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* The EU Council of Ministers on 5 November adopted a mandate for the European Commission to negotiate further mutual trade concessions with Cyprus and Malta in the field of processed agricultural products. The negotiations will be conducted in the framework of the EU-Cyprus and EU-Malta Association Agreements.

* The EU Council of Ministers on 5 November authorised the European Commission to negotiate the renewal of the agreement for scientific and technical co-operation between the EU and Israel. The new agreement should cover Israeli participation in the 6th EU Framework Programme for Research and Development (January 2003-December 2006).


* Egypt's Prime Minister Atef Obeid met European Commissioner for Agriculture and Fisheries Franz Fischler on 31 October in Brussels. This was the last in a series of meetings with European Commissioners (see No 201). Mr Obeid outlined the considerable progress being made by the Egyptian agriculture and agro-industrial sectors in developing their global export markets. During the Prime Minister's meeting with European Commissioner for External Relations Chris Patten on 30 October, Egypt's External Trade Minister Youssef Boutros-Ghali and Commissioner Patten signed the Trade Enhancement Programme (TEP-A) Financing Agreement (see page 2).

* Moroccan Foreign Minister Mohamed Benaissa is expected to visit Brussels on 14 November. He will be received by European Commission President Romano Prodi, EU High Representative Javier Solana, and European Commissioner for External Relations Chris Patten. A number of important bilateral subjects will be discussed. This is a postponement of the visit which was initially scheduled to take place on 5 November.

* Lebanon's Minister of Economy and Trade Basil Fuleihan will be received by European Commissioner for External Relations Chris Patten on 12 November in Brussels. Discussions will focus on preparations for the Paris II meeting which is due to be held on 23 November in the French capital in order to examine the possibility of financial support for Lebanon in view of its difficult economic situation.

* The 9th round of EU-Syria negotiations for an Association Agreement will be held on 11 and 12 November in Brussels. Subjects to be addressed include trade liberalisation, rules of origin, co-operation in Justice and Home Affairs, Political Dialogue, movement of capital, and some aspects of economic co-operation.

* The MED Committee will meet on 13 November in Brussels to give an opinion on two regional co-operation programmes making up the MEDA Regional Financing Plan 2002. The Euromed Information and Communication Programme would aim at increasing the visibility of the Barcelona Process, and promoting mutual understanding in the Euro-Mediterranean Region. Under the title 'Good Governance and Enhancing the Rule of Law' the other programme wouldl focus on judicial reform and co-operation, fighting organised crime and drug trafficking, and ensuring a common approach on migration.

* The 13th half-yearly Information and Training Seminar for Euro-Mediterranean diplomats will take place from 15 to 18 November in Malta. Presentations will be made on all three chapters of the Barcelona Process. The Malta Seminars provide participants with regular and updated information as well as issues for discussion on relations between the EU and the Med Partners.

* An EU-Tunisia informal meeting on Trade in Services took place on 5 November in Brussels with the aim of defining how to implement the Association Agreement Chapter on the Right of Establishment and Services. Discussions on issues of approach and methodology resulted in the two sides' agreeing on the advantages of using both the bilateral and the multilateral tracks in this area. The Tunisian side pointed to the high significance of this second phase of liberalisation, as services play an important part in the country's economy. The first phase related to trade in goods.

* An International Conference on 'Human Rights and Corporate Social Responsibility' will be held in Valletta, Malta on 13 and 14 November. It is organised as part of the EU supported Mediterranean Masters in Human Rights and Democratisation, a one-year course for students from the Southern Mediterranean co-ordinated by the University of Malta on behalf of a network of 16 universities and human rights institutes.


The recently signed MEDA funded Trade Enhancement Programme (TEP A) focuses on technical assistance to Egypt's Ministry of External Trade as the first phase of a strategy to boost export-led growth. It will be followed by a budgetary support programme (TEP B) aimed at supporting Egypt's reforms relating to customs procedures. The 54 month TEP A has been allocated € 20 million by the EU under the National Indicative Programme 2002-2004. It will help strengthen the country's Commercial Representation Service, enhance export-import inspection procedures, and reinforce the External Trade Ministry's capacity with regard to trade-related aspects of the EU-Egypt Association Agreement, WTO issues, and export promotion activities.

A ceremony took place on 31 October in Granada, Spain to mark the opening of the academic year 2002-2003 at the MEDA supported Euro-Arab Management School (EAMS). For the first time this year EAMS is delivering a Master of Management Learning and Development, and a Master of Tourism Management, which have been designed to fit the needs of the business community in the Euro-Arab Region. EAMS courses and seminars are held in Granada, Cairo, Casablanca, and in the United Arab Emirates. EAMS was created in 1995 as a joint project of the European Commission and the League of Arab States, with support from the Spanish government.

The 7th exhibition of Islamic works of art in their natural environment recently launched within the Museum With No Frontiers (MWNF) Project has been dedicated to 'Early Ottoman Art. The Legacy of the Emirates' in Turkey. It offers a thematic itinerary, as well as a catalogue available from bookshops in five languages (English, French, Italian, Spanish, and Turkish). MWNF is part of the MEDA funded Euromed Heritage Regional Programme.
For further information:
tel +34 91 5312824, fax +34 91 5235775.


A study entitled 'Transport Policies for the Euro-Mediterranean Free-Trade Area? An Agenda for Multimodal Transport Reform in the Southern Mediterranean' has been published recently by the joint European Commission/World Bank 'Programme on Private Participation in Mediterranean Infrastructure' (PPMI). The study is the work of economist Daniel Müller-Jentsch. It is available in English, and can be ordered from the website
E-mail: ppmi@worldbank.org

The latest issue (No 5 dated 31 October) of 'ETE-NEWS', the newsletter of Tunisia's MEDA funded Private Sector Development Programme (Euro-Tunisie Entreprise), puts the spotlight on the prospects of organic farming in the Mediterranean country.
Contact : Ete@planet.tn

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