in a foreign country, Turkey, and its controversial Nabucco pipeline. This raises questions about Democracy, also because of the well known problems of Human Rights violations in that country. Do you thing that this might be abused in order to cover up and close EU's eyes on Human Rights violations ?", "EuroFora" asked Bisky.

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- "Nabucco pipeline is (only) at the planning stage". And "there are some difficulties",  he observed from the start. But "'I don't want to get into the details of Nabucco pipeline, because I don't think that there is any point for it at the moment".
 
At any case,  "we  (EU Parliament's EuroLeft Group) strongly believe that Politicians should not get involved in the Energy Business, and all these commercial transactions", President Bisky declared on the Joschka Fiischer's affair.

- "We feel that it's something that shouldn't be done. It's not proper !"           

- "We don't think that it's compatible with Democracy either, and it gets politics into a very Bad track", Bisky went on to denounce.
                                                                                                                                                                        
- "EuroLeft  and "Die Linke" always spoke against that, saying that politicians should not get directly into the arms of private enterprises"

- "It is pretty bad if a former Minister takes a job f.ex. in a major Energy producer. So, it's an issue if a Minister who may have seen excellent opportunities, subsequently gets personally grasp of them, in very serious parts of the economy, once he has given up his (Government) job."

- "It doesn't really make politics in general look any better'", Bisky concluded.

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Earlier, this week in Strasbourg, other Journalists had also raised critical questions on former Foreign Minister Joschka Fischer's involvement in the conroversial Turkish Nabucco pipeline to the President of his own EuroParty : Kohn-Bendit of the "Greens", who, contrary to Bisky, tried to find excuses for Fischer, while criticizing his long-time partner, Schroeder for having done a similar move :

- "Shroeder was chancellor", and he "negociated" with "Russians", who gave him a job only "3 Months" after he resigned from the Government. While "Joschka Fischer", on the contrary, got a job with the controversial Turkish Nabucco pipeline only "4 Years after" he left the Government. "He didn't negociate Nabucco", so I have "no objection", Kohn Bendit claimed.

But, many Facts indicate the contrary :

Joschka Fischer was Foreign Minister in Germany from 1999 up to 2005 : I.e. from the year that EU took the controversial decision to give Turkey a "Candidate" status, until he year it started controversial "accession negotiations, (later declared "open-ended" after Sarkozy-Merkel's arrival from 2005-2007).

During that period was prepared the controversial so-called "Annan" Plan (in fact, drafted by others and attributed afterwards to the former UN SG) on Cyprus, which failed after a Popular Referendum said "No" on 2004 with a large Majoriy of 3/4 : 75%. Mainly because it was criticized for making too much concessions to the Turkish side :  Particularly by restricting Greek Cypriot Refugees' Human Right to return to their ancestral Land and/or get restitution of their Familiy Homes and private properties, usurpated by Ankara's Army since the 1974 militay invasion and continuing occupation of the northern part of Cyprus. And by weakening the Central Government, leaving to 2 "constituent States" so much powers and separate interests that more conflicts appeared inevitable, provoking the danger of a break-down in the foreseable future, with more crisis, troubles, perhaps bloodshed, etc., instead of creating an harmoniously integrated, really one federal State.

The controversial Plan was finalized on March-April 2004 at Burgenstock (Switzerland), curiously in the presence of an Envoy by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Germany, then governed by Joschka Fischer, but in the absence of a French and not even an European Union's Envoy, contrary to what was usually practiced on similar occasions in Switzerland (fex. in 1997 at Montreux, in 2000 at Geneva, etc).

Turkey notoriously exploited the failure of the "Annan" Plan in order to convince the EU to decide to start accession Negotiations on December 2004. This provoked an unprecedented series of Institutional Crisis inside the EU, shortly afterwards, when French and Dutch People rejected, 2 popular EuroReferenda by a majority "'No" vote to the EU Constitutional Treaty on 2005, aggraveted in 2004 a Majority Abstention to EU Elections, etc., followed by the recent Irish "No", etc.

"Nabucco" Gas pipeline was notoriously planned since ..2002. It follows an even earlier idea, for an Oil pipeline Baku-Ceyhun, which started to be prepared on 1999-2001 and was meanwhile recently completed.  

So, facts indicate that what is now at stake is based on decisions made during Joschka Fischer's term as former Foreign Minister, closely interested in Turkey's controversial EU-bid.

To the point that he now practically ...switched jobs with a poliician from Turkey, (the State which pays today openly Joschka Fischer), Mr. Ozdemir, who came earlier in Germany, got fast the nationality, and became EiuroMP in a few years, continuing now as head of the "Greens" in Germany, i.e. in Joschka's former job !...

Such astonishing facts risk, unfotunately, to give to German politician Lothar Bisky's criticism of  representative Democracy a topical meaning :

 - "We (EuroLeft Group) think that what is really at stake is Democracy. It's not only about Gas Pipelines or Energy sources", President Lothar Bisky went on to add in his reply to "EuroFora"'s question on Joscka Fischer's personal interests in the controversial Turkish "Nabuco" pipeline.

Such facts, "make People get more distance from Politics. ...People had had enough, and they are fed up !".

- "That's why we (EuroParliament's "EuroLeft" Group) want to strengthen Direct Democracy in Europe. Citizens should be involved in the (EU) Decision-making. In the end of the day, it's not going to help anyone if Politicians are always taking decisions, without involving Citizens. We want to give a voice to the People of Europe. They've got to have their say in the decisions that are taken. That's one of our absolutely fixed and steadfast views. We want more Direct Democracy in Europe. That's how it can become more effective and stronger", he concluded.

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