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Euromed News

DECISIONS

* The European Commission on 29 September decided to simplify funding of external assistance worldwide by reducing the number of financial instruments for the delivery of aid. In practice each Mediterranean Partner will be covered by two instruments. One of the four new instruments to be set up under the Future Financial Perspective 2007-2013, the European Neighbourhood and Partnership Instrument, will cover 9 Mediterranean Partners. Turkey as a candidate country will be covered by the Pre-Accession Instrument. The European Neighbourhood and Partnership Instrument will replace MEDA (1995-2006), and introduce a cross-border co-operation component, bringing together regions of EU Member States with neighbouring countries sharing a common border, including Mediterranean Partners. EU co-operation with and assistance to the Mediterranean and Middle East are currently managed through 13 regulations. Also included in the package is the Instrument for Stability which will apply to all third countries and territories, including the Mediterranean Partners. More on the European Neighbourhood Policy at http://europa.eu.int/comm/world/enp/index_en.htm

* The EU Council of Ministers on 24 September adopted a Decision on the signature and provisional application of a Protocol to the EU-Egypt Association Agreement, which adjusts the Agreement to take account of the accession to the EU of 10 new Member States on 1 May 2004. This is the first in a series of Protocols that need to be signed with all Mediterranean Partners with which the EU has concluded an Association Agreement.

* The European Parliament (EP) on 23 September announced that during the constitutive meetings of the three parliamentary committees of the Euro-Mediterranean Parliamentary Assembly the Presidents and Vice-Presidents were decided. The President of the Political, Security and Human Rights Committee is Mrs Tokia Saïfi (European Parliament). The election of the three Vice-Presidents was postponed, pending a decision by the Euromed Parliamentary Assembly Bureau on the validity of the Athens Agreement regarding the sharing of Vice-Presidents’posts among the three committees. The President of the Economic, Financial, Social Affairs and Education Committee is Mr Hashem Ad-Dabbas (Jordan). The 2nd Vice-President is Mr Oguz Oyan (Turkey), and the 3rd Vice-President Mrs Jamila Madeira (European Parliament). The election of the Ist Vice-President was postponed. The President of the Promotion of the quality of life, human exchange and culture Committee is Mr Mario Greco (Italy). The Vice-Presidents are in this order: Mr Mohamed Mansouri (Morocco), Mr Mario Galea (Malta), and Mr Miloud Chorfi (Algeria).

* The European Parliament on 23 September published the names of the Chairs and Vice-Chairs of the new Delegations for relations with countries outside the EU. The Delegation for relations with the Maghreb will be chaired by Mrs Rudi (Spain), the Delegation for relations with the Mashrak by Mrs Patrie (France), the Delegation for relations with Israel by Mrs Hybaskova (Czech Republic), the Delegation for relations with the Palestinian Legislative Council by Mr Adamou (Cyprus), and the Delegation to the EU-Turkey Joint Parliamentary Committee by Mr Lagendijk (the Netherlands).

MEETINGS

* The 5th Euro-Mediterranean Conference of Industry Ministers will take place on 3 and 4 October in Caserta, Italy. The main purpose of the Conference will be the adoption of a declaration endorsing the Euro-Mediterranean Charter for Enterprise, which is based on the European Charter for Small and Medium-Sized Enterprises and adapted to the Mediterranean context. Ministers are also expected to adopt a work programme for industrial co-operation for the period 2005-2006.

* European Commission Vice-President Loyola De Palacio, responsible for Energy and Transport, visited Jordan from 22 to 24, and Egypt from 25 to 27 September to underline the importance, in the framework of Euro-Mediterranean co-operation and the European Neighbourhood Policy, of practical steps to increase regional integration of energy and transport networks. In Jordan the Vice-President met Prime Minister Faisal Al-Fayez and several Ministers. She said the EU would study possibilities for technical co-operation on the security and continuity of electricity supplies. In Egypt the Vice-President met Prime Minister Dr Ahmed El Nazif, and several members of his government. Reforms in the Energy and Transport sectors were discussed, as well as Egypt’s readiness to take part in twinning projects with the EU in these areas. In both countries Ms De Palacio stressed the importance of increasing the renewable energy share, as well as energy efficiency, and discussed the extension of the Trans-European Transport Network to the Mediterranean Partners. Ms De Palacio also took part in the opening of the GALILEO Euro-Med Cooperation Office (see p. 3). At a meeting with Ministers of Energy from Egypt, Jordan, Lebanon, and Syria, hosted by the Egyptian Minister and attended by the Regional Director of the European Investment Bank, the first EU/Mashrak gas co-operation project was launched. The objective is the gradual establishment of a sub-regional gas market to be interconnected to the EU internal market. In this context, a MEDA funded regional gas Master Plan will be drawn up to address infrastructure and technical issues, as well as the legislative and market framework. More at http://europa.eu.int/news_index.en.htm

* Senior Officials of the Euro-Mediterranean Partnership responsible for Political and Security Issues met on 27 September in Brussels. The Dutch Presidency indicated how it proposed to organise the Foreign Ministers’ meeting scheduled for late November in the Hague. It also proposed an ad hoc meeting of Senior Officials and experts to discuss European Security and Defence Policy (ESDP), which was greeted favourably by the partners. The Personal Representative of High Representative Javier Solana’s Personal Representative on weapons of mass destruction (WMD), Annalisa Giannella, presented a proposal to hold a workshop or ad hoc meeting on non-proliferation of WMD, which received a generally positive response. It was agreed that EuroMeSCo, the MEDA supported Euro-Mediterranean Network of Foreign Policy Institutes, would be tasked to carry out an assessment of 10 years of Barcelona Process to be ready by February 2005. FEMISE, the Euro-Mediterranean Forum of Economic Institutes, will be similarly tasked for aspects within its competence. On Civil Protection Italy presented a proposal for a bridging project designed to extend the pilot project which has now ended. It was agreed that further technical contacts should take place after which the project could go ahead.

