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25 mai 2009 1 25 /05 /mai /2009 11:44

Le Cerfa (Comité d'études des relations franco-allemandes) lance un cycle de conférences sur deux ans sur les logiques de développement des hautes technologies, dans une perspective franco-allemande.

Seront abordées les questions de politique industrielle, technologique et de R&D, selon des problématiques transversales ou sectorielles : industrie aéronautique, spatiale, drones, industrie pharmaceutique, automobile, construction navale, industrie d'armement terrestre, énergie, nanotechnologies et tout autre domaine de haute technologie pertinent.

Au cours de ce cycle interviendront des dirigeants d'entreprise, hommes politiques et hauts responsables ministériels, chercheurs et spécialistes de ces questions, afin de favoriser une meilleure compréhension des visions française et allemande sur ces enjeux, et de susciter un débat sur les possibles convergences entre les politiques de la France et de l'Allemagne.

Le Cerfa organisera trois ou quatre manifestations par an, en lien éventuellement avec l'actualité et selon un format flexible : petits-déjeuners débats, séminaires d'une demi-journée, ouverts au publics ou restreints en fonction de la sensibilité des thèmes et des intervenants pressentis.

Pour toute information complémentaire : 090701IFRI_cycle-franco-allemand-hautes-technologies.pdf 090701IFRI_cycle-franco-allemand-hautes-technologies.pdf

 

 

 

 

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24 mai 2009 7 24 /05 /mai /2009 22:46

A quoi ressemble le budget de l'Union européenne ?


Le budget de l'UE est publié en deux volumes dans toutes les langues officielles de l'Union. Le volume I donne une description détaillée des recettes budgétaires de l'UE, ainsi que des recettes et des dépenses de chacune des institutions, outre la Commission européenne, dans des sections classées en fonction de leur ordre d'apparition dans les traités. Le budget couvre le Parlement européen (section I), le Conseil (section II), la Cour de justice (section IV), la Cour des comptes européenne (section V), le Comité économique et social européen (section VI), le Comité des régions (section VII), le Médiateur européen (section VIII) et le Contrôleur européen de la protection des données (section IX). Le volume II couvre toutes les recettes et dépenses de la Commission (section III) liées aux politiques de l'UE. Les crédits inscrits dans les sections autres que la section III sont de nature administrative.

Le budget de l'UE est également accessible sous
forme électronique.


Les documents pertinents sont publiés régulièrement à partir du moment où la Commission présente l'avant projet de budget fin avril ou début mai, jusqu'à la publication du budget arrêté, en février de l'année concernée. Des
informations plus détaillées sont disponibles.


Une structure fondée sur les domaines politiques


Les crédits destinés aux politiques de l'UE, c'est à dire le budget opérationnel, sont contenus dans le volume II (section III - Commission européenne). Depuis 2004, cette section est fondée sur les activités (EBA est un raccourci pour «établissement du budget sur la base des activités»); le budget est divisé en 30 domaines politiques environ, chacun d'eux étant décrit dans un titre spécifique. Chaque titre est ensuite décomposé en chapitres (chacun correspondant à une activité), qui peuvent à leur tour être divisés en articles, et ces derniers peuvent eux mêmes, le cas échéant, être subdivisés en postes.


L'équivalence entre activité et chapitre établit le lien entre les politiques et les ressources qui leur sont nécessaires. Le coût de chaque politique peut ainsi être estimé à partir du budget. La Commission fixe des objectifs pour chaque activité dans ses plans de gestion annuels.


Un lien étroit avec les rubriques du cadre financier


L'établissement du budget par activités (EBA) est complété par une définition de chaque article ou poste budgétaire conformément aux rubriques du cadre financier. Les tableaux annexés à l'accord interinstitutionnel du 17 mai 2006 sur la «la discipline budgétaire et la bonne gestion financière» sont ainsi respectés. Les informations budgétaires sont également disponibles en fonction des rubriques du cadre financier.


Le tableau du cadre financier présente une répartition des dépenses budgétaires de la Communauté en grandes catégories ou rubriques, décomposées dans certains cas en sous rubriques.


Le cadre financier actuel (2007-2013) comprend six rubriques:


  • 1. Croissance durable
    • 1a. La compétitivité pour la croissance et l'emploi
    • 1b. La cohésion pour la croissance et l'emploi
  • 2. Préservation et gestion des ressources naturelles
  • 3. Citoyenneté, liberté, sécurité et justice
    • 3a. Liberté, sécurité et justice
    • 3b. Citoyenneté
  • 4. L'Union européenne en tant qu'acteur mondial
  • 5. Administration
  • 6. Compensations (relatif à l’élargissement de l’Union le plus récent)


    Pour les détails chiffrés du budget 2009 : http://ec.europa.eu/budget/budget_detail/index_fr.htm
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24 mai 2009 7 24 /05 /mai /2009 10:20
Dear you all,

Those wishing to know more about Lobbying and Networking in Brussels can find useful information in my two books Lobbying in Brussels (2006) and Networking in Brussels (2009).

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As I have just updated my website (www.goergen.be) I give you the opportunity to acquire these books at special rates! Getting them is also a way to support my writing that has always been dedicated to EU matters, EU regions, local authorities as well as EU networks.

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Best regards,
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Author


Rue du Lambais, 75
1390 Grez-Doiceau
Belgium
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23 mai 2009 6 23 /05 /mai /2009 21:54

Everybody is talking about the first 100 days of Barack Obama. And there's a lot to talk about. Like a young bull he stormed into the arena. A deluge of new ideas in every direction, a tsunami of practical initiatives, some of which have already begun to be implemented. Clearly he had been thinking about them for a long time and intended to put them into practice from his first moment in office. He put his team together long ago, and his people started to act even before his triumphal entrance to the White House.


