Fidest – Agenzia giornalistica/press agency

Quotidiano di informazione – Anno 31 n° 301

Posts Tagged ‘france’

Germany and France Invest in European Battery Production

Posted by fidest press agency su lunedì, 25 marzo 2019

Blackstone Resources AG (SWX: BLS; STU: 4BR, FRA: 4BR, BEB: 4BR) (“Blackstone”) is pleased to announce that it has formally submitted a detailed business plan to the German Federal Ministry for Economic Affairs and Energy (BMWi) to join its battery production subsidy programme. Germany and France have both respectively set up their own 1 billion and 700 million-euro subsidy programmes to facilitate battery production in Europe. This demonstrates that these countries fully support expanding the capacity for battery production in Europe with the aim of making Europe a global leader. Since the European car industry is now strongly committed to rolling out their own lines of fully electric vehicles, this represents an important strategic move.Blackstone along with a number of prominent battery technology firms where invited to summarise their plans and submit their applications for financing to the German Federal Ministry for Economic Affairs and Energy (BMWi). Blackstone’s 100% owned subsidiary based in Erfurt has applied for this particular programme, where one billion euros has been pledged to support Germany’s ambitions to become the world leader in battery technology and production.Blackstone has ambitious goals for the German market. It plans to take full advantage of Germany’s manufacturing prowess and strong innovative culture. Germany’s motivated workforce and additional support from governmental departments and the EU was the decisive factor for Blackstone’s participation.Blackstone will cooperate with additional German partners, which will provide an important platform for further research. This will allow Blackstone to establish a substantial battery-production project in Germany. The aim is to use these new technologies to manufacture the next generation of electric-vehicle batteries, close to where German auto manufacturers are based. EUR 200 million will be invested into this new project, initially from Blackstone’s own funds with the aim to garner further support from Germany’s subsidy programme and similar programmes being launched elsewhere in Europe, such as France.Blackstone’s management team has laid out a number of significant goals and milestone that it wishes to achieve in the German market.The first is to create battery manufacturing facilities in close proximity to major German auto makers. Its aim it to offer an initial capacity of 100 million battery cells per annum or approximately 1 gigawatt per annum (which is the equivalent of 25,000 to 100,000 electric-vehicle batteries) at lower costs than what is presently produced by China. Once successfully achieved, plans will be drawn up to increase production substantially.The second is to create an incubator fund and accelerator fund for numerous start-ups and academic research projects across Europe. In addition, Blackstone will cooperate with prominent universities from various cities. Blackstone has already conducted detailed due diligence on a number of highly promising projects and has started the evaluation process.

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The recent street riots in France make us reflect

Posted by fidest press agency su giovedì, 20 dicembre 2018

The French have for some years discovered the true face of their president. A man who is arid and only worried about ingratiating himself with the powerful of the world. It is the birth of a political class, and not only French, which wants to preserve its primacy at the expense of the poorer classes. But can you govern regardless?
From this, the rulers of the various countries should be aware of this when they prepare the techniques for managing the present without looking out of the window to look beyond.
This is a serious mistake that makes us escape from reality and digs a furrow between the real country and its rulers. It is a flaw that can be paid at a high price because we make possible another conviction, in my opinion very deviant as fascinating as it is possible to do without the politics represented by the parties.
It is an idea, I must admit, that fascinates me and on which I have reflected for a long time, even though I reject it because I consider it an extremely dangerous logic capable of causing, in the long run, more damage than advantages.
On the contrary, I am inclined to believe that there may be an alternative, especially in those countries with “unfinished democracy” such as Italy, and France seems, in this sense, to want to take a parallel path, where it would impose a ” dictatorship “in time to put back those reforms that are systematically blocked by the vetoes crossed by the opposing and corporate interests between the parties involved. A dictatorship not only short-lived but bound by the presence of some institutional guarantors.
First of all, to unblock the bonds that keep some subjects close to keeping their “privileges”. On the other hand, when politicians talk about broad understandings we are not very far from a solution capable of obtaining effective results for a more correct management of public affairs without having to take into account the various types of consortia that point to the dominant thinking of those who have he wants more and more. At the same time I ask myself: but to do all this is not enough strong popular consensus and political movements well rooted in the territory but also determined not to be affected by the lobbying? In theory it is possible but in practice voters suffer too many restrictions and are distracted by the machine of misinformation that does not scruple in spreading untruthful news and such as to arouse feelings of existential distress that lead to the same degeneration of the system. In short, we have been too long accustomed to thinking with our stomachs that we can not quite manage to do so with our heads, so much so that we find ourselves in the presence of a sick democracy capable of developing anarchic feelings. (Riccardo Alfonso)

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Two 17th Century Bronze Masterpieces from ‘The Court of the Sun King’ Louis XIV of France

Posted by fidest press agency su venerdì, 20 aprile 2018

London – From the Court of King Louis XIV of France, the ‘Sun King’, Christie’s announces two of the most significant sculptures to come to the market in recent years. A unique rediscovered masterpiece by Louis XIV’s Royal sculptor François Girardon, Louis XIV on Horseback, Paris, circa 1690-1699, is believed to be the lost sculpture from the artist’s own collection, depicted in the famous engraving of the Galerie de Girardon (estimate: £7-10 million, illustrated right). Hercules Overcoming Acheloüs, circa 1640-50 by Florentine sculptor Ferdinando Tacca (1619-1686), was a gift from Louis XIV to his son, the Grand Dauphin, in 1681, remaining in the Royal collection until the Revolution (estimate on request: in the region of £5 million, illustrated left). Both works attest to the significance of Louis XIV as a connoisseur collector, celebrating the very best art from France and beyond. The works will go on view at Christie’s New York in April (the Girardon now until 20 April and both works together from 28 April to 9 May); Hong Kong (24 to 28 May) and London (30 June to 4 July), ahead of being sold in the London Exceptional Sale on 5 July during Classic Week, in July 2018.

