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French Version

Euromed News

DECISIONS

The EU-Jordan Association Council has adopted a Decision on the implementation of the European Neighbourhood Action Plan for Jordan. The Decision was adopted by written procedure completed on 2 June. Priorities set out in the Action Plan include enhancing the rule of law, further promoting media freedom and equal treatment of women; improving the business environment and enhancing the country’s export potential; implementing the government’s strategy on sustainable development and poverty reduction; and developing transport, energy, and the information society. The Action Plan is available on line at http://europa.eu.int/comm/world/enp/document_en.htm

MEETINGS

* The EU Council meeting on 3 June in Luxembourg adopted Conclusions on Co-operation with Libya on Migration whereby it is considered appropriate to initiate ad hoc dialogue between the EU and Libya on immigration issues, and to gradually put in place practical co-operation with the Libyan authorities on these issues. The Council underlines that, as long as Libya is not a full member of the Barcelona Process, co-operation with that country will only address a limited number of areas and take place at an ad hoc technical level. The Conclusions are available from the website: http://ue.eu.int/Newsroom (click on EU Council, left, go to Justice and Home Affairs).

* The EU Presidency and EU High Representative Javier Solana on 2-3 June condemned the attack carried out in Beirut on 2 June, which took the life of Samir Kassir, editorial writer for the An-Nahar newspaper and historian. The Presidency and the High Representative reiterated EU support for “a sovereign, democratic and independent Lebanon”. The Declaration by the Presidency can be found at: http://www.eu2005.lu/fr/actualites/pesc/2005/06/03lib/index.html and Mr Solana’s statement is available from the website : http://ue.eu.int/solana /

* European Commissioner for External Relations and European Neighbourhood Policy Benita Ferrero-Waldner on 8 June stated that the decision on 7 June by a Libyan appeal court to clear nine policemen and a doctor accused of mistreating five Bulgarian nurses currently in jail in Tripoli was “a matter for serious concern”. The five nurses and a Palestinian doctor already under a death sentence in Libya are awaiting a Supreme Court decision. Ms Ferrero-Waldner reiterated that “it is essential that all elements of both cases be fully taken into account… to bring this issue to an appropriate and humanitarian conclusion”. The full statement is on line at
http://europa.eu.int/comm/external_relations/news/index.htm

* European Trade Commissioner Peter Mandelson on 8 June participated in the 3rd African Union Trade Ministers’ Conference on the WTO Doha Round of trade negotiations in Cairo. He also met Egypt’s Prime Minister Ahmed Nazif and Trade Minister Rashid Mohamed Rashid. Mr Mandelson’s Statement to the Conference on “Doha Development Agenda: “The Round for Africa”” is available on line at: http://europa.eu.int/comm/commission_barroso/
mandelson/speeches_index_en.htm

* The Political Committee of the Euro-Mediterranean Parliamentary Assembly will meet on 15 June in Brussels.
http://www.europarl.eu.int/intcoop/empa/home/default_en.htm

* The European Parliament Delegation for Relations with the Mashrak countries met on 8 June in Strasbourg, France. Discussions focused on the elections in Lebanon and preparations for a visit to Syria by a Delegation working group from 12 to 18 June. The Delegation met European Commissioner for External Relations and European Neighbourhood Policy Benita Ferrero-Waldner before the meeting.

* Two EU-Tunisia Sub-Committees on ‘Research & Innovation’ and ‘Transport, Environment and Energy’ will meet in Tunis on 14 and 15 June respectively. The Research & Innovation Sub-Committee will discuss Tunisian participation in the EU Framework-Programme, implementation of the EU-Tunisia Scientific Co-operation Agreement, as well as Tunisia’s efforts to develop its research capacity. There will then be an exchange of information on regulating electronic communications and developing the information society. On Education and Training, Tunisia will outline on-going reform and the partners will look at Tunisian involvement in various EU initiatives. The Transport, Environment and Energy Sub-Committee will first take stock of the two partners’ policies and examine the situation in each sector. EU-Tunisia negotiations on aviation will be discussed, as well as sub-regional co-operation in the Maghreb and the state of play of the GALILEO satellite navigation programme. On Energy, the Sub-Committee will look at respective policies, as well as the Maghreb electricity market. On Environment, both sides’ policies will be examined, the emphasis for Tunisia being placed on environmental governance, the situation in each sector, and regional and international co-operation.

