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Home arrow newsitems arrow 2011 EU Chair, Hungarian Prime Minister Victor Orban to EuroFora on EU Identity and Energy

2011 EU Chair, Hungarian Prime Minister Victor Orban to EuroFora on EU Identity and Energy

Written by ACM
Friday, 17 December 2010

 

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*Brussels/Angelo Marcopolo/ Incoming EU President from Jan. 2011, Prime Minister of Hungary, Victor Orban (a brillant winner of 2/3 Majority in Budapest), speaking to "EuroFora" in Brussels at the conclusion of the December 2010 EU Heads of State/Governement Summit, stressed the crucial importance it has for Europe's present and future to develop its Cultural, Historic Identity able to boost Citizens' Enthousiasm, also in order to fully exploit its huge Economic Potential, f.ex., inter alia, by building Direct Energy Networks, as that of Natural Liquefied Gas' Ship transport from Asia, through Black Sea and Danube/Rine rivers :

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Topical Questions on  EU Identity + Energy

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Orban was replying to 2 Questions by "EuroFora" in his Post-EU Summit Press Conference, where we observed that, in his Introductory Statement, he "spoke well about the need for Enthousiasm in EU and its huge Economic Potential" in general, while being also, in fact, "very close to both, even in concrete, practical points of view" linked to recent on-going events :

- "One of these is that you are reportedly considering in Hungary to introduce into the Constitution a reference in the Millenary History of the Country, including its Cultural/Religious aspects (f.ex. on its Christian roots, etc). Do you think that the Debate on the Future of Europe, which includes Culture, History and Identity - as, inter alia, also French President Sarkozy (who notoriously has some Hungarian links) has already advised -  might be an interesting topic today for (EU) Citizens ?", "Eurofora" asked at first.  + At the same time, "on another, Economic issue, in Budapest you have also the Danube (Navigation) Organisation, and your (2011 EU) Presidency comes at an important moment : 

- What are currently the perspectives, via TransEuropean Networks, to use New Technologies on Liquefied Gas, in order to enable Direct Energy Transport from Asia into the EU, thanks to Ships crossing the Black Sea, afterwards Danube and Rhine rivers (in EU's Franco-German industrial core), even up to the Northern Sea, towards UK-USA ?", "EuroFora" asked the Hungarian Prime Minister.

(EU) "Energy Commissioner Oettering is well aware about this, (See relevant Oettering's statements to "EuroFora"), and recently you visited the AGRI project, initiated by Romania, Georgia and Azerbaidjan. But there are also other Countries, such as Russia (member of the Danube Organization), etc., who could benefit from such projects", we observed in this regard.

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* Victor Orban on EU Identity :

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- "Cutural Identity ...is a very important issue,  as well as Cultural Diversity, for the  Hungarian (EU 2011) Presidency", Victor Orban replied to "EuroFora"'s 1st question from the outset.

- "The fact that, today, it gets less attention, overshadowed by another issue (Global Economic and Monetary Crisis) which covers the Sun, and keeps all other topics on the shade, it doesn't mean that it might have decreased the importance of the issue", on the contrary,  he realistically but critically observed.

>>> Simply because, "obviously, "without having an (EU) Identity, EU Citizens won't be able to create a succesful Europe !", stressed incoming 2011 EU President Victor Orban.

- "This is the Philosophical Conviction that I believe in", stressed the Popular Hungarian Prime Minister, who won a landmark 2/3 Majority in recent Elections  : As an Historic Figure in the Hungarian History had said : - "I am a good Hungarian, and that's why I am a good European. If I hadn't been a  good Hungrian, I couldn"'t be a good European", he reminded.


- "I think Hungarian Identity is very Easy to link with the European Identity and feelings", observed Orban, indirectly but surely referring to the History of a Country which had succeeded to stimulate so deep and large Solidarity and common Conscience of what is realy at stake for most EU Nations, that it had, in fact, almost managed to inspire the creation of a ...1st European Defence, when Armed People from all over Europe (f.ex. England, Sweden, Germany, France, Spain, Italy, etc) had converged towards Budapest in order to help liberate Hungary from the Military Invasion and Occupation by the former Ottoman/Turk Military, (as "EuroFora" had earlier discussed with an Hungarian Official who appeared well aware)...

This was crystal-clear in the astonishing Historic resume and Cultural/Religious Symbols which had been spectacularly put forward, already as early as since 1999 by the former Hungarian CoE (i.e. PanEuropean) Presidency, with a similar Government based on Prime Minister Victor Orban and Foreign Minister Martonyi, when it had hosted CoE's supreme body : its Committee of Ministers from 47 Countries and invited Journalists, including "EuroFora'"s co-founder, to a special session in Budapest.