* The Euro-Mediterranean Committee of the Barcelona Process met on 28 September in Brussels. Discussions mainly focused on the Anna Lindh Euro-Mediterranean Foundation for the Dialogue between Cultures. Executive Director designate Dr Traugott Schöfthaler presented his views on the Foundation’s future work, including the questions of education, participation of civil society, and visibility. A first discussion took place on the draft Statute. Written contributions were asked by the Presidency from all partners by 15 October, and if needed an ad hoc meeting for approving the Statute could be organised. On the Network of networks the European Commission recalled the need to complete the list of heads of national networks. Consultations are continuing on the Advisory Committee. The need to have substantial financial contributions from all partners was also stressed. In addition, the European Commission announced the preparation of a senior officials’seminar to discuss trade and agriculture in the Euro-Mediterranean Partnership. The Commission also informed about progress in the preparations of the Ministerial Conference on Industry in Caserta (see above), the excellent results of the Istanbul Conference on Trade and Services held last July, and the state of play of projects regarding industrial co-operation and private sector development.

PROGRAMMES & PROJECTS

* PROJECT LAUNCH AND OPENING OF GALILEO OFFICE CONFIRM INTEREST IN GNSS IN MED REGION
Sectors as diverse as border control, tourism, transport safety, trade, and management of national resources should benefit from the MEDA funded Euro-Mediterranean Satellite Navigation (GNSS) project, which was launched on 27 September in Cairo at a ceremony attended by Egypt’s Minister of Civil Aviation Ahmed Shafik, and European Commission Vice-President in charge of Transport and Energy, Loyola de Palacio. This was confirmed during the Information Day that followed the official opening of the GALILEO Euro-Med Cooperation Office. Both events were hosted by the Egyptian Ministry of Civil Aviation, and attended by officials and business executives from the EU and the Mediterranean Partners. The Office, created for the benefit of all Mediterranean Partners, will be a focal point for the promotion of GALILEO and EGNOS (European Geostationary Navigation Overlay Service, GALILEO’s forerunner) services, and applications in the Mediterranean. The GNSS project, managed by the European Commission’s EuropeAid Cooperation Office as part of the Euromed Transport III Regional Project, provides for training and demonstration activities on satellite radionavigation services in the Mediterranean area, along with relevant infrastructure development. It will be co-ordinated by the GALILEO Joint Undertaking.

* 3RD ANNUAL CONFERENCE FOR ANIMA INVESTMENT PROMOTION PROGRAMME
Results of and prospects for the MEDA funded ‘ANIMA’ Regional Programme for the promotion of foreign direct investment (FDI) in the Mediterranean Partners will be debated at the programme’s 3rd Annual Conference, which will be held from 5 to 7 October in Rome. ANIMA, managed by the European Commission’s EuropeAid Cooperation Office, aims at boosting investment in the region through a Euro-Mediterranean Network of Investment Promotion Agencies. The Conference is hosted by Italy’s Institute for Foreign Trade (ICE), co-organiser with ANIMA’s co-ordinating consortium. The first day will essentially consist of a public session, which will be opened by Italian Deputy Minister for Productive Activities Adolfo Urso and Italian senior officials. ANIMA’s achievements will be outlined by the project’s co-ordinator and representatives of Mediterranean Investment Promotion Agencies. Presentations will be made of the Mediterranean Partners’ performances in attracting FDI, and best practices of European investors in the region. The 2nd and 3rd days of the Conference will be devoted to workshops designed to evaluate programme results, as well as discuss and finalise the workplan for ANIMA’s 3rd year. http://www.animaweb.org

* WORKSHOP ON ENERGY SECTOR REFORM IN THE MAGHREB
A Sub-Regional Workshop on Energy Sector Reform in the Maghreb will take place from 4 to 6 October in Algiers within the MEDA funded ‘Reform of the Legal and Institutional Energy Sector Framework’ regional project. The workshop, held jointly with the parallel MEDA project on Restructuring Energy Companies (MEDA-REC), will bring together project partners to discuss the regional ‘road map’, as well as to review the ‘national road maps’ and the actions that need to be taken at bilateral or sub-regional level. Parallel sessions will be devoted to Electricity, Gas, and Upstream Gas and Oil. The Energy Sector Reform project and MEDA-REC are two of four on-going MEDA Regional Energy Projects managed by the European Commission’s EuropeAid Cooperation Office.

* NEW STEPS IN EU-EGYPT BILATERAL CO-OPERATION
THREE FINANCING AGREEMENTS FOR BILATERAL PROJECTS WERE SIGNED ON 30 SEPTEMBER IN CAIRO BY RICHARD WEBER, DIRECTOR FOR CO-OPERATION WITH THE SOUTH MEDITERRANEAN, NEAR AND MIDDLE EAST WITHIN THE EUROPEAN COMMISSION’S EUROPEAID COOPERATION OFFICE. DURING HIS VISIT TO EGYPT, M. WEBER ALSO CO-CHAIRED THE STAKEHOLDERS’ MEETING OF THE INTEGRATED LOCAL DEVELOPMENT PROGRAMME FOR SOUTH SINAI. FOR DETAILS PLEASE SEE OUR NEXT ISSUE.

* MED-INTERPRISE LEBANON BUSINESS EVENT POSTPONED
MED-INTERPRISE LEBANON, the MEDA funded business event scheduled to take place from 6 to 8 October in Beirut, has been postponed by decision of the organisers. The event will be held in spring, 2005.

Brussels,10 04 2004
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