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INSTITUTIONAL ACTIVITIES

* The European Commissioner for External Relations and the Neighbourhood Policy, Mrs Benita Ferrero-Waldner (BFW), will visit Jordan on 19 and 20 October. The aim of the visit is to discuss Jordan’s implementation of the European Neighbourhood Policy (ENP) Action Plan, and reaffirm the Commission's support for Jordan's own reform agenda, the “National Agenda”. The Commissioner will meet his Majesty King Abdullah II and Deputy Prime Minister Marwan Muasher to discuss the next steps in the implementation of the ENP Action Plan, the main orientations of the National Agenda and the areas in which the EU can offer further support. Mrs Ferrero-Waldner will sign financing agreements with Jordan worth €63 million for the coming year that will assist the country in implementing its reforms and reinforce EU-Jordan ties. This package will be allocated to a number of projects. €40 million will help Jordan foster a dynamic private sector that can act as an engine of economic growth. A further €15 million will be used to improve the assistance that the EU gives Jordan in public administration so that the country will be well placed in the future to benefit from the EU’s internal market. €5 million will contribute to improve water management and the remaining €3 million will be allocated to assist Jordan in promoting human rights and good governance. For further information on EU-Jordan relations
http://europa.eu.int/comm/external_relations/jordan/intro/index.htm

* The European Commission launches negotiations of the European Neighbourhood Policy (ENP) Action Plan for Lebanon . The European Union Task Force for the Neighbourhood Policy held a series of meetings in Beirut on 17 and 18 October with government officials and representatives of the civil society. The visit, which marks the launch of the negotiations process of a five-year Action Plan in the framework of the ENP, was aimed at defining the working method with the lebanese administration. The European team met with Senior officials from the Ministries of Foreign Affairs, Finance, and Economy and Trade. A seminar was organised with the inter ministerial working group coordinated by the Ministry of Economy. The Task Force also held a meeting with representatives of civil society. The Task Force’s visit follows the end of September visit to Lebanon by Mrs Benita Ferrero-Waldner, Commissioner for External Relations and Neighbourhood Policy during which, she reaffirmed the EU’s support to the Lebanese government reforms, as long as these fit with the shared values of the Partnership.

* The European Commissioner for External Relations and the European Neighbourhood Policy (ENP), Mrs Benita Ferrero-Waldner (BFW), visited Tunisia on 12 and 13 October. During her visit, she met with the Prime Minister, the Minister for Cooperation and International Development, the Foreign Affairs Minister and the President’s Adviser, as well as civil society representatives. The visit, which is part of a tour by Mrs Ferrero-Waldner of the countries of the Southern Mediterranean in advance of the Barcelona November Summit, was the opportunity for the Commissioner to promote and encourage implementation by Tunisia of the ENP Action Plan. She reminded the Tunisian authorities however, that the Action Plan was the beginning of a stronger partnership which would lead to solving a number of issues. These concern, in particular, difficulties related to the implementation of projects linked to civil society and delays in implementation of the “Justice” programme. In a new approach, The Commissioner called upon the Tunisian authorities to advance their relations with the EU within the framework of ENP, by making progress in all fields of the Action Plan, notably political reforms. In this regard, she stated: “Tunisia has been a pioneer on the social and economic reforms front, would it now have the courage to also be a pioneer in the areas of the State of Law, Democracy and Human Rights ?”. On the eve of the World Summit of Information Society in Tunis, the Commissioner encouraged Tunisia to develop a civil society which is more free and participatory, and which offers more freedom to the medias.

* Ceuta and Melilla - Mission Report of the European Commission Technical Mission to Morocco on Illegal Immigration (7-11 October) A Commission technical mission to Morocco and Ceuta and Melilla (Spain) took place from 7-11 October following the recent tragic incidents in Ceuta and Melilla with a view to assessing and better understanding the size and characteristics of illegal immigration from Africa via Morocco to the EU. The mission also had the objective of assessing the situation at the Northern border of Morocco, in particular the present state of illegal immigration channels by sea and via the land borders, and to listen to Moroccan and Spanish authorities about their ideas for measures which could intensify the cooperation between the EU and Morocco in preventing and combating illegal migration. The mission report makes suggestions for intensifying the existing cooperation with Morocco on migration in the framework of the Association Agreement and the ENP Action Plan. It also calls on the Commission to initiate dialogue with Algeria on migration given the recent entry into force of the Association Agreement. The mission report is now available in English on the Commission’s site at:
http://europa.eu.int/rapid/pressReleasesAction.do?
reference=MEMO/05/380&format=HTML&aged=
0&language=EN&guiLanguage=en

* Mrs Benita Ferrero-Waldner will attend, on 26 October in Strasbourg, the European Parliament’s debate in plenary session on “Barcelona revisited”, the report prepared by Mrs Anneli Häättenmäki on the Euro-Mediterranean Partnership. In her report, the Member of the European Parliament calls for improvements to the Partnership in a number of areas. However, the report states that the Partnership remains the appropriate framework for the EU’s policy towards the Mediterranean region.

