Tag Archives: France

Brussels: Marine Le Pen supports Morawiecki

Brussels 22.10.2020 Marine Le Pen met on Friday 22 October in Brussels the Polish head of government Mateusz Morawiecki to whom she provided “support” in the crisis between her country and the EU by denouncing “the unacceptable blackmail” of the European Commission.

“We spoke together in particular of the unacceptable blackmail exercised by the European Commission on Poland, and I wanted to give it my support,” added Marine Le Pen, who is due to hold a press conference in Brussels afterwards. midday, before going to Budapest on Monday to meet the ultraconservative Prime Minister Viktor Orban. Before the opening of a summit of the Twenty-Seven Thursday in Brussels, Mateusz Morawiecki, in conflict with Brussels on the independence of justice and the primacy of European law, said he was “ready for dialogue” while denouncing ” the pressure of blackmail ”.

European leaders played the card of appeasement during this Summit, while reserving the possibility of cracking down later. Tensions have increased since a decision on October 7 by the Polish Constitutional Court which declared certain articles of European treaties incompatible with the national constitution. A decision denounced by Brussels as an unprecedented attack on the primacy of European law and the jurisdiction of the Court of Justice of the EU, but also as the ultimate illustration of the lack of independence of the Polish justice with regard to the government.

AUKUS: France geopolitical response

Brussels 14.10.2021 Pierre-Emmanuel Thomann OPINION: What is France and Europe response to AUKUS? Non-alignment and a pivot to Russia. Within the framework of the Indo-Pacific strategy, the alliance of the three Anglo-Saxon states, the United States (USA), Australia (AU) and the United Kingdom (UK) – AUKUS -has been implemented to the detriment of France and the European Union, which have been left out. What geopolitical response could be envisaged for France and its close European and Asian partners?

France, as a balancing power, should seek to avoid the hegemony of both China and the Anglo-Saxons and promote a policy of non-alignment with Germany, Italy, Hungary and Russia in Europe, and India, Indonesia, the Philippines, Vietnam and New Zealand in Asia, as well as all the states that do not wish to be dragged into a confrontation, in order to avoid an American-Chinese condominium. The principle of variable coalitions should be preferred to the illusory unity of the European Union or NATO on this issue.

The question of the inadequacy of the priorities of NATO and the EU, organisations created in the context of the Cold War, in the new European and global geopolitical configuration is clearly posed for France. A reform of the European Union is therefore necessary for its adaptation to the emerging multi-polar world and its role should above all accompany the objective of strategic autonomy of the most ambitious member states. The reinforcement of cooperation programmes in the field of defence is necessary, above all at the bilateral level, within restricted coalitions and when possible at the EU level to promote more strategic independence for France and its European partners, in parallel with a rapprochement on the perceptions of security and the geopolitical aims of the European project, which are currently too divergent.

Russia has already announced its intention to adopt a non-alignment posture in an event of a strengthening of the American-Chinese confrontation. In Europe and in the world, it is therefore also with a pivot from France to Russia that France could widen its margin of manoeuvre, preferably with Germany. A Franco-Russian rapprochement would re-establish a relative balance with the Anglo-Saxons and Germany, and reduce the risk of too close a tactical understanding between Russia and China, with the more distant goal of promoting a new European security architecture.

Pierre-Emmanuel Thomann – Doctor in geopolitics, and expert on European and global issues.

France: €1bn healthcare budget for migrants

Brussels 27.09.2021 President Emmanuel Macron announced last week that the France 2022 budget will reserve €1 billion in medical aid for “free” healthcare to illegal immigrants. Since 2015, a year which saw well over a million illegal foreigners enter Europe, the amount of state aid set aside for migrant healthcare costs has doubled.

According to a finance bill put forward on Wednesday by President Emmanuel Macron’s government, €1 billion in medical aid will be allocated from the state’s 2022 budget to cover healthcare costs – of illegal immigrants, not including the costs of emergency care, French newspaper Le Figaro reports.

