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French Version

Euromed News

DECISIONS

* A headquarters agreement paving the way for the opening of a FEMIP representative office in Rabat in 2005 was signed on 4 November in the Moroccan capital by Morocco's Finance Minister Fathallah Oualalou and the Vice-President of the European Investment Bank (EIB) in charge of FEMIP, Philippe de Fontaine Vive. FEMIP is the EIB-managed Facility for Euro-Mediterranean Investment and Partnership. The new FEMIP office will help forge links with the country's private sector. More at http://eib.eu.int/news

* Finance contracts for three EIB loans to Morocco totalling € 191 million were signed on 4 November in Rabat. € 71 million has been granted to the Al Omrane development company for social housing construction, eliminating shantytowns and upgrading slum areas. This is the first EIB loan in the social housing sector outside the EU. Two other loans have been provided to Morocco's National Electricity Board (ONE). An amount of € 80 million will help build a wind farm between Tangiers and Tetouan. A further € 40 million will improve the technical performance of the Mohammedia power plant 25 km north of Casablanca. More at:
http://www.eib.org/lending/med/en/index_en.htm

MEETINGS

* The European Council meeting on 4-5 November in Brussels adopted a statement on the Middle East whereby it "expresses its solidarity with the Palestinian people in this difficult moment". The European Council "remains committed to the two-State solution as laid out in the Roadmap", and "endorses the short-term programme of action in the fields of security, reforms, elections and economy proposed by the High Representative" (Javier Solana). The European Council "invites the High Representative to conduct consultations … with the parties, the international community, and, especially, the other members of the Quartet". The full text of the statement was sent out on 8 November as Euromed Report No 83. It is also available from the web site http://europa.eu.int/comm/external_relations/euromed/publication.htm. The European Council also took note of the report on the implementation of the Common Strategy on the Mediterranean region and agreed to extend the period of its application by 18 months until 23 January 2006.

* Dutch Foreign Minister Bernard Bot as President of the EU Council, European Commission President Romano Prodi, and EU High Representative Javier Solana have each on 11 November expressed condolences on the passing away of the President of the Palestinian Authority, Yasser Arafat. Mr Bot is to attend the memorial service for Yasser Arafat on 12 November in Cairo. His statement is on line at http://www.eu2004.nl. Mr Prodi's message to the Palestinian Authority's Prime Minister Ahmed Qurei and to the Speaker of the Palestinian Legislative Council, Rawhi Fatouh, is available from the website http://europa.eu.int/news/index_en.htm under Midday Express of 11-11-2004. Mr Solana's comments can be accessed from the same website (please go to 'Council', right; click on 'Press', top left, and go to 'Latest News').

* Senior Officials of the Euro-Mediterranean Partnership responsible for Political and Security Issues held two Ad Hoc meetings on 10 November in Brussels, one on the Fight against Terrorism, the other on Euro-Mediterranean aspects of the European Security and Defence Policy (ESDP). The meeting on Terrorism included a discussion on Recent Developments in International Fora, and a presentation by the European Commission of the Police component of the MEDA funded Regional Programme on Good Governance and the Rule of Law, managed by the Commission's EuropeAid Cooperation Office. The presentation of the programme, considered as a breakthrough in Euro-Mediterranean co-operation in the Justice and Governance area, focused on terrorism-related aspects. (see p. 3) There was a useful and constructive exchange of views on possibilities for co-operation to combat terrorism and agreement to pursue the dialogue. The meeting on ESDP, the first to be held in Euro-Mediterranean format, took place in a good atmosphere. The EU updated the Mediterranean Partners on the latest developments and possibilities for third countries to be associated to ESDP. Senior Officials agreed to develop the network of contacts. Finally the announcement was made of a Seminar on Crisis Management to be held in Athens next year.

* Senior Officials of the Euro-Mediterranean Partnership responsible for Political and Security Issues and the Euro-Mediterranean Committee of the Barcelona Process are holding separate meetings on 11 November in Brussels to prepare the Mid Term Euro-Mediterranean Foreign Ministers' meeting scheduled for 29 and 30 November in The Hague, the Netherlands. Senior Officials focus on the Political and Security Chapter of Barcelona while the Euro-Med Committee addresses the Economic/Financial and the Cultural/Social/Human Chapters. The Euro-Med Committee's agenda also includes discussion of the Draft Statute of the Euro-Mediterranean Anna Lindh Foundation.