During the first days he appointed the ministers, most of whom he had designated long before - this seems to be an effective cabinet, whose members are up to their tasks. Everything according to a rule that was laid down long ago : What a new president does not initiate in his first 100 days, he will not accomplish later on. In the beginning everything is easier, because the public is ready for change.


An Israeli cannot, of course, resist comparing Obama to Binyamin Netanyahu, our old-new prime minister, who did not exactly storm into the arena. He crawled into it. One could have expected that Netanyahu would trump even Obama in this respect. After all, he has already been there. Ten years ago he was sitting in the Prime Minister's chair, gathering experience. And from experience - especially bad experience - one can and should learn.


Moreover, Netanyahu's victory was no great surprise. The only unexpected part of the election results was that his opponent, Tzipi Livni, won slightly more votes than he, but not enough to prevent him from attaining - together with his partners - a majority. He had, therefore, a lot of time to prepare for his ascent to power, consult experts, perfect plans in every field, choose his team, think about the appointment of ministers from his own and allied parties.


Yet, incredibly, it appears that nothing, really nothing, of all this happened. No plans, no assistants, no team, no nothing. To this very minute, Netanyahu has not succeeded in putting together his personal team - a fundamental precondition for any effective action. He does not have a chief of staff, a most important position. In his office, chaos reigns supreme. The choice of ministers threw up one scandal after another. Not only did he put together a hideously bloated cabinet (39 ministers and deputy ministers, most of them flaunting fictitious titles) but almost all the important ministries are stuck with totally unsuited persons.


At a time of world-wide economic crisis he appointed to the Treasury a minister who has no idea about economics, apparently thinking that he himself would manage the treasury - quite impossible for a man who is responsible for the state as a whole. The Ministry of Health got an orthodox rabbi as deputy minister. In the middle of a world-wide epidemic, we have no minister of health, and according to law the prime minister has to exercise this function, too. In almost all the other ministries - from Transportation to Tourism - there are incumbents who know nothing about their fields of responsibility and don't even pretend to be interested in them - they are just waiting for an opportunity to move on to higher and better things.


No need to waste many words on the appointment of Avigdor Lieberman to the Foreign Ministry. This professional scandalmonger provokes a daily scandal in this most sensitive area of government. The bull in the china shop has already succeeded into turning all the diplomats into small bullocks, each of which is running about and smashing the dishes in his vicinity. At the moment, they are busy messing up Israel's relations with the EU. All these appointments look like the desperate efforts of a cynical politician who does not care about anything other than returning to power, and then quickly putting together a cabinet, whatever its composition, paying any price to any party prepared to join him, sacrificing even the most vital interests of the state.


As far as plans are concerned, Netanyahu does not resemble Obama either. He has come to power without any plans in any field. One gets the impression that he has spent his years in opposition with his head in hibernation. A week ago he presented a grandiose " economic plan " for saving our economy from the ravages of the world economic crisis. Economists raised their eyebrows. The "plan" consists of little more than a collection of tired old slogans and a tax on cigarettes. His embarrassed assistants stuttered that it was only a " general outline " not yet a plan, and that now they would start working on a real plan. The public did not really worry about the lack of an economic plan. They have faith in improvisation, the wondrous Israeli talent that makes up for the inability to plan anything. But in the political field, the situation is even worse. Because there the unpreparedness of Netanyahu meets the overpreparedness of Obama.


Obama has a plan for the restructuring of the Middle East, and one of its elements is an Israeli-Palestinian peace based on " Two States for Two Peoples ". Netanyahu argues that he is not in a position to respond, because he has no plan of his own yet. After all, he is quite new in office. Now he is working on such a plan. Very soon, in a week, or a month, or a year, he will have a plan, a real plan, and he will present it to Obama. Of course, Netanyahu has a plan. It consists of one word, which he learned from his mentor, Yitzhak Shamir : " No ". Or, more precisely, NO NO NO - the three no's of the Israeli Khartoum : No peace, No withdrawal, No negotiations. (It will be remembered that the 1967 Arab summit conference in Khartoum, right after the Six Day War, adopted a similar resolution.) The " plan " which he is working on does not really concern the essence of this policy, but only the packaging. How to present to Obama something that will not sound like " no " but rather like "yes, but." Something that all the serfs of the Israeli lobby in Congress and the media can swallow painlessly.


As a taster for the "plan," Netanyahu has already presented one of its ingredients : The demand that the Palestinians and other Arabs must recognize Israel as " the State of the Jewish People ". Most of the media in Israel and abroad have distorted this demand and reported that Netanyahu requires the recognition of Israel as a " Jewish State ". Either from ignorance or laziness, they obliterated the important difference between the two formulas. This difference is immense. A " Jewish State " is one thing, a "State of the Jewish People" is something radically different. A " Jewish State " can mean a state with a majority of citizens who define themselves as Jews and/or a state whose main language is Hebrew, whose main culture is Jewish, whose weekly rest day is Saturday, which serves only Kosher food in the Knesset cafeteria, etc.


A "State of the Jewish People" is a completely different story. It means that the state belongs not only to its citizens, but to something that is called " the Jewish People " - something that exists both inside and outside of the country. That can have wide-ranging implications. For instance : The abrogation of the citizenship of non-Jews, as proposed by Lieberman. Or the conferring of Israeli citizenship on all the Jews in the world, whether they want it or not. The first question that arises is : What does " the Jewish People " mean ? The term "people" - "am" in Hebrew, Volk in German - has no accepted precise definition. Generally it is taken to mean a group of human beings who live in a specific territory and speak a specific language. The "Jewish People" is not like that. Two hundred years ago it was clear that the Jews were a religious community dispersed throughout the world and united by religious beliefs and myths (including the belief in a common ancestry).


