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French Version

Euromed News

DECISIONS

* The programmes and operations making up the MEDA Regional Financing Plan 2004 and totalling € 92.5 million were approved by the European Commission in late July and August. The Financing Plan comprises eight Regional Programmes or Projects covering fields as diverse as environment and training, as well as funds to support the Facility for Euro-Mediterranean Investment and Partnership (FEMIP), a Neighbourhood Programme for the energy sector, and a € 4 million sub-regional programme for Palestinian refugees in Lebanon. 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. Euromed Audiovisual II (€ 12,5 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 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. 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. Finally the MED-ENEC project (Energy efficiency in the construction sector in the Mediterranean; € 4 million) aims to give a boost to energy efficiency measures and to the use of solar energy in the construction sector. Support to the European Investment Bank-managed FEMIP will amount to € 6 million for Turkey and € 19 million for the rest of the region. The Energy Neighbourhood Programme (€ 14 million) aims to speed up reform of the energy sector in the Mediterranean Partners, develop energy interconnections, and harmonise regulations and standards. Its three components are the integration of the Euro-Maghreb electricity market, the creation of a 0Euro-Mashrak gas market, and the energy interconnections between Israel and the Palestinian Territories.

* The European Investment Bank (EIB) on 2 August announced it was lending Lebanon € 45 million for the upgrading and extension of the sewerage infrastructure in the coastal towns of Saida and Sour in the South of the country. This loan will serve to finance investment in water supply, waste water collection and treatment, and stormwater drainage systems. The project is due to be operating at the end of 2007. http://www.eib.org/lending/med/en/index.htm

MEETINGS

* During a private visit to Libya, European Commission President Romano Prodi was invited by Libyan leader Colonel Muammar Gaddafi to attend the ceremonies in Sirte on 31 August and 1 September for the anniversary of the Libyan Revolution. During talks, which took place in a cordial atmosphere, President Prodi and Colonel Gaddafi reviewed the state of EU-Libya relations. Colonel Gaddafi reconfirmed his desire for formal relations with the EU as part of the Barcelona Process. More on http://europa.eu.int/comm/commissioners/prodi/index_en.htm

* Lebanon’s Prime Minister Rafic Hariri will meet top European officials on 16 September in Brussels. Mr Hariri will be accompanied by his Finance Minister Fouad Siniora. The Prime Minister will meet European Commission President designate José Manuel Barroso, EU High Representative Javier Solana, External Relations Commissioner Chris Patten, Commissioner designate for external relations Benita Ferrero-Waldner, and Belgian Prime Minister Guy Verhofstadt. Mr Hariri wants to have a first contact with the new Commission which will take over on 1 November, when he will underline the importance of his country’s relationship with the EU.

* EU Foreign Ministers meeting on 6 September in St Gerlach, the Netherlands, reviewed developments in the Middle East peace process and reaffirmed the importance of the Quartet and Road Map, according to Dutch Foreign Minister and President of the EU Council Bernard Bot. The Minister added that the EU Foreign Ministers reaffirmed their support in principle to Prime Minister Sharon’s disengagement plan, provided it concurs with the EU’s conditions. More at http://www.eu2004.nl

* During a visit to Tripoli on 4 and 5 September, European Research Commissioner Philippe Busquin discussed with Libyan authorities the potential mutual benefits for Libya and the EU of establishing scientific and technological co-operation, once Libya has joined the Barcelona Process. Joint initiatives could cover genomics and veterinary research on Libyan cattle, including goats and camels, as well as solar energy. More on http://europa.eu.int/rapid/

* The Euro-Mediterranean Ad Hoc Informal Working Groups on Partnership Building Measures and European Neighbourhood Policy will hold separate meetings on 15 September in Brussels at Senior Officials’ level. The former Working Group will discuss existing Partnership Building Measures such as the Disaster Management Project and the Malta Seminars for Junior Diplomats; proposals for new measures may be put forward. The Working Group on Neighbourhood Policy will have a broad discussion of the concept and objectives of the policy, and the timing of National Action Plans.