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Rennes, France Virtually Experiences its Sustainable Future with Dassault Systèmes

Posted by fidest press agency su venerdì, 24 novembre 2017

RennesDassault Systèmes (Euronext Paris: 13065, DSY.PA Paris:DSY) announced that the city of Rennes, France is the latest metropolitan area to embark on a digitalized approach to urban planning by using the 3DEXPERIENCity digital environment to optimize future projects, products and services for its residents.
Rennes will use 3DEXPERIENCity to develop a digital model of the city, “Virtual Rennes,” which embraces, through systemic modeling, different data sources in a single referential that is constantly updated as new data becomes available. With this accurate and reliable virtual equivalent of the real city, Rennes’ officials, residents, businesses, development partners, service providers and others can simulate, virtually experience and visualize a holistic view of the city’s evolution, and collaborate on sustainable urban solutions that will tackle new societal and urban challenges.
Rennes is the capital of the Brittany region and the second-fastest-growing metropolitan area in France, with an estimated population of 450,000. Such significant development in an urban agglomeration, whose specialized domains constantly evolve in depth and complexity, makes coordinating the renewal and planning of buildings, utility networks, mobility systems and other infrastructure a challenging task.
“Smart city initiatives offer the potential to anticipate and plan for more livable, resilient urban areas yet require the successful interpretation of tremendous amounts of data,” said Olivier Ribet, Vice President, High-Tech Industry, Dassault Systèmes. “3DEXPERIENCity brings urban planning and management to life in an intuitive way. Rennes’ city stakeholders can connect and interact across social, economic, political and disciplinary boundaries to experience and understand the possibilities and choices that will improve the quality of life in their city.” (photo. rennes)

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The spotlight shifts from Germany to France

Posted by fidest press agency su sabato, 30 settembre 2017

macron1WHO leads Europe? At the start of this year, the answer was obvious. Angela Merkel was trundling unstoppably towards a fourth election win, while Britain was out, Italy down and stagnating France gripped by the fear that Marine Le Pen might become the Gallic Donald Trump. This week, it all looks very different. Mrs Merkel won her election on September 24th, but with such a reduced tally of votes and seats that she is a diminished figure (see article). Germany faces months of tricky three-way coalition talks. Some 6m voters backed a xenophobic right-wing party, many of them in protest at Mrs Merkel’s refugee policies. Having had no seats, Alternative for Germany, a disruptive and polarising force, is now the Bundestag’s third largest party.Yet west of the Rhine, with a parliament dominated by his own new-minted and devoted party, France’s President Emmanuel Macron is bursting with ambition (see our special report in this issue). This week he used a speech about the European Union to stake his claim to the limelight. Whether Mr Macron can restore France to centre-stage in the EU after a decade in the chorus depends not just on his plans for Europe, but also on his success at home, reforming a country long seen as unreformable.
This week’s speech was brimming over with ideas, including a shared military budget and an agency for “radical innovation”, as well as the desire to strengthen the euro zone. At one level, Mr Macron’s bid for the role of intellectual innovator in Europe fits a long French tradition. Moreover, elements of his speech—a new carbon-tax on the EU’s frontiers, a proposal to tax foreign tech firms where they make money rather than where they are registered, a crusade against “social dumping” with harmonised corporate tax rates—were in keeping with long-standing French attempts to stop member states competing “disloyally” against each other.Yet Mr Macron has a more subtle and radical goal than old-style dirigisme; as if to prove it, he agreed this week that Alstom, which makes high-speed trains, could drift from state influence by merging with its private-sector German rival. His aim is to see off populism by striking a balance between providing job security for citizens, on the one hand, and encouraging them to embrace innovation, which many fear will cost them their jobs, on the other (see Charlemagne). In his speech Mr Macron also made the case for digital disruption and the completion of the digital single market. Euro-zone reform would make Europe less vulnerable to the next financial crisis.
The merit of these ideas depends on whether they lead to a more enterprising, open and confident Europe or to a protectionist fortress. But they may not be tried out at all unless Mr Macron can make a success of his policies at home. For, if France remains a threat to the EU’s economic stability rather than a source of its strength, its president can never be more than a bit player next to Germany’s chancellor.
Mr Macron’s domestic policy might seem to have made a poor start. He has grabbed headlines thanks to the size of his make-up bill, the collapse of his popularity and the whiff of arrogance about his “Jupiterian” approach to power. Predictably, the grouchy French are already contesting the legitimacy of the plans they elected Mr Macron to carry out. Reform in France, it seems, follows a pattern. The street objects; the government backs down; immobilisme sets in.
Yet take a closer look, and Mr Macron may be about to break the pattern. Something extraordinary, if little-noticed, took place this summer. While most of the French were on the beach, Mr Macron negotiated and agreed with unions a far-reaching, liberalising labour reform which he signed into law on September 22nd—all with minimal fuss. Neither France’s militant unions, nor its fiery far left, have so far drawn the mass support they had hoped for onto the streets. Fully 59% of the French say that they back labour reform. More protests will follow. Harder battles, over pensions, taxation, public spending and education, lie ahead. Mr Macron needs to keep his nerve, but, astonishingly, he has already passed his first big test.In many ways, the 39-year-old Mr Macron is not yet well understood. Behind the haughty exterior, a leader is emerging who seems to be at once brave, disciplined and thoughtful. Brave, because labour reforms, as Germany and Spain know, take time to translate into job creation, and usually hand political rewards to the successors of those who do the thankless work of getting them through. Disciplined, because he laid out clearly before his election what he planned to do, and has stuck to his word. The unions were fully consulted, and two of the three biggest accepted the reform. Compare that with his predecessor, François Hollande, who tried reform by stealth and encountered only accusations of bad faith. Last, thoughtful: Mr Macron does not approach policy as an à la carte menu. He has grasped how digital technology is dislocating the world of work. His governing philosophy is to adapt France’s outdated system of rules and protections accordingly.
Over the past few years, an enfeebled France has been a chronically weak partner for Germany, pushing Mrs Merkel into a solo role that she neither sought nor relished. If he is to change that dynamic, Mr Macron needs to move swiftly to match his labour law with an overhaul of France’s inefficient training budget, increase the number of apprenticeships and renovate the state’s sleepy employment services. He also needs to explain with a less contemptuous tone why his plans for tax cuts, including to France’s wealth tax and corporate tax, are not designed simply to benefit business and the better-off. In Europe he needs to reassure the northern, more open economies that he is not trying to put up walls.Of course, Mr Macron’s first steps in the spotlight may falter. The odds on any leader reforming France are never high. He will struggle to convince Germany to embrace his vision of euro-zone reform. But, if this year has shown anything, it is that it is a mistake to bet against the formidable Mr Macron.This article appeared in the Leaders section of the print edition under the headline “Europe’s new order” (by The Economist)

