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French Version

Euromed News

DECISIONS

The EU Council of Ministers on 25 April adopted a Decision authorising the signing and temporary implementation of a Protocol to the EU-Tunisia Association Agreement which adjusts the Agreement to take into account the accession of 10 new Member States to the EU in May 2004. This is the fifth in a series of Protocols that need to be signed with Mediterranean Partners with which the EU has concluded an Association Agreement. Protocols regarding Egypt, Israel, Jordan and Morocco have been already approved.

MEETINGS

* The EU Council on 25 April confirmed “its desire for the European Union’s commitment in the Mediterranean, Eastern European and South Caucasus regions to be carried forward” as part of conclusions on the European Neighbourhood Policy. The Council welcomed the national reports for five countries, including Mediterranean Partners Egypt and Lebanon and noted the European Commission’s intention to draw up a similar report on Algeria, now that the Algerian Parliament has ratified the EU-Algeria Association Agreement. These reports form the basis on which the EU can enter into joint preparations for Neighbourhood Action Plans. The text of the conclusions is available from the web site: http://ue.eu.int/Newsroom

* The EU Council on 25 April adopted conclusions on the Middle East Peace Process whereby it expressed concern at the lack of dynamism in the implementation of the Sharm el Sheikh agreement. The Council reiterated that the Roadmap remains the main tool for re-launching the Peace Process. The full text is available in French from the web site: http://europa.eu.int/news/index_en.htm (go to “Council”, bottom right and click on “Press”, top left. A statement to the same effect was made after the meeting by EU Council President and Luxembourg Foreign Minister Jean Asselborn, who announced that the Quartet would meet on 8 May in Moscow, on the occasion of the festivities there. The EU will be represented by Mr Asselborn, High Representative Javier Solana, and European Commissioner for External Relations and European Neighbourhood Policy, Benita Ferrero-Waldner. Mr Asselborn’s statement is on line at http://www.eu2005.lu/en/actualites/communiques/2005/04/25cag-moyenorient/index.html

* The EU Council on 25 April adopted conclusions on Lebanon welcoming the formation of the new government. The Council reaffirmed “its readiness to provide assistance for the electoral process in Lebanon which might, with the Lebanese Government’s consent, include the dispatch of an election observation mission”. The text of the conclusions is available from the web site: http://ue.eu.int/Newsroom . A declaration on the same subject by EU Council President Jean Asselborn is on line at http://www.eu2005.lu/en/actualites/communiques/2005/04/25cag-liban/index.html

* European Commissioner for External Relations and European Neighbourhood Policy (ENP) Benita Ferrero-Waldner on 22 April said the Commission has proposed “a substantial increase in funding for the ENP region to nearly € 15 billion for the period 2007-2013, nearly doubling the amount available for 2000-2006”. The statement was made in a speech delivered during the 6th edition of the Brussels Economic Forum, organised by the European Commission. The full text of the speech is on line at http://europa.eu.int/comm/commission_barroso/ferrero-waldner/speeches/index.htm

* The Joint Committee of the Interim Association Agreement between the European Commission and the Palestinian Liberation Organisation (for the benefit of the Palestinian Authority) will meet on 11 May in Brussels. The European Neighbourhood Policy and the implementation of the EU-PA Action Plan will first be discussed, as well as the establishment of Sub-Committees under the Interim Association Agreement. There will be an exchange of views on Political and Regional Issues, including the current situation in the Middle East, and Palestinian reforms. The economic and fiscal situation, including trade, will also be discussed. Presentations will be made by the European Commission of the state of play of transport and energy co-operation under the Action Plan, and EU financial assistance to the PA. This will be followed by discussion.

PROGRAMMES & PROJECTS

* FIRST SEMINAR ON JUDICIAL CO-OPERATION IN CRIMINAL MATTERS
Euro-Mediterranean judges, magistrates, court registrars, lawyers, training officers and other legal practitioners will meet in Lisbon from 10 to 13 May to take part in the first Euro-Med Training Seminar on Co-operation and International judicial mutual assistance in criminal matters, which will address « International Judicial Co-operation : Nature and Standards ruling this co-operation ». The Seminar is organised under the MEDA funded Euro-Med Justice Regional Programme, part of the Justice, Police, Migration Programme managed by the European Commission’s EuropeAid Co-operation Office. It aims at encouraging exchanges of knowledge, experience and best practice, setting up a Euro-Med judicial training network, and promoting mutual assistance and training in the field of judicial co-operation in criminal matters, one of five topics to be addressed within the Euro-Med Justice Programme. Four seminars and one preparatory meeting will be held for each topic. Implementation of the programme is co-ordinated by the European Institute of Public Administration-European Centre for the Regions.

* WANTED: PROPOSALS FOR DEVELOPMENT, PROMOTION AND PRESERVATION OF AUDIO-VISUAL WORKS
Mediterranean Partners’ companies and organisations, as well as Euro-Mediterranean consortia engaged in the development, promotion or preservation of Mediterranean films and TV broadcasts can get support under the new MEDA funded Euromed Audiovisual II Regional Programme, managed by the European Commission’s EuropeAid Co-operation Office. A € 8 million Call for Proposals concerning those activities was launched recently. The deadline for submission of proposals is 24 June. The guidelines for applicants are available from the web site http://europa.eu.int/comm/europeaid/cgi/frame12.pl . See also Funding Opportunities section on page 4. Furthermore, a clarification meeting will be held on 18 May during the Cannes International Film Market. The deadline for sending requests for participation is 10 May. In addition, Calls for Tender under the € 15 million Euromed Audiovisual II Programme will be published in the next few days.

