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Home arrow newsitems arrow Center-Right Candidate Strasbourg Mayor Vetter to EF: Citizens-EU Decision-Makers Dialogue=Essential

Center-Right Candidate Strasbourg Mayor Vetter to EF: Citizens-EU Decision-Makers Dialogue=Essential

Written by ACM
Friday, 28 February 2020


*Strasbourg/Angelo Marcopolo/- At a Times when the Focus is on what "can Bring Citizens near Europe", Projects, as that of "Eurofora", to develop European Citizens and Politicians' Dialogue before Decisions affecting their lives and/or Society, are "obviously" of "Essential" Importance, replied, in substance, the mainstream Center-Right's Candidate for new Strasbourg's Mayor, the young Jean-Philippe Vetter of the "Republicans"' party, (founded by former French President Nicolas Sarkozy), to a relevant Question at a crucial juncture of the pre-electoral process which Culminates on March 2020.

Vetter expressed his Support to "everything that can really Bring Citizens Near Europe", giving particular importance to "inter-Personal Contacts", etc., despite (or, rather : Because also of) some Critics' claim that several Establishment's Journalists would have complained that, even when they wrote Articles on EU/COE News here, Often they were not Published by their Chief Editor, pretexting an alleged Lack of sufficient Popular Interest, (sic !)...

On the Contrary, "Eurofora"s co-Founder said that, by Experience (Both in Newspaper, Weekly, Press Agency, and Web Media, etc), if Journalists are free to work well, they Can Find very Interesting News at EU Parliament, and/or at the CoE, in Strasbourg...

And we went on to Question Vetter whether he felt that his alleged interest to Help "Develop an EU Citizens' Dimension", considered as particularly appropriate to Strasbourg's overall Profile, should Seize the Opportunity given Nowadays by the forthcoming EU's "Conference on Europe's Future" (2020-2021), in order to "Activate" Lisbon Treaty's clause which already calls for "Regular Dialogue" with "Civil Society" etc. on all main "Acts" of "EU Institutions", and, in this Context, also "Eurofora"s Long-Time Project to boost systematic EU-Citizens - Politicians' Debates just Before Final Decisions affecting their Lives and/or Society.

- Replying to "Eurofora"s Question, Vetter, at First, observed, in this regard, that, as a matter of Principle, "what Helps to Develop Links between EU Citizens and EU Institutions, is an Issue of Essential Importance".

=> - Therefore, "Such Debates (i.e. as those proposed by "Eurofora" : Comp. Supra) could, Obviously, allow to Advance in this Direction", Vetter stressed positively in Conclusion.

+ At this point, it's also the Organizer of that Collective Meeting, (in a Series consecrated to the forthcoming Municipal Elections in Strasbourg City), the President of the "Circle of the Cathedral", Henri Mathian, who intervened, stressing that "This matter Interests us", as he characteristically added. By the way, Vetter, a ChristianDemocrat/EPP politician,  has multiplied Photos of himself around Strasbourg Cathedral's Historic Building, including even one with a superb Replica which had been prepared by Expert Artists on the occasion of a landmark Documentary Film on that Monument, created by the Franco-German European TV "ARTE", (Headquartered in Strasbourg, near EU Parliament).



Nevertheless, it's also true that Vetter warned "Eurofora" that, from a Practical point of view, in his opinion, "MEPs would be Busy to form their |Political] Majorities", just a few Days Before the Final Votes in EU Parliament's plenary. However, for "Eurofora", this is Not a Problem, but rather a supplementary Advantage : Simply Because a Debate with interested EU Citizens, other MEPs, the Medias, etc., would, precisely, Offer a Good supplementary Opportunity to Form such Political "Majorities", eventually even New ones, and/or to Test their Resilience/Credibility and Popularity...



++ Proud to be a Son of Hard-Working People, "a Baker and a Nurse", as he wrote in a Pamphlet that he gave us, the Young Jean-Philippe Vetter, who gathered in his Team almost All Other Local/Regional Politicians of the "Republicans", (including, at a Symbolic place of Moral Support, even "Eurofora"s University Professor, President Jean Waline, former Long-Time Dean of Strasbourg's Faculty of Law, with whom we concluded our Master/DEA and prepare also a PhD Thesis related to Legal aspects of our Project), got a University Diploma on Athletics and Sport, (where he notoriously favours Tennis), before serving as Parliamentary Assistant to former Strasbourg's Mayor, Senator, and now MEP, Fabienne Keller, as well as, more Recently, in EU Parliament's own staff, while also being Elected at Strasbourg City's Council.  