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Europe, Allemagne, France: évolution des opinions publiques

Posted by fidest press agency su sabato, 16 settembre 2017

Paris-antenne-vue-eiffel-tourParis. L’observation des sondages montre que l’Europe retrouve les faveurs des opinions publiques, avec l’appui notable des Français et des Allemands, qui continuent toutefois à diverger nettement dans leurs appréciations de l’économie et dans leurs approches de la mondialisation. Ce papier a été réalisé par Pascal Lamy, président emeritus de l’Institut Jacques Delors, Sébastien Maillard, directeur de l’Institut Jacques Delors, Henrik Enderlein, directeur du Jacques Delors Institut – Berlin et Daniel Debomy, directeur d’OPTEM, et ce dans le cadre des 26e Rencontres franco-allemandes d’Evian qui se sont déroulées le 8 septembre 2017.

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Fashion Television International announces new TV network FASHION in France

Posted by fidest press agency su mercoledì, 13 settembre 2017

londonLONDON/PRNewswire/Fashion Television International, a global broadcasting company, unveils the brand new FASHION|un channel, featuring 24/7 access to the world of fashion for French viewers. Launching in October 2017, FASHION|un will be distributed in France and will feature hundreds of hours of global content as well as completely new programming developed in-house for French viewers by the stylish and creative minds that are the driving force behind the network’s international success.
“Fashion Television is the distinctive voice in the realm of fashion and lifestyle broadcasting coverage,” says Ali Gursoy, President of Fashion Television International. “This new channel in France represents a strategic move for the future of our expanding portfolio.”The release of the dedicated French channel (which is also available throughout Europe) coincides with FASHION|un’s global roll-out of networks in all French-speaking territories including Canada, Belgium, Switzerland, Luxembourg and Monaco. The channel will also be available to viewers in North African countries such as Algeria, Tunisia, Morocco, and the Sub-Saharan countries Congo, Cameroon, Ivory Coast, Nigeria and Senegal as well as the Overseas French Territories Martinique, Guadeloupe, Mauritius, Reunion, Saint-Barthelemy and New Caledonia.
FASHION|un will launch with a full slate of primetime shows, including the fifth season of reality competition Design Genius, travel series Weekend Tour, designer spotlight specials Masters of Style, fashion docu-series FASH-BACK, front row and behind-the-scenes coverage of Fashion Week, and many, many more.The release of FASHION|un is another step in the network’s global expansion and reflects a continued growth in quality content focused on fashion — including, but not limited to, beauty, travel, culture, health and fitness, international events and award shows, celebrity news, collection launches, models, designers, and the latest runway shows — across the world. http://www.fashiontelevision.com.

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France and Germany: Spearheading a European Security and Defence Union?

Posted by fidest press agency su sabato, 2 settembre 2017

france germanyThe Common Security and Defence Policy (CSDP) has become one of the most dynamic fields of European integration. The destabilisation of the EU’s neighbourhood, Brexit, and uncertainty in the transatlantic security partnership were important drivers behind this revitalisation. France and Germany reacted by jointly propagating the vision of a European Security and Defence Union. However, the CSDP is a policy area that has often been characterised by a gap between vision and action.
This paper, by Nicole Koenig, Senior research fellow at the Jacques Delors Institut – Berlin, and Marie Walter-Franke, Research associate at the Jacques Delors Institut – Berlin, offers a cautious assessment of the current window of opportunity, based on two questions:
First, is the necessary condition for deeper defence integration, a unified Franco-German leadership, really met? Second, is it a sufficient condition for the development of an ambitious Security and Defence Union? The review of new drivers and old constraints offers a mixed picture. Despite a degree of strategic convergence between France and Germany, long-standing differences in terms of political culture and public perception persist. Not all EU member states are keen to follow the Franco-German lead. This mixed assessment explains why the EU has so far only taken cautious steps towards a European Security and Defence Union. In light of the mix between drivers and constraints, this paper advocates incremental steps towards a more ambitious European Security and Defence Union. (photo: france germany)

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L’Institut Jacques Delors sur l’élection présidentielle

