* The G8 Meeting of the seven biggest economies and Russia held on 2 and 3 June in Evian, France “welcomed the approval by the Palestinians and by Israel of the Quartet Roadmap and emphasised (the G8 Members’) determination to jointly support its implementation”, according to the Chair’s Summary. G8 Members also “discussed the desirability of reaching a comprehensive peace settlement that includes Syria and Lebanon.
* Algeria’s President Abdelaziz Bouteflika on 3 June addressed the European Parliament in Strasbourg, France. In his speech he stated that the EU-Algeria Association Agreement would firmly cement Algeria’s economic links with the EU and offer the opportunity for deepening political dialogue. The Algerian President said that the development of the gas pipeline to Italy and Spain was another sign of his country’s long-term commitment to Europe. He pointed out the difficulties faced in Algeria in moving towards an economy based on free trade. Mr Bouteflika underlined the need to tackle poverty as one of the root causes of terrorism, and the importance of the respect for human rights. He said he looked forward to EU support to help strengthen democracy. The Algerian President also drew attention to the role of sub-regional co-operation within the Arab Maghreb Union.
* A meeting on Economic Reform in the Palestinian Territories within the implementation of the Road Map was held on 28 and 29 May in Rome on the initiative of the Italian government who will take over the EU rotating Presidency as from 1 July. Italian government representatives, notably Foreign Minister Franco Frattini and Minister for Productive Activities Antonio Marzano, presented their views on Palestinian reform and the revival of the Palestinian economy in a regional context, and the economic aspects of implementing the Road Map were discussed. The Quartet’s Middle East Peace Process Envoys were present, with Miguel Angel Moratinos representing the EU. Participants also included the Palestinian Authority’s Minister for the Economy Maher Masri, Israeli senior officials, and representatives of Israeli and Palestinian employer organisations, and the European Commission.
* The EU-Israel Scientific and Technical Co-operation Agreement will be signed on 10 June in Brussels. The European Union will be represented by Greek Minister for Development Apostolos Tsochatzopoulos, European Research Commissioner Philippe Busquin, and a number of senior officials. Under the Agreement Israeli undertakings, research centres, and universities will have access to the EU’s Sixth Framework Programme for Research and Technological Development. The Agreement also provides for participation of EU research entities in scientific activities in Israel.
* European Enlargement Commissioner Günter Verheugen will pay a working visit to Israel on 15 and 16 June. The main purpose of the visit is to deliver a keynote address at a conference on ‘European Enlargement and Israel’ on 15 June in Jerusalem. The conference, organised by the European Commission Delegation in Tel Aviv, will also be addressed by Israeli and Hungarian Foreign Ministers Silvan Shalom and Lazlo Kovacs, and Italy’s Minister Plenipotentiary with the Foreign Ministry Andrea Meloni. In the course of the conference a research paper on the implications of EU enlargement for Israel, commissioned by the Commission Delegation in Tel Aviv, will be presented by Israeli Jean Monnet Chair Prof. Alfred Tovias. During his visit Commissioner Verheugen will also address the EU-Israel Forum Press Club. On 16 June the Commissioner is scheduled to meet several leading Israeli political personalities including Finance Minister Binyamin Netanyahu.
* Members of the European Parliament Delegation for relations with the Mashrak countries and the Gulf States will visit Syria from 8 to 11 June, and they will stay in Lebanon from 11 to 14 June. In Syria Delegation Members will have meetings with Prime Minister Mohammed Mustapha Miro, Vice-President Abdul Halim Khaddam, the Parliament Speaker, the Parliament Foreign Affairs Committee, the Ambassadors of EU Member States, and the European Commission Head of Delegation. They will attend the opening of the management units for two MEDA funded programmes, one on Cultural Heritage Training and the other on Cultural Tourism Development, and they will visit the MEDA funded Syrian-European Business Centre. In addition, the MEPs will take part in a seminar on ‘Parliamentary Democracy and Muslim Perspective’ along with Sunni and Shii clerics, and Christian churches’ representatives as observers. In Lebanon the MEPs will meet President Emile Lahoud, several members of the government, including Justice Minister Bahige Tabbarah and Economy and Trade Minister Marwan Hamadeh, and the European Commission Head of Delegation. In both countries Delegation Members will meet civil society representatives.
