The European Investment Bank (EIB) on 2 December announced it was lending € 150 million for the development of leasing and lending facilities to support investment by small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) in Turkey. The funds will be channelled through Turkey's TSKB Bank to selected banks who will pass them on to finance projects by SMEs in industry, tourism, and services in the form of loans or leases. More at http://www.eib.org/lending/med/en/index.htm
* Euro-Mediterranean Foreign Ministers met on 29 and 30 November in The Hague to review the Barcelona Process and discuss future prospects in view of Barcelona's 10th anniversary in November 2005. Ministers confirmed that the Barcelona Process, enhanced by the European Neighbourhood Policy, is the main initiative for the Mediterranean in which the EU and the Mediterranean Partners jointly participate, and the central instrument for partnership and dialogue for the Mediterranean. Agreement was reached on the Workplan for the Anna Lindh Foundation for Dialogue between Cultures. Ministers decided that 2005 will be the Year of the Mediterranean. The meeting was preceded by two 'Troika' meetings on 29 November, one with Israel and one with Mediterranean Arab States. The Troika is made up of the current (Dutch) and next (Luxembourg) EU Presidencies, EU High Representative Javier Solana, and European Commissioner Benita Ferrero-Waldner. The Foreign Ministers of Israel and the Palestinian Authority, Silvan Shalom and Nabeel Shaath, met on 29 November in the presence of Dutch Foreign Minister Bernard Bot. A further Troika meeting was held with the Palestinian Authority on 30 November. On financial co-operation Ministers noted that the considerable improvement in the performance of MEDA is still increasing. After the meeting, Mr Bot, Mr Solana and Ms Ferrero-Waldner all stressed the importance of ownership by the region. The Presidency Conclusions for the meeting were sent on 30 November as Euromed Report No 84. They are also available on line, as well as documents on the State of play of Euro-Mediterranean Association Agreements, and MEDA in 2004 at http://europa.eu.int/comm/external_relations/euromed
* Palestinian Authority Foreign Minister Nabeel Shaath visited the European Commission in Brussels on 1 and 2 December. Mr Shaath met European Commissioner for Development and Humanitarian Aid, Louis Michel, on 1 December to discuss the situation in the Middle East and the humanitarian situation. The Palestinian Minister met the European Commissioner for External Relations and Neighbourhood Policy Benita Ferrero-Waldner on 2 December to discuss EU-Palestinian Authority relations and plans for the forthcoming Palestinian Authority Presidential elections. Ms Ferrero-Waldner outlined the objectives of the EU Observation Mission, which will be led by former French Prime Minister and Member of the European Parliament, Michel Rocard (sse Euromed Synopsis No 293).
* Egypt's Foreign Minister Ahmed Ali Abul Gheit will meet European Commissioner for External Relations Benita Ferrero-Waldner and European Neighbourhood Policy on 9 December in Brussels. This will be Mr Abul Gheit's first visit to Brussels. Discussions will touch on the EU-Egypt Association Agreement, the European Neighbourhood Policy, the Middle East Peace Process, and other regional issues such as Iraq.
* The 17th MEDA funded Training Seminar for Euro-Mediterranean Diplomats will take place from 3 to 6 December in Malta with the aim of informing junior diplomats of the latest developments within the Euro-Mediterranean Partnership. A Working Session will be devoted to each of the three chapters of the Barcelona Process. http://www.euromed-seminars.org.mt
PROGRAMMES & PROJECTS
* MED-INTERPRISE MOROCCO FOR EU-MOROCCO BUSINESS CO-OPERATION
Representatives of Moroccan small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) specialising in Textiles, Leather and Agri-Food will meet their counterparts from France, Greece, Italy, Portugal, Spain and the UK from 6 to 8 December in Marrakesh within the MEDA supported "Med-Interprise Morocco 2004" event, managed by the European Commission's EuropeAid Co-operation Office. The event, organised by Morocco's National Agency for the Promotion of SMEs (ANPME), aims to create opportunities for EU-Morocco business co-operation. It is part of the Euro-Mediterranean SMEs Co-operation Regional Project. In addition, the programme includes sectoral seminars and allows for visits to Moroccan businesses. http://www.anpme.ma/med_Intreprise2004/med-interprise%20maroc%202004.htm
* ARE SAFEGUARD AND USE OF HERITAGE COMPATIBLE? A EURO-MED WORKSHOP
