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Euromed News

MEETINGS

* The 4th Ministerial Meeting of the European Investment Bank’s Facility for Euro-Mediterranean Investment and Partnership (FEMIP) will take place on 7 June in Alexandria with the aim of assessing the results achieved by FEMIP since its reinforcement last December, and looking at future prospects. Hosted by the Egyptian Prime Minister Dr Atef Ebeid, the meeting will be held under the joint chairmanship of Egypt’s Minister of State for Foreign Affairs, Fayza Abou El Naga, her colleague in charge of Finance Medhat Hassanein, and the EIB Vice-President with special responsibility for FEMIP, Philippe de Fontaine Vive. Discussions will focus on two recommendations on privatisation and private companies’ access to finance prepared by the FEMIP Experts Committee Meeting in February in Marseilles. It will be the first FEMIP Ministerial Meeting since the latest EU Enlargement, and EU participation will include the 25 Member States. The meeting will also be attended by European Commissioner Siim Kallas, and representatives of the World Bank group, the International Monetary Fund (IMF), and the African Development Bank (AfDB).

MEETINGS

* The 4th Ministerial Meeting of the European Investment Bank’s Facility for Euro-Mediterranean Investment and Partnership (FEMIP) will take place on 7 June in Alexandria with the aim of assessing the results achieved by FEMIP since its reinforcement last December, and looking at future prospects. Hosted by the Egyptian Prime Minister Dr Atef Ebeid, the meeting will be held under the joint chairmanship of Egypt’s Minister of State for Foreign Affairs, Fayza Abou El Naga, her colleague in charge of Finance Medhat Hassanein, and the EIB Vice-President with special responsibility for FEMIP, Philippe de Fontaine Vive. Discussions will focus on two recommendations on privatisation and private companies’ access to finance prepared by the FEMIP Experts Committee Meeting in February in Marseilles. It will be the first FEMIP Ministerial Meeting since the latest EU Enlargement, and EU participation will include the 25 Member States. The meeting will also be attended by European Commissioner Siim Kallas, and representatives of the World Bank group, the International Monetary Fund (IMF), and the African Development Bank (AfDB).

* Senior Officials of the Euro-Mediterranean Partnership responsible for Political and Security Issues had a joint meeting with representatives of the MEDA supported Euro-Mediterranean network of Foreign Policy Institutes (EuroMeSCo) on 1 June in Dublin. The Future of the Partnership was discussed, as well as Prospects for co-operation on security and civil protection, and Governance, Human Rights, and Civil Society Co-operation. Papers had been prepared for the meeting by EuroMeSCo on Democracy Promotion, a Euro-Med “Landmines Free Zone”, and Euro-Med Civil Protection Co-operation. The meeting was preceded by the General Assembly of EuroMeSCo, at which Institutes from new EU Member States were admitted to membership.

* Senior Officials of the Euro-Mediterranean Partnership responsible for Political and Security Issues held their regular meeting on 2 June in Dublin. The outcome of and follow-up to the Dublin Euro-Mediterranean Ministerial Meeting held in May were discussed, as well as the meeting with EuroMeSCo (see above). Senior Officials also looked at a report on Dialogue with Mediterranean Partners on European Security and Defence Policy (ESDP). The participants discussed the Strategic Partnership for the Mediterranean and the Middle East, which is due to be adopted by the European Council meeting on 17 and 18 June. There was also an exchange of views on a Workshop on the Rights of the Child due to take place on 22 June. In addition, there was an exchange of views on the current situation in Israel, and Gaza and the West Bank.

* The Euro-Mediterranean Committee of the Barcelona Process meets on 3 June in Dublin. Committee members are to assess the results of the recent Dublin Foreign Ministers’ meeting as regards the Economic and Social/Cultural Chapters of Barcelona, and discuss the follow-up. The state of play of the Euro-Mediterranean Foundation for Dialogue between Cultures is also looked at. Committee members are considering the next steps to be taken in order to ensure that the Foundation starts functioning in Alexandria as soon as possible. In addition, presentations are made of future Euro-Mediterranean meetings (the Senior Officials/Experts’ meeting on Information and Communication Technologies to be held on 8-9 June in Dublin, and the Trade Ministers’ meetings due to take place in July in Istanbul).

