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* The 4th EU-Tunisia Association Council will be held on 30 September in Brussels. The Tunisian Delegation will be led by Foreign Minister Habib Ben Yahia, and the EU Delegation by Italian Foreign Minister Franco Frattini as Italy currently holds the EU’s rotating Presidency. External Relations Commissioner Chris Patten will represent the European Commission. The two sides will have an exchange of views on the state of and prospects for EU-Tunisia relations in the framework of the Association Agreement. The Association Council is also expected to adopt a decision on the creation of sectoral sub-committees within the Association Committee. The plenary session of the Council will be preceded by a Political Dialogue over dinner on 29 September, where various issues will be discussed, including the Middle East Peace Process, Iraq, the Democratic Process, the Barcelona Process and the EU’s ‘Wider Europe’ Policy, and Sub-regional Co-operation.

* Senior Officials of the Euro-Mediterranean Partnership responsible for Political and Security Issues met on 24 September in Brussels. They discussed multilateral aspects of the European Commission’s recent Communication on Human Rights and Democratisation and of the Wider Europe/New Neighbourhood Policy. The Commission gave a number of explanations in response to comments made by the Mediterranean Partners. Both issues are likely to be on the agenda again at the next meeting in October.

* The Euro-Mediterranean Committee for the Barcelona Process met on 25 September in Brussels. Progress was made in discussions of the establishment of the Euro-Mediterranean Foundation for the Dialogue between Cultures and Civilisations, and its structure. The issue will probably be on the agenda of the next meeting in October. In addition, the European Commission informed the Committee of the state of play of the MEDA funded Euromed Audiovisual, Euromed Heritage, and Euromed Youth Regional Programmes. The Mediterranean Partners’ first reactions were very positive.

* The European Parliament Delegation for Relations with the Maghreb Countries and the Arab Maghreb Union will travel to Algiers to take part in the 7th EU-Algeria Joint Parliamentary Meeting scheduled for 30 September-3 October. The Delegation will be received by Prime Minister Ahmed Ouyahia, Foreign Minister Abdelaziz Belkhadem, and Members of the People’s National Assembly and the Nation’s Council. Delegation members will have meetings with the National Assembly’s political groups, and with the President of the National Consultative Committee for the Protection and Promotion of Human Rights, Farouk Ksentini. The Delegation will also meet civil society and media representatives, and personalities from Kabylia, as well as the Head of the European Commission Delegation, Lucio Guerrato, and the Ambassadors of EU Member States. The Delegation on 24 September had an exchange of views on the programme for the visit.

* The Joint Parliamentary Meeting between Members of the Palestinian Legislative Council (PLC) and Members of the European Parliament scheduled for 24 and 25 September in Strasbourg has been cancelled. The Palestinian Delegation decided not to travel to Strasbourg in view of the political situation in the Palestinian Territories, and the negotiations to form a new Palestinian government.

* The Air Transport Working Group of the Euro-Mediterranean Transport Forum held its first meeting on 22 September in Brussels, which marked the launch of a new network. All Mediterranean Partners were represented, most of them at the level of Director General for Civil Aviation. The European Commission made a presentation of EU external relations in the air transport sector, and the potential for co-operation with the Mediterranean Partners. Presentations were also made of ongoing projects within MEDA, notably support to reforming the transport sector in Morocco. As for a future MEDA funded regional project in the field of air transport, the Commission asked the Euro-Mediterranean partners to put forward ideas by 15 October. The activities of the Working Group as well as the ideas put forward will be reported to the Euromed Transport Forum scheduled to take place in late October in Brussels.
* An EU-Morocco Economic Dialogue will take place on 2 October in Brussels. The meeting will start with presentations by the two sides of their respective macro-economic situations, including a first assessment of the new government’s reforms in the case of Morocco. The Facility for Euro-Mediterranean Investment and Partnership (FEMIP) will be discussed informally over lunch. The economic aspects of the EU’s ‘Wider Europe/New Neighbourhood’ Policy will then be discussed on the basis of presentations by European Commission representatives. Finally both sides will give their views of the impact of EU Enlargement on the Moroccan economy.