The Zionists were determined to change this self-perception. "We are a people, one people," Theodor Herzl, the founder of Zionism, wrote in German, using the word Volk. The idea of " the State of the Jewish People " is decidedly anti-Zionist. Herzl did not dream of a situation in which a Jewish State and a Jewish Diaspora would coexist. According to his plan, all the Jews who wish to remain Jews would immigrate to their state. The Jews who prefer to live outside the state would stop being Jews and be absorbed into their host nations, finally becoming real Germans, Britons and Frenchmen. The vision of the " Visionary of the State " (as he is officially designated in Israel) was supposed, when put into practice, to bring about the disappearance of the Jewish Diaspora - the Jewish people outside the " Judenstaat ". David Ben-Gurion was a partner to this vision. He stated that a Jew who does not immigrate to Israel is not a Zionist and should not enjoy any rights in Israel, except the right to immigrate there. He demanded the dismantling of the Zionist organization, seeing in it only the " scaffolding " for building the state. Once the state has been set up, he thought quite rightly, the scaffolding should be discarded.


Netanyahu's demand that the Palestinians recognize Israel as "the State of the Jewish People" is ridiculous, even as a tactic for preventing peace. A state recognizes a state, not its ideology or political regime. Nobody recognizes Saudi Arabia, the homeland of the Hajj, as " the State of the Muslim Umma " (the community of believers.) Moreover, the demand puts the Jews all over the world in an impossible position. If the Palestinians have to recognize Israel as "the State of the Jewish People," then all the governments in the world must do the same. The United States, for example. That means that the Jewish US citizens Rahm Emmanuel and David Axelrod, Obama's closest advisors, are officially represented by the government of Israel. The same goes for the Jews in Russia, the UK and France. Even if Mahmoud Abbas were persuaded to accept this demand - and thereby indirectly put in doubt the citizenship of a million and a half Arabs in Israel - I would oppose this strenuously. More than that, I would consider it an unfriendly act.


The character of the State of Israel must be decided by the citizens of Israel (who hold a wide range of opinions about this matter). Pending before the Israeli courts is an application by dozens of Israeli patriots, including myself, who demand that the state recognize the " Israeli nation ". We request the court to instruct the government to register us in the official Population Registration, under the heading "nation," as Israelis. The government refuses adamantly and insists that our nation is Jewish. I ask Mahmoud Abbas, Obama and everyone else who is not an Israeli citizen not to interfere in this domestic debate.

   

Netanyahu knows, of course, that nobody will take his demand seriously. It is quite obviously just another device to avoid serious peace negotiations. If he is compelled to drop it, it will not be long before he comes up with another. To paraphrase Groucho Marx : " This is my pretext. If you don't like it, well, I have a lot of others."

Uri Avnery is an Israeli peace activist who has advocated the setting up of a Palestinian state alongside Israel. He served three terms in the Israeli parliament (Knesset), and is the founder of Gush Shalom (Peace Bloc)

Article paru le 5 mai 2009 sur le site dailytimes.com.pk :
http://dailytimes.com.pk/default.asp?page=2009%5C05%5C05%5Cstory_5-5-2009_pg3_4

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23 mai 2009 6 23 /05 /mai /2009 15:01

Pour vous la faire découvrir, je vous invite à prendre connaissance de ce qu'en disent trois des personnalités invitées par Frédéric et Marie-Isabelle Taddéï, les producteurs et présentateurs de D'Art d'art dans ses versions TV et Bouquin, a faire connaitre leur sentiment à leur égard dans le sommaire du livre superbe qui rassemble les documents de cette superbe émission d'art !

Selon Rose-Hélène Iché :

D'Art d'art, c'est l'histoire d'une oeuvre d'art et toujours un bon moment devant son poste de télévision. Passionnée, érudite et pédagogique, la narration est toujours au service de l'oeuvre et de l'artiste. Les problématiques sont abordées sans parti pris et toujours bien documentées. Sobre et clair, Frédéric Taddéï valorise réellement son propos par sa diction syncopée et dynamique. Les plans rapprochés, les travellings nous permettent de nous approcher au plus près de la matière. Depuis sa création, la qualité n'a pas faibli. Une belle leçon dans cet univers parfois bien superficiel de la télévision. "

Selon Daniel Buren :

"
 Difficile de faire plus court : informer, éduquer, ne pas vulagriser et tout ceci en deux minutes ! Impossible d'être bavard. Impossible de tourner autour du pot. Impossible même d'être superficiel. Il faut être fulgurant et juste, toujours. Sinon, rien ! Tour de force de concision qui, d'émission en émission, tient son pari et arrive même bien souvent à nous mettre l'eau à la bouche. Alors, bien souvent, on voudrait en savoir plus. Aller plus loin. On y va donc et l'on recherche à son tour. Un morceau de bravoure à la télévision sous forme de gageure à une heure de grande écoute et qui prend ceux qui regarde pour des êtres intelligents. C'est simple, chaleureux, admiratif. De la culture sans pédanterie ni concession. On en redemande ! ".

Selon Pierre Soulages :

"  Ce qui importe c'est de créer le désir. Le désir d'aller voir. Cette émision est une des premières entrées possibles avant le vrai regard, celui que chacun seul peut porter sur une oeuvre. Emission très utile et même, par les temps actuels, nécessaire. "

Si vous voulez avoir une idée plus précise de la qualité de cette émission d'art la plus regardée au monde, allez donc y faire un petit tour à partir du lien que propose ce blog.

Je vous souhaite un excellent voyage au pays où la culture n'a rien de grandiloquent et de superfétatoire ! 



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21 mai 2009 4 21 /05 /mai /2009 10:30

Alors que vient d'expirrer, mercredi 13 mai, le délai imparti pour le dépôt des demandes d'extension de la souveraineté sur le plateau continental, il m'est apparu nécessaire de refaire le point sur les enjeux maritimes et les raisons qui justifient un rôle accru de l'Union européenne, en tant que première puissance maritime mondiale.

