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French Version

Euromed News

DECISIONS

* A € 250 million European Investment Bank (EIB) loan to Turkey is being signed on 4 March in Ankara by the Bank’s Vice-President in charge of the Mediterranean, Philippe de Fontaine Vive, and Turkish Undersecretary for the Treasury Ibrahim Canakci in the presence of State Minister for Economic Affairs Ali Babacan. The EIB funds, in the form of global loans, will be channelled through five Turkish banks to small and medium-sized businesses in industry, services, and tourism. Among the five banks are the Turkish Industrial Development Bank (TSKB) and Vakifbank, the EIB’s two long standing partners in Turkey, as well as three ‘new’ partners (TKB, Turkiye Halk Bankasi and TC Ziraat Bankasi). These three banks will receive long term technical assistance from the FEMIP Technical Assistance Fund recently established by the EIB and the European Commission under the Facility for Euro-Mediterranean Investment and Partnership (FEMIP). During his visit to Turkey, M. de Fontaine Vive will meet the Directors General of the five banks involved in the new loan at an official dinner hosted by Deputy Prime Minister and Foreign Minister Abdullah Gül. Meetings are also scheduled in Ankara with Turkey’s Deputy Prime Minister for State Planning and Budgetary Affairs, Abdullatif Sener, and Transport Minister Binali Yildirim. The EIB Vice-President on 5 March will attend a lunch hosted by TSKB and the Turkish Businessmen’s and Industrialists’ Association (TUSIAD) in Istanbul. http://www.eib.org

MEETINGS

* European Commission President Romano Prodi and Libyan leader Colonel Muammar Gaddafi on 27 February had a very warm and friendly meeting, at which Colonel Gaddafi stressed that Libya was ready to start working immediately to join the Barcelona Process. President Prodi warmly welcomed this historic decision. The meeting took place during the 2nd extraordinary Summit of the African Union in Sirte. With a view to effective follow-up, the European Commission would be sending a multidisciplinary explanatory mission to Libya, comprising specialists in various fields of mutual interest, such as transport, energy, telecommunications, information technology and the environment. The European Commission would also contact the European Investment Bank to look into the possibility of a similar mission being sent by the Bank. Illegal immigration was another field where practical steps were needed. The European Commission called on Libya to send a group of officials on an exploratory mission to Brussels, where they could familiarise themselves with the EU institutions and the Barcelona Process. In his address to African Union Summit participants on the same day, Mr Prodi said “We in the European Union are in the process of achieving a strong and structured relationship with Libya through the Barcelona Process and bilaterally. Our discussions have begun and will continue in the days and weeks ahead. I am in favour of an early conclusion of these talks”. More on http://europa.eu.int/news and http://europa.eu.int/comm/commissioners/prodi

* EU High Representative Javier Solana is visiting Egypt on 3 and 4 March to meet Egyptian Authorities and to attend the Arab League Ministerial Meeting. Mr Solana met President Hosni Mubarak on 3 March in Cairo. Discussions focused on the Middle East Peace Process and Reform in the Arab World. The EU High Representative reiterated the EU’s deep commitment to the implementation of the Road Map. A summary of the statement he made to the press after the meeting is available on line at http://ue.eu.int/solana .

* The MED Committee will meet on 8 and 9 March in Brussels. Opinions are expected to be given on the Regional Indicative Programme 2005-2006, and the National Indicative Programmes 2005-2006 for Algeria, Egypt, Jordan, Lebanon, Morocco, Syria, and Tunisia. The European Commission will inform the Committee of budgetary execution for 2003.

* The Euro-Mediterranean Working Group on Trade in Services will hold its 2nd meeting on 8 March in Brussels. This follows up from an initial meeting which took place in Brussels last December. The working group will try to define a draft framework protocol on services which could serve as a model for trade between the EU and Mediterranean Partners, as well as among Mediterranean Partners themselves.

* The European Parliament Delegation for Relations with Israel will meet on 11 March in Strasbourg, France. Files for a trip to Israel by the Delegation mid-March will be distributed.

PROGRAMMES & PROJECTS

* EURO-MEDITERRANEAN POLICE CO-OPERATION PROJECT LAUNCHED
The MEDA funded Regional Police co-operation project is getting under way. The contract with the project’s co-ordinator, the European Police College (CEPOL), has been signed recently, and a meeting on future planning held on 2 and 3 March in Paris has brought together representatives of CEPOL and the 5 EU Member States that will host the first seminars under the project (France, Spain, Portugal, UK and Sweden). The € 2 million project is the 2nd Chapter of the Regional Programme on Good Governance and the Rule of Law. It aims at facilitating and reinforcing Euro-Mediterranean Police Co-operation on regional matters. Activities will focus on fighting terrorism, money laundering, drug and human trafficking, organised crime and cyber-crime.

