* European Commission President Romano Prodi will visit Egypt from 11 to 13 October to bolster bilateral relations, and to stress the importance of Dialogue between Cultures in the Mediterranean Region. In Cairo Mr Prodi will be received by Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak, Prime Minister Atef Ebeid, and the Secretary General of the Arab League, Amr Moussa. He will then visit Alexandria where he will deliver a speech at the TEMPUS MEDA Regional Conference on ‘The importance of Euro-Mediterranean Relations to a Wider Europe with New Neighbours; Sharing Europe’s higher education and cultural challenges with our Mediterranean Partners’. The Conference itself (see also p 2) will take place at Alexandria Library in the presence of Mrs Suzanne Mubarak, First Lady of Egypt, and will be hosted by Egypt’s Minister of Higher Education Moufid Shehab, and Library Director Ismail Sergeldin. It will bring together the Mediterranean Partners’ Ministers for Higher Education, University rectors and professors from the Partners, and European Commission representatives to discuss ‘Higher Education Co-operation and Intercultural Dialogue across the Mediterranean’. There will also be a presentation of a new proposal for intercultural dialogue by Ms Assia Alaoui Bensala, Co-president of the High-Level Advisory Group on Dialogue between Peoples and Cultures. A Round Table involving the Advisory Group will follow.
* The 2nd EU-Jordan Association Council will take place on 14 October in Luxembourg. The Jordanian Delegation will be led by Foreign Minister Marwan Muasher. The European Commission will be represented by External Relations Commissioner Chris Patten. The main focus will be on the state of play of the implementation of the Association Agreement. Within Political Dialogue a number of issues will be discussed, including the situation in the Middle East, Iraq, the democratic process in Jordan after the recent general elections, the link between the Barcelona Process and the ‘Wider Europe’ Initiative, and the Agadir Process of sub-regional integration.
* European Commissioner for Enlargement Günter Verheugen will meet Jordanian Foreign Minister Marwan Muasher on 13 October in Luxembourg. The European Commission’s ‘Wider Europe/New Neighbourhood’ Initiative will be on the agenda. Mr Verheugen is the Commissioner responsible for the Task Force on Wider Europe.
* European Commissioner for External Relations Chris Patten will receive the Commissioner General of UNRWA (United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestinian Refugees) Peter Hansen on 15 October in Brussels. The Middle East Peace Process will be discussed, as well as the plight of Palestinians in refugee camps, particularly in Lebanon. The European Commission has long contributed to UNRWA humanitarian aid for Palestinian refugees in the Middle East under specific international conventions. The latest EU-UNRWA Framework Convention provides for support worth € 237 million over the period 2002-2005.
* The 11th Round of EU-Syria Negotiations for an Association Agreement will be held on 15 and 16 October in Brussels. Tariff Dismantling and Market Opening will be discussed in the light of the comprehensive tariff schedule recently adopted by the Syrian authorities. Other economic and political issues are on the agenda. It is hoped progress can be made on all outstanding issues.
* An International Conference on ‘Deepening the Dialogue for Better Governance in the Mediterranean Region’, sponsored by the EU and organised by the Lebanese Centre for Policy Studies, will take place on 18 and 19 October in Beirut. The Conference will bring together experts, researchers, policy advisers, and opinion leaders from the Mediterranean Partners, as well as European Commission and World Bank officials. Key issues to be addressed will be ways and means to advance governance reforms to further democratic participation, social justice, balanced development, stability, and international co-operation in the region.
* A Delegation from the European Economic and Social Committee (EESC) visited three Mashrak countries (Jordan, Lebanon, and Syria) from 27 September to 3 October to raise awareness of the EESC’s work in the Barcelona Process, and to find out more about civil society involvement in the Euro-Mediterranean Partnership in those countries. The Delegation was led by the Chair of the EESC’s Euromed Follow-up Committee, Ms Giacomina Cassina. In Damascus, the delegation was received by Mrs Asma Al-Assad, First Lady of Syria and President of the Fund for Integrated Rural Development of Syria. In Beirut, the delegation visited the new premises of the Economic and Social Council of Lebanon. In Jordan, the delegation called on NGOs to develop networking.
