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Euromed News


Algeria has completed the ratification procedure for its Association Agreement with the EU. The Agreement was ratified by the Nation’s Council (Algerian Senate) on 31 March, and by the People’s National Assembly (the Algerian Parliament’s lower house) on 14 March. Ratification by the Parliaments of EU Member States has not yet been completed. The Agreement was signed in 2002 in Valencia, Spain.


The European Commission on 6 April agreed to publish guidelines related to the possible use against textile/clothing imports from China of the safeguard clause provided for under the WTO. A potential surge in those Chinese imports into the EU is of particular concern for producers in Mediterranean Partners. The textile/clothing industries of Morocco, Tunisia and Turkey trade as much as 95% of their products on the EU market, the Commission observes. The global trade of these products has been liberalised as from 1 January 2005. For more information:


* The first Euro-Mediterranean Ministerial Meeting on Information and Communication Technology will take place on 10-11 April in Dundalk, Ireland under the title « Delivering the Information Society for all Citizens ». The meeting is organised by the Irish Government in co-operation with the Luxembourg EU Presidency and the European Commission. It will be opened by Ireland’s Minister for Communications, Marine and Natural Resources Noel Dempsey, Tunisia’s Minister of Technologies and Communications Montassar Ouaili, and representatives of the Luxembourg Presidency and the European Commission. The two-session Ministerial will be preceded by a Senior Officials’ meeting. Session 1 will address Electronic Communications Policy and Strategies for broadband and online services, looking at regulatory frameworks, the EU Member States’ experience, and the role of the private sector. Session 2, entitled « Towards a closer Euromed co-operation », will be an opportunity for discussing the European Neighbourhood Policy and the Barcelona Process, as well as the Promotion of a structured dialogue on the Information Society. A Declaration is expected at the end of the meeting.

* Senior Officials of the Euro-Mediterranean Partnership responsible for Political and Security Issues will meet on 11 April in Brussels. The meeting will be preceded by an Ad Hoc meeting on European Security and Defence Policy (ESDP) where recent ESDP developments and a draft action programme for strengthening Euro-Mediterranean co-operation in this area will be examined. Two seminars, one on security in the Mediterranean and the other on crisis management, scheduled for May and June respectively, will also be discussed. During their regular meeting Senior Officials will mainly look at the envisaged Euro-Mediterranean Seminar on anti-Personnel Landmines.

* The Euro-Mediterranean Committee of the Barcelona Process will meet on 12 April in Brussels. The meeting will mainly focus on preparations for the 7th Euro-Med Ministerial Conference scheduled for late May in Luxembourg. There will be an exchange of views on assessing the Barcelona Process, notably on the basis of an oral communication by the European Commission. In addition, the Commission will inform the Committee of the Euro-Mediterranean Civil Forum meeting held from 1 to 3 April in Luxembourg, and the approach to Euro-Med co-operation on Education. The issue of Rules of origin in the Euro-Mediterranean context will also be discussed. The Committee will then meet as Board of Governors of the Anna Lindh Foundation. During its 3rd meeting, the Board will hear a report by the Presidency on the Foundation’s inaugural ceremony scheduled for 18-20 April in Alexandria, and a report by the Foundation’s Executive Director, Traugott Schöfthaler. The Board of Governors will discuss draft rules of procedure and the agenda for its next meeting, due to take place during the inauguration.

* The 4th EU-Israel Association Committee will be held on 14 April in Jerusalem. This will be the first Association Committee to be held since Israel and the EU concluded the European Neighbourhood Policy (ENP) Action Plan at the end of 2004. The meeting of high-level officials, chaired by the European Commission with the support of the EU Presidency and Council Secretariat, will focus on preparations for implementing the ENP Action Plan, including deciding priorities for the next twelve months. It is intended that the Association Committee will endorse the sector-based sub-committees to put into operation the various technical aspects of the Plan. The political dialogue will cover the Middle East Peace Process, anti-Semitism, combating terrorism, and Common Foreign and Security Policy issues. In addition, the EU and Israel will discuss further trade and services liberalisation, the 10th anniversary of the Barcelona Process, and facilitation of trade with the Palestinians.

* The European Parliament (EP) Delegation for Relations with the Mashrak Countries will meet on 13 April in Strasbourg, France with the participation of the EP Foreign Affairs Committee. The Delegation will have an exchange of views with a Lebanese delegation led by Member of the Lebanese Parliament Walid Joumblatt. This will be preceded by a meeting between the Lebanese delegation and President of the European Parliament Josep Borrell. The EP Delegation will then hear an oral report by Member of the Foreign Affairs Committee Véronique de Keyser on her visit to Syria and Lebanon, as well as a presentation by the President of the Sub-Committee on Human Rights, Hélène Flautre.

* The 9th Seminar of Experts on Economic Transition will take place on 11 and 12 April in Brussels. On the occasion of the 10th anniversary of the Barcelona Process, the seminar this year will focus on the economic achievements of the Partnership and the Association Agreements, as well as future economic policy perspectives. The full programme and all practical information can be accessed from http://europa.eu.int/comm/external_relations/euromed/index.htm (click on « Economic Transition », top right).