Compatibility of safeguard and use of cultural heritage will be at the heart of a Euro-Mediterranean Workshop to be held from 9 to 11 December in Malta under the Delta project, part of the MEDA funded Euromed Heritage II Regional Programme, managed by the European Commission's EuropeAid Co-operation Office. Participants from the 9 countries and territories involved in the project (Algeria, Israel, Morocco, the Palestinian Territories, France, Greece, Italy, Malta and Spain) will look at Compatible use of historic centres; Heritage and compatible tourism; Heritage and compatible accessibility and facilities; A territory's cultural compatibility. Delta, which aims at developing 'Territorial Cultural Systems', is co-ordinated by Italy's Mediterranean Institute (IMED). More at www.imednet.it/delta and www.euromedheritage.net/resources/preliminary_programme_malta_en.pdf
* MEDITERRANEAN OFFICIALS LOOK AT INVESTMENT PROMOTION TOOLS
Web Sites and Tailoring the Offer to Investors' Needs will be looked at as tools for promoting investment in the Mediterranean Partners during two seminars to be held as part of the MEDA funded ANIMA project (Euro-Mediterranean Network of Investment Promotion Agencies or IPAs), managed by the European Commission's EuropeAid Co-operation Office. The 3rd ANIMA Webmasters' Seminar will take place from 6 to 10 December in Marseilles, France with the aim of analysing existing IPA web sites and providing recommendations for future improvements. Participants will be IPA officers from all Mediterranean Partners, involved in web site editorial development and marketing. A Regional Seminar on "Tailoring the Offer to Investors' Needs" will be held from 7 to 10 December in Ankara. Turkish and European case studies will be presented and discussed. Participants will be IPA officers from various Mediterranean Partners, and local IPA officers from Turkey. http://www.animaweb.org
* ENERGY ROAD MAPS FOR MASHRAK AND TURKEY DISCUSSED AT MED SEMINAR
Public and private sector representatives from Egypt, Jordan, Lebanon, Syria and Turkey, and European Commission officials met from 22 to 24 November in Amman to discuss national road maps on energy reform at a Sub-Regional Workshop held jointly by consultants co-ordinating the MEDA funded projects "Reform of the Legal and Institutional Energy Sector Framework" and "Restructuring Energy Companies (MEDA-REC)". Both projects are managed by the European Commission's EuropeAid Co-operation Office. General agreement was reached on identifying structural obstacles and challenges to reform, as well as the main issues to be discussed at the final workhop to be held next February in Salzburg, Austria. The seminar also included sub-sectoral workshops on electricity, gas and oil.
* TWO EXHIBITIONS AND A CONCERT TO HIGHLIGHT MEDITERRANEAN CULTURE
Various aspects of Mediterranean life and culture will be highlighted shortly in two exhibitions and a concert staged under the MEDA funded Euromed Heritage Regional Programme, managed by the European Commission's EuropeAid Cooperation Office. Traditional arts and crafts from Algeria, Jordan, Lebanon, the Palestinian Territories, Turkey, and France will be on display under the title "Lasting Mediterranean Impressions and Colours" at Amman City Hall from 4 to 10 December as part of the PRODECOM project. http://euromedheritage.net/resources/prodecom_expo.pdf . A multi-media exhibition on the role of cinema in London's Turkish speaking communities will be held from 3 to 10 December in the UK capital within the Mediterranean Voices project. http://www.med-voices.org/pages/news.aspx . Finally the 8th in a series of concerts called "Musical Traditions of the Mediterranean" will take place on 8 December in Beirut as part of the MediMuses project. The concert of Classical Eastern Mediterranean Music will feature musical ensembles from Cordoba, Spain and Istanbul, Turkey. http://www.medimuses.gr
* EUROPEAN FILM WEEKS IN 5 MOROCCAN CITIES
The 14th edition of Morocco's European Film Weeks will be held from 4 to 22 December in five Moroccan cities and towns under the aegis of the country's Ministry for Culture, in partnership with the Moroccan Film Centre, and with support from the European Commission Delegation in Rabat. It will start in Agadir (4-13 December) and will move to Tetouan (8-17 December), Rabat (10-19 December), Casablanca (11-20 December), and Safi (13-22 December). The Weeks will feature films by young European directors, works by celebrities such as Kenneth Loach, Olivier Assayas and Gianni Amelio, as well as short films by Mediterranean directors.
* NEW HEAD OF REPRESENTATION IN EAST JERUSALEM
The new Head of the European Commission Representation in East Jerusalem, John Kjaer, took up his post on 28 November. Mr Kjaer was formerly Head of the Commission Representation in Estonia.
Brussels,12 06 2004