* CITIES OF NORTH AND SOUTH JOIN FORCES ON WASTE MANAGEMENT
Feedback from waste management projects based on co-operation between towns and cities and carried out in Algiers, Rabat and Mahdia, Tunisia under the MEDA funded MED’ACT 2 (phase 1) pilot project will be presented and discussed at a seminar scheduled for 29 April in Brussels and organised by Brussels Capital regional authorities and IBGE (Brussels Institute for Environmental Management). A presentation will be made on this occasion by a Commission representative of EU financial instruments available today and in future for Euro-Mediterranean co-operation between local authorities. The seminar will bring together the Algerian, Moroccan and Tunisian Ambassadors to Belgium, local and national senior officials from the three Maghreb countries, and representatives of the Brussels Region. Priorities for future co-operation between towns and cities on waste management will also be discussed.

* FIRST EURO-MED TWINNING OF ADMINISTRATIONS IN AREA OF “JUSTICE, FREEDOM, SECURITY”
The first Euro-Mediterranean twinning operation between administrations in the area of Justice, Freedom, Security will bring together Morocco’s Ministry of the Interior and its counterpart in an EU Member State. A Call for Proposals for the twinning was launched recently under the MEDA funded Programme of Support to the EU-Morocco Association Agreement, managed by the locally established Programme Administration Office and the European Commission’s Delegation in Rabat under the steer of EuropeAid Co-operation Office. The deadline for submitting applications is 13 June. The notice for the Call is available from the web site: http://europa.eu.int/comm/europeaid/cgi/frame12.pl .
See also Funding Opportunities section on page 7.

* SEMINAR FOR YOUTH NGOS ON THE ISSUE OF WATER
Representatives of youth NGOs from both sides of the Mediterranean are taking part in a travelling training seminar held from 24 to 30 April in Jordan on the theme of water as a key issue for peace and sustainable development. The seminar is organised by the SALTO Centre as part of the MEDA supported Euromed Youth Regional Programme, in co-operation with the programme’s Jordanian National Co-ordinator. It aims at raising participants’ awareness of the water issue while enabling them to reflect together on ways to train young people to use this rare commodity with due respect. The seminar takes place successively in Amman, the desert, then on the banks of the Jordan and the Dead Sea.

* 6TH TRAINING SEMINAR ON EU BASICS FOR MEDITERRANEAN CIVIL SERVANTS
The 6th Training Seminar on ‘EU Basics’ for Mediterranean Civil Servants will take place from 2 to 6 May as part of the MEDA funded ‘Training of Public Administrations’ Regional Programme, managed by the European Commission’s EuropeAid Cooperation Office. It will be held in Brussels and will address the Origins and Evolution of the EU, the EU Institutions and Decision-making Process, EU Policies and Law, as well as Key aspects of the Euro-Mediterranean Process, and the MEDA Programme. Participants will be officials in Mediterranean Partners Ministries and other public bodies. The ‘Training of Public Administrations’ Programme is co-ordinated by the European Centre of the Regions of the European Institute of Public Administration. ‘EU Basics’ is one of four modules, the others being ‘EU Advanced’, ‘EU Programmes’, and ‘Train the Trainers’. Creating a network of training centres is also envisaged under the programme.

* “SHARED SPACES IN TIMES OF CRISIS” EXHIBITION IN RAMALLAH
The MEDA funded “Shared Spaces in Times of Crisis” travelling exhibition will be shown in Ramallah from 2 to 13 May. The exhibition is part of “Mediterranean Voices”, a project highlighting the oral and social history of some of the region’s cities, which is carried out under the Euromed Heritage Regional Programme, managed by the European Commission’s EuropeAid Co-operation Office. It started out in Alexandria, and was then staged in Bethlehem and Nablus. It will be on show in Ancona, Italy from 30 April to 31 May. http://www.euromedheritage.net

PUBLICATIONS

* SPECIAL “BARCELONA + 10” CALENDAR ON THE WEB
Events and activities held as part of “2005, Year of the Mediterranean” and year of the Barcelona Process’ tenth anniversary are now posted on the web on a month by month basis. http://europa.eu.int/comm/external_relations/euromed/barcelona_10/index.htm (click on “calendar”).

* FOCUS ON TWINNING FOR JORDAN MAGAZINE
The latest issue of Newsline (April 2005), the magazine published by the European Commission Delegation in Amman, puts the spotlight on the twinning of Euro-Mediterranean administrations in Jordan and more generally. http://www.deljor.cec.eu.int

MISCELLANEOUS

* EUROPEAN CINEMA IN ARABIC FOR THE FIRST TIME
The first book on European cinema written by Arab cinema professionals in Arabic will be presented to the press on 8 May in Cairo by the European Commission Delegation in Egypt. It is actually a set of four books that tell the story of European cinema from its early hours until today. The books will be distributed free of charge to libraries and universities in Egypt, other countries in the Arab world, and the 25 Member States of the EU. The 700 page text and 200 pictures will be posted on the Delegation web site shortly. http://www.eu-delegation.org.eg .

Brussels,05 02 2005
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