* The European Investment Bank (EIB) on 12 June announced it was lending € 250 million to Algeria for reconstruction following last month’s earthquakes. This decision was announced during the visit of EIB Vice-President Philippe de Fontaine Vive to Algiers on 12 June. The EIB funds will be earmarked first and foremost for the reconstruction of urban infrastructure (water supply and treatment, electricity, gas, public transport), as well as the rehabilitation of social facilities (hospitals, community clinics, schools, public buildings) in the towns of Boumerdès, Reghaia Zemmouri, Roubia, and certain districts of Algiers.
* The European Commission on 10 June renewed its agreement on scientific and technological co-operation with Israel. The agreement was signed in Brussels by European Research Commissioner Philippe Busquin, Greek Minister for Development Apostolos Tsochatzopoulos for the EU Presidency, and Israeli Minister of Science Eliezer Zandberg. The agreement will cover Israeli participation from the outset in the sixth EU Research Framework Programme (2003-2006). Israel will contribute € 192 million to the overall € 16.27 billion budget. “Europe and Israel can clearly benefit from joint endeavours in the scientific field”, said Commissioner Busquin. “The new agreement will also pave the way to enhanced dialogue between Arabs and Israelis. Research is an area where contacts and co-operation can transcend political and cultural barriers, with Arab and Israeli scientists working in partnership thanks to EU projects”. More on the sixth Framework Programme on
http://europa.eu.int/comm/research/fp6/index_en.html, and Mr Busquin’s speech can be downloaded from
* Morocco’s Prime Minister Driss Jettou will visit Brussels on 17 June. Mr Jettou will meet EU High Representative Javier Solana, European Commission President Romano Prodi, European Commissioner for External Relations Chris Patten, and his colleague in charge of Trade Pascal Lamy.
* European Enlargement Commissioner Günter Verheugen will pay a working visit to Israel on 15 and 16 June. He will deliver a keynote address on 15 June at a conference in Jerusalem on ‘European Enlargement and Israel’. The conference, organised by the European Commission Delegation to Israel, will also be addressed by Israeli and Hungarian Foreign Ministers Silvan Shalom and Lazlo Kovacs. At the conference a research paper on the implications of EU enlargement for Israel will be presented by Israeli Jean Monnet Chair Prof. Alfred Tovias. In the course of his visit, Commissioner Verheugen is due to meet several leading Israeli personalities including Foreign Minister Silvan Shalom, Minister Without Portfolio, Ministry of Finance Meir Sheetrit, Member of Knesset Shimon Peres, as well as business people and academics.
* An EU-Egypt Ministerial Meeting will take place on 16 and 17 June in Luxembourg on the initiative of the EU Presidency. The Egyptian Delegation will be led by Foreign Minister Ahmed Maher, and the EU Delegation will include Greek Foreign Minister George Papandreou, High Representative Javier Solana, and External Relations Commissioner Chris Patten. In the light of progress made in the ratification of the Association Agreement, the meeting will provide an opportunity to review the state of bilateral relations, and to discuss a range of political issues of mutual interest. It will be held in recognition of Egypt’s importance in the region, and in the context of the close relations between the EU and Egypt, marked by a visit by Commissioner Patten to Cairo and a visit by Prime Minister Atef Obeid to the European Commission, both last October.
* European Trade Commissioner Pascal Lamy will on 21-22 June attend a meeting hosted by the Egyptian government in Sharm-el-Sheikh to provide additional political impetus to current negotiations in the framework of the World Trade Organisation (WTO). The meeting will bring together representatives of countries such as the United States, Japan, Canada, China, and India. Mr Lamy will meet Egypt’s Minister for Foreign Trade Youssef Boutros-Ghali. He will then proceed to Amman where he will on 23 June deliver a speech on the EU Perspective at the World Economic Forum.
* Euro-Mediterranean Senior Officials responsible for Trade met on 5 June in Brussels to prepare the Euro-Med Trade Ministers Conference scheduled for 7 July in Palermo, Italy. They agreed a draft agenda where subjects for discussion include Rules of origin, Services, Simplification of customs procedures, Approximation of legislation in the field of standards, as well as Wider Europe and the Mediterranean Partners.
PROGRAMMES & PROJECTS
* REGIONAL WORKING DAYS ON GOOD GOVERNANCE AND ENHANCEMENT OF THE RULE OF LAW
Working Days for the MEDA funded Regional Programme on ‘Good Governance and Enhancement of the Rule of Law’ will take place from 15 to 19 June in Brussels to kick start the Programme. The Working Days will bring together senior officials from all Euro-Mediterranean partners for them to select themes, and set up partnerships accordingly for the eventual launch of selected operations. One Working Day will be devoted to each main chapter of the programme (Justice, Police, and Migration). The full name of the € 6 million Programme is ‘Regional Cooperation Programme in the Field of Justice, in Combating Drugs, Organised Crime and Terrorism, as well as Cooperation in the Treatment of Issues relating to the Social Integration of Migrants, Migration, and Movement of People’.
* PRESERVING OLD MILITARY BUILDINGS ON THE MEDITERRANEAN COASTS
The launch conference for the MEDA funded ‘Defence Systems on the Mediterranean Coasts’ project (SIDLIM in the French acronym), part of the Euromed Heritage II Regional Programme, will be held from 19 to 21 June in Cartagena, Spain. SIDLIM aims at establishing networks of public and private organisations to define and implement common strategies and operations for the conservation and enhancement of Defence Systems on Euro-Mediterranean Coasts. The project is co-ordinated by Spain’s Research and Development Centre (CID), and it involves institutions in charge of managing cultural heritage in Egypt, Morocco, Greece, Portugal, and Spain (Ceuta).
* IT IN TEXTILE IN CAIRO
European technology providers and representatives of the Egyptian textile trade will meet on 16 June in Cairo for a partnership event called ‘IT in Promoting Textile’, and organised jointly under the MEDA supported E_Med Tex-Net project, part of the EUMEDIS regional programme, and the EU funded MEDRESSA initiative. E_Med Tex-net is the Cluster for the development of a Euro-Mediterranean network in the Textile Clothing Sector.
http://www.medressa.com and email@example.com
* MEDITERRANEAN ENVIRONMENT IN CHARTS AND FIGURES
Want to know about the state of the environment in the 12 Mediterranean Partners? A 135 page publication entitled ‘Environment Statistics in the Mediterranean countries – Compendium 2002’ has been recently published by Eurostat, the EU Statistical Office. It was prepared by Plan Bleu under the MEDA funded MEDSTAT-Environment project, part of the MEDSTAT Regional Programme. It is available in paper format only, and can be ordered from the Eurostat web site
or from Eurostat’s Data Shops whose details can be found on the web site.
* EURO-MOROCCAN JAZZ FESTIVAL IN RABAT
The 8th ‘Jazz aux Oudayas’ Festival will bring together Moroccan and European musicians from 13 to 17 June in Rabat. It is organised by the European Commission Delegation in Morocco and EU Member States’ Embassies in Rabat in partnership with Morocco’s Ministry of Culture, and the Rabat/Salé Wilaya. The Festival will be an opportunity for encounters between musicians from both sides of the Mediterranean.
Brussels,06 16 2003
European Union Redaction