Posted by fidest press agency su sabato, 6 maggio 2017

enrico letta

À quelques jours du deuxième tour de l’élection présidentielle, l’Institut Jacques Delors (IJD), le think-tank pro-européen fondé par l’ancien Président de la Commission européenne et présidé aujourd’hui par Enrico Letta, ancien Premier Ministre italien et Doyen de l’école de l’École des affaires internationales de Sciences Po (PSIA), publie un texte dans lequel la victoire d’Emmanuel Macron est qualifiée de « souhaitable ». Le candidat, dont l’arrivée en tête au premier tour « contredit utilement les prophéties annonçant que la victoire de Trump et le vote en faveur du Brexit entraîneraient une vague irrésistible de votes nationaux de repli », est considéré comme étant le plus à même « de réaffirmer l’ancrage et l’influence de la France en Europe et de mieux défendre ses intérêts et ses valeurs au sein de l’UE ». Les auteurs du texte, parmi lesquels figure l’ancien Directeur-Général de l’OMC, Pascal Lamy, et le directeur de l’IJD, Yves Bertoncini, assurent que l’Europe, désignée par le plus grand nombre d’analystes politiques comme le principal point de clivage de la campagne, n’a pas eu un poids dominant dans le choix des Français au premier tour qui « ont d’abord voté sur la base de considérations domestiques (renouvellement des pratiques politiques, éducation et formation contre le chômage, fiscalité, protection sociale…). Certains électeurs ont même pu voter en dépit de leurs réserves quant aux positions sur l’Europe du candidat qu’ils soutenaient, confirmant ainsi que l’Europe n’était pas au cœur de leurs préoccupations ».Les trois têtes d’affiches de l’institut, qui depuis sa création est engagé dans un travail d’analyse et de proposition pour parachever l’union économique et monétaire, mettent en garde contre la sortie de l’euro prônée par la candidate soutenue par le Front National : « Sortir de l’euro, ce serait se priver d’une protection solide face à la spéculation financière internationale et jouer l’épargne des Français à la roulette russe. Ce serait s’exposer à nouveau aux dévaluations compétitives destructrices du passé : le nationalisme monétaire, c’est la guerre monétaire ! ».L’Europe n’est plus le centre du monde, assurent les trois auteurs du texte pour qui les défis à relever à l’international devraient pousser les Européens à s’unir davantage « face à des défis aussi nombreux et divers que le chaos en Syrie et en Libye, l’agressivité russe, le terrorisme islamiste, le changement climatique, la dérégulation financière internationale, les vagues migratoires incontrôlées, la montée en puissance de la Chine, l’imprévisibilité de Donald Trump ou la gestion du divorce UE-Royaume Uni ».En conclusion les trois signataires du texte exhortent à « Poursuivre et à approfondir le dialogue exigeant sur lequel a toujours reposé la construction européenne, afin de l’adapter pleinement au XXIe siècle ».

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France’s presidential election is tearing its left apart

Posted by fidest press agency su lunedì, 10 aprile 2017

poll.pngBACK in 2002, the French Socialists suffered such a stinging defeat at a presidential election that it gave birth to a new noun. Un 21 avril, referring to the date that their candidate, Lionel Jospin, was evicted in the first round, became a term used for any shock political elimination. Today, ahead of the first round of this year’s presidential election on April 23rd, the Socialists are bracing themselves not just for elimination from the run-off, but for a far greater humiliation, one which could call into question the party’s very survival. Current polls put Benoît Hamon, the Socialist candidate, in a dismal fifth place. He trails not only the nationalist Marine Le Pen, the liberal Emmanuel Macron, and the traditional right’s François Fillon. In the past fortnight, Mr Hamon has also been overtaken by a far-left firebrand, Jean-Luc Mélenchon (pictured), who promises a “citizens’ revolution”. A one-time Socialist now backed by the Communist Party, the fist-clenching 65-year-old has surged to 15%, against just 10% for Mr Hamon. This puts him only a couple of points behind Mr Fillon, and in a position—just possibly—to overtake the Gaullist candidate too.In the campaign’s second televised debate on April 4th, it was the wisecracking Mr Mélenchon who delivered the memorable lines. When Mr Fillon argued that industrial relations should be decentralised to firms, Mr Mélenchon snapped: “I am not in favour of one labour code per firm, just as I am not in favour of one highway code per road.” It was a difficult debate at which to shine. All 11 official candidates took part: the five front-runners plus six others, including a Ford factory worker, a Trotskyist high-school teacher, and a former shepherd. Each had a total of 17 minutes to speak, spread over three hours. In a poll, voters judged Mr Mélenchon the most convincing, followed by Mr Macron.In some ways, Mr Hamon’s disastrous campaign is surprising. An outsider, he seized the party’s primary in January with a handsome 59% of the vote, easing out a moderate former prime minister, Manuel Valls. His recent rally in Paris was packed. Backed by Thomas Piketty, an economist who worries about inequality, he has a programme which—though its finances do not add up—is based on creative thinking about the future of work and society in an era of automation. Mr Hamon promises, for instance, to bring in a universal basic income, which in time would pay out €750 ($800) a month to everyone, partly financed by a tax on robots. He promises a “desirable future”, in which consumerism, production and working hours are curbed, greenery flourishes and happiness, long scarce in France, breaks out everywhere.Yet as Matthieu Croissandeau of L’Obs, a left-wing magazine, put it, since Socialist primary voters “were convinced they would lose the presidential election…they chose an ideal rather than a programme of government.” The closer voting day gets, the less workable Mr Hamon’s ideas seem, even to some of his white-collar constituents. A poll suggested that only 7% of voters think Mr Hamon has “presidential stature”. Gilles Finchelstein of the Fondation Jean-Jaurès, a think-tank, argues that Socialist support has not collapsed: it is just not behind the party’s candidate. Fully 42% back Mr Macron; 15% support Mr Mélenchon. By positioning himself on the left of his party, Mr Hamon has scared off centrist voters, while failing to sound combative enough for those on the far left.Mr Hamon has lost the loyalty not just of Socialist voters, but of Socialist politicians. His protracted (and failed) efforts to do a deal with Mr Mélenchon exasperated the moderates. A former backbench rebel, he has refused to say anything nice about the past five years of Socialist government, dismaying ministers. Mr Valls and Jean-Yves Le Drian, the Socialist defence minister, have both thrown their support to Mr Macron. The upshot is a bitterly divided party. The Hamon camp called Mr Valls’s defection “pathetic” and “shameful”. It is a “very strange campaign”, says a Socialist parliamentarian loyal to Mr Hamon; party activists “don’t feel connected”.Mr Valls’s defection, says Guillaume Balas, a member of the Hamon team, implies “the death of the Socialist Party as conceived by (François) Mitterrand”. The party, which has supplied French presidents for half of the past 36 years, has long tried to bridge the differences between its moderates and its left wing. In the 1970s, Mitterrand managed to unify the left; he went on to serve as president for 14 years. Now, under the joint pressure of Mr Macron and Mr Mélenchon, old fractures are pulling it back apart.This article appeared in the Europe section of the print edition under the headline “The crack-up” (By The Economist) (photo: poll)

