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Euromed News

DECISIONS

The European Investment Bank (EIB) on 10 October announced it was lending Cyprus a total of € 235 million for Education and Information Technology. The funds are provided under the EIB’s pre-accession lending facility, as Cyprus is due to join the EU next May. A € 200 million loan will go towards modernising primary and secondary education, and a € 35 million loan will help upgrade public IT services. In addition, the EIB is awarding Cyprus two grants totalling € 530,000 under the Mediterranean Environmental Technical Assistance Programme (METAP). A € 350,000 grant will help update the Nicosia Sewerage Master Plan, including a feasibility study, and an Environmental Impact Assessment. The remaining € 180,000 will provide support to similar activities in Greater Limassol.
http://www.eib.org

MEETINGS

* The EU Council of Ministers on 13 October adopted Conclusions on the implementation of the Wider Europe-New Neighbourhood Initiative. The Council “underlined the EU’s intention to proceed in close dialogue with all the countries concerned.”, and “invited the Commission… to present … detailed proposals for the relevant action plans early in 2004 in order to take this matter forward by June 2004”. The text of the Conclusions is available at
http://ue.eu.int/newsroom

* In advance of the next meeting of Euro-Mediterranean Foreign Ministers to take place on 2 and 3 December in Naples, Italy the European Commission on 15 October proposed the establishment of a Euro-Mediterranean Foundation for the Dialogue of Cultures, a Euro-Mediterranean Parliamentary Assembly, and a fully fledged subsidiary of the European Investment Bank (EIB) building on the existing Facility for Euro-Mediterranean Investment and Partnership (FEMIP). In a Communication to prepare the Naples meeting, the Commission also proposed a series of steps to complete the Euro-Mediterranean Free Trade Area, and a co-operative approach to improving respect for human rights and democratisation. http://europa.eu.int/news/index_en.htm a separate Communication, the Commission recommends incorporating the EIB’s operations in the southern Mediterranean into a majority-owned subsidiary, with a special mandate to promote private sector development and investment in the region. The recommendation is the result of an Extended Impact Assessment of FEMIP, carried out one year after the Facility was established.
http://europa.eu.int/news/index_en.htm

* The EU-Jordan Association Council held its 2nd meeting on 14 October in Luxembourg. The Jordanian Delegation was led by Foreign Minister Marwan Muasher, and the EU Delegation by Italian Foreign Minister Franco Frattini. The European Commission was also represented. Jordan set up clear priorities for its democratic reform agenda and expressed its interest in co-operating with the EU on these matters. The EU welcomed Jordan’s clear and committed stance on human rights and democracy. The implementation of the Association Agreement and the Wider Europe/New Neighbourhood initiative were central to the meeting. On the economic side the EU welcomed the macro-economic stability and improved economic performance displayed by Jordan despite the impact of the war on Iraq. EU representatives encouraged the Jordanian government to take action under the Social and Economic Transformation Plan to boost private investment, growth and job creation while reducing poverty. Jordan expressed interest in developing trade and investment with the EU countries. The Association Council noted that under MEDA Jordan has received a total of € 423 million so far, with 62% of the grants committed already paid. Within Political Dialogue human rights and democratisation were discussed. More on
http://ue.eu.int/newsroom

* Senior Officials of the Euro-Mediterranean Partnership responsible for Political and Security Issues will meet on 22 October in Rome. After a joint meeting with representatives of EuroMeSCo (Euro-Mediterranean network of Foreign Policy Institutes), Senior Officials will discuss Partnership Building Measures. The EU will inform the Partners of the Dialogue on the European Security and Defence Policy (ESDP) with Mediterranean countries. Senior Officials will then continue their discussion of the European Commission Communication on Human Rights in the Mediterranean, and the Wider Europe initiative. In addition, preparations will be made for the Ad Hoc Meeting on Terrorism scheduled for 6 November.

* The Euro-Mediterranean Committee for the Barcelona Process will meet on 23 October in Rome. The Euro-Mediterranean Foundation for the Dialogue of Cultures will be discussed with a view to the Ministerial Meeting in Naples on 2-3 December. In addition, a presentation on Migrations will be made by the Director General of the International Centre for Migration Policy Development, Jonas Widgren.

