Ranskan presidentti Chirac osallistui Lahden Eurooppa-neuvostoon
Press conference given by M. Jacques Chirac, President of the Republic, during the informal meeting of
European Union heads of State and government (excerpts)
Lahti, 20 October 2006
THE PRESIDENT - (...) We discussed three topics over lunch:energy, with, in particular, our - the 27 of us -
preparation of this evening’s meeting with President Putin, immigration, and the situation in Darfur, at Tony Blair’s
instigation.This afternoon, as you know, we talked about the problems to do with innovation and competitiveness in the
The implementation of a European energy policy will be one of the major challenges of the German presidency which is going
to start at the beginning of next year.As you know, France will wholeheartedly support the German presidency in this.
I proposed, among other things, moving ahead on three subjects which for me have priority, and the German presidency has
fully approved.Firstly, energy efficiency;secondly, development of second-generation biofuels and clean coal;and thirdly, of
course, the battle against climate change, which is increasingly emerging as one of the priorities in current international
discussions, especially within the European Union.
Our discussions on the external aspects of a European energy policy were fruitful.By bringing consistency to the EU’s
instruments for external action, i.e. the CFSP, trade policy and external dimension of the European environment policy, we
can hope to make positive progress towards a balanced European energy policy, by developing a comprehensive strategy
with our suppliers.I proposed the organization next year of a European energy summit, to lay the foundations for a necessary
partnership on these issues.
Our meeting this evening with President Putin will in this respect be important.For us, as you know, Russia is an extremely
important supplier, particularly for gas.So it’s in the interest of the European Union and Russia to agree.Transcending the
present difficulties requires movement on both sides.Russia has legitimate interests.It’s natural for her to defend them.Europe
has legitimate interests which it too has to defend, of course.We devoted our efforts to seeking harmony between these
On the Energy Charter, we reached a milestone, as you know, in Saint Petersburg at the G8, with Moscow’s reaffirmation of
its support for the principles of the Energy Charter.In Compiègne we discussed this at length with Mr Putin and Mrs
Merkel;and we urged President Putin to firm up his commitments approving the principles of the Energy Charter.
Today, the Commission has proposed adopting this Charter’s principles in the future European Union-Russia agreement, for
which negotiations are beginning, as you know, in November.And of course we, in any case I totally agree with this
Commission proposal.I made this clear after the President of the Commission’s speech.
Europe is being constructive in all these areas.It would like Russia too to adopt a partnership approach, particularly to
European investments, one based on freedom, controlled freedom for European investments in Russia.This is the message
we’re going shortly to convey to President Putin in the report Prime Minister Vanhanen will give of our discussions.
We also discussed immigration with Mr Prodi, Mr Zapatero and five other EU Mediterranean countries.On 25 September we
wrote to the Finnish presidency asking Europe to mobilize in the face of the urgent immigration situation.The migration crisis
is a matter of concern to the whole of Europe.Our response, in the spirit of the Rabat EU-African conference, has to combine
a ruthless battle against the criminal networks responsible for illegal immigration with a general co-development approach.
Obviously, and I spoke on this point, population growth - as we can see it in the next 40 years, which is going to more than
double Africa’s population, without obviously the means of feeding being able to keep pace - requires a genuine development
policy which, for the moment, we don’t have the resources to implement.Which means we have to look for resources outside
State budgets which won’t keep pace and seek, through innovative financing, how to provide the essential resources for
development to enable these people, who are of course leaving their homelands only because they can’t survive there, to stay
The time has come for the European Union to frame a European immigration policy which will have to deal with the right of
asylum, border surveillance and the regularizations [of illegals].We’ll come back to this in greater detail in December.As
regards the mass amnesties which have taken place here and there in Europe, I said that I perfectly understood every
country taking decisions and defining its own immigration policy for political, economic, social and moral reasons.It’s not for
me to give an opinion on this point.But from the moment we’re all in the Schengen system, everyone bears the
consequences of them and so everyone must, at the very least, be involved in the decisions taken in this sphere.
Our discussions this afternoon were devoted to the ways of encouraging innovation in Europe.This is obviously crucial for
future growth and jobs.It’s a key issue if we want to maintain the EU’s competitiveness in the face of the challenges which,
among others, the fast-emerging countries like China and India are issuing to the modern world.
We also talked about concrete initiatives on financing innovation, support for small and medium-size businesses and the
links between research and industry.
That’s what we talked about during this useful and interesting summit organized by the Finnish Presidency.
Q. - I apologise for returning to the subject of Vladimir Putin’s presence and the recent murder of the journalist Anna
Politkovskaya.Are you yourself going to talk to President Putin about it?
THE PRESIDENT - Not only did I talk to him about it following that murder, but I made a point of personally writing to her
children to tell them of the shock, horror I felt at that murder, and I’ve made no secret of it.We, I asked President Putin for the
investigation which Russia was going to carry out to be extremely serious and transparent and, of course, to be made public
so that everyone knows what happened, in as incontrovertible a way as is possible in this sort of incident.So I think that we’ll
say the same thing to President Putin.Thank you./.