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The European Commission on 28 May announced it was providing emergency aid worth € 1 million to the victims of the earthquake that hit the North of Algeria a few days ago. The assistance includes medical aid in favour of some 9,000 injured people, the provision of drinking water and sanitary equipment, and the distribution of tents to persons left homeless by the catastrophe, whose numbers could reach 200,000. The aid is managed by the European Commission Humanitarian Office (ECHO), acting in co-operation with other humanitarian organisations.
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* Euro-Mediterranean Foreign Ministers met on 26 and 27 May on the Greek island of Crete for a ‘mid-term meeting’ a year after adoption of the Valencia Action Plan, and six months ahead of the Ministerial Conference due to be held in Naples, Italy. The Ministers expressed their full solidarity with Algeria in the wake of the catastrophic earthquake, and with Morocco after the recent terrorist attacks. The recent developments in the Middle East and the Mediterranean were discussed, and the Ministers called on both parties to the Middle East conflict to “proceed with the faithful and effective implementation of the Road Map without delay”. Euro-Mediterranean partners took stock of what had been achieved since the Valencia meeting, and discussed the Partnership’s future development, notably in the light of the EU enlargement with a view to preparing the next Ministerial Conference in Naples late this year. Participants agreed that the proposed new Neighbourhood Policy “sets out a means to reinforce the Barcelona Process”. The Ministers adopted Guiding Principles for the Dialogue between Cultures and Civilisations, stressing that such dialogue “is an efficient means of conflict prevention and requires the active participation of civil society”. In a specific statement on the future Euro-Mediterranean Foundation on a Dialogue of Cultures, whose establishment they insisted is a priority, the Ministers listed its main goals, and its possible activities. Foreign Ministers from the non-Mediterranean acceding countries attended such a meeting for the first time, which brought the number of Euro-Med partners to 35. Delegations from Libya, Mauritania, the Arab League, and the Arab Maghreb Union were present as special guests of the EU Presidency.

* Algerian President Abdelaziz Bouteflika will formally address the next plenary session of the European Parliament on 3 June in Strasbourg, France. This will be an occasion for Parliament to show its solidarity with the people of Algeria after the devastating earthquake that hit the North of the country.

* European Research Commissioner Philippe Busquin visited Morocco from 24 to 26 May to meet members of the Government, and to attend a National Workshop on Research. Mr Busquin met Morocco’s Prime Minister Driss Jettou, Foreign Minister Abderrahmane El Youssoufi, Parliament Speaker Abdelouahed Radi, Minister for Higher Education Khalid Alioua, and Alternate Minister in charge of Scientific Research Omar Fassi Fihri. The Commissioner also had meetings with the Ambassadors of EU Member States, and the European Commission Head of Delegation. In addition, he addressed the National Workshop on Research held on 26 and 27 May to present and discuss the results of an assessment of Morocco’s Scientific and Technological Research System. As a result of the Workshop reforms aimed at strengthening the country’s policies on science and technology should be proposed. Participants were industry and small business representatives, academics, and senior officials. A regional workshop will take place in October in Morocco where the results of the National Workshop will be discussed with the aim of extending the process to other countries in the region, mainly in the Maghreb. Those activities are funded by the European Commission’s Directorate General for Research under the INCO (INternational CO-operation) Programme.

* The European Parliament Delegation for relations with Mashrak countries and Gulf States will meet on 5 June in Strasbourg, France. A file for the trip to Lebanon and Syria of a Delegation Working Group will be distributed. The trip is scheduled for 8-15 June. In addition, Delegation members will discuss the setting up of a ‘friendship group’ bringing together Members of the European Parliament, and members of the Syrian Parliament.