The Closing Conference for the preparatory phase of the MEDA funded ‘Education and Training Regional Programme’ (ETE) took place on 18 and 19 September in Brussels. Representatives of Mediterranean Partners and EU Member States responsible for employment and Technical and Vocational Education and Training (TVET) recommended a number of priorities and activities for the future programme. Among those are the creation of a yearly Euro-Med Forum and a Euro-Med network dedicated to Technical and Vocational Education and Training (TVET). Activities recommended also include supporting self-employment and micro-enterprises creation for young unemployed, as well as promoting the use of e-learning in TVET on the basis of pilot projects. A bottom-up approach has been followed in preparing the future ETE Programme, whose implementation will probably start next spring.

Two EU funded water projects totalling nearly € 9.7 million are being implemented in the Southern rural areas of Jordan with the aim of improving living conditions there, the European Commission Delegation in Amman announced on 21 September. Under a € 8.2 million project regular water supply is being provided to 80,000 residents of the town of Tafileh. Another aim of the project is to meet water demand in Tafileh for the next 25 years. The other project (around € 1.5 million) aims at providing drought-stricken communities in Shobak, Maan, and Wadi Mousa with a sustainable level of food security through better management of natural springs and water courses, training, and awareness-raising.

Ten Cultural Heritage Projects relating to Euro-Mediterranean events and to be financed by the EU ‘Culture 2000’ Programme will exceptionnally be open to participation by cultural centres in Mediterranean Partners following a Call for Proposals published recently. Applications have to be submitted by the relevant authorities of the Partner leading the project. The deadline is 30 October 2003.
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The famous ‘Sesame Street’ TV Programme for children aged between 4 and 7 will be shown on Jordanian television as from 1 October in a Jordanian-made version called Hikayat Simsim (Sesame Stories), and co-funded by the European Commission. The 26 episodes of Hikayat Simsim were co-produced by Amman-based Jordan Pioneers production company, and Sesame Workshop, a non profit educational organisation. Leading Jordanian writers, actors, directors and animators took part in the making of the programme, which addresses themes such as respect and understanding, gender issues, and the environment also through educational material and posters produced as part of the project.


Everything you want to know about the co-operation programmes and projects implemented in Egypt in 2002 by the EU and its Member States is in the Annual Co-operation Report European Union-Egypt 2002, just released by the European Commission Delegation in Cairo. It is available in paper format from the Delegation of the European Commission in Egypt, 37 Gamaet El Dowal El Arabeya St., 11th Floor, Mohandessin, Cairo. Tel: +202 749 46 80 – Fax: +202 749 53 63 and 749 53 57 –
E-mail: delegation-egypt@cec.eu.int .
It will soon be available from the Delegation website:

How to get better acquainted with the political, economic and social aspects of the 10 countries that will join the EU next May? One way will be to read the supplement of the Near East edition of France’s ‘Le Monde’ newspaper, prepared in co-operation with the European Commission Delegation in Lebanon. The supplement will be on sale in Lebanon, Syria, and Jordan as from 26 September.

Will Tunisia become a Norway of the South? The question is asked in the latest issue (3rd Quarter 2003) of “Union européenne”, the magazine published by the European Commission Delegation in Tunis. The same issue also has features on Educational Reform in Tunisia, the Facility for Euro-Mediterranean Investment and Partnership (FEMIP) and MEDA funded Youth Exchanges.


Some streets of Beirut are now the venues for concerts, dance and theatrical performances, video-shows, painting exhibitions, training sessions, and conferences until 3 October. The 2nd Beirut Street Festival, organised by Beirut Media Production with support from the European Commission Delegation in Beirut, aims to foster dialogue between Oriental and Western cultures by making use of the Mediterranean tradition of street life with performers from Lebanon, Egypt, Syria, France, Germany, and other places.

Debates on ‘Only One Peace’ and ‘EU Enlargement and the new Mediterranean Balance’ will be held on 26 September in Tunis within the 6th International Forum staged by Tunisia’s ‘Réalités’ magazine with support from the European Commission Delegation in Tunis. Contact: Mrs Besma Maghri –

Brussels,09 29 2003
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