* An EU-Israel meeting will take place on 11 June in Brussels in the framework of negotiations for an agreement on agriculture within the Association Agreement. The meeting will be held at officials’ level.
* 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). Two round tables will address SMEs and Private Sector Development, and Promoting Foreign Direct Investment respectively. Fax: +352 4379 3189,
PROGRAMMES & PROJECTS
* EUROPEAN PARLIAMENT PRAISES MEDA, WANTS MORE FUNDS FOR WOMEN, REGIONAL PROJECTS
The European Parliament on 2 June adopted an own-initiative report on the MEDA Programme and a resolution which reaffirms MEPs’ support for the Euro-Mediterranean Partnership and the MEDA Programme, while calling for a greater focus on women’s issues and human rights, and more funding for regional projects. The report was drawn up by Green MEP Yves Piétrasanta on the basis of the MEDA 2000 annual report, but taking into account recent developments. The resolution includes a number of recommendations such as the rapid launching of the Euro-Mediterranean Foundation for Dialogue between Cultures, a better balance between bilateral and regional co-operation, greater emphasis on renewable energy sources, and more training for the development of the information society.
http://www.europarl.eu.int/plenary/default_en.htm (click on Rapporteur, then type Pietrasanta)
* COMPETITION POLICY GUIDELINES FOR MEDITERRANEAN PARTNERS
Guidelines to be borne in mind by the Mediterranean Partners when designing and enforcing competition policy in the framework of the future Euro-Mediterranean Free Trade Area have been adopted by Euro-Mediterranean senior officials and European Commission representatives at a workshop on competition rules held from 26 to 28 May in Berlin, Germany. The workshop was the 7th in a series of 8 workshops organised within the MEDA funded Euro-Med Market Regional Programme. The guidelines provide for technical assistance among Mediterranean Partners, setting up a MEDA Competition Network to be hosted by the Euro-Med Market web site, and reinforcing the mechanisms linking the Partners’ relevant laws and regulations with the EU competition policy. For more information: European Institute of Public Administration, European Centre for the Regions, tel. +34 93 567 24 00, fax: +34 93 567 23 99.
* REGIONAL WORKSHOP ON LANDSCAPE AND ARCHITECTURE
A regional workshop for an exchange of experiences on ‘The Management and Development of Landscape and the Integration of contemporary Architecture and Art’ was held from 29 to 31 May in Seville, Spain within the MEDA funded DELTA Project, part of the Euromed Heritage II Regional Programme. This was the first such thematic workshop within DELTA. It was organised by the project co-ordinator, Italy’s Mediterranean Institute. http://www.deltaeuromed.it
* EGYPT’S MIDDLE MANAGEMENT TRAINING PROGRAMME FOR EDUCATION
A meeting held on 4 June at Ain Shams University in Cairo marked the end of the 1st phase of Egypt’s Middle Management Training Programme for some 700 managers in the basic education sector in 15 governorates. The meeting was addressed by the Egyptian Minister for Education Hussein Kamel Baha Al-Din, and the European Commission Head of Delegation in Cairo, Ian Boag. The Middle Management Training Programme consists of two 8-week sessions, one in Egypt and the other in the UK, with an EU contribution is € 12.6 million. It is part of a wider Education Enhancement Programme, which receives € 100 million from the EU.
* 4TH INTERNATIONAL THEATER WORKSHOP IN TEL AVIV
The 4th International Theater Workshop, which gets support from the European Commission Delegation in Israel, opened on 1 June in Tel Aviv. Theatre workshops will continue in June and July in various venues in Tel Aviv and Kiryat Shemone, with the participation of artists from Israel and 3 EU Member States (France, Germany, and the UK), as well as Ukraine. http://www.stage-centre.org
Brussels,06 09 2003
European Union Redaction