· The European Commission on 8 May announced it was providing a further € 3.5 million in emergency humanitarian aid for the Palestinian Territories.
This is on top of the € 5 million allocated in early April. The funds are managed by the European Commission's Humanitarian aid Office (ECHO) and are being channelled through 7 NGOs in the region, and by the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC). Initially, the amount foreseen for this decision was around € 1.7 million (see Euromed Synopsis No 178). The funding has now been increased to reflect the growing needs being reported.
The decision aims to help meet the needs of vulnerable Palestinians in both the West Bank and Gaza through the distribution of food, medicines, medical supplies, hygiene kits, cooking fuel and other basic essentials. Areas of operation include Jenin, Ramallah, and a number of villages. http://europa.eu.int/comm/external_relations/gaza/news/ip02_690.htm
· A 'Euro-Jordanian Partnership Evening' will be held on 20 May in Amman to celebrate the entry into force of the EU-Jordan Association Agreement.
A keynote address will be delivered by Jordan's Prime Minister Ali Abul Ragheb, and speeches by Spanish Ambassador Antonio López (on behalf of the EU Presidency) and European Commission Head of Delegation James Moran are also featured on the programme. A Multimedia Presentation will be made of a 'CD Rom User's Manual of the EU-Jordan Association Agreement'. Finally a Piano Recital for Four Hands will be performed by Jordan's Yusra Duqum and the UK's Helen Reid. http://www.deljor.cec.eu.int .
· A Conference of Industry Ministers from the Euro-Mediterranean region on 'Energy Supply Strategies' organised by the Tunisian authorities took place on 6 and 7 May in Tunis.
At the meeting's opening European Commission Vice-President in charge of Energy and Transport Loyola de Palacio called on Mediterranean political and economic stakeholders to act to make Trans Euro-Mediterranean Energy and Transport Networks a reality, in line with the results of the recent Valencia Ministerial Conference. Ms De Palacio insisted that the Networks would be a motor for integration and stability in the Mediterranean region. She stressed the need for closer South-South co-operation in the Mediterranean, notably as regards interconnection of energy and transport networks in the Maghreb.
· The European Parliament's Delegations for relations with various Mediterranean Partners had meetings on 15 and 16 May in Strasbourg, France.
The Delegation for relations with the Palestinian Legislative Council met on 15 May. The situation in the Palestinian Territories was discussed, and a report was presented by MEPs who recently visited the region. The Delegation for relations with Israel met on the same day to discuss its activities in 2002. The Delegation for relations with the Mashrak countries and the Gulf States held a meeting on 16 May, focusing on a planned trip to the Arabian Peninsula. Finally the Delegation for relations with the Maghreb Countries and the Arab Maghreb Union met on the same day. They discussed the results of the recent Valencia Ministerial Conference, preparations for the visit of a working group to Libya, and activities in 2002.
· The EU-Malta Joint Parliamentary Committee held its 17th meeting on 29-30 April in St Julians, Malta.
Negotiations for Malta's EU accession were discussed. Maltese Foreign Minister Joe Borg told the Committee that his country attaches particular importance to the Euro-Mediterranean dialogue.
· Two Working Group meetings will take place in Brussels shortly as a follow-up to the Euromed Transport Forum.
The GNSS (Global Navigation Satellite Systems) Working Group will hold their 2nd meeting on 17 May (see Euromed Synopsis No 181). The Network & Infrastructure Working Group will hold their own 2nd meeting on 23-24 May to discuss infrastructure financing. The meeting will be co-chaired by the European Commission and the European Investment Bank. There will be an exchange of views on the status of the regional Euromed Transport Project, particularly its infrastructure component. The Project has been approved by the Commission under MEDA last November.
· Four Euro-Mediterranean Workshops on scientific co-operation are taking place from 16 to 21 May.
All 4 workshops aim in particular at identifying future priority items for Euro-Mediterranean co-operation in research, notably in the context of INCO-MED operations and with a view to co-ordinating research activities with MEDA regional programmes in the same areas. A workshop on Integrated Management of Limited Water Resources is being held in Marrakesh, Morocco from 16 to 18 May. A workshop on Cultural Heritage is taking place from 16 to 19 May in Athens, Greece. A similar meeting focusing on Health Research will be held from 18 to 20 May in Tunis, and a workshop on Renewable Energies will take place in Nicosia, Cyprus from 18 to 21 May. The use of information technologies will be given special consideration in the first three meetings. Participants in all 4 workshops are high-level scientific experts selected by their respective national authorities.