In 2020, alone, more than 383,000 foreigners living illegally in France benefited from State Medical Aid (AME), a health insurance program that covers 100 percent of medical expenses incurred by illegal immigrants, Minister of Health Olivier VĂ©ran said.

Since its implementation in 2000, State Medical Aid (AME) has incited fierce debate, with many fiscally conservative-minded politicians and thinkers arguing that the insurance is an abuse of the country’s social welfare system, which is structured in such a way that it greatly encourages illegal migration.

New heads of EU representations

Brussels 20.07.2021 Today, the Commission has appointed two new Heads of Representation in Paris and Luxembourg.

Ms Valérie Drezet-Humez will start in her new function in Paris on 01 September 2021. Ms Anne Calteux will take up her duties as Head of Representation in Luxembourg, at a date still to be decided. They will act as the official Representatives of the Commission in the Member States under the political authority of President Ursula von der Leyen.

Ms ValĂ©rie Drezet-Humez, a French national, with 25 years of experience in the Commission, will draw on her strong policy background, her strategic communication and managerial skills and legal expertise in EU matters. Since 2010, she has been working in the Secretariat-General, as Head of Unit responsible for briefings for the President and Vice-Presidents touching upon all policy priorities and political developments. Prior to that, she headed the team in charge of written, empowerment and delegations procedures in the Secretariat-General where she acquired a deep understanding of the functioning of the Commission while supporting critical adoption to enable Commission decision-making. She started in the Secretariat-General as policy assistant to the deputy Secretary-General and then to the Secretary–General, after leaving the Directorate General for Translation where she was policy assistant to the Director-General, posts where she was exposed to the political and delivery dimension of files. She joined the European Commission in 1995, in the Directorate-General for Environment, where she worked in the industry and environment domain, and in policy coordination, a domain which is key to the current political agenda. Ms Drezet-Humez is a lawyer who graduated from the University of Lyon III where she specialised in EU Law.

Ms Anne Calteux, a Luxembourg national, brings a long experience in the Luxembourg and European diplomacy to her new assignment, which will allow her to effectively manage key political communication and strategic coordination. Since 2016, Ms Calteux has held a number of leading positions where she exercised a high level of responsibility and crisis management, most notably the last one as a responsible to coordinate the COVID-19 Crisis Cell in the Ministry of Health in Luxembourg. As a Head of EU and International Affairs and a Senior Advisor to the Minister in the Ministry of Health in Luxembourg since 2016, she has gathered ample knowledge of EU affairs and policies. Between 2016 and 2018 Ms Calteux headed the Communications Unit at the Ministry which proves her sound communication and analytical skills and ability for overall strategic orientation and management of the Commission’s Representation in Luxembourg. Between 2004 and 2013, she worked in the Permanent Representation of Luxembourg to the European Union, as a Counsellor in charge of public health, pharmaceuticals and social security. Ms Calteux holds a Master of laws, from LLM, King’s College in London, where she has specialised in Comparative European law.

The Commission maintains Representations in all capitals of EU Member States, and Regional Offices in Barcelona, Bonn, Marseille, Milan, Munich and Wroclaw. The Representations are the Commission’s eyes, ears and voice on the ground in EU Member States. They interact with national authorities, stakeholders and citizens, and inform the media and the public about EU policies. Heads of Representations are appointed by the President of the European Commission and are her political representatives in the Member State to which they are posted.

Cornwall G7: tempering ambitions

Brussels 11.06.2021 The G7 summit is being held in these often tranquil, and picturesque coastal communities less than 20 miles/32km from Land’s End in Cornwall. Although 5,500 extra police officers have been sent on errand there are not many around the harbour, and delivery vans are passing through without problems.

Preparations have been ongoing since the shock announcement in January 2021, and now the reality has arrived.

Following the unsuccessful UK-EU talks to resolve differences in implementing the Northern Ireland Protocol, French president Emmanuel Macron has repeated his insistence that the Protocol is not negotiable, according Bloomberg reports.

