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Euromed News


* Austria has since the beginning of January taken office in the rotational Presidency of the EU for the first 6 months of 2006. The work programme drawn up by the two Presidencies for 2006 - Austria and Finland -, sets out the main ojectives for this year's work of the Council and the priorities for implementation of the EU strategy towards the Mediterranean. Among these priorities, the Presidency will aim to ensure the development of the European Neighbourhood Policy, including its financing as a tool in support of regional stability and the EU Security Strategy. The Council will be called upon to adopt the Action Plans for Egypt and Lebanon. Within the Framework of the Barcelona Process, preparations will take place for the VIII Euro-Mediterranean Conference of Foreign Ministers to be held in Finland in the second half of 2006. Other priorities include implementation of the Association Agreements with Algeria and continued dialogue with Syria. On the MEPP, the EU will continue its efforts to help resolve the Mideast crisis in particular through its participation in the Quartet. The Programme is available on the Austrian Presidency’s website at the following address: http://www.eu2006.at/en/The_Council_Presidency/Priorities_Programmes/index.html

* Senior Officials of the Euro-Mediterranean Partnership responsible for political and security issues and the Euromed Committee of the Barcelona Process are meeting in Brussels on 16 and 17 January for the first time under the Austrian Presidency of the EU. On this occasion, the incoming Presidency will present its plans for the implementation of the Five Year Work Programme adopted in Barcelona. The Senior Officials will discuss the follow up and implementation of the Code of Conduct on Countering Terrorism. They will also discuss the follow up to the three Media seminars that concluded in Barcelona in November 2005 and the setting up of a Euro-Med Media Task Force. Furthermore, they will take stock of progress in the preparation of the Seminars on de-mining and on WMD and the preparation of the Seminar on racism and xenophobia in the Media. During the Euromed Committee meeting, the Presidency will present its plans to implement Chapters II and III of the Five Year Work Programme. An information session on the December Marrakesh Ministerial Conference on Transport and the December high level meeting on the Environment is also on the agenda. The Committee will also discuss future activities and events of the first half of 2006, and take stock of work progress in the Anna Lindh Foundation.

* EU-Morocco sign the first twinning contract in the area of Justice, Freedom and Security. On 21 December 2005, the Moroccan Interior Ministry signed a twinning contract with its French counterpart in the framework of the Association Agreement Support Programme, financed by the EU with a budget of 20 million euros. In accordance with this contract, the Moroccan Department of migration and border surveillance will cooperate with the French Central Department of border police in order to reinforce border control and prevent illegal migration.

* The Working Party on Euro-Mediterranean Industrial Co-operation will meet on 12 and 13 January in Brussels. In the framework of this meeting, the Commission will be presenting the Conclusions of the Barcelona Summit as well as the Five Year Work Programme (2006-2010) with special focus on the economic chapter. The Group will be informed on the preparations for the ministerial conference on Industry to be held in Rhodes in September 2006. The Group will look at progress in the implementation process of the Euro-Mediterranean Charter for Enterprise. The Commission, EuropeAid will be presenting the state of play of relevant ongoing MEDA regional (Euro-Med Market, ANIMA, Euro-Med Quality) and bilateral programmes for the development of the private sector, as well as the conclusions of the November Conference on investment climate in MEDA countries that was organised in Egypt. A progress report on the implementation of the Palermo Action Plan for the free movement of industrial products will be presented. Sessions will be devoted to cooperation for private sector development, and the future of the textile industry.

* Javier Solana, High representative for CFSP congratulated Serge Brammertz for his nomination as head of the international independent Commission of inquiry into the assassination of former Lebanese Prime Minister Rafic Hariri. As he took the opportunity to thank his predecessor, Detlev Mehlis for his work. He further called upon all concerned Parties to fully and unconditionally cooperate with Brammertz and his team and to implement all relevant Security Council resolutions.


* EUROMED POLICE REGIONAL SEMINAR ON “THE FIGHT AGAINST MONEY LAUNDERING”, 16-20 JANUARY, MALTA. This Seminar is organised in the framework of the MEDA-funded Regional Police Cooperation Project, managed by EuropeAid, Cooperation Office of the EC. It aims at facilitating and reinforcing Euro-Mediterranean police cooperation on regional matters. The Seminar will address various aspects linked to money laundering with presentations by participants from MEDA countries. Among the various aspects to be discussed, participants will hear on alternative electronic money transfers, cross-border cash trafficking, the rôle of specialised police in fighting money laundering, existing international legislation, regional cooperation and suggestions for improvement of international cooperation. For more information, contact: anna.abariotou@cec.eu.int

* TRAINING THE TRAINERS: “DEVELOPMENT AND MANAGEMENT OF TRAINING PROGRAMMES AND TRAINING TECHNIQUES”, 16 – 20 JANUARY, BARCELONA. This seminar is organised under the MEDA-funded regional programme “Euromed Training of Public Administrations”, managed by EuropeAid, Cooperation Office of the European Commission. The objective is to facilitate and improve the preparation and implementation of training programmes with specific focus on such programmes supporting the implementation of the EU Association Agreements, to further co-operation at bilateral and multilateral level in the field of human resource development and training within the public administration; and to encourage networking and the exchange of experience, knowledge and good practices. For more information, contact: anna.abariotou@cec.eu.int

* FIRST MEETING OF THE SMAP WORKING GROUP ON THE FUTURE OF SMAP CORRESPONDENTS’ NETWORK, ATHENS, 20 JANUARY 2006. This Group, which was set up to advise the Commission on the future of the Correspondents’ Network with a view to improving coordination of Mediterranean environmental stakeholders, will meet for the first time in Athens to approve the Group’s terms of reference and discuss the future of the SMAP Correspondents’ Network in the context of the European Neighbourhood Policy and new developments such as the initiative for de-pollution of the Mediterranean sea. SMAP is a MEDA-funded regional programme for the environment, managed by EuropeAid, Cooperation Office of the EC. For more information, contact: Jean-Marc.Riegel@cec.eu.int

* THE EU FINANCES A CHILDCARE TRAINING PROGRAMME IN SYRIA. This is the first project to be launched in Syria under the European Initiative for Democracy and Human Rights. The 3-year project with a budget of 80,000 euros aims to train child minders working in out-of-home childcare systems such as social workers, orphanage managers, etc. For more information, contact: malene.kamp-jensen@cec.eu.int at the Commission Delegation in Syria, http://www.delsyr.cec.eu.int

Brussels,01 16 2006
European Union
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