Tour of Europe 3rd Stop

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    Premier Commissioner Dominik Frank has now arrived in the Confederacy of Halsberg. Before meeting the Confederate delegation, Frank takes a moment to thank the flight crew that has been transporting him around Europe over the past few days. A rejuvenated Dominik Frank exits the hangar with an essence of confidence. He believes that the Tour of Europe thus far has been a wild success. Just in two visits the Premier already has begun making new policy for when he finally returns to Europolis. The Confederacy of Halsberg is a rising star on the regional stage, so Dominik looks forward to hearing the opinions of the Confederate people.

  • The Vice President, Mrs Julia MacKinnon, approached the Premier Commissioner as he exited the hanger. It was a big day. A visit by a Premier is an important occasion, even more so when it is his first.

    "Premier Frank! May I be the first of many to welcome you to the Confederacy. I just know that you will enjoy yourself here. It is an honoured tradition in Halsberg that prominent foreign guests are greeted by the Vice President. Adopted during Medieval times, it was to ensure any guests to the King were relaxed and calm during their meeting with the sovereign. If you would like to follow me, Commissioner Frank. Our car is waiting."

    The pair entered waiting Jaguar XJ, the standard government vehicle. After the car began its journey, Vice President MacKinnon informed the Premier of their destination:

    "We will be meeting the High President at Thurston Cathedral. Renowned for its Gothic architecture, the Cathedral receives countless visitors each year. Don't worry, we won't be battling through droves of tourists! The Cathedral is closed for the bank holiday. I know that the High President is really looking forward to meeting you."

  • "I too look forward to meeting with High President Solomon. I'm thankful for the intimacy of the meeting. Sometimes the crowds can be a bit overwhelming, especially when its my fault that they are caught in traffic."

    As they continued toward the Thurston Cathedral, Premier Frank came to the realization that cars in Halsberg drove on the left side of the road. Dominik is far more used to driving on the right as is custom in Rhine Ruhr and Europolis... or is it the custom in Europolis? Premier Frank now ponders if he truly knows the traffic regulations in the Grand Duchy. He's always had diplomatic status, and may have been getting away with horrendous driving for over a year now. He decided that he will look into it when he returns to his own office.

  • The car pulled up outside the Cathedral fa?ade. The traditional red carpet was draped over the steps that led up to the entrance. Thankfully, the weather looked favourably on the event. With Thurston experiencing exactly the same weather for days on end recently, there was concern that the quality carpeting would be damaged.

    The High President stood in the doorway of the Cathedral. It seemed that he was alone, but Julia MacKinnon knew better. The High President was rarely without his security team nearby. The Vice President and the Premier ascended the steps towards the smiling High President. Michael Solomon extended his hand as the two individuals reached the top of the stairs.

    "Premier Commissioner Frank, how wonderful it is to see you! I trust you had a pleasant journey? Shall we take a stroll through the Cathedral?"

    Julia MacKinnon excused herself, and turned back to walk towards the car. She looked forward to the Pot Noodle she had waiting for her back at the office.

  • "Oh yes! The car ride was quite pleasant indeed. It is a great pleasure to make your acquaintance High President."

    Dominik Frank is not a religious man; but as an avid follower of the humanities, he quite enjoys touring religious places like cathedrals. As the pair walked through the Thurston Cathedral, Frank noted the pointed arches and the flying buttresses that characterize Gothic architecture.

    "What is the current Confederate sentiment of the European Union? In recent months euroscepticism has been on the rise and I'm just curious to hear the Confederate standpoint."

  • "Well, my Government firmly believes in cooperation with our neighbours. But at the same time, we also believe in the importance of our own national government's legislative authority. There are of course certain areas in which it is better for the EU to act. The recently passed Relief Force Act is a prime example of this. The UCP believes in a Union of cooperation and democracy; one that isn't bogged down with red tape and bureaucracy, but rather, one that is effective in solving region-wide problems."

    The pair passed by a marble sculpture of Saint Edith of Wilton, the patron saint of Thurston.

    "I do hope that the European Union will not become a top down organisation. I commend you, Commissioner Frank, for your approach to the Union."

  • "Its really not commend worthy. The Constitution states that it is the Council that creates legislation, not the Commission. This does not mean that this Commission idly sits by, other than enforcing legislation, we've played a major role in encouraging Councillors to create regional policy. The way Commission XI has conducted business may lead to the end of the Commission Committees. I must say that I'm really proud of my fellow Commissioners."

  • "Being a highly influential member of the EFP, you have a unique insight into the party. I was wondering what your opinion is on the recent losses the EFP has sustained? First, the Os Corelius Party and the Marrakechian Istiqlal Party , now Mogo Mogo's Independence and Freedom Party. Can the EFP survive these high profile losses?"