* The 2nd Euro-Mediterranean Regional Economic Dialogue will take place on 20 October in Rome. Officials and academics from both sides of the Mediterranean will discuss a number of themes, including the Mediterranean Region’s Economic Situation, Fiscal Issues, the Financial Sector, Competition Law and Policies, and the Implications for the Wider Europe Strategy. A Special Session will be devoted to the Facility for Euro-Mediterranean Investment and Partnership (FEMIP).
http://europa.eu.int:8082/comm/external_relations/euromed/etn/red/agenda.htm

* The 4th Euro-Mediterranean Forum for Women Parliamentarians will be held on 20 and 21 October in Amman under the patronage of HRH Queen Rania of Jordan. The Forum will bring together members of the National Parliaments of EU Member States and Mediterranean Partners, as well as members of the European Parliament. Issues to be discussed include Women and Armed Conflict, and Women and Peace. The Forum will be followed on 22 October by a meeting on cross cultural dialogue organised by the Jordanian Executive Committee for the Arab Women’s Summit.

* The Maritime Transport Working Group’s Sub-Group on Maritime Policy, Ports and Short Sea Shipping, set up within the Euro-Mediterranean Transport Forum, will hold its 2nd meeting on 20 October in Brussels. Participants will first discuss the state of play of the MEDA funded Euromed Transport Regional Programme, and how it relates to the Working Group’s activities. On the other three topics (Maritime Policy Issues, Short Sea Shipping, and Ports) Mediterranean Partners will be updated on EU legislation and policy, and give their feedback. The Sub-Group will then take stock of the Partners’ policies. Within the session on Short Sea Shipping a presentation of the ‘Motorways of the Sea’ concept and implications for the Mediterranean Partners will be made by European Commission representatives.

* The EU-Morocco Association Committee will hold its 3rd meeting on 21 October in Rabat. Under Political Issues of Common Interest the two sides will discuss the possibility of launching a reinforced political dialogue. There will then be exchanges of views on multilateral and regional aspects of trade. The two sides will subsequently inform each other of free trade agreeements they are negotiating with other countries or regional groupings. The meeting will mainly focus on the implementation of the Association Agreement, with issues as diverse as human rights and governance, EU-Morocco trade relations, customs, agriculture, the right of establishment, and competition on the agenda. Consultations on the possible consequences of EU enlargement on the provisions of the Association Agreement with Morocco will be held. There will be an exchange of views on the MEDA Programme and EIB operations. In response to Morocco’s proposal for obtaining an ‘Advanced Status’ in its relations with the EU, the Commission will outline its New Neighbourhood Policy.

* 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. Four main themes will be addressed in as many sessions by Mediterranean experts, policy advisers and opinion leaders, as well as European Commission and World Bank officials. Under ‘Governance in the Middle East and North Africa Region’ Common Features, Regional Disparities, Constraints and Opportunities will be discussed. The ‘Role of Government Actors in Promoting Better Governance’ will be looked at from the perspectives of setting priorities and building better institutions, as well as formulating strategies and steps for reform. The ‘Role of Civil Society Actors in Promoting Better Governance’ will also be discussed. Finally participants will try to answer the question ‘How can the Donor Community Help?’ Discussions will focus on ‘Strategic Dialogues and Innovative Approaches’, then on ‘Identifying Priorities, Partners and Projects’.
E-mail: lghoussoub@lcps-lebanon.org

* A Regional Symposium on Economic, Social, and Cultural Rights in the South Mediterranean Region will be held from 17 to 19 October in Amman under the patronage of HRH Queen Rania of Jordan and with support from the EU Initiative on Democracy and Human Rights. The Symposium is organised by the International Federation for Human Rights in co-operation with four Jordanian NGOs working in the field of Human Rights. Participants will be representatives of Human Rights NGOs in Arab Countries and territories, including Jordan, Algeria, Egypt, Lebanon, and the Palestinian Territories.

