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Euromed News

DECISIONS

* The European Investment Bank (EIB), La Caisse de Dépôt et de Gestion and Club Méditerranée sign an investment agreement for financing tourism infrastructure in Morocco In connection with "Vision 2010" – Morocco’s tourism development plan announced in January 2001 by His Majesty Mohamed VI – 28 September saw the signing of an agreement providing for the EIB to acquire a stake in the tourism investment fund recently set up in Morocco by Caisse de Dépôt et de Gestion and Club Méditerranée. In this operation, the European Investment Bank will take a EUR 5 million equity participation in SIM (Société Immobilière de la Mer) via its Facility for Euro-Mediterranean Investment and Partnership (FEMIP). The project fits within FEMIP’s objectives for the implementation of risk capital operations in the MEDA region, i.e. financing the private sector through equity or quasi-equity investment, particularly in joint ventures between EU and MEDA country companies. For more information: www.eib.org

MEETINGS

* Meeting of Senior Officials of the Euro-Mediterranean Partnership responsible for Political and Security issues and the Euromed Committee of the Barcelona Process, 26 – 27 September 2005, Barcelona. Tunisia and Spain updated participants on the incorporation into their national legislation of international conventions on terrorism. The Presidency expressed satisfaction concerning the recently held ad hoc meeting on terrorism and announced the preparation of code of conduct on terrorism to be submitted to the Barcelona Summit in November. On recent developments in the Middle East Peace Process, the Presidency stressed the importance of implementing the Road Map and continuing financial support to the Palestinians. Furthermore, the Presidency announced that a seminar on xenophobia and racism in the media will be held in London on 10 December and proposed 9 November (subject to a general agreement of all 35 senior officials on the mandate of the meeting) as a possible date for an ad hoc meeting in Brussels on “disarmament and non-proliferation of WMDs in the Mediterranean region”. Consultations continue on holding a seminar on de-mining. As to the EU Draft Declaration and Work Programme to the Barcelona Summit, it was suggested that these 2 documents will be discussed at the next meeting of the Senior Officials on 8 November. During the Euromed Committee, the subject of Euronews in Arabic was discussed and the Commission referred to the need to apply the financial rules in this matter. There is a large consensus among the senior officials in favour of this project. The Euro-Mediterranean Institute of the Mediterranean presented the results of its survey of the Euro-Mediterranean Partnership. The evaluation is generally positive. Progress needs to be made in terms of the visibility of the partnership and the political and security aspect. The Generalitat of Catalunya made its presentation on the events around the Summit. The main ones are the Euromed Forum on Health, the Entrepreneurs Summit for Peace, the Euro Mediterranean Parliamentary Assembly, the Women’s Conference, the Conference of Regions and Cities and the Conference of the Presidents of Euro Mediterranean Parliaments. The Platform of Civil Society also made a presentation in which it announced that it will propose to the Barcelona Summit that a Euro-Mediterranean Conference on Governance be organised and it will put forward initiatives concerning the fight against corruption.

* Javier Solana, High Representative for Common Foreign and Security Policy (CFSP) firmly condemned the terrorist attack of 25 September on the Lebanese journalist May Chidiac and assured the lebanese people and government of the EU’s and international community’s support. He also called for all efforts to be made in order to ensure that the perpetrators of this crime are arrested and brought to justice. The text of the declaration in French can be found at the following address: http://ue.eu.int/ueDocs/cms_Data/docs/pressData/en/declarations/86357.pdf

* On the eve of her visit to Lebanon on 29-30 September, where she will be meeting leading politicians including the Prime Minister, Fouad Siniora, Minister for Foreign Affairs, Faouzi Salloukh, Minister of Economy, Sami Haddad and Minister of Finance, Jihad Azour, Commissioner Benita Ferrero-Waldner, responsible for External Relations and the European Neighbourhood Policy announced that her visit will launch the preparations for the opening of a new chapter in EU-Lebanon relations. “I am determined that we should begin negotiations as soon as possible, for an EU-Lebanon Action Plan under the Neighbourhood Policy. This is a process that can strengthen bonds between us and bring significant benefits for Lebanon. The Plan will not only support Lebanon’s own programme of democratic reform, but help to boost its economic prospects through new opportunities to access the European single market” For the full text of the declaration: http://europa.eu.int/rapid/pressReleasesAction.do?reference=IP/05/1196&type=HTML&aged=0&language=EN&guiLanguage=en

PROGRAMMES & PROJECTS

* EUROMED JUDICIAL COOPERATION IN CRIMINAL MATTERS.The regional Seminar on “Essential guarantees of the procedure and protection of the rights of the persons to be prosecuted” organised in the framework of the Euromed Justice Programme (MEDA Programme) took place on 19-22 September in Istanbul, Turkey. At the end of this seminar, participants adopted a final declaration in which they acknowledge that the seminar has allowed them to become familiar with the various realities concerning basic minimum standards of procedural safeguard applied in the EU as well as in Member States and the Mediterranean partners; to get better insight into the effective implementation of Human rights, to stimulate exchange of practices and experience, and set up contacts among each other in order to promote cooperation with the various institutions represented in the field of justice.

* ANIMA DELEGATION ATTENDS FOOD FAIR
From 8th to 12th October 2005, ANIMA (European network of investment promotion agencies, a European-funded project) and its partners will be attending ANUGA in Cologne in Germany. ANUGA, the world’s largest food fair, will be the opportunity for the ANIMA delegation to target decision-makers in the food and beverage sector from all over the world and lure investors to the MEDA countries. The delegation will gather food industry experts from 8 Mediterranean countries part of the MEDA programme of the EU: Turkey, Lebanon, Palestinian Authority, Jordan, Egypt, Tunisia, Algeria, and Morocco. For more information: www.animaweb.org

* PHASE II OF THE NEW APPROACHES TO TELECOMMUNICATIONS POLICY PROGRAMME will be launched by the Egyptian Ministry of Communication and Information Technology and the Delegation of the European Commission in Egypt at a one-day event on 28 September 2005 at the Nile Hilton Hotel, Cairo. Representatives from the telecommunication authorities of the 10 MEDA countries (Egypt, Morocco, Tunisia, Algeria, Israel, Palestinian Authority, Jordan, Syria, Lebanon and Turkey) will gather to discuss developing regional co-operation between the regulatory authorities of their countries, as well as with the EU. PHASE II is funded by the European Commission at a total budget of €4 million. It aims to provide practical advice to regulatory authorities in the 10 MEDA countries in order to assist them with telecommunications regulatory reform, based on the key principles of the EU regulatory framework for telecommunications.

PUBLICATIONS

* ECONOMIC REPORT ON PARTNER COUNTRIES PUBLISHED ON 16 SEPTEMBER 2005
The 2005 Annual Economic Report on Partner Countries by the European Investment Bank (EIB) includes an overview of the recent performance of Partner Countries against the background of major trends in the global economy. There are also two thematic sections, the first devoted to the problems of prevention and management of natural disasters while the second analyses the incipient development of domestic bond markets in Mediterranean, African and Caribbean Countries. The report can be found on the EIB’s site at: http://www.eib.eu.int/Attachments/strategies/deas_report_2005_en.pdf

Brussels,10 03 2005
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