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* The European Investment Bank (EIB) on 19 January announced it was providing a loan of € 70 million for the modernisation and extension of wastewater collection and treatment facilities in Abu Rawash, North West of Cairo. The funds are being lent to the Cairo Wastewater Organisation and the Cairo General Organisation for Sanitary Drainage. The new installations are to be commissioned in late 2007. The project is the outcome of a feasibility study financed through a grant of € 350,000 under the MEDA-financed Mediterranean Environmental Technical Assistance Programme (METAP). http://www.eib.org

* European Commission Vice-President in charge of Energy and Transport, Loyola De Palacio on 20 January issued a statement welcoming the conclusion in late December 2003 of the negotiations between Greece and Turkey on the construction of an interconnection linking their countries’ gas networks. The interconnection is intended to carry natural gas supplies from the Caspian Basin to Turkey and Greece as from 2006. http://europa.eu.int/news/index_en.htm

* European Commissioner for Enlargement and European Neighbourhood Policy, Günter Verheugen is visiting Tunisia on 21 and 22 January to launch political discussions with the Tunisian government on the EU’s Neighbourhood Policy. During his visit, Commissioner Verheugen meets government members, business people, journalists, and civil society representatives. The Neighbourhood Policy covers areas such as integration into the European Internal Market, co-operation in the fight against terrorism and illegal immigration, political reform and joint activities in education and culture. Mr Verheugen should visit other Mediterranean Partners in the next few months. The first wave of National Action Plans is due to be submitted to the EU Council of Ministers by the European Commission in May.

* Senior Officials of the Euro-Mediterranean Partnership responsible for Political and Security Issues met on 21 January in Brussels. The new Irish Presidency of the EU Council presented its programme. The follow-up to last December’s Naples Ministerial Conference was discussed, and ways of improving the implementation of the Barcelona Process. In addition, the question of relations with the newly established Euro-Mediterranean Parliamentary Assembly was raised.

* The Euro-Mediterranean Committee for the Barcelona Process met on 22 January in Brussels. The Irish Presidency outlined its programme on the other aspects of the Barcelona Process, and the Committee discussed requirements for setting up the Euro-Mediterranean Foundation for Dialogue between Cultures, including its location and funding. Ireland announced a meeting on Information and Communications Technology to be held in April or May.

* An International Conference on ‘Private Sector Development in the Mediterranean Partner Countries: the Role of the European Investment Bank (EIB) is taking place on 22 January in London as one of the EIB’s initiatives to promote investment in the Mediterranean region. The conference is organised by the EIB in co-operation with UK Trade & Investment and the Middle East Association. In his welcoming address, EIB Vice-President in charge of the Euro-Mediterranean Partnership, Philippe de Fontaine Vive, called for further private sector development in the Mediterranean Partners using the Bank’s Facility for Euro-Mediterranean Investment and Partnership (FEMIP). He also underlined the importance of creating sound conditions for the development of Small and Medium-Sized Enterprises in the region. Conference speakers are senior representatives of EU and Mediterranean institutions, companies and business organisations, including the EIB and the European Commission. The event is attended by over 150 members of the London-based industrial and financial communities. http://www.eib.org

* The EU-Morocco Sub-Committee on Justice and Security will hold its first meeting on 29 January in Brussels. Presentations will be made of Morocco’s reform of the Judiciary and Family Law (the Mudawana). There will be exchanges of views on opportunities for co-operation on Civil Law and Fighting Corruption, Terrorism, and Trafficking in Human Beings. Drugs and Money Laundering will also be discussed. The subjects on the agenda are consistent with the European Neighbourhood Policy, and this meeting is a ‘first’ in the Mediterranean region.

