* Ambassador Oded Eran will present his credentials to European Commission President Romano Prodi on 16 December in Brussels as Israel's new Ambassador to the EU. He will replace Mr Harry Kney-Tal. Mr Eran was Israeli Ambassador to Jordan from 1997 to 2000. He worked with the Department for the Peace Process and the Middle East within Israel's Foreign Ministry between 1977 and 1982 as Deputy Head of Division, and again in 2000-2001 as Head of the negotiating team for the Permanent Status Agreement talks with the Palestinians. Mr Eran holds a Doctorate in Political Science from the London School of Economics.
* The 10th Training Seminar organised by the 'UNIMED Business Network' will take place on 12 and 13 December in Lisbon, Portugal. The Seminar is entitled 'Making the Euro-Mediterranean Free Trade Area a Success: the Role of Employer Organisations'. It will be hosted by the Portuguese Industrial Association (AIP), and will enable participants to review progress towards completion of the Euro-Mediterranean Free Trade Area.
Two thematic workshops will focus respectively on how business associations can promote internationalisation of their member companies, and how they can help their country/region attract more foreign direct investment. UNIMED Business Network is a MEDA supported Regional Project managed by the Union of Industrial and Employers' Confederations of Europe (UNICE), which aims at strengthening employer organisations in the Mediterranean Partners, and networking them with those in the EU.
* The first meeting of partners involved in the MEDA funded MedNet'U project (Mediterranean Network of Universities) will be held on 16 and 17 December in Rome, Italy. MedNet'U aims essentially at creating a common technological platform for distance learning to develop Euro-Mediterranean activities in this area. The project is part of the EUMEDIS (Euro-Mediterranean Information Society) Regional Programme. The meeting will be attended by all 25 partners from 11 Euro-Mediterranean countries (Algeria, Egypt, Jordan, Lebanon, Morocco, Syria, Tunisia, Turkey, France, Greece, and Italy). The project's co-ordinator is the Italian Network for University Distance Learning (NETTUNO - Network per l'università ovunque).
* An Information Seminar on Water will take place on 16 December in Tunis on the initiative of the Euro-Mediterranean Information System on the know-how in the Water Sector (EMWIS), and of the Water Resources Directorate in Tunisia's Ministry of Agriculture. The Seminar aims at raising awareness and mobilising Tunisia's main stakeholders of the water sector. It will be followed on 17 and 18 December by a meeting of EMWIS' Co-ordination Committee held to review the state of play of the Information System, and to approve the Work Programme 2003.
* The 10th in a series of 12 Seminars held in the framework of the Euro-Mediterranean Energy Training Network will take place from 16 to 20 December in Tunis. It will be hosted by the Tunisian Oil Sector Company (ETAP), and co-ordinated by the National Technical University of Athens in co-operation with France's Oil Institute (IFP), and Spain's Catalan Energy Institute (ICAEN). The Seminar will address Energy Policy and Markets, and Energy Projects' Economics and Financing. It will be attended by decision-makers and experts from key stakeholders of the Tunisian energy sector.
PROGRAMMES & PROJECTS
* 'SESAME STREET' FOR ISRAEL, JORDAN, AND THE WEST BANK/GAZA STRIP
A further 26 fifteen-minute episodes of the 'Sesame Street' TV series for children will be produced in Israel, Jordan, and the Palestinian Territories within a MEDA supported Middle East Peace Project entitled 'Israeli-Palestinian-Jordanian Media Co-operation', for which the contract has been signed recently. The main aim of the project is to promote understanding between Israelis, Jordanians, and Palestinians. An Israeli/Palestinian co-production of Sesame Street ('Rechov Sumsum'/'Shara'a Simsim') was successfully shown in 1998, with a positive impact on each community's view of the other. The new project will bring together an Israeli production company and a Jordanian one, along with the Palestinian Al Quds University to extend the original initiative to Jordan, and to create educational material for children and teachers. The project's 'Secretariat' will be operated by an Israeli NGO (Sesame Workshop Co-Productions). The project will receive an EU grant of up to € 2.5 million.
* SCRIPTWRITING TRAINING SEMINAR IN MARRAKESH
The 2nd 'Aristote' Scriptwriting Training Seminar held within the MEDA supported CINEMAMED Project will take place from 12 to 18 December in Marrakesh on the initiative of the Programme's co-ordinator (Italy's Fondazione Laboratorio Mediterraneo) in co-operation with the Lebanese Academy of Fine Arts (ALBA), and Morocco's Cadi Ayyad University. The CINEMAMED project is supported under the 'EUROMED AUDIOVISUAL' Regional Programme. Activities carried out within CINEMAMED include film festivals, training and film restoration.
* SEMINAR ON BERBER MANUSCRIPTS
A Seminar on Berber Manuscripts in the Maghreb and in Europe was held on 9 and 10 December in Aix-en-Provence, France within the MEDA funded MANUMED project, which aims at preserving and developing the heritage of libraries in the Mediterranean region. MANUMED is part of the EUROMED HERITAGE I Regional Programme. The Seminar was organised by MANUMED's co-ordinator, the Centre for the Conservation of Books in Arles, France. It focussed on identification, conservation, and dissemination of Berber manuscripts in Algeria, Morocco, among the Touareg, as well as in European collections. Presentations were made of results achieved within the MANUMED project, and of the teaching of the Berber language in Algeria, Morocco, and the EU. E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org
* FILMS BY SALAH ABOU SEIF IN ITALY
A festival offering a retrospective of films by the famous Egyptian director Salah Abou Seif will be run successively in Naples from 5 to 12 December, and in Bologna from 13 December to 3 January with MEDA support under the CINEMAMED project, part of the EUROMED AUDIOVISUAL Regional Programme. The festival is organised by Fondazione Laboratorio Mediterraneo in co-operation with Egypt's Ministry of Culture.
* MEDITERRANEAN CULTURES ON THE WEB
Babelmed.net, the Mediterranean cultures' website, is now on line. This project receives financial support under the regional cultural activities of the European Commission Delegations in the Mediterranean Partners. The website offers comprehensive information and original thinking on cultural issues in the Mediterranean region (agenda; press review; book review; creations; special features; exhibitions, etc). It also provides some 200 links to cultural entities active in the Mediterranean, notably print and audiovisual media, museums, festivals, and projects supported under MEDA Regional Programmes such as EUROMED AUDIOVISUAL, EUROMED HERITAGE or EUMEDIS.
* 9TH EUROPEAN FILM FESTIVAL IN BEIRUT
The 9th European Film Festival in Beirut was held from 21 to 28 November with support from the European Commission Delegation in Lebanon. Recent films by European and Lebanese directors were screened, as well as short films by students in Lebanese audio-visual schools. Workshops brought together film directors and Lebanese students. The Festival was run for 3 additional days due to its success.
* A EURO-MEDITERRANEAN 'DIDO AND AENEAS' IN TUNIS
Henry Purcell's Opera 'Dido and Aeneas' will be performed on 14 and 15 December at Tunis' Municipal Theatre by singers and musicians from 10 Euro-Mediterranean countries with the support of the European Commission Delegation in Tunisia. The show will be staged by the Euro-Mediterranean 'ECUME' association (Cultural Exchanges in the Mediterranean).
Brussels,12 16 2002