* An informal meeting of the Anna Lindh Foundation's National Networks is taking place on 11 November in Brussels on the Dutch Presidency's initiative. It brings together representatives of the 35 National Networks (one for each Euro-Mediterranean partner) of the Foundation for Dialogue between Cultures, and the Foundation's Director, Traugott Schöfthaler. The results of the meeting will be presented to the Euro-Mediterranean Committee of the Barcelona Process on 12 November at a working session on the establishment of the Foundation's network of networks and participation of the networks in the Foundation, which will also be attended by the Foundations's Advisory Committee, and the representatives of National Networks. Both meetings are new steps towards the establishment of the Foundation.

* The 9th Euromed Summit of Economic and Social Councils and similar institutions will take place on 18 and 19 November in Valencia, Spain. It is organised by Spain's Economic and Social Council in association with the European Economic and Social Committee. The reports to be discussed at the Summit will focus on Agriculture and food safety in the context of the Euro-Mediterranean Partnership, and Immigration and co-operation between the countries of the region. For further information, please contact Beatriz Martin Nieto (beatriz.martin@ces.es) or Michael Wells (Michael.Wells@esc.eu.int).

* The European Parliament Delegation for relations with the Palestinian Legislative Council will meet on 17 November in Strasbourg, France. Delegations members will discuss the organisation of their work, European Commission activities in the West Bank and Gaza Strip, preparations for a visit of a delegation to the Palestinian Territories next January, and the Calendar of meetings for 2005.

* The EU-Tunisia Association Committee will hold its 4th meeting on 18 November in Brussels. The meeting will mainly focus on the implementation of the Association Agreement. Committee members will discuss the next steps for adoption of the Neighbourhood Action Plan and the future role of the Committee. The creation of new specialised sub-committees will be discussed, as well as a tentative time-table for their first meetings, and the results of technical meetings already held (Industry, Trade and Services; Migration and Social Affairs) will be reviewed. There will also be exchanges of views on bilateral relations, and bilateral negotiations on agriculture and services. In addition, the state of play of and prospects for financial co-operation will be discussed.

PROGRAMMES & PROJECTS

* MEDA REGIONAL POLICE PROJECT SHOULD LEAD TO EUROMED NETWORK
The € 2 million Police component of the Regional Good Governance/Rule of Law Programme aims at facilitating Euro-Mediterranean Police Co-operation through training as well as exchanges of information and best practices covering the fight against five scourges, namely Terrorism, Organised Crime, Human Trafficking, the Drug Trade, and Financial Crime. Those five subjects will be addressed in 15 training seminars in the course of the project. As regards Training in the Fight against and Prevention of Terrorism, 3 Seminars have been held since last March, two in France and one in Morocco, with the next ones scheduled for December in Morocco and February in Cairo. Subjects addressed included the State of the terrorist threat, Intelligence gathering, Prevention plans, Co-ordination between services, Crisis Management and Intervention, and International Co-operation. Case studies, data and information exchanges, and means of reinforcing regional and international co-operation were discussed during those seminars. A 'Euro-Med Police Network' should be set up as a result of the project, bringing together police officers from both sides of the Mediterranean specialising in the fight against terrorism.

* FIRST EURO-MED CYBER-CRIME SEMINAR PAVES WAY FOR FUTURE CO-OPERATION
Euro-Mediterranean police officers and customs officials engaged in fighting IT based illegal activities had a wide exchange of experiences and opinions during the first Euro-Mediterranean training seminar on Cyber-crime that took place from 1 to 5 November in Wyboston, UK. The seminar was held as part of the Police strand of the MEDA funded Regional Programme on Good Governance and Improvement of the Rule of Law, managed by the European Commission's EuropeAid Cooperation Office. The seminar was organised with the help of the UK Centre for National High Tech Crime. Training. Sessions covered subjects such as Techniques used by cyber-criminals, the International Legal Framework and the role of Interpol, Protection of key information infrastructures, Training, Collecting and analysing evidence, and the Creation and management of specific units for fighting cyber-crime. Participants showed considerable interest in this initiative with a view to the possible establishment of a network that could form the basis of a future co-operation platform.

* EU FUNDED IT FOR JORDAN'S TOURIST BOARD
A MEDA funded contract for the supply of IT hardware and software to the Jordan Tourist Board (JTB) has been awarded recently, the European Commission Delegation in Amman announced on 8 November. The new equipment and software will enable the JTB to further develop its management systems, web pages and graphic and promotional capabilities. The operation is part of the 'Protection and Promotion of Cultural Heritage in Jordan' Programme, which aims at promoting Jordan as a tourist destination.

Brussels,11 15 2004
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