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Euromed News


* EU Foreign Ministers meeting informally on 16 April in Tullamore, Ireland approved a statement on the situation in the Middle East. In the statement, issued by the EU Presidency, “The European Union reaffirms its commitment to a negotiated two-State solution agreed between the parties which would result in a viable, contiguous, sovereign and independent Palestinian State existing side by side in peace with an Israel living within recognised and secure borders”. The full text of the statement is available from the Presidency web site: http://www.eu2004.ie. European External Relations Commissioner Chris Patten on 21 April delivered a speech on the Middle East Peace Process at the European Parliament Plenary Session in Strasbourg. “We have to see what we can rescue from what is left of the Middle East Peace Process”, he concludes. The text of the speech can be downloaded from the website: http://europa.eu.int/comm/commissioners/patten/index_en.htm

* The EU-Morocco Association Council will hold its 4th meeting on 26 April in Luxembourg. Discussions will mainly focus on the implementation of the Association Agreement and the prospects for future relations. In that context the Barcelona Process will be discussed, as well as the European Neighbourhood Policy and the ‘Advanced Status’ concept. Reinforced Political Dialogue will also be mentioned. The Association Council will be followed by a Political Dialogue meeting on issues of common interest, which includes the Fight against Terrorism, the Middle East Peace Process, Iraq, and the EU’s Strategic Partnership with the Mediterranean and the Middle East.

* A Euro-Mediterranean ad hoc meeting of Senior Officials on Terrorism took place on 21 April in Brussels. Experts discussed areas which should be pursued for operational co-operation in the fight against terrorism, including on the root causes of terrorism. Presentations were also made on measures to implement the relevant United Nations Security Council Resolutions on combating the financing of terrorism, followed by an exchange of views on this subject.

* The MED Committee met on 21 April in Brussels. Favourable opinions were given on the MEDA National Financing Plans for Algeria, Lebanon and Syria, as well as the first part of the MEDA Regional Financing Plan 2004. The Financing Plan for Algeria (€ 37 million) comprises programmes of support to Educational Reform and Reform of the Judiciary, as well as a Solid Waste Management Programme. The Financing Plan for Lebanon (€ 18 million) includes interest rate subsidies on loans by the European Investment Bank (EIB) for Wastewater Treatment Projects in Beirut, Saida, and Sour. The Financing Plan for Syria (€ 53 million) is made up of four programmes or projects, i.e. the Vocational Education and Training Programme; the Municipal Administration Modernisation Programme for Syrian cities; the Modernisation of the Ministry of Finance project; and the Banking Sector Support Project (phase II). The first part of the Regional Financing Plan 2004 (€ 78 million) consists of seven regional programmes or projects, and the funds to support the EIB-managed Facility for Euro-Mediterranean Investment and Partnership (FEMIP). Euromed Audiovisual II (€ 15 million) will build on the achievements of the first programme to support the development, distribution and promotion of Mediterranean audio-visual works while continuing training and restoration activities. The 3rd Regional Environment Programme (SMAP III; € 15 million) aims to assist Med Partners in designing appropriate sustainable development strategies and mainstreaming environmental issues, as well as supporting Integrated Coastal Zone Management.

* The Euro-Mediterranean Satellite Navigation Project (GNSS) and the SAFEMED Project for Co-operation on Maritime Safety and prevention of pollution from ships (€ 4.5 million each) are both priority areas within the Euromed Transport III Regional Programme. ‘Role of Women in Economic Life’ (€ 5 million) aims to improve women’s access to the labour market, notably through training, credit schemes, information, and networking. ‘Education and Training for Employment’ (€ 5 million) is intended to combat and prevent unemployment and to support the integration of unemployed people. Finally the New Approaches to Telecommunications Policy II programme (NATP II; € 4 million) is designed to support the modernisation and reform of the telecom sector in the Mediterranean Partners.

* The 16th MEDA funded Information and Training Seminar for Euro-Mediterranean Diplomats will take place from 23 to 26 April in Malta with the aim of informing junior diplomats of the latest developments within the Euro-Mediterranean Partnership. The opening address will be given by the Head of the European Commission Delegation in Malta, Ronald Gallimore, and a speech on “Euro-Mediterranean Relations – what prospects?” will be delivered by Malta’s Foreign Minister John Dalli. A Working Session will be devoted to each of the three chapters of the Barcelona Process. http://www.euromed-seminars.org.mt

* The EU-Morocco Customs Co-operation Committee will hold its 2nd meeting on 27 April in Rabat. Committee members will first update the lists annexed to the Association Agreement for the purpose of tariff dismantling. Rules of Origin will then be discussed, including the state of play of Pan-Euro-Mediterranean cumulation. Trade Enhancement will also be discussed, including Customs Reform in Morocco. Also on the agenda are Customs Co-operation and Mutual Assistance in the fight against fraud, as well as the customs aspects of the European Neighbourhood Policy.

