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MEETINGS

* Commissioner Benita Ferrero-Waldner attends high-level meeting on Lebanon Representatives of the United States, United Kingdom, France, Italy, the European Union, Russia, Egypt, Saudi Arabia, the United Nations and the World Bank met in New York with Lebanese Prime Minister Siniora on September 19th. At the meeting the Core Group welcomed the Lebanese government’s determination to implement a comprehensive political and market-oriented economic reform program that will increase investor confidence and reduce interest rates and debt servicing. It also signaled its support for Lebanon’s reform program priorities including the formation of a commission to reform the electoral process and draft a new electoral law that will set the stage for international assistance. At the same time, it called on all states to support the reform process, provide for the further development of democratic institutions, and encourage the Lebanese Government in all aspects of its reform efforts. It also pledged to hold an international conference before the end of 2005 and thereby provide an opportunity for the Government of Lebanon to present its firm plan for political and economic reform and bring together friends of Lebanon to discuss the ways the international community can contribute to Lebanon’s reform and development efforts.

* Commissioner Benita Ferrero-Waldner, Commissioner for External Relations and the European Neighbourhood Policy will visit Lebanon on 29-30 September 2005. The purpose of the visit is to discuss with the Lebanese government common objectives and priorities to further strengthen the relations between the European Union and Lebanon through the European Neighbourhood Policy; and to reaffirm to the Lebanese people and the Lebanese government the Commission’s commitment to support reform work.

* Quartet meeting, New York, 20 September 2005. Representatives of the Quartet (EU, UN, UK, US), met in New York in the margins of the United Nations World Summit and welcomed the successful conclusion of the Israeli withdrawal from Gaza and parts of the northern West Bank as an “important step towards achieving the vision of two democratic states, Israel and Palestine, living side-by-side in peace and security.. The full text of the Quartet’s Statement can be found at: http://ue.eu.int/ueDocs/cms_Data/docs/pressData/en/declarations/86284.pdf. Dr Benita Ferrero-Waldner, in a separate press statement, stressed the importance of movement and access of both people and goods for the recovery of the Palestinian economy, movement within the West Bank, between Gaza and the West Bank and from Gaza to the rest of the world. She also stressed the importance of legitimacy for the Palestinian Authority and welcomed in this respect the announcement of the holding of elections for the Palestinian Legislative Council in January 2006.

* The Committee on Political Affairs, Security and Human Rigths of the Euro-Mediterranean Parliamentary Assembly (EMPA) met on 20 September under the chairmanship of Mrs Tokia Saifi (French Member of Parliament). Mrs Saifi announced the holding of an extraordinary meeting of the EMPA on 20 and 21 November, on the eve of the Barcelona Summit. The Committee set up two working groups, on Peace and Security in the Middle-East and on Mines. These groups had their first meeting on 21 September. The Committee then held an in-depth exchange of views with Mr Eneko Landaburu, Director-General for External Relations at the European Commission (EC) , on the Commission’s Declaration and work Programme to be adopted by the Heads of State and Governement at the Barcelona Summit. In this speech and answers to the numerous questions from the floor, Mr Landaburu stated that there was a large consensus between the EC and the Assembly on the objectives within Barcelona, the methods to reach those and the central issues to address: democracy and human rights, energy, migrations and social integration and the fight against terrorism.

* Senior Officials of the Euro-Mediterranean Partnership responsible for Political and Security issues and the Euro-Mediterranean Committee of the Barcelona Process will meet in Barcelona on 26 September 2005. At the meeting of Senior Officials, presentations will be made on incorporating into national legislation those international conventions relevant to counter-terrorism. Senior officials will be updated on the ongoing consultations regarding the organisation of an ad Hoc meeting on Disarmament and Non-Proliferation of WMD in the Mediterranean Region, of a seminar on de-mining and of one on Xenophobia and Racism. The Euro-Mediterranean Committee will hear a Catalan presentation on activities to the run-up to the Barcelona Summit in November, and a Civil Society platform presentation. On 27 September, the Committee meeting as Board of Governors (BoG) of the Anna Lindh Foundation will discuss issues such as the Foundation’s Programme and Budget for 2006, the development and financing of national networks, and also elect the President and Vice-President of the Foundation.

