Monaco: Updates from the Minister of State on the EU and Transport
Serge Telle discusses news and developments for Monaco including an agreement with the EU and key ideas for transport changes.
Will Monaco be signing an agreement of association with the European Union? Negotiations started many months ago are still under way.
“This is currently the major international dossier of the Principality,”said the Minister of State.
Most recently, Serge Telle met Jean-Claude Juncker, the President of the European Commission.
“A very pleasant discussion, as Jean-Claude Juncker is a Luxembourger and understands the interests of a small country,”explained the Minister of State recently during a press meeting.
Together, the two men spoke of “the international context in which our agreement is developing”. In particular, this included the announced exit of Great Britain from the European Union. And the negotiation of the scars the Brexit may leave behind in Europe.
“It seems to me that we have lost sight of the momentum that led to the creation of Europe. The Europeans must regain strength in cohesion to a common project. If it does not want to unravel, the European Union will have to be tough with the British who have decided to leave,” stated The Minister of State.
As for Monegasque trade with the EU, Serge Telle recently discussed his understanding of the file.
“Monaco does not threaten Europe and Europe does not threaten Monaco. Our future is European, but not at any price,” he said. “Here and elsewhere, there are questions. It is inconceivable that Monegasque assets would be sold off. We must ensure that, for the Monegasques, this agreement does not change anything. And that we respect the national priority, which must be accepted by the European Union. Otherwise, there will be no agreement.” The minister’s experience as a diplomat helps, he explained. “We are not in a hurry. Europe is taking its time and Monaco is taking its time. In negotiations, what is important is the negotiation of time. We are taking things one step at a time.”
These Remarks were echoed to the press by the Secretary General of the government, Robert Colle.
“It’s a technical agreement with a partner. We do not want to join the European Union. The people who say that are demagogues. It is inconceivable that we will sell off the Monegasque assets,” he added. The pace of negotiations is set to continue at bilateral meetings every seven weeks, with an estimated completion by 2020.
Transportation: a cable car under consideration for the west of the country
Among the topics discussed by the Minister of State recently were included the issue of transport and movement in the country. As such, Serge Telle has confirmed the progress of a project for an intra-urban cable car starting from the Exotic Garden to serve the districts of Fontvieille and Monaco-Ville. The idea is advanced even though no document has been revealed regarding the shape and look of the project. This project would be “easily achievable and could be completed in four years,” according to the Minister of State, and it would remain within national borders. This is different from the idea that had previously been floated of a possible cable car that would connect La Turbie and Monaco.
The possibility of maritime shuttles
Another issue is the creation of deterrent car parks on the grounds of the area of Brasca, which the government will acquire very soon. This facility has been considered as a placebo to help curb the mass circulation of traffic in the Principality. “The question of adding maritime shuttles is also being studied for Monaco, but it does not appear to be feasible when one factors in the problems of parking for people who would embark from the ports of Nice or Menton,”emphasised Serge Telle.
Airport: final phase
In the same domain of transport, the Minister of State stressed that the agreements were “in the final stages” for the acquisition of shares in the capital of the new company managing the airport Nice-Cote d’Azur. The importance of this approach was highlighted by Serge Telle, for “entering the capital of this industrial tool, opening Monaco to the world”. Representatives of the Monegasque state will thus have a seat on the board of directors, regarding the extent of the investment (approximately 150 million euros). In the same vein, the Minister of State confirmed recently that the Italian authorities have welcomed the takeover by Monaco of the port of Ventimiglia. This project is still in the phase of preliminary studies, however, and no date for the beginning of the works has been specified.
As the article shows, Serge Telle with this news has provided much food for thought for Monegasques regarding future Monaco relations with the EU and also the possible changing face of transport in the Principality.