* Euro-Mediterranean Senior Officials and Experts will meet on 8 and 9 June in Dublin for a ‘Conference on Information and Communication Technology (ICT) for Development and Sustainable Growth in the Mediterranean Area’. The keynote speech will be delivered by Ireland’s Minister for Communications, Marine and Natural Resources, Dermot Ahern. Five panels will address as many subjects (Communications Policy and Regulations; ICT for Business, Sustainable Growth and Education; Regional and Global Co-operation; Facilitating eGovernment; and Doing Business in ICT. The Conference is organised by the current Irish Presidency of the EU. http://www.eu2004.ie
* The 8th annual conference of Euro-Mediterranean government experts on Economic Transition will take place on 10 and 11 June in Brussels under the title ‘A legal and regulatory environment for an efficient market economy’. The Conference will be opened by a representative of the EU Council’s current Irish Presidency, and the European Commission’s Director for Relations with the Middle East and South Mediterranean, Christian Leffler. Five sessions will address ‘General institutional reform indicators in the region’, ‘Extensiveness and effectiveness of the legal system’, ‘Judicial reforms and economic development’, ‘Competition policy, legal framework and institutions’, and ‘Corporate governance’. Speakers will be senior officials, academics, and representatives of international organisations. http://europa.eu.int/comm/external_relations/euromed/etn/8mtg/index.htm

PROGRAMMES & PROJECTS

* MEDA FUNDED SOLAR THERMAL PROJECT AT INTERNATIONAL CONFERENCE IN BONN
A presentation was made of the MEDA funded project on Applications of solar thermal energy in the Mediterranean basin on 2 June at the International Conference for Renewable Energies in Bonn, Germany. The presentation was made during the second day of the Conference, dedicated to ‘Best Practices Examples and Success Stories’, by the Director General of Tunisia’s National Agency for Renewables, Mohamed Ezzedine Khalfallah, and the Director of France’s Agency for Renewable Sources (ADEME), Jean-Louis Bal. ADEME is the co-ordinator of the Solar Thermal Project, one of seven MEDA regional energy projects managed by the European Commission’s EuropeAid Cooperation Office. The Bonn Conference is a 4 day intergovernmental event with stakeholder participation, organised by the German Federal Ministries for Economic Cooperation and Development, and for the Environment, Nature Conservation and Nuclear Safety.
http://www.renewables2004.de/pdf/conference_programme.pdf

* PRESENTATION OF MED OPPORTUNITIES TO SPANISH INVESTORS
Investment opportunities in the Mediterranean Partners will be presented to Spanish companies from 7 to 11 June in Barcelona and Valencia during the first roadshow organised within the MEDA funded ANIMA Regional Programme. Representatives of over 100 Spanish companies will hear presentations by top managers of Mediterranean Partners’ Investment Promotion Agencies, and individual meetings will take place. The event will be hosted by the Chambers of Commerce of Barcelona and Valencia, and co-organised with the Association of Chambers of Commerce of the Mediterranean (ASCAME), and the Valencia Export Institute (IVEX). ANIMA aims at stimulating investment in the Mediterranean Partners through a Euro-Mediterranean network of Investment Promotion Agencies. The programme is managed by the European Commission’s EuropeAid Cooperation Office and co-ordinated by the Invest in France Agency. http://www.animaweb.org

* EGYPTIAN PROGRAMMES WORTH € 46 MILLION SIGNED
The financing agreements for four MEDA funded operations benefiting Egypt were signed on 30 May by the country’s Minister of State for International Co-operation, Fayza Abu El Naga, and the Director for the Southern Mediterranean and Middle East at the European Commission’s EuropeAid Cooperation Office, Richard Weber. The operations concerned are a € 20 million programme of Support to Social Development and the Development of Civil Society Structures aimed at improving the living conditions of the most vulnerable groups in Egyptian society; a € 18 million programme designed to enable the financial system to better respond to the needs of the credit needs of farmers, small food producers and agro-business; a € 6 million technical assistance programme aiming at supporting the Egyptian government’s Customs Reform (‘Trade Enhancement Programme C’); and a € 2 million programme of Promotion of the Association Agreement. In addition, a rider for the restructuring of the € 250 million Industrial Modernisation Programme (IMP) was signed at the same time, to help the Programme provide further support to Egypt’s private sector, notably small and medium-sized enterprises. More on the IMP on http://www.imc-egypt.org.eg

* TRAINING COURSE ON UNDERWATER ARCHAEOLOGY
Trainees from Algeria, France, and Malta will become more familiar with the administrative, practical, and management aspects of underwater archaeological sites during a MEDA funded training course run from 31 May to 26 June in Valetta, Malta. The course is organised within the ‘Navigation du Savoir’ project, part of the Euromed Heritage Regional Programme, managed by the European Commission’s EuropeAid Cooperation Office. The project aims at creating a multimedia web site on the Mediterranean’s maritime culture. More on http://www.euromedheritage.net .

PUBLICATIONS

* EU-EGYPT ASSOCIATION AGREEMENT ON THE WEB
The text of the EU-Egypt Association Agreement, in force since 1 June, can be downloaded from the web site http://europa.eu.int/comm/external_relations/euromed/med_ass_agreemnts.htm .

Brussels,06 08 2004
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