A l'heure actuelle, trois Etats de l'Union européenne, la France, le Royaume-Uni et le Danemark, exercent leur souveraineté sur une zone économique exclusive (ZEE) couvrant 16 millions de km², loin devant les Etats-Unis (12 millions de km²), l'Australie (9 millions de km²), la Russie (8millions de km²), l'Indonésie et le Canada (6 millions de km²). Dans la ZEE, les Etats exercent une pleine souveraineté sur le milieu marin et sous-marin, même si le droit de la mer accorde le libre passage aux navires battant un autre pavillon. La Convention de Montego Bay signée en 1982 autorise les Etats à étendre leur souveraineté sur le plateau continental (sans jamais dépasser 350 miles à partir de la ligne de côte) " à des fins d'exploitation des ressources naturelles, énergétiques, minérales ou biologiques ". Dans le même temps, souligne un expert de l'IFREMER, elle confère aux Etats de nouvelles responsabilités en termes de protection de l'environnement et impose un certain partage des richesses (après 5 ans, un pourcentage - jusqu'à 70 ù - des revenus provenant de l'exploitation du sol et du sous-sol devra être versé sur un fonds géré par l'Autorité internationale des fonds marins marins pour aider les pays en développement). Les demandes d'extension formulées par la France couvrent environ 1 million de km² supplémentaires, mais bien d'autres Etats de l'Union ont présenté des demandes, certains, comme le Portugal et l'Espagne, [récemment]. dans le golfe de Gascogne, l'Espagne, la France, le Royaume-Uni et l'Irlande ont présenté une demande conjointe couvrant 80 000 km², à charge pour eux de s'entendre ultérieurement sur le partage de cette zone. cette coopération s'explique par le fait que la commission des limites du plateau continental (CLPC) n'examine que les demandes qui ne font l'objet d'aucune contestation de la part d'un Etat souverain. Dans l'Arctique où des revendications opposent acturellement le Danemark, la Norvège, la Russie, le Canada et les Etats-Unis, les dossiers sont ainsi bloqués et des négociations s'imposent à ces Etats. Ailleurs, la France a choisi de se réserver, par une lettre d'intention, la possibilité de faire valoir ses droits sur le plateau continental de SaintPierre et Miquelon afin de ne pas envenimer ses relations avec le Canada voisin.

Dans cet immense espace maritime (plus de 16 millions de km²), les enjeux sont multiples, couvrant les activités de la pêche, l'exploitation des sels, minéraux, hydrocarbures ... à l'avenir sans doute aussi certains métaux précieux, nodules poly métalliques, voire des bactéries présentes dans les fonds marins. S'y ajoutent les défis que représentent la sécurisation des activités et du trafic maritimes, la protection de la biodiversité, la lutte contre la pêche illégale et les trafics en tous genres, la lutte contre la pollution, la protection des installations off-shore. Ce seul énoncé suffit à convaincre que les trois pays de l'Union disposant des plus vastes domaines maritimes ne sont pas à même d'y répondre seuls. Devant nous s'ouvre une formidable aventure. Les Européens ont tout à y gagner. Ils doivent s'y engager dès maintenant, de façon solidaire et responsable. 

(Article paru dans EUROPE DIPLOMATIE & DEFENSE, le bulletin de l'Agence Europe sur la PESD et l'Otan, édition n ° 225 datée du 14 mai 2009)

Voir également sur ce blog :

* Délimitation des espaces marins et relations internationales : une note de l'ISEMAR

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21 mai 2009 4 21 /05 /mai /2009 08:44

Regards-citoyens présente ci-après cet article du Professeur Peter Harrison publié dans la revue Canadian Public Executive sous le titre " Cooling down Arctic Rhetoric ", en mai 2009.

" Geopolitics of Arctic. Having ignored the Arctic for so long, especially after the era of  “exploration”, non-Arctic nations have suddenly been bitten by the “gold rush” bug. The US Geological Survey has estimated that over 25% of the world’s remaining hydrocarbons are in the Arctic, and there are a number of estimates of sizeable and untapped fish stocks in the Arctic Ocean.
Growing interest


In the space of just a few years, the Arctic has gone from being totally ignored to being the flashpoint for a new form of geopolitics. International interest in the Arctic is heating up because, to put it simply, the Arctic is heating up. As the sea ice melts because of the impact of global warming, access to the Arctic Ocean and Arctic shorelines is becoming ever more feasible. While this is of direct interest and potential benefit to the Arctic coastal states – Canada, the US, Russia, Norway and Denmark/Greenland – the sudden interest being shown by many other nations and groupings (e.g. the European Union) is nothing less than astonishing. In recent months there has been a frenzy of policy activity, particularly in Europe, as different players envisage the potential for increased shipping activity, resource development, and the need for enhanced environmental protection.


Having ignored the Arctic for so long, especially after the era of “exploration”, non-Arctic nations have suddenly been bitten by the “gold rush” bug. The US Geological Survey has estimated that over 25% of the world’s remaining hydrocarbons are in the Arctic, and there are a number of estimates of sizeable and untapped fish stocks in the Arctic Ocean. There are many who would like to access these resources, even though the rhetoric is often couched as noble objectives such as the “need to save the polar bear”. While the current level of interest in Arctic issues is high, the level of ignorance is perhaps even higher.