* Joint meeting of the European Parliament (EP) Delegation for relations with Israel and the EP Delegation for relations with the Palestinian Legislative Council is taking place on 28 September 2005 in Strasbourg. Members will hold an exchange of views the situation after Israel's disengagement from the Gaza strip

* The European Commission adopted on 21 September a Communication entitled “Terrorist Recruitment: addressing the factors contributing to violent radicalisation”. This is a contribution by the Commission to a strategy to be developed by the Council on this issue by the end of this year. The document proposes possible ways in which work could be channelled into addressing the issue in various fields such as, inter alia, broadcast media and internet, inter-cultural and inter-faith dialogue, education, integration policies, cooperation between law enforcement services of the Member States, and in external relations. The actions and recommendations presented are a combination of measures and are to be viewed as complementary to current national efforts. The Commission believes that the EU, with its span of policies in various areas that could be used to fight violent radicalisation, is well placed to gather and spread at European level the relevant expertise that is being acquired by the Member States. The Commission outlined the Communication to the Euromed Ad Hoc meeting on Terrorism on 21 September. The meeting was attended by subject experts from all 35 countries of the Barcelona Process as well as Senior Officials of the Euro-Mediterranean Partnership.

* Israeli-Palestinien Joint Transport Office (JTO) The Israeli Transport Minister Meir Sheetrit and his Palestinian counter-part Saed el Din Kharma signed on 21 September an agreement for the establishment of a JTO which has been negotiated with the facilitation of the European Commission .This initiative is in line with the European Neighbourhood Policy (ENP) Action Plan commitments for Israel and Palestinian Authority to strengthen regional transport links, including those between the Parties. The objective of the JTO is to coordinate and advise on the cooperation regarding transport infrastructure planning, development and related issues, including facilitation for the efficient transport of people and goods. Decision remains to be taken as to the location of the JTO and the finalisation of a list of joint projects which could be approved by the two Ministers at the margin of the next EUROMED Transport meeting of 15 December 2005 in Marrakesh. The JTO will be supported by financial assistance in the framework of the MEDA Programme.

PROGRAMMES & PROJECTS

* EURO-MED TRANSPORT PROJECT. TRAINING SEMINAR ON PORT REFORM,26-30SEPTEMBER2005, MARSEILLES, FRANCE.
The seminar will bring together the main actors in EU and MEDA ports in order to highlight the requirements for improving the efficiency of port functions and operations and raise awareness among key officials on the methods and practices for establishing ports reform strategies. The 5-day-seminar will include 5 stages over 5 days as follows: “Formulation of a Port Reform Strategy, The Port Reform Process, Private Sector Participation, Implementation of Port Reform and a Technical Visit and Synopsis. Participants will include project experts, EU officials, representatives of international organisations, experts and MEDA officials from the public and private sectors. For more information: leonidas.kioussis@cec.eu.int , Anne-Charlotte.Bournoville@cec.eu.int

* “EMPREINTES ET COULEURS DE MEDITERRANEE”.
The sixth and last stage of this rolling exhibition is taking place from 28 September to 8 October at the Espace les Oudayas, Rabat, Morocco. This exhibition was inaugurated in Paris in February 2004 at the UNESCO House, shown in Paris at the SEMA Gallery and has travelled since to Jordan, Algeria and Italy. The event is part of the PRODECOM project (Product, Development, Communication), co-financed by the European Commission’s Office for Cooperation EuropeAid under the Euromed Heritage II programme. The objectives of PRODECOM is to preserve the artistic and artisan heritage of the euro-mediterranean area. Priority is given to artisanships in danger of disappearing as well as to women’s work. Eight partners from six mediterranean partner countries are involved in PRODECOM. Organisers of the exhibition are la “Chambre des Beaux-Arts de la Méditerranée”, coordinator of PRODECOM in collaboration with one of the partners to the project, l’Amicale Amitié Coopération de Figuig (AACF), a Moroccan development association. For more info: http://www.chbeauxarts-prodecom.org

* “PREPARING THE FUTURE OF THE ANIMA PROGRAMME” (EURO-MEDITERRANEAN NETWORK OF INVESTMENT PROMOTION AGENCIES) - SEMINAR FROM 30 SEPTEMBER TO 2 OCTOBER IN MARSEILLES, FRANCE.
The Seminar meeting is taking place in the framework of another more general event on investment promotion,“The Economic Rendez-vous of the Mediterranean”. This is a strategic meeting for IPA (Investment Promotion Agencies) and it aims to have an in-depth discussion on the ANIMA proposals for the ad hoc investment promotion structure supported by most Euro-Med partners: -mandate and programme for years 2007-8-9; -budget assumptions and contribution by each country; -approval of the document to be presented to the European Commission (mid-November 2005).For more info: http://www.animaweb.org

PUBLICATIONS

* EUROPA – NEWS MAGAZINE OF THE COMMISSION DELEGATION IN TUNISIA.
In this 3rd Quarter edition, the Commission takes stock of 10 years of cooperation between the EU and Tunisia since both partners signed the Association Agreement in July 1995. www.deltun.cec.eu.int

Brussels,09 26 2005
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