* The Med Committee will meet on 13 April in Brussels. An opinion should be given on the MEDA II Regional Financing Plan 2005 (Part I). In addition, the European Commission will inform the Committee of budgetary implementation for 2004 as regards the MEDA Programme.

* The third meeting of the Pan-Euro-Med Working Group on rules of origin is scheduled to take place on 20 April in Brussels. Participants in this Working Group include representatives from the customs administrations and other relevant ministries from all Barcelona signatories, Romania, Bulgaria, the EFTA countries, the Faeroe Islands. The working group will deal with a number of issues related to the implementation of the system of pan-Euro-Mediterranean cumulation of origin between these countries and territories. There will also be an exchange of views on the Communication adopted by the Commission on 16 March 2005 on the future orientations for the EU's preferential rules of origin. For any further information, please mail Kristian.Vangrieken@cec.eu.int


Euro-Mediterranean Health Ministers meeting on 10 April in Algiers as the “High Piloting Committee” for the Virtual Euro-Mediterranean Hospital (VEMH) are expected to announce official support of the region’s government for the VEMH initiative, which follows on from the MEDA funded EMISPHER project, part of the EUMEDIS Regional Programme, managed by the European Commission’s EuropeAid Co-operation Office. Ministers from some 30 countries and territories in the Euro-Mediterranean region and the Black Sea area have been invited by Algeria’s Minister of Health, Population and Hospital Reform Pr Mourad Redjimi. The Health Ministers’ meeting will on 8 April be preceded by a meeting of senior officials, European Commission representatives and experts involved in EUMEDIS projects EMISPHER (Euro-Mediterranean Internet-Satellite Platform for Health, medical Education and Research), EMPHIS (East Mediterranean Public Health Information System), and ODISEAME (education project). http://www.sante.dz and http://www.emispher.org

The MEDA funded Euro-Med Justice Regional Programme, managed by the European Commission’s EuropeAid Co-operation Office, is ready to start operations. Euro-Mediterranean senior officials and experts in the field of justice meeting in Loures near Lisbon on 31 March and 1 April with Commission representatives have defined the overall approach and the seminar timetable for the programme’s Topic 1: Initiation to and Training in Co-operation and International Judicial Mutual Assistance in Criminal Matters. The seminars will be held between May and September. Participants will be judges, magistrates, court registrars, lawyers, training officers and other Euro-Mediterranean practitioners of the legal professions. This first Preparatory Meeting of Euro-Med Justice also allowed for choosing the subjects and speakers for the various seminars.

Innovation in the Mediterranean will be the subject of a Conference entitled “Medinnov 2005 – La Méditerranée de l’intelligence” to be held on 13-14 April at “Marseille Provence” Technology Zone in France with support from the MEDA funded Euro-Mediterranean network of Investment Promotion Agencies (ANIMA), managed by the European Commission’s EuropeAid Co-operation Office. The Conference is jointly organised with Marseille Innovation and will allow for meetings between representatives of Euro-Mediterranean science and technology parks, development and investment promotion agencies, incubators, and start-ups. It will also be an opportunity for presenting an overview of innovation in the region and success stories, as well as assessing innovation’s contribution to investment. A study prepared by ANIMA and entitled “Innovation, pôles technologiques et attraction de l’investissement – La Méditerranée intelligente » takes stock of innovation in the region. It is available in French at http://www.animaweb.org/Documents/technoparc.pdf

Experts representing all countries and territories involved in the MEDA funded Euromed Heritage Regional Programme, managed by the European Commission’s EuropeAid Co-operation Office, and representatives of all the Programme’s projects will take part in a workshop on Cultural Heritage Management in Times of Armed Conflict, scheduled to take place from 15 to 17 April in Amman. The workshop is organised by Euromed Heritage’s Regional Management and Support Unit. Experts will look at the implementation of the Hague International Convention, and opportunities for prevention and international civil intervention. More at http://www.euromedheritage.net/en/worshop/programme.htm

Economists and territorial marketing experts from 8 Mediterranean Partners’ Investment Promotion Agencies met from 4 to 7 April in Marseilles for the 3rd Economists’ Meeting organised by the MEDA funded Euro-Mediterranean network of Investment Promotion Agencies (ANIMA), managed by the European Commission’s EuropeAid Co-operation Office. The meeting was about studying the economics of foreign direct investment in the Mediterranean region in the light of a series of sector-based studies produced by ANIMA and published recently (see Euromed Synopsis No 300 and 301). The dissemination of those studies in the Mediterranean Partners was also discussed. http://www.animaweb.org/study.php


The report assessing 10 years of Barcelona Process and prepared by the MEDA supported Euro-Mediterranean Network of Foreign Policy Institutes (EuroMeSCo) is available on line from the EuroMeSCo web site, as well as a dozen experts’ contributions commissioned as part of preparations for the report. The report itself was requested by Euro-Mediterranean Foreign Ministers meeting in the Hague last November. It will be submitted to the next Ministerial Conference in Luxembourg in late May. http://www.euromesco.net .

Brussels,04 11 2005
European Union
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