There is a tendency to confuse Arctic issues with those in the Antarctic, and this is largely because many countries maintain a significant scientific presence in the Antarctic in order to preserve their “claim” to a slice of the Continent. The Antarctic is a continent covered in ice, surrounded by the ocean, and is uninhabited. The Arctic, however is an ocean covered in ice, surrounded by land masses which are part of sovereign states. These are enormously important differences. In recent weeks I have addressed a number of audiences in several European capitals composed of Parliamentarians and key decision-makers. In each instance it has been important to underline the fact that the Arctic – especially in Canada - is not terra incognita, and that our Arctic regions have been inhabited successfully for millennia by the Inuit and Arctic Athabaskan peoples. It has been equally necessary to note that the Canadian Arctic is part of Canada and is subject to all the laws and regulations of the land – in other words, it is governed. Indeed, in the last thirty years land claims north of 60 have been settled for an area almost the size of the expanded European Union, and the Territory of Nunavut was created ten years ago. This progress is not well-known in Canada, and is even less so abroad. Perhaps this is why so many otherwise informed people want to seize the opportunity to become involved in “sorting things out” in the Arctic !


Canada’s renewed Arctic focus
 

In the last few years the Government of Canada has given the highest priority to our Arctic, especially under the rubric of “sovereignty”, The Government’s “Northern Strategy” has been outlined in several Speeches From the Throne (especially October 16, 2007), as well as in major speeches by the Prime Minister, the Minister of Indian and Northern Affairs and – most recently – by the Minister of Foreign Affairs (Whitehorse, March 11, 2009) who underscored the international dimensions of the strategy. Canada supports dialogue with other Arctic nations (e.g. Russia) and the strengthening of the Arctic Council of which Canada was the first chair (the Council is composed of the eight Arctic States : Canada, the US, Russia, Finland, Sweden, Norway, Denmark/Greenland and Iceland and permanent representatives of Arctic indigenous peoples ; other jurisdictions are now clamouring to be observers and/or to move from observer to member status). As part of the strategy significant investments are under way in military capacity in the north – an increase in the number of Arctic Rangers ; a military training centre at Resolute ; new ice-capable patrol vessels ; and a deep-water port at Nanisivik.


Infrastructure is being bolstered in a number of ways, particularly with the plan to build a new heavy class icebreaker to replace the CCGS Louis S. St-Laurent. Science activities have been promoted through the recent investment in the International Polar Year (IPY) ($156 million over six years) and the commitment to build a world-class High Arctic Research Stations in Nunavut, thus building on existing investments such as Arcticnet and the CCGS Amundsen, Canada’s research icebreaker. Significant resources have also be provided to complete geomapping of potential mineralised zones in the north, and for the delimitation of Canada’s continental shelf. The recent “stimulus” Budget (28 January, 2009) also invested heavily in health facilities and housing in the North, as well as in re-furbishing existing science facilities ($85 million over two years). On the regulatory front the Arctic Waters Pollution Prevention Act, which came into force in 1970 in response to the transit of the Manhattan through the Northwest Passage in the previous year, will be updated and its application extended from 100 nautical miles to 200 nautical miles to be coterminous with our Exclusive Economic Zone as defined in both the Oceans Act and UNCLOS. Also, vessels will now be required to register with the Canadian Coast Guard (NORDREG) prior to entering Canadian Arctic waters.


For those of us who have been involved in northern and Arctic issues for the last several decades, and for residents of the three Territories (Yukon, Northwest Territories and Nunavut) and sub-Arctic regions of the Provinces, this re-affirmation of Canada as a leading Arctic nation is welcome indeed.


Other nations are “getting in the game”


So what is it that other nations are up to ? In the last few months a number of important policy statements have been published. In the week prior to his departure, President Bush issued a Presidential Directive on Arctic security matters in which the traditional US positions are repeated in strong terms – the Northwest Passage is an international waterway ; the boundary dispute with Canada in the Beaufort Sea should be given priority ; the Arctic Council should be strengthened ; the US should ratify the United Nations Convention on the law of the Sea (UNCLOS) ; and there is no need for further Treaty-making in the Arctic. The European Commission, following a meeting of EU foreign Ministers in Monaco, which was called during the French Presidency of the EU, has prepared a draft “policy document” for consideration by the European Parliament. France has decided to create an “observatoire” for the Arctic under the aegis of the Conseil National de Recherche Scientifique” (CNRS) and has recently appointed a former Prime Minister (Michel Rocard) as special Ambassador for Arctic and Antarctic issues. Most recently Russia has published its own Arctic policy in which it has set the objective that its resource-rich Arctic territories will become the driving force of the Russian economy within the next decade. The policy also lays out the intent to have significant military presence in the Arctic. Given the media-catching planting of a titanium Russian flag on the seabed at the North Pole, and given recent Russian incursions into other jurisdictions, the focus has been on Russia’s military intentions in the Arctic and has missed their commitment to applying existing international law – particularly UNCLOS.


The concern about pressure from outside led the foreign Ministers of the five Arctic coastal states (Canada, the US, Russia, Norway and Denmark/Greenland) to issue an important joint declaration (the Ilulissat Declaration, May 28, 2008) in which the five states indicate their intention to apply existing laws and Conventions based on sound science, especially for the delimitation of seabed jurisdiction (UNCLOS). They also underscore that existing domestic law and relevant international Conventions, instruments and institutions provide a sufficient basis for dealing with Arctic Ocean issues - and that there is no need for a new “Treaty” which is being peddled by some.


Relations with our Arctic Neighbours


There are many issues facing Canada in the Arctic, both domestic and international. However, it is important to underline the fact other than the 1.3 sq. Km. Hans Island in the Kennedy Channel between Ellesmere Island and Greenland, there is no challenge o Canada’s sovereignty and jurisdiction over the land mass in the Arctic (the Hans Island issue is about who owns the island ; the surrounding maritime boundaries have been settled and agreed to in a Treaty between Canada and Denmark in 19 ). The major issues between Canada, its Arctic neighbours, and other nations all relate to the marine area. Two small parcels of territory are disputed with Denmark/Greenland in the Lincoln Sea (resulting from the accuracy of maps), and Canada and the US have differences over their maritime boundary in the Beaufort Sea (noted above) – which is only one of almost 400 similar situations around the world. Other than this the two key matters are the status of the Northwest Passage and the extension of Canada’s jurisdiction over the seabed and sedentary species.


