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Home arrow newsitems arrow Governing French Party Head Bertrand to EuroFora: EU Future needs Debate on Ideas +Political impulse

Governing French Party Head Bertrand to EuroFora: EU Future needs Debate on Ideas +Political impulse

Written by ACM
Sunday, 04 July 2010

- "EU needs a Political Impulse" on key, Strategic issues, and, therefore, Public Debates on Ideas about main Issues affecting EU Citizens' lives, including, naturally, on "Europe's Future", which notoriously spreads from Economy and EU Democracy up to Turkey's controversial EU bid, etc.  : - "We (elected Political Leaders) won't let some Technocrats take over People's power !", stressed the Head of France's Governing Party UMP, Xavier Bertrand, in reply to "EuroFora"s Questions, at the eve of EU Parliament's plenary weekly session in Strasbourg, where its President, Jerzy Buzek and EU Commission's Chair Jose Manuel Barroso are due to meet with the Prime Minister of France, François Fillon on Tuesday, while out-going EU chairman in office, Spanish Prime Minister Jose Luis Zapatero visits to debate the Conclusions of a Semester of Spanish EU rotating chair, followed by Belgium's Prime Minster Yves Leterme, next day, to start debating the chairmanship the 2nd Semester's chairmanship (July - December) 2010.


This was said shortly after Bertrand, (who spearheaded, one Year earlier, the June 2009 EU Elections' win of the EPP/ChristianDemocrat MEPs and their allies in France, in oordination with their collegues from neighbouring Germany a.o. EU Member Countries),  anounced to the Press, before a Public Gathering at Brumath, near Strasbourg, the Governing French Party UMP's wider wish to "raise anew the Political Debate at a Higher Level".


 - "This means to focus on Issues which stimulate Citizens' interest, which affect Citizens'" lives, which "raise key Questions for the People., concerning "the real problems they face, and how we are going to firmly address" them.. - "We have also to promote "a Vision for the Future", he stressed.

That's why, the Governing French Party UMP is starting since this 2010 Summer "a Campaign of Ideas", and, the fact that this  "Ideas' Campaign" starts Today from Strasbourg's region Alsace, "is not a Coincidence, but a Symbol", he characteristically stressed, speaking at the eve of EU Parliament's plenary weekly session here.


 - "EuroFora" reminded that both "2007 (Presidential and Legislative) Elections" as well as 2009 EU Elections "were won in France mainly thanks to key Debates on a "Vision for the Future" also of Europe, symbolized also by Strasbourg today, and Europe was also present even in the 2010 Regional Elections for Alsace, through big Infrastructures' issues, Values, etc, (as we said side by side with new Alsace Region's President Philippe Richert). To these Facts were recently added also various other Electoral results throughout several EU Member Countries, where, in one way or another, in diverse but convergent manners, sometimes unexpectedly, but always visible to a careful eye,  appear to emerge certain Key Ideas notoriously supported by French President Nicolas Sarkozy and others EU Leaders, (as German Chancellor Angie Merkel, her former close Bavarian ally Edmont Stoiber, etc).  And we asked Bertrand if he thought that "the (EU) Debate on Europe's Future, that French President Sarkozy had earlier asked for", and promised to EU Citizens, "could be part of the Debates on Ideas that you wish to launch in the foreseeable future" ?


- "Certainly", the Head of France's Governing UMP Party started to Positively Reply.

- Because "this Debate always remains entirely Topical : Europe either will become Political, or won't exist at all" in the Future, Xavier Bertrand replied to "EuroFora"'s question.

- Indeed, "it's clear that a Political Impetus, a Political Voluntarism is needed : Everything derives from that", he stressed.

- F.ex., "we can't have an Industrial Policy in the EU, unless there is a Political Will.  We are able to have also in the EU a Financial Regulation policy, if Poliical leaders want : That's what is doing (EU Commissioner Michel) Barnier. "We shall have in the EU a Common Immigration Policy, a point that I find important, only if the Political Leaders want that, (etc). For all such issues, it's important to Strengthen a Political Europe anew".