- "So, I believe in the fact that we shouldn't be afraid of being good Christians,  and the Leftist interpretation that would consider National Identity as a Threat, rather than Energy, is something which I cannot accept", Victor Orban clearly stressed.
+ This goes even more when "in this identity, for us, we should be able to identify points or issues on which we can able to cooperate. This is what is taking place right now, and this is very good", the incoming 2001 EU President intelligently added (See infra). Of course, there are some debates, but we would keep them in" an appropriate way, he concluded.        
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Significantly, it's at the eve of the 1st official Public Debate on the Hungarian EU Presidency's Program, at EU Parliament in Strasbourg, on January 17, 2011, that an exceptional "Mass for Europe" is scheduled in the impressive, huge Historic Cathedral of the city, as Vatican's Permanent Representative to the Council of Europe, Mgr. Aldo Giordano, (a polyglot speaking fluently Italian, French, German, English and even Flamish !)

All this acquires today even a practical a Key-importance for the full activation of EU's Economic Potential, because, inter alia, it also facilitates a necessary close Cooperation between several National Governments of similar Political orientation (Center-Right, and mainly ChristianDemocrats, etc) which were recently voted in power by the People of most of those Countries which can be involved in the Trans-European Direct Energy Transport from Asia to Europe via NLG carrying Ships through the Black Sea and Danube/Rhine rivers, on which "EuroFora" had questioned Orban, as he observed himself :
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**  Victor Orban on direct Energy transport :

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- "Now, as regards your 2nd Question, (on the current prospects to build Direct Energy Trans-European Transport Networks from Asia to the EU: See supra), "I am very Grateful to you for having mentioned this issue, (because) this is another Major Issue which has not yet got all the attention it actually deserves", went on to reply the incoming 2011 EU President to "EuroFora": - "If we look at the (GeoPolitical) situation of Hungary in the Carpathian bassin, what we see is that, whether we might be ready to bridge, or not, negotiations with SLovakia, there were conflicts there, but we'll be able to have a Breakthrough on Energy", he optimistically declared.


- Because, "if you look at our Neighbours, I have to tell you that the situation is the Best in Decades", the Hungarian Prime Minister observed.


- "So we have joint and shared objectives with the Romanians, the Slovakians, and others. And I think that (even if in the Past) ...(in) this area may be some existing Nations have had conflicts,  the situation can be remedied by the Center-Right (i.e. mainly ChristianDemocrat : See supra) Governments which we now have in these Countries, so that this can create a new possibility" for close and systematic cooperation, Victor Orban pointed out.


- (F.ex.) "we (Hungarians) work far together with the Romanian President (Traian Basescu : who has already stated, many times to "EuroFora"s co-founder, his strong interest for the Black Sea - Danube/Rhine Rivers Ship transport network for Liquefied Gas from Asia directly to Europe), to enter the (EU's) Shengen area. (etc).


+ Moreover, today,  "we : Hungarians, Romanians and Bulgarians can have Gas supply systems which are inter-linked. That has a great importance", he observed. - "In addition, we are able to deliver Gas  .. at the end  of this pipeline" - Ship transport Network, "from the  Black Sea to another region" inside the EU, he added.


=> In consequence, "This project has a European Value by aiming to transport Energy from Azerbaidjan to Europe without the participation of (other) Major Political Players", (i.e. DIRECTLY), Victor Orban underlined, speaking of a factor of obviously crucial importance : 

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            - Otherwise, "it's well known, that, if you have a 3rd Major Player in an Energy Program, then, other Political Issues, other than Energy, will be involved", threatening to weaken EU's Energetic Independence (f.ex. a Political Blackmail, as Turkey notoriously often does), the experienced Hungarian Prime Minister pointed out.


 - "Well, this Energy transport" Network project " is without Turkey and Russia", he observed, even if "it does not mean that we should forget all about Nabucco, Turkey, or the South Stream, that is important for the Russians, a big partner".


- But it's currently a fact, (among many other Criticisms against the controversial, too long, too expensive, and too dangerous Turkish Nabucco Gas pipeline old project, zig-zaging far away from Europe, through areas facing Risks of Violent Conflicts : f.ex. Kurdish, etc., of EathQuakes, Political/Commercial Blackmails, etc., without even having ensured enough Gas to transport... ), that, "according to Forecasts, Gas prices are not going to rise, so that Businessmen are reluctant to invest in big (and uncertain : See supra) infrastructures", and "that's why Nabucco is suffering", as he observed later-on.


- For all these reasons, the examined alternative Project to use New Technologies of Liquefied and/or compressed Gas (i.e. easy to transport also in Containers), to transport Energy directly from Asia to Europe, by Ships crossing the Black Sea and Danube/Rhine rivers and/or related pipeline networks, (See supra) "is a Project which adds to Competition and increases Freedom" of choice for the EU, Victor Urban concluded.


These, and various other topical Energy issues, are due to be discussed during the February 2011 EU Energy Summit, organized under the auspices of the Hungarian EU Presidency, he also anounced.

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  Ten Years of ECHR : 1998 - 2008 show need of Revival in 2009-2010 coinciding with 2009 EU Election
   

A threefold, coordinated move by new Top French Political actors in the 2009 EU Parliament Elections, expressed in Strasbourg a will to boost Europe's Political dimension close to Citizens' concerns, going from protection of Economy to defence of Human Rights.    