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Vivre ensemble face aux peurs: le dilemme politique français

Posted by fidest press agency su venerdì, 17 marzo 2017

front nationalParis présentation-débat organisé par Demos à Paris le 20 mars 2017 en partenariat avec la Maison de l’Europe. Ce Policy Paper de notre directeur Yves Bertoncini et de Dídac Gutiérrez-Peris, directeur des affaires européennes de l’Institut Viavoice, a été réalisé sur la base d’un sondage exclusif de YouGov visant à dresser l’état des lieux des peurs en France et dans cinq autres pays de l’UE (Allemagne, Espagne, Royaume-Uni, Pologne et Suède) et de leur impact sur les débats politiques. Une version anglaise a été publiée dans le cadre du rapport «Nothing to fear bur fear itself?» coordonné par Demos.
Ce Policy Paper développe des éléments d’analyse regroupés en trois points principaux:
1 – La peur est un élément structurant du débat public français, sous de multiples formes;
2 – Les prochaines élections devraient permettre l’expression d’un sentiment de défiance mais aussi déterminer si le Front national est perçu comme un recours possible ou une autre menace;
3 – L’euroscepticisme des Français ne saurait être assimilé à une volonté europhobe de rupture avec l’Union européenne. (Policy paper par Yves Bertoncini, Dídac Gutiérrez-Peris.) (photo: front national)

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In their presidential primary, France’s Socialists tack to the left

Posted by fidest press agency su sabato, 28 gennaio 2017

benoit-hamonFRANCE prepares for its presidential election this spring, the unexpected is becoming routine. Few predicted that the socially conservative François Fillon would emerge as the Republican party’s candidate, until he came from behind to win the primary in November. In December François Hollande decided not to seek re-election—the first incumbent president not to do so since the birth of the fifth republic. Now comes January’s surprise. Polls suggested that Manuel Valls, a centrist who served as prime minister until last month, was the front-runner in the first round of the Socialist presidential primary on January 22nd. Instead he finished second; first place went to Benoît Hamon, a figure from the party’s left wing.The two men will face each other in a run-off on January 29th. Mr Hamon is likely to win. He will pick up votes from the third-place candidate, Arnaud Montebourg, and others on the left of the party. His success in the first round matters because it signifies that his party, which already looked weak, is abandoning the centre of French politics. The Socialists are pleased that nearly 2m voters took part in the primary—not bad, considering that almost no one believes the party’s candidate can win the election. But the Republicans drew over 4.3m votes in each of their two primaries in November.Mr Hamon, who was briefly education minister in 2014, stirred up voters in recent weeks with promises of public largesse. He promotes the idea of a universal basic income of €750 ($803), to kick in by 2022. The idea is to compensate for the possibility of large-scale job losses to digital automation, though he is hazy on how the programme would be funded. He also wants to shorten the already constrained French working week from 35 to 32 hours. And he suggests levying a tax on robots. No other candidate had anything so eye-catching to offer. Mr Valls, who largely stuck by his centrist record in office, wants to loosen labour laws rather than tighten them. He is disliked by voters on the left both for his economics and for his tough stance on fighting terrorism, which some fear is undermining civil liberties.Assuming Mr Hamon becomes the Socialist candidate, the biggest winner will be Emmanuel Macron, a centre-left figure running as an independent. (Many supporters of Mr Macron may have cast tactical votes for Mr Hamon.) He should pick up many centrist ex-Socialist voters who see Mr Hamon as unserious or unappealing. Mr Macron served as economy minister under Mr Hollande, but quit the government last summer after launching his own political party, En Marche! (“On the Move!”). He promises to modernise France. As a former investment banker, and only 39 years old, he is a relative outsider and a fresh face who has never been elected to office. Socially and economically liberal, and popular in the media, he calls for France to embrace the digital economy.
As economy minister, Mr Macron introduced modestly liberalising reforms, such as opening up coach transport to private firms and easing some labour constraints. Opinion polls now put him in third place nationally, with around 20% support. The same polls suggest that Mr Fillon has roughly 25% support, while Marine Le Pen, the leader of the populist National Front, is backed by some 26%. Most observers expect she will reach a second round of voting in May, but that she will then be defeated by a more mainstream candidate. The question is which candidate that will be.The Socialist primary gives Mr Macron an opportunity. If Mr Hamon wins, he will draw support mainly among blue-collar voters and others on the left of the party. Mr Fillon of the Republicans, worried about the rise of Ms Le Pen, has promoted himself as a cultural conservative and a neo-Thatcherite who would cut 500,000 government posts and slash public spending. His emphasis on his Catholic faith is unconventional in France’s secular political tradition. Ms Le Pen, a far-right nationalist, propounds a statist economic policy and hostility to the European Union.All that leaves space in the middle of the political landscape for Mr Macron. He can talk of the need to liberalise France’s economy, but without the radical tone of Mr Fillon, who risks scaring government employees. Mr Fillon, whose poll numbers are drifting down, must worry about Ms Le Pen grabbing voters from the right, just as Mr Macron appeals to centrists. The Republican is still the candidate likeliest to be France’s next president. But the Socialists’ shift to the left and the rise of Mr Macron increase the chances that the presidential election, too, will produce a surprise. (font: by The Economist) (photo: Benoît Hamon)

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La crise des réfugiés/France and Germany in the refugee crisis: united in diversity?