PROGRAMMES & PROJECTS

* EURO-MED MARKET WORKSHOP ON FREE MOVEMENT OF GOODS
A Workshop on Free Movement of Goods was held from 13 to 15 October in Paris within the 2nd phase of the MEDA funded EURO-MED MARKET Regional Programme. The Workshop, which was the first in a series of three, aimed at further developing administrative co-operation established during the first phase of the Programme, addressing the regulatory areas that require the approximation of laws and harmonisation of procedures, and encouraging exchange of experience and best practice. Participants agreed that each Mediterranean Partner should prepare a Draft Action Plan on Free Movement of Goods with explicit reference to the six steps decided by Trade Ministers in Palermo. Those steps include identification of priorities and technical assistance needs, acquaintance with the relevant European legislation, transposition of the necessary legislation, creation or reform of institutions, and setting up of certification and conformity assessment bodies. The Draft Action Plans will eventually be presented to the European Commission. Participants in the workshop were senior representatives of Ministries, standardisation bodies, conformity assessment bodies, business associations, and the European Commission. EURO-MED MARKET aims to help the Mediterranean Partners prepare themselves for the future Euro-Mediterranean Free Trade Area.
http://www.euromedmarket.org

* EU AND MASHRAK BUSINESSES MEET IN DAMASCUS
A MEDA supported business event called ‘EU-Mashrak Partenariat’ will run from 23 to 25 October on the new site of the Damascus International Fair. It will bring together over 220 companies from Syria, Jordan, and Lebanon, as well as nearly 150 enterprises from EU countries for business meetings potentially leading to joint ventures and other forms of co-operation. The event is organised under the patronage of Syria’s Prime Minister Dr Naji Otri by the Federation of Syrian Chambers of Commerce, the Chamber of Commerce of Beirut (CCIAB), and Jordan’s official trade development and promotion organisation (JEDCO) in co-operation with the MEDA funded structures for business development in the three countries. Those are the Syrian-European Business Centre; the Euro-Jordanian Action for the Development of Enterprise or EJADA; and the European-Lebanese Centre of Industrial Modernisation or ELCIM. Speakers at the Official Opening will include the Syrian Prime Minister, Jordan’s Minister of Trade and Industry Dr Mohammad Abu Hamour, and the President and Secretary-General of the Federation of Syrian Chambers of Commerce. Registration is still open at
http://www.eu-mashrek2003.com

* A EURO-MEDITERRANEAN ENERGY TRAINING NETWORK WITH A FUTURE
The final meeting for the MEDA funded Euro-Mediterranean Energy Policy Training Network took place on 13 and 14 October in Athens. Results achieved within this regional project were discussed by trainers and partners from both sides of the Mediterranean. Participants noted that a well organised web based network of energy experts had been set up, along with a number of web sites. Training seminars have been held in 11 Mediterranean Partners, and attended by a total of around 1,000 people. Much training material has been developed, which could be used as a basis for extending energy policy training to include new target groups in the Partners. A number of participants have expressed their interest in maintaining the momentum gained through the Energy Training Network, and prospects for future activities have been discussed, taking into account the limited resources available under MEDA. The project has been co-ordinated by the National Technical University of Athens.
http://www.epu.ntua.gr

* SEMINAR ON URBAN TRANSPORT IN THE MEDITERRANEAN REGION
A Regional Seminar on Urban Transport will be held on 23 and 24 October in Rabat within the MEDA funded project ‘Energy and Environment in Mediterranean Countries’. It will bring together local authority representatives from both shores of the Mediterranean, notably those involved in the project, as well as consultants and experts from specialised bodies to discuss transport in Mediterranean cities, using Rabat as a case study. Themes to be addressed include Designing and Implementing an Urban Transport Policy in Mediterranean Cities, the Role of Local Authorities, Traffic Management and Road Infrastructure, Public Transport, and the Impact of Transport on Quality of Life.

* SECOND CONFERENCE FOR ‘ANIMA’ INVESTMENT PROMOTION PROJECT
The MEDA funded Euro-Mediterranean Network of Investment Promotion Agencies (ANIMA) will hold its 2nd conference from 22 to 24 October in Marseilles, France. Results achieved so far within the first phase of the project and activities foreseen for phase 2 will be discussed. ANIMA is part of the Regional Industrial Co-operation Programme.

* SEMINAR ON COMPETITION AND REGULATION IN INFRASTRUCTURE
The 2nd Seminar on Competition and Regulation in Infrastructure in the Mediterranean Region will be held from 17 to 23 October in Cairo under the ‘Private Participation in Mediterranean Infrastructure’ (PPMI), a joint World Bank/European Commission Programme.
http://www.ppmi.org

Brussels,10 20 2003
European Union Redaction
European union
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