The Northwest Passage


The Northwest Passage is the stuff of myth and emotion – the dream of many European explorers, rulers and investors to find a shorter route to Asia. Much has been spent on exploration over the centuries, and many lives have been lost. However, the Northwest Passages (there are several different routes) have been trading routes, the source of subsistence, and home for the Inuit for many millennia and have been constantly used and occupied. To repeat the point – it is not terra incognita. However, with receding and thinning ice in recent years, the prospect of access to the Passage, and even transit (only a handful of non-indigenous vessels have ever made it across the entirety of the Passage), has revived interest in its potential. Increased access will make resource development such as mining that much easier, and there is already an impact on tourism (especially cruise ships). There is now a need to ensure that these waters are charted, and that the necessary navigational aids are in place. Environmental change, through global warming, is pushing the need for infrastructure development.


But to whom does the Northwest Passage belong ? Here again it is important to underline a significant, but often overlooked fact. There is no challenge to Canada’s ownership of the Northwest Passage. What is in potential dispute is how the water column is used. Canada has drawn straight baselines around the Arctic shoreline (the archipelago) from which our 200 nautical mile Exclusive Economic Zone (EEZ) is calculated, and considers the Northwest Passage to be “internal waters” which come under the exclusive control of Canada. Others, particularly the United States, apply a different doctrine and argue that the Passage is an “international strait” where Canadian rules apply but the principle of “innocent passage” applies (thus arguing that therefore there is no need to seek Canada’s permission to transit) applies. Much has been made of this difference of view. In reality there have been very few transits of the passage, and mostly by icebreakers. While Canada and the US have agreed to differ on the status of the Northwest Passage, and will continue to do so, the US in fact seeks Canada’s permission (e.g. for its icebreakers) and Canada automatically grants it.


The seabed is not being “grabbed”


The bigger emerging issue is – who owns the Arctic Ocean seabed, and who will have control over the resources beneath ? This has given rise to a lot of rhetoric about how the Arctic coastal nations are “slicing things up between themselves”, and doomsday scenarios about the impact on the environment of “uncontrolled development”, and has led to calls for a broader set of international controls. The fact is, as underlined in the Ilulissat Declaration, the Arctic coastal states have every intention of applying the rule of law. The existing Exclusive Economic (and Fisheries Management) Zones of the Arctic coastal states as defined pursuant to the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea effectively close of the centre of the Arctic Ocean. The management of the resulting “doughnut hole” of the high seas should certainly be the subject of international dialogue, even if management regimes can be created under existing mechanisms, including the International Maritime Organization (IMO).


Regarding the seabed, Article 76 of UNCLOS allows coastal states to extend their jurisdiction beyond their 200 nautical mile EEZ “to the outer limits of the Continental Shelf” based on scientific proof of the “natural prolongation of the land mass”. The Canadian scientific analysis is well under way under the direction of the Geological Survey of Canada (Bedford Institute of Oceanography) in cooperation with the Canadian Hydrographic Survey (DFO), the Department of Foreign Affairs, and others. In addition, Article 234 of the Convention (the “Canada Article”) allows for special protection of ice-covered waters. These provisions apply equally to all those who have ratified the Convention, which Canada did in 2003, and those who have yet to ratify it but respect its intent (particularly the US). Article 76 does not discriminate between different ocean environments, and all coastal jurisdictions have the right to maximize their claim, with a total possible claim of 350 nautical miles from the baseline or 100 nautical miles from the 2500 metre isobath (line of constant depth) - whichever is most favourable. But herein lies the rub – if each of the Arctic Ocean coastal states extends its jurisdiction to the maximum extent possible, and they will, virtually all of the Arctic Ocean seabed will be within one national jurisdiction or another. Two deep ocean areas – one in the Canada Basin, the other in the Amundsen Basin – will be all that is left of the Arctic Ocean seabed “commons”, and it is unlikely that these ice-covered areas will see development any time soon.


This may seem unfair to some jurisdictions, and perhaps this is the driver behind the desire to develop “other forms of governance”. The fact is that this is the result of applying the law and attendant rules which were negotiated with the world community over several decades. It is not “free-lancing”, and it is certainly not “slicing things up” in an uncontrolled way. If there is to be a “gold rush” it will be within existing sovereign jurisdictions and it is to be hoped that all of them, like Canada, will implement sound regulations governing eventual resource development.


Given the renewed interest in the Arctic and the willingness of a variety of countries and their desire “to be involved”, the question is – so what really is the challenge, and how can they contribute ? The answer is in two ways. First of all there has always been significant cooperation on Arctic science, and much more needs to be known. This can be enhanced even further as countries like China and South Korea (which is shortly launching a new science icebreaker which will see service in both the Arctic and the Antarctic) develop their capacity. Canada’s new High Arctic Research Station can be the mechanism for such cooperation, and models such as the recently signed Memorandum of Understanding with the United Kingdom to cooperate in the use of facilities and exchange of scientists can be developed. The second area for cooperation is a lot more practical. If there were to be an environmental disaster in the Arctic basin – such as a pipeline breaking or a vessel sinking – it is doubtful if any one country could deal with this in isolation. It would thus be highly desirable for the international community to build on the forthcoming Arctic Council “Arctic Marine Shipping Assessment” and ongoing work by the International Maritime Organization (IMO) to develop practical strategies for enhanced search and rescue and environmental clean-up in the Arctic Ocean.


Our home and native land


The idea that all of the Arctic Ocean is “open to everyone” is quite pervasive. At the end of a recent presentation I made to French lawmakers and officials, which included the points made above, I was asked by the representative of a major French newspaper (who clearly hadn’t listened) “why should the world ‘entrust’ the Arctic to Canada ?” My answer was simple : “parce-que c’est chez nous”.