- "What was true on 2007 (Presidential and Legislative Elections in France), what was true also in the 2009 EU Parliament's Elections, (brillantly won in France by the Governing coalition spearheaded by President Sarkozy's faithful UMP Party Head Xavier Bertrand himself : See, f.ex., Bertrand's statements to "EuroFora" during the 2009 EU Electoral campaign), remains always Topical", he ensured.

- "We don't travel a Sunday of July to meet and speak with EU Citizens, just to let the Power be taken over (usurpated) by some Technocrats !", the Head of France's Governing Party UMP stressed in his reply to "EuroFora".

- "It's not the Idea that we have of Political Life". "If MEPs (from EU Parliament) and MPs are present here, during a Sunday, it's because they believe that Politics have a Meaning".       

-  "It's out of question to let these Responsibilities to other Political bodies", he stressed at the eve of EU Parliament's July Plenary session in Strasbourg, giving a clear impression that he'd welcome vivid EU Parliament's debates.

- "This requires certain Efforts, and Constant Involvement, but we are always standing (steady) along this particular Line", Betrand concluded.

Turkey's controversial and notoriously impopular EU bid is, as it's well known, a main part of French President Nicolas Sarkozy's 2007 and 2009 appeals for EU-wide Debates key Issues from which depends Europe's Future.


These points were also made, later-on, during Bartrand's subsequent Speech at a Public Gathering :

- "People tell us that France must remain an Important Country", and, indeed, "France wants to continue to be a a respected Country, and ensure  respect also for its (Republican) Values", That's one of the reasons for which we must make f.ex. the necessary Reforms to Reduce Public Debts in times of Global Crisis, .ex. control Public Spending,  Outlaw Islamic Burqua in public areas, etc.

- "Among those Reforms needed in order for France to be respected, there is also an important European and International Dimension", Bertrand added, shortly after welcoming also the President of EU Parliament's largest Group, EPP/ChristianDemocrats, Joseph Daul.

- "Because I believe that the Franco-German couple will always be Europe's motor, and we must always take Care for for the Solidity of this Couple,  for Solidarity among our Peoples and Leaders", he confirmed.- "And because we believe also in a Political Europe : Europe will be Political, or won't exist : Around me, there are various Political representatives", who have been elected by the People and "are not ready to leave it to some Technocrats to decide fcr us. The People who voted on (June 2009) EU Elections, who helped for the Victory of the UMP and its Allies, did so because they also believe in a Political Europe" , Bertrand reiterated also in Public, speaking here 1 Year after the June 2009 Electoral Win of the EPP/ChristianDemocrats' Group and other center-right movements in EU Parliament.

- "Some want to Hinder us to speak" about real issues which affect People's lives, denounced, however, the Head of France's Governing Party UMP, (pointing f.ex. at some members of the French Socialist party). "Every Day, they either ask the Resignation of someone, or launch (Personal) Accusations  and False Claims, Lies, etc". But "this never made a Truth". "Nobody is  dupe". In fact, "a Socialist Party which has, today, failed on Ideas and Propositions, .. suddenly orchestrated a campaign of Harassment, relentlessly,  against others", i.e. persons with differend political ideas, he complained.

- "But", all these Personal Attacks, are "Useless. We intend to Speak" about real issues, starting from "this (2010) Summer", Bertrand firmly stressed, starting from grassroots meetings with Youth and other engaged Citizens, as well as the Media, MPs and MEPs.


 - "Avoid Debating" on serious, substantial issues, and "Hide them behind some Trivial matters" : This resumes all the attitude of some "Socialist" parties, also added Strasbourg Region Alsace's recently elected President, Philippe Richert.


 - Regarding Economic issues, "in times of (Global) Crisis, we must become more Efficient than in the Past, and better use Public Funds : Thus, Strasbourg's Alsace Region decided not to augment its Budget during all the following 4 Years (2010- 2014), Richert anounced.

- And "when they claim that we don't need (even in period of Global Crisis, with Debts remaining from the Past, and a longer Life expectancy) to work more, while all other EU Member Countries are engaged in this direction", "we, here in Alsace, where we see also what Germans and/or Swiss are doing", cannot believe it, added Richert.
Moreover, some political opponents falsely accused the French Government to deprive from retirement at the age of 60 even People who had started working early, since 16, 17 or 18 years of age, while they know perfectly well that this is simply Not True at all, since we have already made it clear in our Legislative Bills that all People who started working earlier than usual will keep their right to retire at 60 years of age, Xavier Bertrand denounced.     