* The Monitoring Committee for Euro-Mediterranean Co-operation in Research and Technical Development will hold its 9th annual meeting on 5 and 6 June in Cairo under the Co-Presidency of Greece’s Secretary of State for Scientific Research and Technology Dimitri Deniozos, and Egypt’s Minister for Education and Scientific Research. Presentations will be made of research priorities and international co-operation (INCO) activities under the sixth EU Framework Programme for Research, as well as possibilities under MEDA and plans for a Euro-Mediterranean Research and Innovation Area. A round table will enable Euro-Med Partners to review recent developments in research at national level, and as regards ‘North-South’ and ‘South-South’ co-operation. Two working groups will discuss research prospects for the Mediterranean. One of them will focus on how to maximise the Mediterranean Partners’ participation in the sixth Framework Programme, and to strengthen national policies on science and technology, and the other will look at how to implement the concept of a Euro-Med Research Area, and to enhance the benefits through instruments such as MEDA or EIB loans. Participants will be Senior Officials from the Euro-Mediterranean partners, the European Commission, and the European Investment Bank.

* Euro-Mediterranean Senior Officials responsible for Trade will meet on 5 June in Brussels. The aim of the meeting is to prepare the 3rd Euro-Mediterranean Ministerial Trade Conference to be held on 7 July in Palermo, Italy.
Contact point: Christophe.Rames@cec.eu.int

* A Conference on Private Sector Development in Mediterranean Partners, with a special focus on Maghreb countries, will be held on 10 June in Brussels on the initiative of the European Investment Bank (EIB). A major aim of the Conference is to raise awareness of the recent Facility for Euro-Mediterranean Investment and Partnership (FEMIP). Fax: +352 4379 3189,
e-mail: d.feltes@eib.org

* A Conference on ‘Youth and Gender, Trans-national Identities and Islamophobia’ was held on 22 May in Brussels on the European Commission’s initiative in the presence of European Research Commissioner Philippe Busquin. Participants were researchers, policymakers, and social workers.


A Seminar aimed at training and informing economists in the Mediterranean Partners’ Investment Promotion Agencies (IPA) will be held from 2 to 6 June in Marseilles, France within the MEDA funded ANIMA Regional Programme, whose main objective is to help make the Mediterranean Region more attractive for foreign investors. The 36-month ANIMA Programme is designed in particular to develop co-operation between IPAs in EU Member States and in Mediterranean Partners so as to build a network linking them together. The Seminar will be made up of 5 modules (Assessment of country image among investors; Exchange of experience on strategic marketing; Assessment of the investment market and of Mediterranean Partners’ performances; and Measuring territorial attractiveness: global approaches, and micro-economic approaches). More information is available from the Programme co-ordinators Invest in France Agency, tel: +33 1 40 74 73 17, fax: +33 1 40 74 74 01, e-mail: v.ledru@investinfrance.org

A series of training workshops for women industrialists is being held on the initiative of the Committee of Syrian Women Industrialists in co-operation with the MEDA funded Syrian-European Business Centre (SEBC). Training sessions in General Management Skills have taken place from 25 to 27 May at the Aleppo Chamber of Industry, and the next workshop will be held on 29 May at the Damascus Chamber of Commerce. The programme also includes specialised courses in Computer Programming, Quality Improvement, Personal Status Law, and the WTO. For further information:

Two documentaries which received support within the ‘Elles…’ project, part of the MEDA funded Euromed Audiovisual Regional Programme, are being screened on 28 May at the Cairo Opera House. One of them is “The Legend of Rose Al-Youssef” by Mohamed Kamel al-Kalioubi, and the other by Amine and Ahmed Rachedi is entitled ‘Femme Courage’ (Brave Woman).


The European Commission has published a brochure on the Commission’s co-operation programmes that promote the dialogue between cultures and civilisations in the Mediterranean area. The brochure includes extensive information on the regional activities of the Euro-Mediterranean Partnership contributing to this dialogue, namely the Euromed Heritage Programme, the Euromed Audiovisual Programme and the Euromed Youth Programme and on some other EU funded activities that promote such a dialogue. This publication is intended for the people involved in the Barcelona Process or interested to know more about it. Copies can be requested to:

The latest issue (No 9) of ETE-News, the newsletter published by Tunisia’s Private Sector Development Programme (Euro-Tunisie-Entreprise) is out. It focuses on Tunisia’s National Programme for Business Upgrading, and provides details of various activities of support by ETE to Tunisian companies.

Brussels,06 02 2003
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