PROGRAMMES & PROJECTS

* SEMINAR ON EU BASICS FOR MEDITERRANEAN CIVIL SERVANTS
A Seminar on EU Basics for Mediterranean Civil Servants is being held from 6 to 10 September in Brussels as part of the MEDA funded ‘Training of Public Administrations’ Regional Programme, managed by the European Commission’s EuropeAid Cooperation Office. It is the first in a series of 12 seminars designed to provide up to 720 civil servants from the Mediterranean Partners with basic knowledge of the EU. Each seminar will address the Origins and Evolution of the EU, the EU Institutions and Decision-making Process, EU Policies and Law, as well as Key aspects of the Euro-Mediterranean Process, and the MEDA Programme. Every Seminar will be attended by 6 civil servants from each Mediterranean Partner. The ‘Training of Public Administrations’ Programme is co-ordinated by the Barcelona antenna of the European Institute of Public Administration. ‘EU Basics’ is one of four modules, the others being ‘EU Advanced’, ‘EU Programmes’, and ‘Train the Trainers’. Creating a network of training centres is also envisaged under the programme. E-mail for EU Basics Module: m.kirchner@eipa-ecr.com

* MAGHREB GETS MORE WATER THROUGH SOLAR ENERGY
52 photovoltaic pumps are being installed (instead of 30 initially envisaged) in rural areas of Algeria, Morocco, and Tunisia in order to improve the provision of safe drinking water there. The pumps are part of a MEDA funded project entitled “Implementation of a Photovoltaic Water Pumping and Purification Programme in Mediterranean Countries” and managed by the European Commission’s EuropeAid Cooperation Office within the SMAP Regional Programme (Short and Medium-term priority environmental Action Programme). Nearly all activities planned under the project have been implemented, according to the latest annual report drawn up by the project’s co-ordinating body, the Solar Energy Institute of Madrid Polytechnic University.

* EUROMEDCAFÉ: A WEB SITE FOR DIALOGUE AND A SHORT FILM CONTEST
An EU supported virtual Euro-Mediterranean café has been recently made available for dialogue on the web at http://www.euromedcafe.org . The web site features news and interviews on intercultural dialogue and cinema, and provides all necessary information on the First international Short Film Contest on Intercultural Dialogue. The whole project is co-ordinated by Italy’s Fondazione Laboratorio Mediterraneo as part of a 3-year programme supported by the European Commission in the context of activities designed to promote dialogue between cultures worldwide.

* REPORT PROVIDES ADVICE FOR ORGANISING SYRIAN GAS COMPANY
Advice on how to structure and organise the newly established Syrian Gas Company is being provided to Syrian authorities in a report drawn up by consultants as part of the MEDA funded ‘Restructuring of energy companies’ project, managed by the European Commission’s EuropeAid Cooperation Office. The report, which identifies key issues such as tariffs and the Eastern Mediterranean market, can also help Syrian stakeholders draft terms of reference for future technical assistance activities. The energy restructuring project is co-ordinated by French engineering firm BCEOM.

* MEDITERRANEAN ENVIRONMENT TO BE DISCUSSED IN TUNISIA
Representatives of the World Bank, the United Nations Development Programme, the European Commission and the European Investment Bank (EIB), partners in the Mediterranean Environmental Technical Assistance Programme (METAP), will convene with the Programme’s National Focal Points on 16 and 17 September in Gammarth, Tunisia for METAP’s annual meeting. METAP Progress will be discussed, as well as new developments in the Mediterranean region, and METAP in relation to the MEDA funded SMAP Regional Programme (Short and Medium-term priority environmental Action Programme), the EIB-managed Facility for Euro-Mediterranean Investment and Partnership, and the European Neighbourhood Policy. Participants on 18 September will visit METAP’s Regional Solid Waste Management Project.

* CAIRO SEMINAR ON INVESTOR SERVICING POSTPONED
The Training Seminar for Egyptian investment promotion officers, which was scheduled to be held from 6 to 9 September in Cairo under the MEDA funded ANIMA Regional Programme (see Euromed Synopsis No 281), has been postponed. No new date has yet been set. http://www.animaweb.org

PUBLICATIONS

* NEWSLETTERS FROM ALGERIA, JORDAN AND SYRIA
Dialogue between cultures and the 5th European Cultural Festival in Algiers are the focus of the latest issue (No 3/2004) of “Union européenne”, the newsletter published by the European Commission Delegation in Algiers. http://www.deldza.cec.eu.int . The latest “Euro-Jordan Newsline” (No 5) published by the Commission Delegation in Amman addresses the issue of the refugees living in Jordan, while the latest Newsletter of the European Commission Delegation to Syria puts the spotlight on water and training programmes in the country. http://www.deljor.cec.eu.int and http://www.delsyr.cec.eu.int

* NEW DOCUMENT ON US AND EURO-MED RELATIONS
A new brief on “The United States and Euro-Mediterranean Relations: Evolving Attitudes and Strategies” has recently been published on EuroMeSCo’s web site. EuroMesSCo is the MEDA supported Euro-Mediterranean Network of Foreign Policy Institutes. http://www.euromesco.net

Brussels,09 13 2004
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