Copyright 2009-Harrison/Canadian Public Executive


Since 1st June, 2008 Dr. Peter Harrison (PhD, University of Washington) has been the Skelton-Clark Fellow (Queen’s University, Canada). Prior to this he was Senior Associate Deputy Minister of Indian and Northern Affairs Canada where he was responsible for the Northern Affairs Program (NAP) and the Inuit Relations Secretariat (IRS).

 
Pour la carte de l’Arctique diffusée dans le cadre de l’Année polaire internationale 2007-2009, voir http://www.ipy-api.gc.ca/.


Source : www.diploweb.com


Voir également sur ce blog :

* Délimitation des espaces marins et relations internationales : une note de l'ISEMAR

* La Commission européenne, le Conseil et le Parlement européen divergent sur les modalités de protection de l'Arctique

* Les enjeux maritimes représentent un formidable défi pour l'Union européenne, par Olivier Jehin (Agence Europe)

* Le Canada publie le premier atlas géologique complet de l'Arctique

* L'Arctique figure au coeur des débats du Parlement européen

* La piraterie maritime dans le monde, par Alain Rodier
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21 mai 2009 4 21 /05 /mai /2009 07:42

La crise financière et l'élection de Barack Obama à la présidence des Etats-Unis offrent à l'Union européenne l'occasion de faire le point et éventuellement de modifier les relations avec ce grand allié, en remplaçant le New Transatlantic Agenda de 1995 par un nouvel accord mieux adapté aux réalités du moment. C'est la conviction du rapporteur de la commission des affaires étrangères du Parlement européen, l'Espagnol Francisco Millàn Mon (PPE-DE), qui estime que les conditions n'ont jamais été aussi propices pour le renforcement de la coopération transatlantique. La nouvelle administration américaine est consciente du fait qu'elle ne peut agir isolément dans le monde, et l'Union s'est élargie par rapport à 1995, et sera renforcée dans ses compétences par le Traité de Lisbonne : ceci justifie toute une série de changements sur le plan institutionnel. A ceci doit s'ajouter le renforcement de la coopération pratique, des discussions ouvertes sur des thèmes géopolitiques (Pakistan, Afghanistan, Russie), le renforcement du désarmement et de la lutte contre le terrorisme, dans le respect des droits de l'Homme, ainsi que la coopération dans le domaine de la justice et des affaires intérieures.

Selon Alexandr Vondra, l'occasion de vérifier si cette volonté de changement est partagée par le président Obama s'est présentée au cours de la rencontre informelle qu'il a eu avec ce dernier à Prague, en avril, au nom du Conseil de l'Union européenne. M. Vondra se félicite du démarrage " énergique "de la nouvelle administration américaine, avec la volonté de résoudre les problèmes économiques mais aussi d'aborder des questions délicates telles que la fermeture de Guantanamo ou la recherche d'une solution au conflit au Proche-Orient. Ce changement de ton doit être suivi par des résultats concrets sur toute une série de sujets d'intérêt commun : 

  - sécurité énergétique et changement climatique ;

  - crise économique et financière : la réforme et la supervision du système financier doivent se daire en évitant toute distorsion de concurrence sur le marché transatlantique ;

  - Afghanistan ;: les attaques terroristes en Europe et aux Etats-Unis trouvent elur origine dans ce pays, et il fait l'expliquer aux citoyens, insiste M. Vondra, en rappelant que, le 10 mars 2009, le vice-président Joe Biden a clairement fait comprendre aux alliés européens qu'il s'attend à ce que leur engagement de pricnipe soit accompagné par la mise à disposition de ressources concrètes.

La Commission européenne est également favorable à un renforcement des relations avec les Etats-Unis, a confirmé Mme Benita Ferrero-Waldner : de tous ses contacts avec l'administration américaine, notamment avec Hillary Clinton et Joe Biden, elle retient l'impression que l'Union est leur " partenaire de choix en ce qui concerne la fiabilité ". L'Union doit être ce paratenaire fiable face aux défis de la politique internationale et de l'économie transatlantique (la moitié de la production et des échanges dans le monde). Dans cette relation transatlantique renouvelée, " les législateurs auront un rôle crucial ", a affirmé Mme Ferrero-Waldner. Les membres du Parlement européen, qui ont déjà des relations suivies avec la Chambre des Représentants, devraient aussi cultiver les relations avec le Sénat, selon la Commissaire.

Lors de l'examen de son rapport en plénière, le 26 mars 2009, Francisco Millàn Mon a été largement suivi par le Parlement européen. 