Sometimes, certain quarels about augmentation of Salaries, expensive Retirement Benefits, etc., give a  sad, apparently egoist spectacle, particularly vis a vis Young jobless People, threatened to be condemned to never have viable retirement benefits early enough, and/or to People working hard even at their 70ies or more. This concerns not only Intellectual workers, who may like to keep a Socially useful and interesting job,  but even hard-working People, as, f.ex. that good and honnest, old New York Taxi Driver, who helped once "EuroFora" catch up with an urgent Airplane for an important trip to Chicago, at the very last minute, (a unique chance to meet also close Family members, Old people from whom we were separated for Decades),  efficiently taking risks in order to succeed to arrive on time at a far away Airport, without asking anything special in return. Such Hard-working, simple, honest People, should obviously be honoured, and, whenever possible, retire Earlier than some cushy-job holders paid expensive salaries (sometimes even with a  ..."14th Month" !) for easy jobs of dubious productivity, even when Efficiency and Solidarity is obviously needed inside Europe in the middle of a Global Crisis.

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3 EU Parliament votes to boost EuroGroup !


After EuroZone Paris Summit's succes, Sarkozy calls to "think anew how to re-construct Europe !

"EuroZone and EU Institutional debates pave the way to 2009 discussions on EU Future, including Enlargment, Turkey etc. ?

23 October 2008

After EU Parliament strongly suppported in 3 successive Votes this week in Strasbourg French EU Chairmanship's move to boost Euro-Group at EU's core, while ideas on EU Institutional problems are awaited on December, "it's an open Question now" if this may lead to a debate on EU's Future, or not, told us French President, Nicolas Sarkozy''s Spokesman, Pierre-Jerome Henin.

MEPs voted on Thursday fresh Funds to support EuroGroup, after adopting on Wednesday a Resolution asking a "further Evolution" to "the 1st ever meeting of Heads of State and of Government of the Euro-Zone, taking decisions in that capacity", while earlier this week a Report asked "a stronger Institutional setting" for "EuroGroup", extended from "competitiveness/industry" to "environment, employment and education", with "increased powers for Political decision-making", according to a text drafted by French MEP Francoise Beres and German MEP Werner Langen, "10 Years after the creation of Euro" (1999 - 2009).

- Brussels' subsequent "EU Council ..(simply)..ratified the measures decided by EuroGroup on October 12" in Paris, which "were necessary to contain the current Financial Crisis", Resolution observes, expressing also support to the new process succesfully initiated by Sarkozy and due to be completed by agreements with USA and other countries at a Global level.

From now on, it's between two differend but parallel moves : EU's delay, and EuroZone's acceleration, that Enlargement and particularly Turkey's controversial EU bid, will have to search its way :

Indeed, EU's 27 expect a "Roadmap on how to deal with the Irish problem" on Lisbon Treaty ratification after December, risking to pass even 2009 Elections and next Commission with the old Nice Treaty of 2000, out-dated and unfit even for 2004's Enlargement...

On the contrary, EU's core launches a real "Economic Governance for EuroZone at the highest level of Heads of State/Government" of the 15, which started in Paris on October 12 and was strongly supported this week in Strasbourg by Sarkozy and EU Parliament.
- "It's a good idea, to launch such a debate ("on EU's Future") in EU Parliament in view of 2009 Euro-Election : Perhaps some MEPs will seize an opportunity", told us mainstream French MEP Alain Lamassoure, former EU Minister and EU Spokesman for France's governing party UMP.

- "All MEPs' debates on such EU Councils are also part of the larger debate on Europe's future : Now with EuroZone, and even more when, on December, Irish Prime Minister is due to table proposals in Strasbourg on how to deal with EU Treaty's ratification", replied earlier to our question EU Parliament's Press Director and Spokesman, Jaume Duch.
Sarkozy has formally anounced his intention to open EU Debates on Economy, Identity/Enlargement (i.e. mainly Turkey), etc. both linked to a popular Political view of Europe, since his Historic speeches on EU in Strasbourg, on February and July 2007, when he stressed that "Europe needs a New Renaissance". At the beginning of the French EU Presidency, on July 2008, replying to a MEP, he suggested that EU Parliament takes an active part in Debates on EU's Future.