* A Joint MEDRESSA/EUMEDIS Event on IT in Promoting Textiles will take place on 25 and 26 April in Aleppo. Presentations will be made of the Textile Industry in Syria, the EU funded MEDRESSA Initiative, and the MEDA funded EMedTExNet Project, part of the EUMEDIS Regional Programme. European providers of IT systems and services will present their products and meet Syrian potential users. The second day will be devoted to textile factory visits. http://www.medressa.com


The third Regional Seminar on how to bring successful expatriates back home to set up a business or to invest will be held from 27 to 30 April in Marseilles, France within the MEDA funded ANIMA Regional Programme. It is part of a series of seminars designed to devise a marketing strategy for national projects along the lines of the ‘Home Sweet Home’ initiative run by the Investment Promotion Agency in Greater Marseilles. Participants will be decision-makers in Jordanian, Maltese, Palestinian, Tunisian and Turkish Investment Promotion Agencies who will present their respective action plans for review by experts and study in group sessions. Investment Promotion Agencies in Algeria, Lebanon, and Morocco have also confirmed their interest in adapting the ‘Home Sweet Home’ concept to their own country as a result of the first two seminars. The ANIMA Programme aims at stimulating investment in the Mediterranean Partners through a Euro-Mediterranean network of Investment Promotion Agencies. http://www.animaweb.org

A Training Seminar for Trainers on Financial Services will take place from 26 to 30 April in Berlin within the MEDA funded Euro-Med Market Regional Programme. This will be the seventh in a series of eight training seminars held within the second phase of the programme with the aim of enabling each Mediterranean Partner to prepare Training Programmes in all relevant areas. Presentations and training sessions will cover the EU’s Legal Framework for Financial Services, Recent developments, challenges and best practices in the fields of Banking, Insurance and Securities, as well as Consumer Protection issues. Sessions on Training Methodologies in Financial Services will help Mediterranean Partners plan their own training programmes. On the last day a brief presentation will be made by each Partner of its Draft Training Programme. Participants will be officials, other practitioners and trainers working in the areas of banking, securities and insurance in their respective countries, who should in turn be able to train their colleagues and become contact points for future activities. http://www.euromedmarket.org

Over 700 officials from public administrations and institutions in Mediterranean Partners will follow training courses on EU issues due to start in June or July under the MEDA funded ‘Training of Public Administrations’ Regional Project, whose launching event was held on 19 April in Brussels. Preparations for the courses were discussed by representatives of Mediterranean and EU training institutions present at the launch. Four types of training courses are planned (EU Basics; EU Advanced; EU Programmes; and ‘Train the Trainers’). There was general agreement that the Euro-Mediterranean network of training institutions, part of the € 6 million project, should be put in place. The 3 year project will be implemented by the Barcelona antenna of the Maastricht-based European Institute of Public Administration (EIPA). http://www.eipa.nl – Please click on ‘Projects’ (left) and select ‘EuroMed Public Administration’.

Investment Promotion Officers from 11 Mediterranean Partners will visit Regional Development and Promotion Agencies in Central Italy from 25 to 30 April within the MEDA funded ANIMA Regional Programme. They will visit Tuscany’s Regional Economic Promotion Agency in Florence, as well as its counterparts for the Lazio Region in Rome, and the Marches Region in Ancona. Also included in the study trip programme are two sector-based service centres for businesses, one in the mechanical industry and the other in the furniture sector, as well as a science park specialising in new materials. ANIMA aims at stimulating investment in the Mediterranean Partners through a Euro-Mediterranean network of Investment Promotion Agencies. http://www.animaweb.org

Completion of the Northern Morocco Highway project is getting nearer. A € 42 million rider to the existing Financing Agreement was signed on 16 April by representatives of Morocco and the European Commission. The highway will link the Tangiers-Tetuan area with the Berkane-Oujda region. The new grant brings total funding for the project to € 122 million. The additional funding will help enhance the quality and reliability of the infrastructure in an earthquake-prone region.


Publication of the news magazines edited by the European Commission Delegations in Algeria and Jordan has resumed after an interruption. Algeria’s ‘Union européenne’ magazine (No 1/2004) published in a bilingual French/Arabic version is dedicated to Algerian entrepreneurs and focuses on the country’s small businesses. ‘Euro-Jordanian Newsline’ (No 1/2004) puts the spotlight on EU-Jordan relations, the European Commission Delegation in Amman, and the Agadir Agreement between Jordan, Egypt, Morocco and Tunisia.

Brussels,04 26 2004
European Union
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