Such a particular Profile might, perhaps, inter alia, explain also Vetter's special Wish to Boost grass-roots "School-Children"'s familiarity with Europe : Area in which he multiplied various concrete proposals.


Almost at the Same Time that the President of the "Foundation for Strasbourg", Jean-Louis de Valmigère, has just Published, on 2019, Two original Books, on "Europe's History" and on "the EU Parliament", (Prefaced by the experienced f. President of the European Parliament and EU Commission's vice-President, Italian MEP Antonio Tajani, and the young French Minister for European affairs, Amelie de Montchalin, respectively). Written in a Crystal-Clear Language, they are destinated for a Large Public, and particularly School-Children : An area into which, President de Valmigère would like to Help Boost a Nation-wide, and, if possible, Europe-wide, "Civic Education" course, inside Schools' Curriculum, which would include at least a Basic Knowledge of Europe for All Citizens in the Future, as he recently told "Eurofora", (on the occasion of a Special Event in EU Parliament). The fact that De Valmigere's Family also runs the Famous Restaurant "Chez Yvonne", where Long-Time former President of France, Jacques Chirac, used to have Launch or Diner with his German counterparts, near the Cathedral, (as well as of "Striessel", where Nicolas Sarkozy came twice, as President, when de Valmigere's Children managed it), naturally adds a sympathetic, relevant flavour...


(President de Valmigere with MEP Anne Sanders -of the same Party as Vetter- posing for an "Eurofora" Photo at an Event in EU Parliament earlier)


Vetter has repeatedly said that, while more than +60% of Voters notoriously do Not want the Same Team at Strasbourg City as in the Past, according to Polls, he is the Only Eligible Candidate who bears No Responsibility for what has been done since 2008 !  Critics Reply that, at least, he bears a Part of Responsibility for the 2001-2008 era of Former Mayor Keller, whose Parliamentary Assistant he was in the Past, (See Infra).

Meanwhile, he is credited by the Latest Polls with enough Intentions of Vote in order to Pass to the 2nd Round of the forthcoming Municipal Elections at Strasbourg's City, on March 2020, and has already spoken, Earlier, with "Eurofora", about Various Possibilities of Political "Alliances". Nowadays, he is notoriously considered as examining an eventual deal with Alain Fontanel, (former Socialist, but today aligned to Liberal/Centrist French President Emmanuel Macron : Comp. ..., etc), without, however, excluding a priori also other possibilities.

Meanwhile, Vetter, (who is credited by the Latest Polls with enough Intentions of Vote in order to Pass to the 2nd Round of the forthcoming Municipal Elections at Strasbourg's City, on March 2020), has already spoken, Earlier, with "Eurofora", about Various Possibilities of Political "Alliances", and is, Nowadays, notoriously considered as examining an eventual deal with Alain Fontanel, (former Socialist, but now aligned to Liberal/Centrist French President Emmanuel Macron : Comp. ..., etc), without, however, excluding a priori also other possibilities.

At his Right, stands Hombeline du Parc, for the Rightist "National Rally", (with more votes than in the past), and at his Left, also the Centrist Chantal Cutajar, of the "Involved Citizens", with rather less, but precious votes, (who had been Ally of the Socialists, in the Past, but might not exclude an eventual reconsideration for the Future). Further away (?) the "Green" Jeanne Barseghian, reportedly quite Popular, doesn't seem, apparently, to have similar intentions with the "Greens" of Austria and/or the "Greens" of the Neighbouring German Region of Baden-Wurtemberg, (who Both made recently Alliances with the ChristianDemocrats/EPP, equivalent to Vetter's "Republicans"), but, after all, who knows what might happen in fast-moving politics ?...












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Swedish Foreign Minister, Carl Bildt, speaking  to "EuroFora", denied rumors on Turkey's attempts to avoid an EU check of its obligations on Cyprus on December 2009 by blackmailing Nicosia to either accept any deal with intransigeant Turkish claims contrary to EU values on the island's political issue, or face threats against the territorial integriy of the EU island, semi-occupied by Ankara's army.

On the contrary, the incoming EU President-in-office, speaking exclusively to "EuroFora", promissed that he will act for EU Council's decisions on December 2009 assessment of Turkey's commitments on Cyprus to be kept.

    Bildt was asked to react to Cyprus' President Christofias' denunciation, earlier this week, that some want to exert "pressure" on Cyprus in order for Turkey to escape from its obligations.

    Avoiding to mention any precise Deadline, Bildt, however, warned about "Consequences" in case of "failure" to reunite Cyprus, but without saying whose responsibility an eventual deadlock might be.  