- Now, in 2008, "Crisis are an opportunity to re-think how to re-construct Europe", Sarkozy stressed. At any case, the Historic 1st EuroZone Summit of Heads of State/Government, which started replying to the Financial crisis,"is a Turning Point : After that, Europe cannot be governed as before, but differently" : People "like a Europe with Strong Will".

- "We must make the System move !", "Europe needs Innovation" and free political debates. EU "Elections are in a few Months", Sarkozy warned.

He invited EU Parliament to fully play its role as "the Democratic Heart of the Europe we want : United, Independent and Voluntarist, because the World needs Europe's voice".

- "It's no more possible for Euro-Zone to continue without an Economic Government" at the Highest Level of Heads of State/Government, who provide "Democratic Legitimity" and can take important decisions, he announced, strongly supported by EU Parliament's Economic Committee which just voted to boost the "Institutional" aspects of "EuroGroup".

Plasticity offered by the current absence of a special Treaty on EuroZone's Institutions "made it easy to adapt the organization of the 1st Summit with imagination, to efficiently meet urgent needs", he observed, on the occasion of Brittish Prime Minister's exceptionnal presence at the greatest part of EuroGroup's Paris Summit.

- "In EuroZone we have the same Bank, the same Money, and, thus, a same duty for Unity" : "By bringing together EuroGroup's 15 members States we suceeded to find a solution and prepare a Giant Plan of 1.800 Billion euros", Sarkozy reminded of Paris' 1st Historic EuroZone's Summit.

Afterwards, Brussels' EU Council followed the move, and USA's Paulson II Plan was inspired from that. "Europe must promote the idea of Global Economy's Refoundation", he stressed.


- "I was frankly astonished when I found, at the EU, a rigid system, where any New Idea was seen from the outset as a sacrilege, while, on the contrary, Europe needs Innovation !", he described.

F.ex. ,"'When we first spoke about the "Union for the Mediterranean", it was misunderstood as something extraordinary.. When later we had the Russia -Georgia crisis, it seemed against EU's custom to act "in the middle of August", instead of staying a passive spectator ! And when, in front of the Financial ciris, we gathered the 1st EuroZone Summit of the "15", some thought of it as a lese-majesté", he denounced.
On Geo-Political Principles :
- But, by moving resolutely, "EU obtained the ...withdrawal of Occupation Troops in 2 Months !", reminded Sarkozy, observing that Russia "fulfilled its commitments", in the Georgian crisis, where a "disroportionate reaction" from Moscow followed a "totally inappropriate action" from Tbilisi's troops. "It would be crazy to reply by military means : EU should not become accomplice of another Cold War, imposed by lack of cool heads".. as he said.

In future, "the creation of a common European Economic Area with EU and Russia, would also obtain a raprochment on our Human Rights and Democratic Values", added Sarkozy, in a statement which should logically be applied, a fortiori, to controversial EU "candidate" Turkey..

Particularly when, the same week that EU Parliament voted 2009 EU Funds for Turkey's controversial EU bid, ECHR took a series of judgements condemning Turkey for grave Violations of Human Rights, such as : Torture, death of a political prisoner in unclear circumstances followed by failure to conduct a proper Investigation, "enforced Disappearance" of a youngster aged 17, Killing of a sepherd with Tank Shells, persecuting Journalists for articles on "Missing" People, even a former President of Human Rights' Association, (etc)

- "We (EU) can defend our ideas on respect of Sovereignity and territorial Integrity, on Human Rights and other differences ... without confrontation", Sarkozy stressed, on the occasion of Russian/Georgian conflict, reminding that : "we were only 2 steps from catastroph", when a Peace agreement brokered in Moscow prevented, at the last minute, Russian troops' advance towards Tbilisi.