Macron is set to discuss the issue and the access of French fishermen to UK waters during a meeting with prime minister Boris Johnson on Saturday, June 12, on the sideline of the G7 Cornwall.

The UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson and U.S. President Joe Biden appeared to put their differences behind them for the limelight in Cornwall. Johnson assessed the meeting with the American president as a “breath of fresh air”, reports the Telegraph newspaper.

Despite the previous reports Joe Biden was preparing to play down the differences with his British counterpart over the Northern Ireland Protocol, and the leaders traded compliments, and gallantries to underline the everlasting strength of the Atlantic ties.

Former Prime Minister Theresa May has criticised the “incomprehensible” travel rules that mean the UK is “shut for business”, the Telegraph newspaper reports.

While praising the UK’s advancing vaccine programme, May said that if ministers blocked travel every time there was a new COVID-19 variant, “we will never be able to travel abroad ever again”.

The Prime Minister Boris Johnson is set to make a milestone decision next week on whether to go ahead with lifting the final Covid-19 restrictions on 21 June.

EU: concerns of peace in N.Ireland

Brussels 10.06.2021 Britain should respect its post-Brexit commitments, especially on Northern Ireland and fishing, and the EU is entitled to take action if that should not be the case, said French European Affairs Minister Clement Beaune, who added he was “very worried” by Britain’s behaviour.

“I’m very concerned by the British behaviour so far,” Beaune told the Public Senat TV channel on Thursday, June 10.

Beaune’s comments came as U.S. President Joe Biden brought a grave Brexit warning to his first meeting with British Prime Minister Boris Johnson: prevent a row with the European Union from imperilling the delicate peace in Northern Ireland.

JCPOA continues work in Vienna

Brusssels 02.06.2021 The Joint Commission of the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA) resumes today Wednesday 2 June, in Vienna (pictured).

The Joint Commission is chaired, on behalf of EU High Representative Josep Borrell, by the Deputy Secretary General/Political Director of the European External Action Service, Enrique Mora. It is attended by representatives of China, France, Germany, Russia, the United Kingdom and Iran.

Participants continue their discussions in view of a possible return of the United States to the JCPOA and on how to ensure the full and effective implementation of the JCPOA.

EU river cruises restart

Brussels 28.05.2021 Five more river cruise lines have announced summer 2021 restart dates, as the European Union moves toward approving international travel for vaccinated passengers.

Scenic and Emerald Cruises, river lines owned by Australia’s Scenic Group, will restart their Europe season with sailings on Portugal’s Douro River beginning in late July. Uniworld will be restarting in Italy and France. And AmaWaterways will restart in Portugal on July 3, with more sailings throughout Europe later in the month.

Meanwhile CroisiEurope announced restart dates for river and canal cruises on a number of European rivers, starting with Portugal’s Douro River on June 7, and followed by the Gironde and the Seine on June 30, in France.

Scenic and Emerald Cruises, river lines owned by Australia’s Scenic Group, will restart their Europe season with sailings on Portugal’s Douro River beginning in late July. Uniworld will be restarting in Italy and France. And AmaWaterways will restart in Portugal on July 3, with more sailings throughout Europe later in the month.

Meanwhile CroisiEurope announced restart dates for river and canal cruises on a number of European rivers, starting with Portugal’s Douro River on June 7, and followed by the Gironde and the Seine on June 30, in France.

On Scenic and Emerald, all guests must be fully vaccinated and the cruises are open only to U.S .and UK residents, the company said. The lines are popular with residents of Australia and Canada as well, but currently those countries are restricting international travel.

Scenic Azure will begin operating 11-day sailings on the Douro on July 30. Emerald Radiance will restart its eight-day itineraries on the river on July 31. Both ships will sail from Porto, Portugal, through November.

Scenic Group said its ship would operate under protocols established by a dedicated Health & Safety Steering Committee, and that the company had also been working with the Cruise Lines International Association and Portuguese authorities on health guidelines.