 Asked by "EuroFora" if there is a risk for "Turkey's commitments to "be forgotten or downgraded", "despite crystal-clear EU Council decisions and EU Parliament's latest Resolution on the assessment to make at the end of this year on Turkey's obligations", according to rumours that, instead of pressing Turkey, on the contrary, there might be "pressure on Cyprus", even "blackmail", as Media reported and President Christofias denounced this week, Bildt denied :

- "No ! ", he clearly replied.

- On the contrary, invited by "EuroFora", to "reassure that the Swedish EU Presidency (7-12/2009) will keep a fair stance, based on principles",  Bildt promised that "we (Swedish EU Presidency) will be very clear on all of the decisions taken by the (EU) Council".

He added, however, that "we have very numerous decisions that have been taken" by EU Council, as if he warned, also, on something else.

- "'I am not aware of any sort of statements coming out today''", Bildt started to say, on our reference to Cyprus' President Christofias" denunciation of Turkish lobby's manoeuvers this week, replying earlier to 'another"EuroFora"'s question during a Press Conference at EU Parliament in Strasbourg.

 - '"I know the issues that you' are concerned with'", he added, remembering  the statements he gave us when Sweden was chairing the PanEuropean CoE on 2008.

- "But, obviously, .. I think that Cyprus' Peace negotiations are extremenly important".

- And "'I think that we are at a unique moment in History, in the sens that both (Cyprus') President Christofias and Mr. Talat (the Turkish Cypriot leader), are personally convinced of the need to overcome the division".

 - "It's 20 Years since the fall of Berlin Wal, but we still have a Capital in Europe (Nicosia) that's divided". ,

- 'I don't that we should loose any time in overcoming that"..

 - ''We should be aware of the fact that success will bring great benefits, but failure, will also have major consequences. There will not be Status Quo' " It's a question of seeking a solution, or entering another situation, which is somewhat difficult to see exactly how that could evolve", he warned.

- "That being said, this is a negotiation for Cyprus itself", Bildt admitted.

 - ''We (EU) can support, the (EU) Commission primarily, be technically helpful, and then, of course, there is a specific role for the UN, when it comes to the Cyprus' situation".  

- "At least so far. It might not be for ever'. Certainly not for ever, but for this period of time", Bildt added, skiping now any reference to concrete threats on UNO's Peace keeping force in face of more than 40.000 Ankara's soldiers, contrary to some Press claims, (See previous NewsReports).

     Replying to another "EuroFora"'s Question,  if anyone might attempt to "impose a Deadline for the conclusion" of Cyprus' Talks on December 2009, Bildt avoided to speak of any precise Time-frame, and indirectly evoked the fact that  35 Years of Turkish Invasion/Occupation obviously durated too long :

'- "If I was from Cyprus, I would say that the Deadline was Yesterday ! '",
Bildt concluded.

Cyprus' Government Spokesman, Stephanou, reportedly pointed out that "a settlement is possible on December if Turkey changes its stance", accepting a solution for the reunification of the island based on UNO resolutiona and EU principles.


Earlier, EU Chair, Swedish Prime Minister Fredrik Reinfeld, highlighted an "historic opportunity" to "re-Unite" Cyprus according to EU's "basic Values"' (i.e. Human Rights) and 'Rules'", in a last-minute change of his draft speech to EU Parliament in Strasbourg.

    The initial Draft spoke only about "healing" the island.

    Significantly, Reinfeldt linked Cyprus' reunification with Turkey's obligations to respect EU's "Values" and "follow" EU's "common Rules" :

    - What is "called Membership Negotiations" should lead, "at- the end of the day", into "sharing a set of common Basic Values (i.e. Human Rights, Democracy, etc), and following common Rules", stressed Reinfeld from the outset.
    - "This is something that those on the Outside (of the EU), are now  contemplating", up "to Ankara", for "a solution" on "Cyprus", observed the EU Chairman, immediately afterwards..  

    - "Both sides of Cyprus have been granted a historic opportunity to together reach an agreement on a solution to re-Unite the island, that has been divided for far too long", said Reinfeldt, modifying his draft text.

-  "The Swedish Presidency will act ...in accordance with Commitments EU has made, on the basis of Criteria that apply", "as a Honest Broker", he promised.    

- "To those on the inside (of the EU), allowing the membership process to become an opportunity to solve protracted disputes, can be tempting", he added.

    "In such cases, we must find solutions that can benefit both sides, and open up a way forward. Otherwise, it would jeopardize the progress we have made towards EU integration", Reinfeldt said.



2009 EU Elections were won by Parties against Technocracy and Turkey's controversial EU bid, while the 1999-2004 Majority Abstention trend decelerated. What should be done in 2009-2014 ?


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