  • "The EFP will survive one way or another. Our ideals have deeply affected Europe and the way the region conducts its politics. The EFP has ingrained itself in the very fabric of Europolitics. Our manifesto has influenced the very creation and the policies of all of our rival parties. The European Freedom Party has pulled all of Europe to the center. I see all of the recent losses as only temporary. Parties have been comparing the older and familiar with the newer and shinier. Once they tire with being alone, I believe they will return to their home in the EFP. President Ali is a magnificent leader and I'm positive that the European Freedom Party will continue to thrive under her."

  • "Its undeniable that the EFP is instrumental in European politics. I'm interested to hear your opinion on the UEC. What do you think its chances are in the next elections, and how do you think its doing now?"

  • "The UEC is what happened when the ECR collided with EFP politics. I dislike the inter-party government known as the 'Executive Board'. Conservatives are supposed to limit government size. Other than that there are not many differences between the UEC and the EFP. Well other than that anti multiculturalism nonsense. Overall the party is very average and I could see it being forgotten like the European Peoples Party. On a positive note, I do see the UEC's potential in the next election. The party has several attractive choices for the European Commission. I do view the Union of European Conservatives to be a force to be reckoned with. As long as the party keeps its charismatic characters, it will fair well."

  • "Interesting answer. I wouldn't say any of the party's policies are "nonsense", but I'm not exactly the most impartial source. With the recent defeat of the New Labour Relations Act, do you or your party have any plans to introduce anything similar? Anything based around the concept of worker's rights?"

  • _"Europe has made itself clear, there will be no European mandate on how states conduct business with their own workers. Councillor Orcello tried to strike a compromise between the two sides by creating a bill with as little of sovereign infringement as possible, but even the slightest infringement is too much in the eyes of the Council. I do not foresee the European Freedom Party pursuing similar legislation in the near future.

    I know that a little while back, The Confederacy was considering a withdrawal from the European Economic Community. Does Halsberg intend on continuing its membership in the Community, or do you seek to control your own economic policy?"_

  • "We held a referendum a few months ago and the voters chose to remain in the Economic Community. Our main concern with membership was the immigration policy that was imposed. However, we intend to either renegotiate this element of membership, or secure some form of opt-out. Ideally, we would like to continue our membership, but be able to set our own immigration policy."

  • "Mr. High President, what are the defining issues that the Confederate citizens are most focused on? Would any of these issues translate regionally? I'm preparing to alter my current policy depending on what I hear while on my tour."

  • "Many of our citizens, especially our business people, would like to see more support for small and medium sized businesses. I feel that this could be acted upon at a region-wide level, to an extent. The Halsbergian economy is doing really rather well, yet we are still seeing small, independent shops closing. I've seen countless high streets where over half of the establishments have shut down. We're making significant progress in this area, by removing intrusive regulations. We'd like to see this encouraged at a European level."

  • _"How would we be able to accomplish this without infringing the rights of states? The Council has stated that it is not Europe's role to manage economic policy. If the Council can not tell nations to cooperate with labor unions, then we cannot mandate that they cooperate with business big or small. I also know that parties such as the EFP and ECL would be livid at such a use of budget funds.

    As for regulations, Europe recently has made strides in eliminating any potential threats to business. There was the Repeal of the Labor Relations Act, the Repeal of The Right to Free Education bill, and the Repeal of the Broadcasting Union Bill. With such diverse economies in the Union, I see it impossible how businesses could be helped from the regional level."_

  • _"It is indeed impossible to directly manage state economies, but there are various ways of helping entrepreneurs and businesses. The anti-piracy bill that the UEC are currently working on is an example of this. It will not infringe on sovereignty, merely require that nations recognise the rights of artists. Piracy costs the Halsbergian music industry alone over H$30 billion. Of course, we would be the last to endorse EU control of national economies, but there are ways to safeguard enterprise without eroding national sovereignty too much."

    "What do you make of Pax Aurea's space programme? Personally, I am fascinated. I'm seriously considering widening Halsberg's own space programme to accommodate manned flight."_

  • "I must admit that I'm no fanatic when it comes to national space programs. I do commend Pax Aurea's commitment to exploration and the sciences. I likewise commend their efforts of cooperation noting especially the relationship between Ad Astra and the nations of The United Kingdom and Occoron. The world nowadays is so much smaller than it used to be since the globalization brought forth by the internet. What one state discovers soon becomes common knowledge to the rest of the world. The view I have of national space programs is as a tool of nationalism. The race to space in my mind is meaningless as a competition. I foresee a future where there is no competition, there is only the shared pursuit of knowledge. A European Space Agency where there is cooperation of the greatest scientists this region has ever seen. The combined effort to reach towards the stars will be our future. Of course this would have to be a collective of European states, not the European government."

  • After strolling through the Cathedral for some time, the two politicians approached the main entrance once more. It was time for the Premier to speed off to his next destination.

    "I must say, Premier Frank, I have really quite enjoyed this meeting. I hope our chat has been useful. Remember, you are welcome in the Confederacy at any time. Oh, it seems as if your car has arrived."

    The two men walked down to the awaiting vehicle.

    "Premier Frank, thank you for visiting us here in Halsberg. All of us here want to wish you a pleasant onward journey."