* A Partnership event on ‘IT for Promoting Tourism’ will take place on 24 January in Cairo under the EU funded MEDRESSA Programme. The event will bring together representatives of the European and Egyptian tourist industries, as well as European IT providers and consultants. http://www.medressa.com

* The first Regional Forum of the Regional Solid Waste Management Project carried out in the Mashrak and Maghreb countries, which is implemented by the Mediterranean Environmental Technical Assistance Programme (METAP) and funded under the MEDA Regional Environment Programme, will be held from 26 to 28 January in Algiers. The Forum’s central theme is how to implement Integrated Solid Waste Management in those countries. Experiences of Solid Waste Management, including in the EU, will be presented. Speakers will be consultants working for the international consortium providing technical assistance to the project, as well as European Commission and World Bank representatives. Fax: + 216 71 288 833.


The Memorandum of Understanding for the implementation of the MEDA funded ‘Internet Based Mediterranean Investors’ Guide’ Project is expected to be signed on 24 January in Cairo by Egypt’s General Authority for Investment and Free Zones. The Investors’ Guide Regional Project aims at facilitating foreign investment in the Mediterranean Region. The Memorandum has been signed so far by Morocco and the Palestinian Authority.

Technical preparations for a virtual tour of much of the Mediterranean Region are underway within the MEDA funded MEDINA (MEDiterranean by INternet Access) project, part of the EUMEDIS Regional Programme. A Training Module for people in charge of creating web sites in 9 Mediterranean Partners will be held from 26 to 28 January in Milan, Italy. It will be followed by a Technical Meeting which will take place on 29 and 30 January, also in Milan, and will also be attended by national project co-ordinators. The combination of national web sites will build a ‘MEDINA Portal’ designed to promote cultural tourism in Algeria, Cyprus, Jordan, Lebanon, Malta, Morocco, the Palestinian Territories, Syria, and Tunisia. The MEDINA Project is co-ordinated by Italy’s Mediterranean Institute (IMED), and it involves partners from four other EU Member States (Austria, Belgium, France, and Greece). http://www.imednet.it
Three MEDA funded ‘MED-INTERPRISE’ business events bringing together company representatives from both shores of the Mediterranean will be held in the autumn. Contracts between the European Commission and the respective organisers have been signed recently. ‘MED-INTERPRISE LEBANON’ will take place from 22 to 24 September in Beirut, targeting IT, Printing, Packaging, and Food Processing. The co-ordinating organisation is the Chamber of Commerce, Industry, and Agriculture of Beirut and Mount Lebanon. ‘MED-INTERPRISE TUNISIA’ will be held at the same time in Tunis for businesses active in the electric and electronic industry, ICT, and agri-food. The organisers are Tunisia’s Foreign Investment Promotion Agency (FIPA). ‘MED-INTERPRISE MOROCCO’ will take place from 6 to 8 October in Marrakesh, with textile, leather and agri-food as targeted sectors. The meeting will be co-ordinated by Morocco’s National Agency for the Promotion of Small and Medium-Sized Enterprises (ANPME). The three events will provide businesses with opportunities to discuss co-operation potential and possibly conclude franchising and licensing agreements and set up joint ventures.

A Training Seminar on Investment Location Strategy/Knowledge Management will be held from 25 to 29 January in Ramallah under the MEDA funded ANIMA Regional Programme. The seminar will be attended by staff in the Palestinian Investment Promotion Agency. This will be the 15th such seminar to take place in a Mediterranean Partner. The ANIMA Programme aims at stimulating investment in the region through a Euro-Mediterranean network of Investment Promotion Agencies. The Programme’s co-ordinator is the French InvestinFrance agency. http://animaweb.org

A 3-year MEDA funded programme of support to private sector media in Tunisia was launched recently with the signing of a € 2.15 million financing agreement between the Tunisian Ministry of Development and International Co-operation and the European Commission Delegation in Tunis. Under the programme training courses will be proposed to print media, radio and television journalists, and technical assistance will be provided to media companies. http://www.deltun.cec.eu.int


If you want to know about any aspect of EU-Tunisia relations, you can visit the new web site put on line by the European Commission Delegation in Tunis. Details of the EU-Tunisia Association Agreement are featured on the site, as well as news of MEDA and European Investment Bank projects in the country. The Delegation’s cultural activities are outlined in a “Quoi de neuf?” (What’s New?) section, and links to other EU web sites are provided. http://www.deltun.cec.eu.int

Brussels,01 26 2004
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