The move met an exceptional ECHR's call for a "revival" of Human Rights' protection mechanism', in a Mega-Conference, early 2010.   

Obviously focusing on June 2009 Elections to EU Parliament, it involved from the outset the recently nominated "dual" Head of French Governing Party (UMP)  Michel BARNIER and Rachida DATI :

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     - "As President Sarkozy has clearly said, we (France) are in favor of a Strong, Sovereign and Independent, Political Europe, which protects its Citizens, and not for a large Super-Market, nor for a Europe under influence",

    "This goes for everything, including Energy", added to "EuroFora" the experienced former EU Commissioner, Minister of Foreign affairs, currently of Agriculture and Sarkozy's new pick as Leader of the Governing party UMP to EU 2009 Election, Michel BARNIER                                              .                             

  - Human Rights are important because they are at the Heart of the Political Europe that we aspire for : I.e. a Europe able to act and protect its Citizens, stressed also the New French Minister for European affairs, Bruno LE MAIRE, while meeting Strasbourg's Journalists at his first visit to the CoE.   

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This is one of the main interests for CoE, which is also a natural place for cooperation between EU countries and Russia or Turkey, which was recently helpful at the Middle East crisis, he added.

The move gained momentum with French Minister of Justice, Rachida Dati's main observations at ECHR's 5Oth Anniversary :   

- "While we are seeking Europe's Borders and Identity, you (ECHR) remind us also of its Values", Human Rights, Dati noted.   

Citizens seek more and more often ECHR's help, and the tempo accelerates, Europa awaits a symbol, while national legal orders are not freezed   

And she expressed "support" to ECHR President Jean-Paul Costa's call to satisfy the vital need to revigorate the PanEuropean Court by deciding big changes at a High-Level Conference open to a large audience, a kind of "Etats Generaux" of Human Rights, at the beginning of 2010.       

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It's not so much the recently growing number of applications for Russia or Ukraine etc, which seems to be Costa's main concern : In fact, the cases declared "admissible" are much fewer...    

But rather the persistent violations of Human Rights, sometimes very grave (ie. murders, torture, abritrary deprivation of liberty, oppression of freedom of speech, destructions of homes/properties, etc), despite numerous, repeated condemnations by ECHR. So that CoE's Ministers, due to "supervise execution" of ECHR's judgements, are overloaded.   

F.ex. most Media noted that Turkey still remains, even in 2008, the 1st among 47 CoE member States in the number of condemnations by ECHR :  257, compared to 233 for Russia, with a population more than the double..    

The problem is that it's not the 1st time at all : During all the last Decade 1998-2008, Turkey was condemned by ECHR much more than any other State, and for particularly grave violations :   

- 1.652 condemnations, compared to 605 for Russia, 548 for Poland, 494 for France, 476 for Ukraine, etc.   

Italy's second place with 1.394 condemnations is a misleading false appearance : In fact, most of them (999) concern mere "procedural delays" in national courts. Same for France.   

On the contrary, Turkey was condemned 180 times for Killings, 192 times for Torture or Inhuman/Degrading treatments, 340 times for arbitrary deprivation of Liberty, 528 times for "Unfair trial", and 169 times for oppression of Freedom of speech, (etc). And the latest, 2008 numbers, indicate no change in this trend, (See supra).   

The current Spanish CoE Presidency (November 2008 - May 2009) has made of the implementation of ECHR's judgements its 1st Priority.   

ECHR's President, Jean-Paul Costa, stressed in its 2009 Annual Press Conference, CoE Member States' obligation to implement the judgements, according to Article 46 of the European Convention on Human Rights.   

Moreover, if CoE's Committee of Ministers delays to ensure implementation, then, the repetition of violations in similar cases provokes a multiplication of complaints tabled to the Court, which overload the mecanism for the protection of Human Rights, denounced Costa.          

A series of Debates on "the situation of Human Rights in Europe", focusing on the "need to fight against Impunity" of perpetrators of grave crimes, is  currently prepared by CoE's Parliamentary Assembly for the session of June 2009.  

The final Timing comes shortly AFTER the EU Elections, but the main Reports should have been adopted before.

Meanwhile, French President Sarkozy and German Chancelor Merkel's recent call "for a Political Europe" in 2009 EU Elections (See earlier "correspondence from Paris, Elysee Palace), seems more and more endorsed also by other EU Countries' Top MEPs :

Thus, f.ex., EU Parliament's 1st vice-President, Greek MEP Mrs Rodi KRATSA, speaking to "EuroFora", agreed that 2009 EU Election would be a "naturally good" opportunity to debate what really interests EU Citizens : "The Future of a Political Europe, able to face the Economic Crisis, with a Culture and identity which attracts the People"

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(Photo taken earlier during Sarkozy's 1st visit at EU Parliament, in 2007 : Sarkozy and Merkel's Ideas for a Political Europe inspire also other EU politicians accross the continent)..
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