France: leadership vs. citizens

Brussels 14.05.2021 One year before the next presidential election, a new poll indicates that the 2017 duel Macron-Le Pen could be re-played again in 2022.
Will in 2022 once again Emmanuel Macron and Marine Le Pen compete at the polls in the second round of the presidential election? In 2017, Emmanuel Macron won against his rival with 66.1% of the votes cast, against 33.9% for Marine Le Pen.

According to a survey carried out by Ipsos-Sopra Steria in partnership with Cevipof and the Jean-JaurĂšs Foundation the 2017 finalists would be the same in 2022, and this in different scenarios envisaged according to the various applications already announced or potential.

However this time the situation in not so favourable for the incumbent President of the V Republic. The second open letter of French military critical of the President Emmanuel Macron policies received a strong support of the compatriots, viewed two million times, and it was signed by 250 000 citizens. This declaration from active officers of the French army reinforces the one previously published letter by the military veterans on the site of Valeurs Actuelles journal (@Values). This text, the second one, which has been already circulating a lot and which caused the media echo, the editorial decided to publish in a form of a Petition for the signature of French citizens. Like the previous one, the purpose of this forum is not to undermine the institutions but to alert citizens and authorities of the gravity of the situation in France.

“…Cowardice, deceit, perversion: this is not our view of the hierarchy.
On the contrary, the army is, par excellence, the place where we speak truthfully to each other because we commit our lives. It is this confidence in the military institution that we call for” the second letter reads.

“…Yes, if a civil war breaks out, the military will maintain order on its own soil, because it will be asked to. This is even the definition of civil war. No one can want such a terrible situation, our elders no more than us, but yes, again, civil war is brewing in France and you know it perfectly well..”

“…Take action, ladies and gentlemen. This time it is not about custom emotion, ready-made formulas or media coverage. It’s not about extending your terms or winning new ones. It is about the survival of our country, of your country”.

French commentators suggest that both letters reflect the state of the political debate, which has been substantially weakened by the belligerent political parties, deviating from the traditional right and left in search for re-branding with the centre right Republicans plagued by scandals, and the Socialists vanishing after failed Francois Holland presidency. Weakened by economic and social consequences of the sanitary measures President Macron’s party ‘La RĂ©publique En Marche’ (LaREM) leaves sufficient room for the citizens initiatives. If there were active and constructive democratic debates between the main parties represented in the National Assembly, there would be no room for this kind of position on the part of the former military, warning the President about the possibility of the civil war as a result of mass migration.

“A leadership that does not stand behind its most loyal citizens, will eventually be devoured by them. The French Revolution, a strange masterpiece of history, set the stage for all other great democracies of the world and gave the gift of the French culture to the world,” – said Canadian writer Mark Hecht (@HechtWriter).
“To see France’s leadership today, not honour its own traditions and defend them without reservation, is a shattering reminder of that other, less noble, French character–for the elite to grow heads too large for the body.”

Europe day 9 May

Brussels 09.05.2021 Europe Day is held on 9 May every year to celebrate peace and unity in Europe. The date marks the anniversary of the historic Schuman declaration, which started Europe on the path to today’s European Union.

The Council and other EU institutions traditionally celebrate Europe Day by opening their doors to the public. This year, due to the COVID-19 pandemic, we’re bringing Europe Day to you!

President of France Emmanuel Macron and the leaders of the European Union (EU) are expected, Sunday, May 9 in Strasbourg, to launch the Conference on the Future of Europe. For the solemn inauguration of this vast citizen consultation on Europe Day, “we want interactivity and exchanges, from this first day, with citizens,” said the Elysee in a statement.

In the Hemicycle of the European Parliament will be delivered, from 2 p.m., the speech of Emmanuel Macron and that of the three European institutions, represented by the President of the European Parliament, David Sassoli, the President of the Commission, Ursula von der Leyen, and Portuguese Prime Minister Antonio Costa, for the Council.

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