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Political News

ENPI Management Committee
The 4th Meeting of the ENPI Management Committee met on 12 July 2007 and gave a favourable opinion on the ENPI Annual Action Programme 2007 for Armenia, Georgia, and Ukraine as well as on the ENPI Annual Regional Action Programme 2007 for ENPI EAST and for ENPI SOUTH. This Action Plan will normally be submitted to the Commission in October.

EU relief over Libyan decision on medics
European Commission President José Manuel Barroso and External Relations and European Neighbourhood Policy Commissioner Benita Ferrero-Waldner have issued a joint statement on the decision of the Libyan High Judicial Council to commute death sentences on five Bulgarian Nurses and a Palestinian doctor to life imprisonment. "The fact that the High Judicial Council did not uphold the death sentence is a first relief,” they said. “However, our objective is a solution which allows for the departure of the Bulgarian and Palestinian medical personnel from Libya and their transfer to the EU as soon as possible.”

“EU wants a Palestinian state” - Solana
Javier Solana, EU High Representative for the Common Foreign and Security Policy, left for the Middle East on 17 July to discuss the latest developments in the region with Israeli and Palestinian leaders and to encourage both sides to continue their dialogue. Before leaving Brussels he recalled that the European Union is united in its policy on the Middle East Peace Process: "What we want", he said, "is to have a Palestinian state".
He also welcomed comments by US President George W. Bush about a two-state solution in the region and the commitment to help the Palestinians economically and politically.
As the Middle East Quartet (the United States, the Russian Federation, the European Union and the United Nations) met on Thursday, Javier Solana, recalled that the European Union will continue to work side by side with the United States in the Quartet in a determined effort to bring about an end to the conflict.

Caution required for next steps in Middle East, says MEP
The international community needs to consider with great caution any temptation to send an international military force to Gaza, as the current complex security situation does not allow it, said Jana Hybášková MEP, Chairwoman of European Parliament’s Inter-parliamentary Delegation for relations with Israel following the adoption of a Resolution on the Middle East. T he Resolution expresses understanding and support for President Abbas' extraordinary decisions given the serious circumstances and supports the position of the Quartet.

Jordanian Foreign Minister meets Amado
The Jordanian Foreign Minister Abdelelah Al-Khatib was in Brussels on 16 July for a meeting with his Portuguese counterpart Luís Amado. Bilateral relations in the political, economic and cultural spheres, EU-Jordan relations, the Euro-Arab dialogue, the Mediterranean dialogues, the Middle East Peace Process and the current situation in Lebanon were on the agenda for the meeting.

Egyptian Foreign Minister meets Amado
Portuguese Foreign Minister Luís Amado welcomed his Egyptian counterpart Ahmed Abou El Gheit to Lisbon on 18 July. Bilateral relations in the political, economic and cultural spheres, EU-Egypt relations, the next EU-Africa summit, the Mediterranean dialogues and the Middle East Peace Process were on the agenda for the meeting.

EuroMed Committee supports greater dialogue
At the 70th EuroMed Senior Officials (SOM) and Committee Meeting in Brussels, Foreign Ministers underlined the need to further strengthen intercultural dialogue with the aim of ensuring better knowledge, mutual understanding, freedom and respect for all religions, beliefs and cultures among Euro-Mediterranean peoples, in their cultural diversity. The EuroMed Committee approved the new organisational structure of the Anna Lindh Foundation for the Dialogue between Cultures.

Solana meets Ukrainian Foreign Minister
Javier Solana, EU High Representative for the CFSP, met Ukrainian Foreign Minister, Arseniy Yatsenyuk on 17 July 2007 , to discuss the latest developments in Ukraine and relations with the European Union.

Ukraine : WTO membership and free trade talks with EU
Ukraine plans to join the World Trade Organization by the end of the year. This membership would allow the EU to open talks with Ukraine on free trade. EU External Relations Commissioner Benita Ferrero-Waldner said there had been significant progress in talks on a wider political and economic cooperation agreement with Ukraine. The political standoff in the country has provoked concern in the EU over the stability of Ukraine but parliamentary elections are scheduled for September.

EU-Russia dialogue on industrial policy
At a press-conference in Moscow, the Vice-President of the European Commission, Günter Verheugen, said that the Commission would make a new attempt in the autumn 2007 to liberalise the gas and electricity sectors in the EU. Changes in the EU legislation could complicate the acquisitions of assets in Europe by Gazprom.

Programmes and projects

Tempus Joint European Projects announced
The European Commission has announced the results of the selection procedure for Joint European Projects under the Tempus programme financed by MEDA funds, among those submitted by the 15 December 2006 deadline.
A new call for proposals under Tempus IV will be published in October 2007. The planned deadline for submission of project proposals is February-March 2008.
Financed by MEDA, the Tempus programme funds cooperation projects in the areas of curriculum development and innovation, teacher training, university management, and structural reforms in higher education in partner countries.

Israel renews association with EU research programme
Israeli researchers, universities and companies will get full access to the EU's 7th Research Framework Programme (FP7). This is the outcome of the science and technological cooperation renewed by the European Union and Israel. Under this agreement, Israeli researchers will be able to participate in all calls for proposals under FP7 on an equal footing with researchers from the EU member states. The EU is now Israel's second biggest source of research funding. It is estimated that Israel will contribute around €440 million to the overall FP7 budget of over €50 billion.

EuroMeSCo seminar on migration issues

Marseille,09 04 2007
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