* EURO-MED YOUTH PLATFORM MEETS IN AMMAN
A Euro-Med Youth Platform meeting will be held from 11 to 14 March in Amman to assist in the strengthening of youth organisations in Mediterranean Partners, and to encourage more active participation in the MEDA funded Euro-Med Youth Programme by Partners which have remained less involved so far. The meeting should enable participants from both sides of the Mediterranean to learn more about each other’s organisations, notably through an exhibition, and the situation of young people in their respective countries. During the meeting participants will have the opportunity to foster partnerships and initiate projects. http://www.euromedp.org

* MED PARTNERS PREPARE TRAINING PROGRAMMES ON PUBLIC PROCUREMENT
Draft Training Programmes on Public Procurement will be drawn up by Mediterranean Partners by late March as a follow-up to the Training Seminar for trainers on the same subject, which was held from 24 to 27 February in Athens within the MEDA funded Euro-Med Market Regional Programme. The seminar was the fourth in a series of eight held within the second phase of Euro-Med Market, which aims to help Mediterranean Partners prepare themselves for the future Euro-Mediterranean Free Trade Area. It represents a first step in the training of trainers in the field of Public Procurement and should be followed by specific bilateral and/or intra-regional activities. http://www.euromedmarket.org

* TRAINING SEMINAR ON HOW TO ATTRACT INVESTMENT
A Training Seminar for Trainers on how to attract foreign direct investment (FDI) in Mediterranean Partners will be held from 8 to 12 March in Marseilles, France within the MEDA funded ANIMA Regional Programme. The Seminar aims more specifically at assessing the ANIMA studies programme so as to prepare the next steps to be taken. Participants will be economists and marketing experts working with Investment Promotion Agencies or similar organisations in Mediterranean Partners. The ANIMA Programme aims at stimulating investment in the Mediterranean Partners through a Euro-Mediterranean network of investment promotion agencies. http://www.animaweb.org

* SOUTH MEDITERRANEAN ARTS AND CRAFTS ON DISPLAY IN PARIS
Arts and crafts from the Mediterranean Partners are on display until 11 March at an exhibition held in Paris under the title ‘Prints and Colours of the Mediterranean’ within the MEDA funded PRODECOM Project, part of the Euromed Heritage II Regional Programme. The exhibition takes place at the ‘Maison de l’UNESCO’. PRODECOM is co-ordinated by France’s Chamber of Mediterranean Fine Arts, and involves partners from Algeria, Jordan, Morocco, the Palestinian Territories, Turkey, and Greece. http://www.chbeauxarts.ifrance.com

* TOOLS FOR ROAD NETWORK IMPROVEMENT IN LEBANON
An IT system intended to improve the management and maintenance of Lebanon’s road network has been put in place recently under a € 4 million assistance contract between the European Commission Delegation in Beirut and the Lebanese Ministry of Public Works and Transport. A ‘Highway Management System’ has been set up to collect and analyse road data, as well as to better identify work to be carried out, and a ‘Geographical Information System’ has been installed to provide access to the data and news of the works’ progress. The operation is set to last three years.

* FEMISE CALL FOR CANDIDATES FOR COUNTRY PROFILES
A new Call for Candidates for the preparation of country profiles on Algeria, Lebanon, Syria, and Turkey was launched recently by the MEDA supported Euro-Mediterranean Forum of Economic Institutes (FEMISE). Subjects to be addressed are Tax, Trade, Financial Issues, Governance, and Labour/Human Resources. Further details are available from the FEMISE web site at http://www.femise.org/activites/cp/index.html

PUBLICATIONS

* EURO-MEDITERRANEAN INVESTMENT IN FIGURES
EU foreign Direct Investment (FDI) in the Mediterranean Partners recorded a small increase in 2002, after a sharp drop in 2001. The main reason for this was the rise of investment in Cyprus. At the same time, a high disinvestment in Egypt can be noticed. All the details are to be found on line in English, French and German in ‘European FDI in the Mediterranean region in 2002’, a publication just released by the EU Statistical Office (Eurostat). http://www.europa.eu.int/comm/eurostat/

* STATISTICAL PORTRAIT OF TOURISM IN THE MED PARTNERS
Want to know about recent trends in tourism in Mediterranean Partners, the number of hotels and restaurants, and the impact on the balance of payments? Fact sheets by Mediterranean Partner are available on line in English and French as part of ‘Tourism – Europe, central European countries, Mediterranean countries’, a publication just released by the EU Statistical Office (EUROSTAT). http://www.europa.eu.int/comm/eurostat/ .

* EUROMED SYNOPSIS IN ARABIC ON THE WEB
Issue No 261 of the Euromed Synopsis has been made available in Arabic on line at http://europa.eu.int/comm/external_relations/euromed/news_interviews.htm . The Arabic version will from now on be put on the web on the Monday following the publication of the English and the French. It is published as a test for the time being. You are welcome to send any comments to europeaid-euromedinfo@cec.eu.int .

Brussels,03 08 2004
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