* Meeting of the European Parliament’s inter-parliamentary Delegation for relations with Mashrek countries on 26 October, Strasbourg. In the framework of this meeting, the Parliament is organising a hearing entitled “Day for the Freedom of Press in Arab countries”. The “Samir Kassir Freedom of the Press Award” which has been recently created by the European Commission (Synopsis 331) to perpetuate the journalist’s commitment to the state of law will be presented, in the presence of his wife and journalist, Mrs Gisèle Khoury who is also honorary President of the “Samir Kassir European Committee”. A minute of silence will be held to his memory and that of other journalists killed.

* Meeting of the European Parliament Delegation for relations with Maghreb countries and the Arab Maghreb Union (incl Libya) – 26 October, Strasbourg. The Delegation will hold an exchange of views with the Embassador of Mauritania to the EU, Mr Sidi Ould Khalifa, on the situation in his country. The Delegation will also be preparing the visit to Strasbourg by a delegation of the Moroccan Parliament on 16 and 17 November.

* Meeting of the European Parliament Delegation for relations with Israël, 27 October, Strasbourg. An exchange of views will take place on the preparation of the Delegation’s visit to Israël from 23-27 November. On the agenda as well is an exchange of views on the New Palestinian Electoral Law, and the Delegation’s Programme of activities for 2006.

PROGRAMMES & PROJECTS

* “CULTURAL HERITAGE WITHIN THE BARCELONA PROCESS – ASSESSMENT AND ORIENTATIONS”- 28-29 OCTOBER, BARCELONA. In the light of the Year of the Mediterranean (2005) and the 10th anniversary of the Declaration of Barcelona, an international workshop will take place at the European Institute for the Mediterranean (IEMed) on 28 and 29 October, 2005 in Barcelona. The workshop is jointly organized by IEMed and by the EC funded Euromed Heritage Programme (at a crucial time. Forty experts from 20 European and Mediterranean countries representing public and private institutions involved in this field, will assess the results achieved in the specific field of cultural heritage in the region during this first decade of the Barcelona Process, with the aim to suggesting concrete indications for the next period to come. For further information, see: http://www.euromedheritage.net/en/rmsu/rmsu_workshops/barcelona.htm

* LAUNCH OF THE EUROMED HERITAGE JOURNALISTIC AWARD 2006. The Euromed Heritage Journalistic Award aims to contribute to raising awareness on cultural heritage in the Mediterranean region by encouraging high quality reporting. The award is an international press competition dealing with the preservation and promotion of cultural heritage. The competition, organised by EuropeAid, Cooperation Office of the European Commission, via the Regional Management and Support Unit (RMSU) of the Euromed Heritage Programme, is open to journalists from EU and Mediterranean partners. Two prizes will be offered, one to an EU journalist and another to a MEDA journalist. The deadline for submitting articles is 31 March 2006. For further information, see: http://www.euromedheritage.net/award2006/en.htm

PUBLICATIONS

* PUBLICATIONS OF A SERIES OF ARTICLES BY THE EURO-MEDITERRANEAN STUDY COMMISSION (EUROMESCO). Funded by MEDA, it is an independent network of research institutes and academic centres specialising in foreign policy analysis and research into security issues, namely subjects related to the Barcelona Process. In the light of the Barcelona November Summit, it has recently published a number of Papers of relevance to the Euro-Mediterranean Partnership. These can be found at http://www.euromesco.net/euromesco/matriz.asp (click Call for Papers)

MISCELLANEOUS

* SECOND MEDA-INDUSTRIAL FORUM, 25-26 October 2005, Barcelona Fair, Spain. This second edition of the MEDA-Industrial Forum is co-organised by the Barcelona Fair and the Barcelona Chamber of Commerce, Industry and Navigation, in cooperation with the Association of the Mediterranean Chambers of Commerce and Industry (ASCAME), The central theme will be “Globalisation and its consequences: partnership and innovation”. Among the objectives of the Forum is that of confirming itself as a meeting point for leading international organisations and enterprises in the Mediterranean region. It also aims to encourage the establishment of an industrial Euro-Mediterranean Network with a broad international outlook. For more information, contact: ascame@mail.cambrabcn.es

Brussels,10 24 2005
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