An EU Parliament Resolution adopted Wednesday in Strasbourg on the occasion of Russia - Georgia conflict, outlines a set of Principle which apply elsewhere too, (particularly when EU Rapporteur for Russia and Turkey is one and same person ; Dutch MEP Ria Oomen-Ruijtanen !)

Clearly rejecting any "military solution to the conflicts", MEPs "condemn ..all those who resorted to force and violence". They denounce a "disproportionate military action", "as well as (an) unilateral decision to recognise the independence" of brekaway regions, "calling.. to respect the sovereignty and territorial integrity" of the concerned country, "and the inviolability of its borders recognised by all EU Member States". They warn that "EU must review its policy towards" a 3rd Country, "should .(it)...not comply with its commitments", and "stress that the withdrawal of.... troops from the areas ....is an essential additional step".

EU Parliament "calls for the safe and quick return of refugees, (accepted by Russian President Medvedev) accompanied by the deployment of EU observers on the ground", and "regrets ...that ..EU Monitoring Mission (EUMM) is not allowed to enter the ...breakaway regions". Moreover, "It's important to ensure that persons and NGOs ..engaged in defending human and civil rights can operate". "Until ...all remaining issues (are) resolved..., and notably the continuing ...Military presence", "relations with the EU ..cannot be fully normalised", MEPS warned.

As nobody likes to be accused to practice "Double Standards", this should be regarded as "Principles" applicable to any Third Country at EU's Neighborhood.. No ?


On Economy :

- "When Financial crisis shook US and EU's Banks, without result from the 1st (American) Paulsen plan, it was the common reply of the 1st EuroZone's Summit, involving some 1800 Billion euros, which started a positive move in the markets, soon strengthened by the follow-up of the US Paulson 2 Plan, noted Sarkozy.

- "Europe should not be only on the defensive, but, if necessary, know also how to take an offensive", he said, brushing away hesitationsto act on Economy: - "I'm for a refondation of Capitaliism, but against Speculators, who betray its values" : "Lack of Rules was profitable to speculators, Not to businessmen !" We must make sure to prevent any such crisis in future". "We, the rest of the World, cannot continue to bear the deficits of the 1st World power without saying anything !", the French President said, applauded by EU Parliament. All this needs "a New Global Governance", on which EU Parliament must debate. That's why "we proposed together with USA, several Summits from mid-November", to which G-8, enlarged to China, India a.o. countries, should participate. UNO's SG; Ban Ki Moon, the IMF, etc.

Financial crisis lowered shares' prices even for healthy companies, sometimes to 1/3 of their initial price, so that strangers might buy EU industries for only a portion of their real value, and Europeans may wake up one day with their main industries sold out to foreigners !

That's one of the reasons for which EU should debate about creating "Golden Shares" for States to jointly take Strategic participations to help European Industries until the end of the Crisis, particularly against distording competition, he suggested, pointing at USA's 35 billion $ plan for American Car Industry."We shall struggle for Europe to be able to build Airplanes, Ships, Trains, Cars, because we need a strong Industry", he concluded.

"F.ex. as we did back in 2004, when as Finance Minister, we bought Alsthom's shares for 800.000 euros, and, after restructuring, we sold them for 2 Millions : Help a company and make money is not so bad"...

As for the UK, "when Ireland announced that it would guarantee only Irish Banks, London City emptied from liquidities in 24 hours : It's the EU which helped to restore the situation, Not the UK alone !", reminded Sarkozy to nationalist British MEP Nigel Farage.


On the contrary, in a last-minute attempt for the EU to catch-up with its Institutional delay "before the European Elections" of June 2009, MEPs simply voted a call for a "set of proposals" to be made for the "Irish public opinion" at the end of the year...

- "As long as Lisbon Treaty is not ratified by all 27 EU Member States, there is an unanimous decision to stop Enlargement, reminded Wednesday in Strasbourg the French Minister for EU affairs, Jean-Pierre Jouyet..

Added to an indirect but clear warning that, without Lisbon Treaty, all 27 EU Member Countries may not have a Commissioner in the 2009 resuffle, MEPS in the Constitutional/Foreign affairs Committees applauded hoping that this might motivate their Irish friends..



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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