PROGRAMMES & PROJECTS
* TEMPUS REGIONAL CONFERENCE IN ALEXANDRIA
(continued from p 1) The European TEMPUS Programme of higher education co-operation and its recent extension to the Mediterranean Partners will be presented by European Commission representatives. Two workshops will then look at the Programme’s general features and policy focus, the Guide for Applicants, and the Selection Process. There will be a presentation of another EU funded programme, the ‘Jean Monnet Action’ designed to spread the teaching of European affairs in universities. The Conference will end with a plenary session involving Ministers, University rectors, and members of the High-Level Advisory Group who will discuss the prospects for Euro-Mediterranean relations. More on TEMPUS at
* FINAL MEETING FOR ENERGY TRAINING NETWORK
The final meeting for the MEDA funded Euro-Mediterranean Energy Policy Training Network will take place on 13 and 14 October in Athens, Greece. Presentations will be made of the trainers’ and partners’ points of view on the activities carried out and the results achieved within this regional project. Prospects for the future of the Network and ideas for future planning will also be discussed. The project has involved 11 Mediterranean Partners where training seminars have been held, and 3 EU Member States. It has been co-ordinated by the National Technical University of Athens.
* MEDITERRANEAN PUBLIC HEALTH INFO SYSTEM MEETS IN CAIRO
The MEDA funded East Mediterranean Public Health Information System (EMPHIS), part of the EUMEDIS Regional Programme (Euro-Mediterranean Information Society), is holding meetings in Cairo shortly. The EMPHIS Project’s Steering Committee Meeting on 16 October will be followed by the Project’s first plenary meeting on 17 October. A workshop on Dissemination and Distance Learning will then be held on 18 and 19 October. EMPHIS aims at developing information systems within public health practice, care and education in the Mediterranean Region using pilot projects on specific diseases such as tuberculosis. EMPHIS is co-ordinated by France’s Fondation Mérieux, and involves Universities, Research Foundations, and Health Ministries in six Mediterranean Partners (Algeria, Egypt, Jordan, Lebanon, Morocco, and Tunisia) and four EU countries (France, Greece, Italy, and the UK).
* WORKSHOP ON ENERGY AND ENVIRONMENT IN THE MEDITERRANEAN
A Workshop on Energy and Environment in the Mediterranean will be held from 13 to 24 October in Frankfurt, Germany within the MEDA funded regional project on Reform of the Legal and Institutional Energy Sector Framework. Themes to be addressed include Energy-Environment Interaction, Rational Use of Energy, Renewable Energy Sources, Emission Sources, Ambient Air Quality, Policy Instruments, and the International DImension. Two days will be devoted to the design and formulation of National Energy-Environment Policies and Strategies, and Country Papers will be presented on the last day.
* FIRST DISSEMINATION CONFERENCE FOR TELEMEDICINE PROJECT
The First Dissemination Conference for the MEDA funded Regional ‘EMISPHER’ Project (Euro-Mediterranean Internet-Satellite Platform for Health, Medical Education and Research) is being held from 9 to 12 October at the Hassan II University in Casablanca. The EMISPHER Project is dedicated to Telemedicine, E-Health, and Medical E-Learning in the Euro-Mediterranean Area, and the Conference will specifically address Medical E-Learning. EMISPHER is part of the EUMEDIS Regional Programme (Euro-Mediterranean Information Society).
* WORKSHOP FOR HEALTH SECTOR MODERNISATION PROGRAMME IN SYRIA
A workshop has been held from 7 to 9 October in Damascus to prepare the implementation phase (2004-2007) of the MEDA funded Health Sector Modernisation Programme. The € 30 million programme aims to support the Syrian Government’s efforts in improving the efficiency and quality of the health system.
* SUPPORT TO RECONSTRUCTION IN EARTHQUAKE-STRICKEN AREAS OF ALGERIA
A € 13.2 million grant by the EU to the Algerian Government will support the reconstruction of buildings damaged by last May’s earthquake in the Algiers and Boumerdes areas. A Memorandum of Understanding was signed on 2 October by the Algerian Minister for Housing and Town-planning, Mohamed Nadir Hmimid, and the Head of the European Commission Delegation in Algeria, Lucio Guerrato. The signing took place in the presence of the President of the European Parliament Delegation visiting Algeria, Gerardo Galeote Quecedo, and the Italian Ambassador to Algeria.
* EUROPEAN DANCE, CINEMA AND TV IN ISRAEL
Three cultural events supported by the European Commission Delegation in Tel Aviv will take place in Israel in the next few days. The annual DancEuropa Festival will run from 9 October to 2 November in Tel Aviv, and it will bring together six leading European dance companies from Austria, Finland, France, the Netherlands, Spain, and Sweden. The 19th Haifa International Film Festival to be held from 11 to 18 October will again include the Cinema Europa section consisting of screenings of some 50 feature films from EU countries. In addition, the annual TV Europa conference, entitled ‘Dramatic Moments’, will address the development of single dramas, mini-series and series. TV professionals from Germany, the Netherlands and the UK will share approaches on creative solutions in low-budget environments with their Israeli colleagues.
Brussels,10 12 2003
European Union Redaction