Posted by fidest press agency su sabato, 19 novembre 2016

parisLa première session de l’initiative Think Tanks Tandem s’est déroulée les 8-9 juillet 2016, à l’abbaye des Vaux-de-Cernay à proximité de Paris. Elle a réuni une quarantaine de représentants de think tanks allemands et français, ainsi que des autorités allemandes, françaises et européennes.La 1ère table ronde a porté sur la politique migratoire et d’asile, tandis que la 2ème était consacrée à la lutte contre le terrorisme islamiste. Cette 1ère table ronde a été introduite par Marc-Olivier Padis, directeur des études de Terra Nova et Stefan Dehnert, directeur du Bureau de Paris de la Fondation Friedrich Ebert.Elle a été marquée par de nombreuses interventions des participants allemands et français : cette synthèse de Nicole Koenig, chercheur de notre Bureau en Allemagne, le Jacques Delors Institut – Berlin (également disponible en anglais et en allemand) s’efforce de présenter les principales analyses et orientations découlant de cet échange de vues franco-allemand, en identifiant les différences et convergences qui sont apparues.La Synthèse de la deuxième table ronde portant sur la lutte contre le terrorisme islamiste, rédigée par Yves Bertoncini, est également disponible. Joschka Fischer, ancien ministre fédéral allemand des affaires étrangères et ancien vice-chancelier allemand, était l’invité d’honneur du dîner sur le thème “L’Europe après le vote britannique”. Son intervention est disponible sur notre chaîne SoundCloud.La deuxième session de l’initiative Thinks Tanks Tandem s’est déroulée les 21-22 octobre 2016, à la Fondation Genshagen, à proximité de Berlin.
The first session of the Think Tanks Tandem initiative was held at the abbey of the Vaux-de-Cernay close to Paris on 8-9 July 2016. It was attended by some forty representatives of German and French think tanks as well as by German, French and European authorities.
The first round table addressed the issue of migration policy, while the second round table was devoted to the struggle against Islamist terrorism. This first round table was introduced by Marc-Olivier Padis, Director of Studies with Terra Nova, and Stefan Dehnert, Director of the Paris Bureau of the Friedrich Ebert Foundation.Numerous German and French speakers intervened: this Synthesis by Nicole Koenig, resarch fellow in our office in Germany, the Jacques Delors Institut – Berlin (also available in French and German) endeavours to present the main analyses and guidelines resulting from the exchange of French and German views, identifying the points both of divergence and of convergence that emerged.The Synthesis of the second round table on struggling against islamist terrorism, written by our director Yves Bertoncini, is also available.Joschka Fischer, former German Federal Minister for Foreign Affairs and former German Vice-Chancellor, was the keynotespeaker of the dinner on “Europe after the British referendum”. His speech is available on our SoundCloud channel.The second session of the Think Tanks Tandem initiative was held on 21-22 October 2016, at the Stifgung Gensagen, near Berlin.

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20th century sale season during the week of the international contemporary art fair

Posted by fidest press agency su giovedì, 29 settembre 2016

chriestesParis – Christie’s France is proud to celebrate its dedicated 20th century sale season during the week of the international contemporary art fair (FIAC) from October 19th to October 22nd. During this exceptional week, Christie’s will offer more than 200 lots by leading international artists and offered across four different sales. François de Ricqlès, President of Christie’s France: “During one week in October, Paris will become the center of the art world. Our four sales organised during this international event will span the 20th century and will include rare works from prestigious provenance carefully selected by our specialists. The auctions will offer masterworks from the early 20th century signed by Pierre Bonnard, Frantisek Kupka, Henri Laurens and Pablo Picasso, as well as major works by Jean-Paul Riopelle, Alexander Calder and Jean Arp which define Parisian Modernism. The departments have worked closely together to build this impressive sale season which will certainly attract connoisseurs from around the world”.

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Tragedy in France: CEC grieves death of Fr Jacques Hamel

Posted by fidest press agency su giovedì, 28 luglio 2016

With shock and great distress, the Conference of European Churches has received news of the attack in the church of St-Etienne-du-Rouvray (France). The violent attack resulted in the death of Fr Jacques Hamel and two other persons. Several members of the congregation were also wounded, one critically. Fr. Jacques gave his life while officiating the Holy Eucharist. He was known as a man of reconciliation and dialogue with people of all faiths and none. “He exemplifies the Christian understanding of martyrdom,” reflected CEC General Secretary Fr Heikki Huttunen. “Of the victory over the dark powers of violence and death and the eternal perspective created by love and experienced through the eucharistic gathering.”The Conference of European Churches joins with the “cry to God” by the Catholic archbishop of Rouen, Mgr Dominique Lebrun. With him we invite all people of goodwill, of all faiths and none to be strengthened in prayer and community. CEC shall continue its mission according to the Gospel, by welcoming all people in trust and with open arms. “This is the only way we can face the root causes of terror, fear, and enmity,” continued Fr Heikki. “We are called to build an atmosphere of encounter, dialogue and respect towards all identities that make up our European reality.”

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Liberté, égalité, fraternité