· A Policy Workshop on 'New Approaches to Telecommunications Policy in the Mediterranean Countries' has been taking place on 15 and 16 May in Cyprus under the EU funded MEDA Telecom Project.
The workshop has brought together Euro-Mediterranean senior officials, and representatives of telecom operators and regulatory authorities. Regulatory issues, investment, and infrastructures have been discussed. Presentations have been made on a Telecom Observatory, and on a Regional Forum. http://europa.eu.int/ISPO/intcoop/natp/i_Welcome.html .
· Four projects selected under the MEDA regional Euro-Mediterranean Information Society (EUMEDIS) Programme, held its 2nd Steering Committee on'Tourism and Cultural Heritage' on 9 and 10 May in Rome, Italy to identify common activities and synergies.
The 4 projects are Medina (Mediterranean by Internet Access); Networked Journeys (Tourist itineraries following ancient trade routes); Daedalus (Delivery of Mediterranean Destination Links in Unified Environments); and Strabon (Multilingual and Multimedia Information System for Cultural Heritage and Euro-Mediterranean Tourism. Contact: firstname.lastname@example.org .
· The Sub-Project 'Development of Guidelines and Common Methodologies' of DELTA (Development of Territorial Cultural Systems), one of the projects selected under MEDA's Regional EUROMED HERITAGE II Programme, will hold its launching Seminar on 20-21 May in Rome, Italy.
The Sub-Project is aimed at defining a Euro-Mediterranean approach to cultural heritage enhancement at territorial level. Contact : email@example.com .
· An EU funded dissemination workshop on 'IT in the Textile Industry' has brought together EU providers and Moroccan potential users/intermediaries on 13 May in Casablanca.
The event was part of the MEDRESSA project aimed at helping EU companies and research institutions to find partners in the South Mediterranean, and at providing opportunities to institutions in the Mediterranean Partners in search of technology for their development needs. http://www.medressa.com .
PROJECTS & PROGRAMMES
CALLS FOR PROPOSALS UNDER DEMOCRACY & HUMAN RIGHTS INITIATIVE
The European Commission's EuropeAid Cooperation Office has recently launched four calls for proposals under the worldwide European Initiative for Democracy and Human Rights (EIDHR), which in the Mediterranean region follows on from the previous MEDA Democracy Programme. One of the calls is aimed at 'Combating racism, xenophobia and discrimination against ethnic minorities and indigenous people', and has been awarded a global indicative amount of € 26 million. Another call is about 'Prevention of torture and the provision of support for the rehabilitation of torture victims' (€ 25 million). The two remaining calls address 'Support for the abolition of the death penalty' (€ 7 million), and 'Fighting impunity and promoting international justice' (€ 6 million). The deadline for receipt of applications is 29 July. The calls are available at http://europa.eu.int/comm/europeaid/projects/ddh/cfp_en.htm .
ANTI-EROSION DEVELOPMENT IN MOROCCO
A workshop was held on 7 May in Demnate, Morocco for the launch of an anti-erosion development project part-funded by the EU under the 4th EU-Morocco Financial Protocol. The project aims at preserving natural resources in the Sidi Driss area, so as to enhance agricultural production and to improve living conditions, notably for women. The project has received € 5.5 million from the EU, and some 75,000 people will benefit. http://www.delmar.cec.eu.int .
SUPPORT TO TRADE ORGANISATIONS IN MOROCCO
A meeting was recently held in Casablanca to raise awareness of the Programme of Support to Moroccan Trade Organisations, part-funded by MEDA. The Programme aims at strengthening the capacity of Moroccan Trade Organisations and Industrial Federations to enhance their ability to provide good quality services, and to improve their representativity. The EU contributes € 5 million out of a total cost of € 6.55 million.
For applications and information requests: Omar Oukrid and Dominique Seran
- tel +188.8.131.52.42
- fax +184.108.40.206.84
- e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org .
Bruxelles,05 16 2002