Quelques commentaires méritent néanmoins d'être soulignés : le Roumain Adrian Severin (groupe socialiste) souligne qu'une coopération transatlantique renforcée ne doit pas être perçue comme une " alliance contre la Russie " ; la Britannique Sarah Ludford (groupe ADLE) a invité les Etats-Unis à fermer Guantanamo mais aussi tous les centres de détention de la CIA, en mettant fin à un " honteux outsourcing de la torture " ; Mme Ludford a soulevé un autre problème particulier, le traitement des non -Américains qui participent aux jeux de hasard online. Je n'ai pas une sympathie particulière pour les joueurs, a dit Mme Ludford, mais j'ai je suis contre les discriminations ; des problèmes immédiats doivent être résolus, a souligné l'Allemande Erika Mann, membre du même groupe, en évoquant les conflits commerciaux (en particulier l'affaire Airbus / Boeing), la sécurité des conteneurs, les industries à grande consommation d'énergie ; le conservateur britannique James Elles a attiré l'attention sur un phénomène qui s'est généralisé au cours des dernières années : l'arrivée en masse de think-tanks américains à Bruxelles, " pour nous dire ce que nous devons faire ", mais demande M. Elles, où sont nos propres think-tanks, en souhaitant un peu plus d'équilibre dans ce domaine ; l'Union ne doit pas se limiter à des revendications vis-à-vis des Etats-Unis, a estimé le social-démocrate allemand Helmut Kuhne : les Européens doivent dire ce qu'ils sont prêts à faire, notamment en ce qui concerne la mission de police en Afghanistan et la reconstruction dans ce pays ; la Pologne a une " dette de reconnaissance " vis-à-vis des Etats-Unis, a rappelé Urszula Gacek (PPE-DE), car ils lui ont permis de devenir membre de l'Otan avant même d'entrer dans l'Union, mais ce soutien n'est pas entièrement automatique. Un petit nombre d'élus s'est montré plus sceptique quant au renforcement des relations transatlantiques, notamment les parlementaires des nouveaux pays membres qui déplorent la politique des Etats-Unis en ce qui concerne les visas : 80 millions d'Européens doivent encore faire la queue devant les consultats américains pour obtenir leur visa, s'est exclamée la Bulgare Dushana Zdravkova (PPE-DE). Le scepticisme du conservateur britannique Geoffrey Van Orden est d'une nature plus fondamentale : il invite les Etats-Unis à " ne pas interprêter le discours européen comme un fait ", mais comme une histoire qui n'est pas partagée par ceux des citoyens européens qui restent attachés à l'idée de souveraineté nationale.

L'administration américaine semble avoir entenu une grande partie des messages que nous lui avons envoyés, a conclu Alexandre Vondra : " dans la phase active du débat, les Européens ne devront pas s'étonner si elle lui demande des engagements concrets, notamment en ce qui concerne l'Afghanistan. Pour être un partenaire crédible dans cette nouvelle phase, l'Europe devra parler d'une seule voix ".

Ce qui est loin d'être acquis, que le Traité de Lisbonne soit ou non ratifié (cf. notamment à l'égard des problèmes de gouvernance de l'Union européenne De la gouvernance de L'Union européenne ! ou encore le dossier en 3 articles dont le premier s'intitule L'Union doit faire face aux nouveaux défis de sa gouvernance (1) ) !

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20 mai 2009 3 20 /05 /mai /2009 09:40

Au-delà de la crise provoquée par le rejet irlandais du Traité de Lisbonne et des priorités affichées de la Présidence française du Conseil de l’Union européenne, une autre échéance majeure pour l’avenir de l’Europe se profile à l’horizon 2008-2009 : celle du réexamen des politiques communes et de leur financement. Les Chefs d’Etat et de gouvernement au Conseil européen de décembre 2005 ont en effet invité la Commission européenne « à entreprendre un réexamen complet et global, couvrant tous les aspects des dépenses de l’UE, y compris la PAC, ainsi que des ressources, y compris la compensation du Royaume-Uni, et à faire rapport en 2008-2009 ». En programmant cette réflexion d’ordre budgétaire, les États membres ont ainsi fixé les termes d’un débat plus large, portant sur l’avenir des politiques de l’UE. Car c’est bien de cela qu’il s’agit : le budget européen n’est pas seulement un instrument financier, il est l’expression d’une volonté partagée et d’un projet européen commun aux 27 Etats membres.
Afin de nourrir la réflexion collective et le débat européen à cette occasion, l’Institut Aspen France a organisé à Paris son troisième Forum européen des think tanks le 19 et 20 septembre 2008, en partenariat avec Notre Europe et la Fondation pour l’Innovation Politique. Selon une méthode d’ores et déjà éprouvée à deux reprises, il a permis à des responsables de haut niveau, aussi bien dans la sphère publique que privée, d’échanger et de construire une approche commune pour faire d’une revue des politiques européennes, dans le cadre de la préparation des nouvelles perspectives financières, le socle d’un nouveau projet européen.
A cette occasion, l'association Notre Europe (http://www.notre-europe.eu/), qui se définit comme un laboratoire d'études dédié à l'unité européenne, a mis sur son site un remarquable document de travail qui rappelle les fondamentaux du budget européen, présente les enjeux principaux de la révision budgétaire 2008/2009, et les place dans la perspective des principaux défis que l’Europe devra relever à l’horizon 2020. 

                http://www.notre-europe.eu/uploads/tx_publication/FETT_-_Note_de_cadrage_FR.pdf 

Son objectif est d’informer et de susciter des réflexions qui pourront nourrir les discussions du troisième Forum européen des think tanks.

J'en conseille la lecture à tous ceux qui ont le souci d'imaginer l'avenir pour mieux le construire et le comprendre !

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20 mai 2009 3 20 /05 /mai /2009 07:31

Les Ministres des Affaires Etrangères des 27 ont  approuvé lundi 18 mai 2009 l'extension de la mission de formation EUJUST Lex en Irak. La mission est ainsi reconduite d'un an. Mais surtout son mandat est étendu, au niveau géographique. Ainsi des recrutements sont en cours pour permettre d'étoffer la mission, directement sur le terrain (jusqu'ici l'essentiel du personnel était basé à Bruxelles ou dans les Etats membres, faisant de nombreuses navettes).

Le personnel serait déployé non seulement à Bagdad, mais également dans les différentes provinces du pays, avec l'espoir que les conditions de sécurité permettent un tel déploiement. La mission continuera de faire de la formation de policiers, de juges et de gardiens de prison, en se concentrant essentiellement sur la chaîne pénale (arrestation, incrimination, détention...)

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Penser pour agir !

" Je préférerai toujours les choses aux mots,
et la pensée à la rime !
 "
 

(Voltaire)

 

" L'homme libre est celui qui n'a pas peur d'aller

jusqu'au bout de sa pensée "

(Léon Blum)

 

"La démocratie est d'abord un état d'esprit"

(Pierre Mendès France)  

 

 

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