Posted by fidest press agency su domenica, 17 luglio 2016

NizzaPromenadeDesAnglaisNizza. “This heinous and despicable act was perpetrated against innocent men, women and children. It demonstrated a barbaric disregard for fellow human beings, depriving the victims of their most fundamental right: their right to life. It also struck out against the rights of those who have been injured and traumatised, as well as those of the friends and loved ones affected. Such deeds also serve to threaten the wellbeing and stability of our societies.”
“It is harrowing that this atrocity took place in the context of Bastille Day, a moment in the year when all of us, not only France, celebrate the principles of liberté, égalité, and fraternité. These form the bedrock of our European fundamental rights. The Nice attack is an attack on all of us.”
“We both expect and appreciate that States must take the necessary action to prevent acts of terror and to investigate and prosecute the offenders. It is no less imperative that all measures taken by governments in response to such attacks are respectful of the fundamental rights of us all. By doing so, we send out a clear signal: our response is not driven by hatred and fear; we will not be led down the path set out by the perpetrators”.
“The Europe of Values is strong. However hard it may be, we must remain true to it. We will find our strength in solidarity and our commitment to liberté, égalité, and fraternité.”
« Cet acte haineux et odieux a été perpétré envers des hommes, femmes et enfants innocents. Il témoigne d’un mépris barbare envers la vie humaine, privant les victimes de leur droit le plus fondamental : le droit à la vie. Cet acte représente également une attaque aux droits des personnes qui ont été blessées et traumatisées, et des amis et proches de tous celles et ceux qui ont été touchés. De tels actes visent aussi à menacer le bien-être et la stabilité dans nos sociétés. »
« Le fait que cette atrocité ait eu lieu lors du 14-juillet, qui est un jour où non seulement la France, mais nous tous, célébrons les principes de liberté, d’égalité, et de fraternité, est abject. Ces principes sont au fondement de nos droits fondamentaux européens. L’attaque de Nice nous touche tous. »
« Nous attendons et apprécions que les États prennent les mesures nécessaires pour éviter des actes de terreur, ainsi que pour enquêter et traduire les responsables en justice. Il n’en est pas moins impératif que toute mesure prise par les gouvernements en réponse à de tels actes respecte les droits fondamentaux de tous. Ainsi, nous envoyons un message clair : notre réponse ne repose pas sur la haine et la peur et nous ne ferons pas le jeu des auteurs ». « L’Europe des valeurs est forte. Toutefois, aussi dur que cela soit, nous devons y rester fidèles. Nous trouverons notre force dans notre solidarité et dans notre engagement pour la liberté, l’égalité et la fraternité. »

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2016 Open de France: Jaidee eases to victory in Paris

Posted by fidest press agency su lunedì, 4 luglio 2016

Thongchai JaideeThongchai Jaidee claimed his eighth European Tour title as he cruised to a comfortable victory at the 100th Open de France. Francesco Molinari finished second for the third time in six years, while Rory McIlroy had to settle for third place.The Thai was a picture of consistency over the weekend at Le Golf National, carding two consecutive rounds of 68 to get to 11 under thanks to a run of 39 bogey-free holes, and claiming a four-shot triumph over Italy’s Francesco Molinari, who carded the low round of the day with a 66. World Number Four Rory McIlroy finished at six under with a closing 71 and Brandon Stone, Alex Noren, Callum Shinkwin and Richard Sterne earned their places at the Open Championship by finishing in the top 12.Jaidee’s victory marks the first time that the European Tour has had seven Asian victories in the same season, with the 46 year old also becoming the oldest winner in Open de France history, beating 2010 champion Miguel Angel Jiménez by 58 days. He came into the final day with a two-shot lead and extended that to five on three occasions as the chasing pack failed to put him under any great pressure and a closing bogey on the toughest hole on Tour last year failed to take the gloss off a fine victory. “I’m very happy to have my family here this week together and also really happy to win the tournament here,” he said. “I know the golf course is fantastic. I’ve been here many, many years and I think especially this week, it’s a special week for me to win the tournament out here. Sometimes you need one perfect week. You can’t do well every week. This week is my perfect week because I didn’t miss much. Anything I missed, I found I could lay up and make a good shot and make par and that’s it.”Molinari made the early charge with a run of four birdies from the third while Martin Kaymer birdied the second after a brilliant tee-shot to close range and added another on the fifth. Jaidee was going about his business with the minimum of fuss and he rolled his third shot from the fringe to within tap-in range on the par five third and then birdied the sixth for the fourth time this week as he put his approach to four feet. When Molinari bogeyed the ninth the lead was five shots but Kaymer set about cutting that gap with a beautiful putt down the slope on the eighth and he made another gain on the tenth after a smart par save at the turn.
Jaidee birdied the 11th and bogeys on the 12th, 14th and 15th saw Kaymer’s challenge fade while Molinari recovered with a birdie-birdie finish to claim second place. Andy Sullivan looked like he would be the man to make a late charge as he birdied the 12th, 14th, 15th and 16th to cut the gap to three shots but a bogey on the 17th coupled with a Jaidee birdie on the 15th re-established the five-shot cushion with three holes to play. Rafa Cabrera Bello carded a closing 67 to claim fourth place on five under, a shot clear of Kaymer, Stone and Sullivan who all finished with rounds of 70. Noren was then alone at three under, a shot clear of Shinkwin and Joost Luiten, with Sterne in the group at one under after a bogey-bogey finish failed to deny him a place at Royal Troon. With rounds of 71 and 70 respectively, Mathieu Decottignies-Lafon and Julien Quesne tied for sixteenth and shared the honor of ranking as the leading French players. (photo: Thongchai Jaidee)

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State of emergency in France debated in Civil Liberties Committee

Posted by fidest press agency su venerdì, 17 giugno 2016

Paris-antenne-vue-eiffel-tourWhilst France is indeed grappling with a difficult security situation, it needs to find adequate long-term solutions, because the terrorist threat is likely to last, argued most MEPs in a Civil Liberties, Justice and Home Affairs Committee debate on Thursday with Ambassador and France’s Permanent representative to the EU Pierre Sellal. ”The state of emergency is not a political expedient, but a legal situation in which the law confers upon the administrative authority additional prerogatives and possibilities to act. It is inspired by the logic of prevention”, said Mr Sellal, underlining that the state of emergency is subject to a triple check, ”legislative, judicial and parliamentary”, against excesses.”The President of the Republic has said clearly that the state of emergency is not meant to be permanent. It is hard to dispute that sadly, France continues to be a priority target for terrorists, particularly jihadists”, he added. MEPs hoped that the French experience would stimulate reflection allowing sustainable measures, other than exceptions to the state of law which cannot be an end in themselves, and warned against the impact that they have on society.