PROGRAMMES & PROJECTS

* FIRST TWO DAYS OF POLLING CALM, NO MAJOR INCIDENTS, NOTE EU OBSERVERS IN LEBANON
Polling in Beirut on 29 May and in South Lebanon on 5 June took place “in a calm and orderly manner, with no major incidents”, the EU Election Observation Mission to Lebanon stated on 30 May and 6 June respectively. The Mission deployed for Lebanese Parliamentary Elections noted no major irregularities, but pointed out that 9 of 19 seats in Beirut and 6 of 23 seats in South Lebanon were won uncontested before election day, limiting the voters’ choice. Some 40 teams of EU observers visited over 47% of polling stations in Beirut and nearly 27% in South Lebanon, following the opening, voting, closing and counting. Polling has yet to take place in Lebanon’s other regions on 12 and 19 June. The Mission will make a comprehensive assessment after the last election round. The two statements already released by the EU Observation Mission are available on line at
http://europa.eu.int/comm/external_relations/h
uman_rights/eu_election_ass_observ/index.htm
(click on ‘Lebanon’, top right).

* NATIONAL CO-ORDINATORS TAKE STOCK OF PROGRESS MADE ON EURO-MED TRANSPORT
Work on the Blue Paper that will shape future co-operation on Euro-Mediterranean Transport and preparations for identifying transport infrastructure projects are well under way in connection with the extension of the Trans-European Networks to the Neighbourhood countries. National Co-ordinators of the MEDA funded Euro-Med Transport regional project, managed by the European Commission’s EuropeAid Co-operation Office, met on 1-2 June in Brussels with representatives of the Commission and organisations in charge of implementing the projects’s main activities. Participants generally welcomed the draft Blue Paper while making some suggestions. The document will be further discussed at the next Euro-Mediterranean Transport Forum scheduled for 13 July. There was a presentation of activities carried out by the High Level Group chaired by former European Transport Commissioner Loyola De Palacio. The European Commission indicated it would ensure consistency of the Blue Paper with the conclusions of the Group on linking the EU with its Mediterranean Partners. A presentation was made of the state of play of Euro-Med Transport’s infrastructure component. National co-ordinators have been given the chance to put forward new projects until 15 June. Their comments on the ‘Motorways of the Sea’ project are expected by the same date. http://www.euromedtransport.org .

* MOROCCO AND TUNISIA CONNECTED TO EURO-MED RESEARCH & EDUCATION NETWORK
Two circuits added on 3 June will run from Rabat and Tunis to Catania, Italy, connecting Morocco and Tunisia’s National Research and Education Networks to the MEDA funded EUMEDCONNECT network and to the multi-gigabit GEANT pan-European research and education network. This follows Algeria’s connection last month. Cyprus, Israel, Malta and Turkey were already connected via GEANT. EUMEDCONNECT is the infrastructure component of the EUMEDIS Regional Programme, managed by the European Commission’s EuropeAid Co-operation Office. The new circuits were added by DANTE (Delivery of Advanced Network Technology to Europe), a company and not-for-profit organisation owned by the National Research and Education Networks of EU Member States. More at: http://www.eumedconnect.net

* MEDITERRANEAN MUSIC FORUM FOR THE MEDIMUSES PROJECT
A Mediterranean Music Forum will be held from 10 to 12 June in Porto Carras near Thessaloniki, Greece under the MEDA funded Medimuses project for promoting Mediterranean Musical Heritage, part of the Euromed Heritage Regional Programme, which is managed by the European Commission’s EuropeAid Co-operation Office. The Forum will be an opportunity for the people and organisations involved in MediMuses to present the project’s results and to assess its impact. A Conference entitled “The Eastern Mediterranean Musical Heritage – Fresh Thoughts on the sounds of tradition” will allow for an exchange of views between personalities from the worlds of music, education and the media. In addition, concerts open to the public will feature ensembles from Lebanon, Turkey, Greece and Iran. http://www.euromedheritage.net

Brussels,06 13 2005
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