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Euromed News

MEETINGS

* The European Union on 23 July condemned the bombings that struck the Egyptian resort of Sharm-el-Sheikh on the same day. UK Foreign Minister Jack Straw as President of the EU Council sent his condolences to the families of the victims. He also recognised the work of the Egyptian rescue services, and reiterated the EU’s full support to Egypt in a telephone conversation with his Egyptian counterpart Ahmed Abul Gheit. Mr Straw’s statement is on the UK Presidency website: http://www.eu2005.gov.uk . EU High Representative Javier Solana conveyed a message to Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak and declared that “No cause justifies terrorism, which is an aggression against the universal values of civilisation that we share without distinction of culture, language or religion”. Mr Solana’s words are on line at http://ue.eu.int/solana . European Commission President José Manuel Barroso expressed the Commission’s “heartfelt sympathy and total solidarity with the victims … and their families, and with President Mubarak and the Egyptian people”. Mr Barroso added that the Commission “unreservedly condemns terrorist violence, which destroys innocent lives and cannot be justified in any circumstances”. Mr Barroso’s statement is on line: http://europa.eu.int/comm/news/index_en.htm (Reference: MEX/05/0725).

* Senior Officials of the Euro-Mediterranean Partnership responsible for Political and Security Issues and the Euro-Mediterranean Committee of the Barcelona Process had their first one day meeting on 26 July in Brussels. The meeting started with a short presentation by the UK Presidency of its priorities as this was the two Committees’ first meeting under that Presidency. On terrorism-related issues a consensus emerged as to holding an ad hoc terrorism working group meeting on 21 September, staging an International Conference, and strengthening operational co-operation. A presentation was made by the European Investment Bank (EIB) Vice-President in charge of the Facility for Euro-Mediterranean Investment and Partnership (FEMIP), Philippe de Fontaine Vive, and a European Commission Director in charge of Economic and Financial Affairs, Antonio De Lecea Flores de Lemus, of the first Euro-Mediterranean Economy and Finance Ministers’ meeting and FEMIP Ministerial Meeting held in June in Morocco. Most participants said the Ministerial Meeting had been useful and should be repeated. A presentation was made by Morocco of a non-paper prepared with France and Spain on Jointly Managed Migratory Flows and Reinforced Co-operation on Judicial and Police Matters. Information was given by Greece on a Euro-Mediterranean seminar on Crisis Management held in Athens in late June, and by Italy on the First Meeting of the Steering Committee of the Euro-Med Bridge Programme on Civil Protection held in Rome in early July. Preparations for an ad hoc meeting on Weapons of Mass Destruction were discussed, as well as the De-mining Seminar project. The main achievements of the MEDA funded Euromed Heritage Regional Programme were presented by the European Commission. Several EU and Mediterranean countries requested that EU funding of EURONEWS TV channel’s Arabic language broadcasts be resumed. In addition, the European Commission reported on preparations for the Euro-Med Transport Ministerial meeting scheduled for 15 December in Marrakesh. Lastly, possible accession by Libya and Mauritania was discussed.

* The next meetings of Senior Officials of the Euro-Mediterranean Partnership responsible for Political and Security Issues and the Euro-Mediterranean Committee of the Barcelona Process will take place on 6 September in Brussels.

* An informal Israel/Palestinian Authority/European Commission Trilateral meeting was held on 27 July in Brussels. The meeting aimed at discussing difficulties regarding trade in the region (with Gaza in particular), and at developing economic integration between the EU, Israel and the Palestinian Territories.

PROGRAMMES & PROJECTS

* COMMISSION TO HAVE OBSERVER STATUS IN ANNA LINDH FOUNDATION’S BOARD OF GOVERNORS
The European Commission on 25 July agreed the terms of its participation in the Board of Governors of the Anna Lindh Euro-Mediterranean Foundation for the Dialogue between Cultures. The Commission will have observer status without voting rights. It will be fully associated with the Foundation’s work, which involves having the right to attend meetings of the Board and to take the floor in the discussions.

* Preparations for 11th Olive Festival in Israel
Operators of the 11th Olive Festival and co-ordinators of the DELTA project on developing territorial cultural systems met on 26 July in Galilee, Israel to enhance synergies between economic, environmental and cultural heritage in line with the DELTA approach, and promoting the Festival among local residents. The DELTA project is part of the MEDA funded Euromed Heritage II Regional Programme, managed by the European Commission’s EuropeAid Co-operation Office. Israel’s Upper Galilee is one of the Programme’s “experimentation territories”. The others are the regions of Ghardaia in Algeria, Bethlehem in the Palestinian Territories, Cottonera in Malta, as well as Fez and Meknes in Morocco. DELTA is co-ordinated by Italy’s Mediterranean Institute (IMED). http://www.euromedheritage.net/en/projectactivities/publications/brochures.htm .

* CLEAN WATER FOR PALESTINIAN REFUGEES IN SYRIA
European Commission and European Investment Bank (EIB) representatives on 26 July met UNRWA (United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestinian Refugees) and Syrian Government officials as part of key discussions to provide further support for the development of water supply and sanitation in Syria through a € 30 million EIB loan and a € 5 million EU funded loan subsidy. The meeting took place in Khan Eshieh, one of the two Palestinian refugee camps near Damascus where the EU is providing € 8 million in a grant to improve the water and sanitation systems, and to integrate them in the regional water network. The goal is to provide clean water for consumption and irrigation to promote healthy conditions for thousands of families living in the camps and the surrounding villages. UNRWA is implementing the project. http://www.delsyr.cec.eu.int .

* ‘FILIÈRES INNOVANTES’ PROJECT HAS NEW WEBSITE
The ‘Filières innovantes’ project of promoting small producers of regional agri-food products and handicraft in the Mediterranean region has a new website. The project is part of the MEDA funded Euromed Heritage II Regional Programme, managed by the European Commission’s EuropeAid Co-operation Office. ‘Filières innovantes’ is co-oordinated by the Milan Polytechnic Institute. It brings together partners from Algeria, Egypt, Lebanon, Morocco, the Palestinian Territories, Syria, Tunisia, Turkey, France, Greece, Italy, Portugal, and Spain. . http://www.filieres.polimi.it .

PUBLICATIONS

* ANNUAL REPORT 2005 ON EU EXTERNAL ASSISTANCE ON LINE
The Annual Report 2005 on external assistance provided by the EU in 2004 is now available from the website of the European Commission’s EuropeAid Co-operation Office. The full report includes a chapter on Euro-Mediterranean co-operation, and several thematic chapters (please click on “Annex”). Highlights of the report can be accessed by clicking on “Highlights”. http://europa.eu.int/comm/europeaid/reports/index_en.htm .

* WOMEN IN THE BARCELONA PROCESS AND HUMAN RIGHTS IN JORDAN IN LATEST NEWSLETTER FROM AMMAN
The role of women in the Barcelona Process and that of NGOs and community-based organisations in promoting human rights in Jordan are highlighted in the latest issue of ‘Newsline’ (July 2005, Volume 1 No 13), the newsletter published by the European Commission Delegation in Amman. http://europa.eu.int/comm/europeaid/reports/index_en.htm .

Brussels,08 01 2005
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