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Covering Catholicism in the Age of Francis

Posted by fidest press agency su martedì, 10 maggio 2016

vaticanoRome. In September 2016, the School of Church Communications at Rome’s Pontifical University of the Holy Cross offers the fifth edition of its week-long seminar designed to equip journalists with the tools to enhance their coverage of today’s Roman Catholic Church. The seminar, entitled “The Church Up Close: Covering Catholicism in the Age of Francis,” will take place in Rome from September 5 to September 11, 2016.Conducted in English, the seminar is open to all working journalists, but the number of participants is limited.Previous seminars have seen the participation of reporters from media outlets such as The New York Times, The Guardian, The Times, The Wall Street Journal, The Daily Telegraph, Il Corriere della Sera, El País, the BBC and Le Monde, to name a few.
Among this year’s guest speakers are George Cardinal Pell, Prefect of the Secretariat for the Economy; Peter Cardinal Kodwo Appiah Turkson, Prefect of the Pontifical Council for Justice and Peace; Arch. Paul Richard Gallagher, Secretary for Relations with States Vatican Secretariat of State; Msgr. Khaled Akaseh, Head Officer for Islam at the Pontifical Council for Inter-religious Dialogue; Rev. Geno Sylva, from the Pontifical Council for the Promotion of the New Evangelization; Fr. Sebastian Vazhakala, General Superior and co-founder of the Contemplative Missionaries of the Charity (Sta. Teresa of Calcutta); Prof. Maria Luisa Di Pietro, Member of the National Bioethics Committee (Italy), and Greg Burke, Vice-Director Press Office of the Holy See.
The Church Up Close provides an insight into the nature of the Catholic Church and the inner workings of the Vatican. Conference sessions and interactive workshops address topics from the financial life of the Holy See, the future of the marriage, the reform of the curia, Christians and the Arab world, the Magisterium of Pope Francis, new challenges in bioethics, ecumenism and inter-religious dialogue, and the state of the Church in Latin America.According to the president of the organizing committee, Rev. Prof. John Wauck, “The Church Up Close seminar was inspired by a series of classes that our school was already offering throughout the year for Rome-based ‘vaticanisti’. The Church Up Close is a condensed, intensified and amplified version of the class that has been tailored for journalists from around the globe.”In addition to conference sessions, this week-long seminar features on-site visits and personal meetings with curial officials and veteran Vatican correspondents. The goal is to provide both a basic understanding of the Vatican and an in-depth analysis of specific hot-button issues regarding the Church today. Journalists seeking to meet the demand with quality information are given the opportunity with The Church Up Close.Fr. Wauck observes, “Covering an institution as old and as large as the Catholic Church has always been a huge challenge, and in today’s shrinking world, it’s becoming ever more necessary to tell even local stories about the Church from a global perspective. The seminar should help reporters do that. What’s more, Rome is an ideal setting for reflecting on religion and the media with journalists from around the world.”
The seminar has been made possible by a grant from the U.S.-based Our Sunday Visitor Institute, and to the collaboration of the Iscom (www.iscom.org) and the AIGAV (International Association of Journalists accredited to the Vatican).

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UK mid-market firms expecting to outperform German Mittelstand

Posted by fidest press agency su mercoledì, 18 novembre 2015

Warwick Business SchoolUK medium-sized firms are expecting to outperform their counterparts in Germany, France and Italy in 2016 A survey of 1,000 mid-market companies in the EU4 – that is the UK, Germany, France and Italy – found that UK firms are predicting growth of 4.9 per cent next year, while German and Italian firms are looking for growth of 3.8 per cent and medium-sized businesses in France believe they will grow 2.7 per cent.Professor Stephen Roper, of Warwick Business School and Director of the Enterprise Research Centre, led the research and despite the common consensus that the German Mittelstand leads the rest of Europe he has found UK businesses are expecting to outperform them next year. “This year UK mid-market firms are looking at growth of 3.9 per cent,” said Professor Roper, who revealed the research at a networking event with UK Trade and Investment (UKTI) held at Warwick Business School. “While Germany’s medium-sized companies are just ahead at four per cent, but the UK’s firms are slightly more confident about 2016 and will overtake their German rivals in terms of sales growth.”French mid-market firms grew by 3.7 per cent, but are expecting to see that fall by one per cent in 2016, while Italy is expecting a jump in growth of 1.3 per cent to continue its rapid rise, as it had just 0.2 per cent growth in 2013. Professor Roper said: “The UK firms have notably less manufacturing than in Germany. In the UK 18 per cent of mid-market firms are family-owned, with the majority of these also being family-led. In Germany 38 per cent are family-owned, around half of which are also family-led and operated.“UK mid-market firms remain less export oriented than their German and continental counterparts. On average export sales account for 34 per cent of the revenues of UK firms compared to 40 per cent in Germany and around 35 per cent in France and Italy.
“Around two thirds of UK mid-market firms export with professional services firms being the most likely to, followed by ICT then manufacturing.”Across the UK there are around 30,000 mid-market firms – that is those with sales of between £10 million and £500 million – and they represent two per cent of the nation’s firms but around a third of all private sector jobs and wealth creation.“Our survey revealed that UK mid-market companies see management and structure and employee skills as the two main drivers of growth,” said Professor Roper. “But they see finding talent with the right skills as the biggest inhibitor to growth, which is similar to Germany, who also find attracting the right skills as the main problem. In France, though, having sufficient working capital is the main concern for mid-market firms, while in Italy it is keeping costs down.”
The survey found the Eurozone is still UK’s medium-sized firms preferred market to export to, with 79 per cent exporting to it.But despite the Chancellor of the Exchequer, George Osborne, recently outlining his aim of making China the UK’s second largest trading partner by 2025, the UK’s medium-sized companies have lower Chinese revenue growth expectations than their German, French and Italian counterparts.Professor Roper found 48 per cent of UK mid-market firms had no plan to export or operate in China. Meanwhile, the survey found the figure was 33 per cent in Italy, and 45 per cent in France and Germany.“In terms of China the UK’s mid-market presence lags marginally behind that of our EU competitors,” said Professor Roper.“Mr Osborne is keen on the UK improving its trading links with China, but the evidence from our survey shows the country’s mid-market firms face significant barriers to achieving that vision.“There is some evidence in the survey that a lack of local knowledge is hindering any thoughts of exporting there plus a lack of interest in international expansion, but this is something we need to look into further.”

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