* Mrs Benita Ferrero-Waldner, Commissioner for External relations and European Neighbourhood Policy (ENP) visited Jordan on 19 and 20 October. The aim of the visit was to strengthen EU and Jordanian cooperation through ENP and reaffirm the Commission's support for Jordan's own reform agenda, the “National Agenda”. The Commissioner met his Majesty King Abdullah II, Deputy Prime Minister in Charge of the reform agenda, Dr Marwan Muasher, Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Political Development, Hisham Tal. Bilateral meetings were also organised with the Minister of Foreign Affairs, Mr Farouk Kasrawi and the Minister of Planning, Mrs Suhair Al Ali. Talks covered mainly the upcoming National Agenda, which will be presented to his Majesty shortly, and the main challenges for implementation. Commissioner Ferrero-Waldner welcomed the fact that this “home grown” reform agenda was elaborated on the basis of a real consultation process and expressed the willingness of the European Commission to provide support in its implementation. In this respect, Mrs Ferrero-Waldner signed financing agreements with Jordan worth €63 million for the coming year. The Commission also announced her intention to implement a “reform premium” system from 2007 to provide a particular support to countries undertaking reforms.
* Meeting of the Euromed Senior Trade Officials, 15 November, Brussels. A meeting of the Euromed Senior Trade Officials will take place in Brussels on 15 November in order to assess the state of trade relations between Euromed partners. The meeting will focus on: trade integration in the framework of the Euromed process; better market access and the enhancement of regional integration (South-South Free Trade Agreements concluded or under negociation, implementation of the PanEuroMed Protocol of origin, strengthening of regulatory convergence); negociations for further liberalisation (services, investments, agriculture), strengthening policy and the institutional framework (Progress on Action Plans, Dispute Settlement Mechanism).
* A meeting of the 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 in Brussels on 8 November. Presentations will be made by the Euro-Mediterranean Parliamentary Assembly (EMPA) as well as by EuroMeSCo (Euro-Mediterranean Network of Foreign Policy Institutes). Participants will be updated on the November Summit logistics. Discussions will take place on the Summit texts.
* Javier Solana, EU High representative for the Common Foreign and Security Policy (CFSP) strongly condemned the terrorist attack carried out on Wednesday 26 October in a market in the Israeli costal city of Hadera that injured and killed many civilians. In his statement, Mr Solana stated that “it is of utmost importance to avoid further violence that would undermine the hope and positive expectations following the disengagement of Gaza. All efforts should be done to renew confidence and the spirit of cooperation”. For the full text of the declaration, see: http://ue.eu.int/ueDocs/cms_Data/docs/pressData/en/declarations/86770.pdf
PROGRAMMES & PROJECTS
* WATER INFORMATION IN LEBANON - SEMINAR 10 NOVEMBER, BEIRUT
The Euro-Mediterranean Information System on the know-how in the Water sector –EMWIS - has 20 National Focal Points, 15 of them having launched a national water information service available on the web. EMWIS is a MEDA funded Programme. An information seminar aiming to raise awareness of the benefits of exchanging know-how and information among the main stakeholders of the Lebanese water sector will be held on 10 November in Beirut at the joint initiative of EMWIS and the Lebanese Ministry of energy and water. This will also be an opportunity to present the recent development of the water sector in Lebanon as well as the projects of the MEDA regional programme for local water management implemented in Lebanon. For further information:
http://www.semide.org/documents/html/liban'05.htm (French only)
* EUROMED YOUTH AWARDS, NINE PROJECTS REWARDED
Sixty participants from 24 countries (EU and Mediterranean) had been selected for the “Euro-Med Youth Awards” for best projects which was held in Cairo, Egypt, from 12 to 16 October 2005. The event was aimed at bringing the Euro-Med Youth Programme (a MEDA funded Programme) and its achievements into the spotlight, to share and promote good practices amongst key actors and contribute to move partnership and cooperation forward. The ceremony was the high point of a week of intercultural exchange and debate organised to mark the 10th Anniversary of the Barcelona Declaration and the achievements of the Euro-Med Youth Programme. No less than nine projects were rewarded. These were articulated around themes such as: active citizenship, place of women in society, fight against racism and xenophobia, environment and heritage protection, minority rights and other. The jury selected 8 projects as examples of good practice in Euro-Med Youth cooperation. An additional award was given by the Anna Lindh Euro-Mediterranean Foundation for the Dialogue between Cultures to highlight an original approach to intercultural dialogue in youth cooperation. Mrs Suzanne Mubarak, 1st Lady of Egypt, presented the 9 awards. To view the list of best projects, please go to: http://www.salto-youth.net/winners
* DELTA PROJECT – FORUM-EXHIBITION OF THE TERRITORIAL CULTURAL SYSTEMS OF THE EURO-MEDITERRANEAN REGION – 24-26 OCTOBER, SEVILLE
This Forum will conclude the DELTA Project (Development of Territorial Cultural Systems), one of the 11 Projects of the Euromed Heritage Programme, funded by EuropeAid, Cooperation Office of the European Commission and coordinated by IMED (Mediterranean Institute of Rome). The event will also be the starting point of a Euro-Mediterranean network of Territorial Cultural Systems. The Project’s results will be presented with special focus on success stories. The Forum will be presenting guidelines for the future as well as initiatives and future plans for the development of a territorial approach to the cultural heritage enhancement, more specifically in the framework of the euro-mediterranean partnership. For further information, see: www.deltaeuromed.net and www.imed.ti
* HEALTH SECTOR MODERNISATION PROGRAMME IN SYRIA -HANDOVER OF VEHICLES UNDER EU-FUNDED PROGRAMME
In a ceremony attended by the Head of Delegation of the European Commission to Syria, Mr Frank Hesske, and His Excellency Dr. Maher Al-Housami, the Minister of Health, the EU completed on Sunday 23 October the handover of nine vehicles to the Ministry of Health at the Centre for Open Heart Surgery in Dumar. The vehicles, including three buses and six cars, were purchased through the EU’s € 30 million Health Sector Modernisation Programme. They will be used in the pilot Governorates of Damascus, Daraa and Lattakia. The Health Sector Modernisation Programme is also providing technical and financial assistance to support the Ministry of Health in key areas, such as: policy, planning and regulation; an improved health delivery system; hospital performance; quality management and accreditation; and sustainable health financing. For more information, Malene.Kamp-Jensen@cec.eu.int
* EUROMED HERITAGE JOURNALISTIC AWARD 2006- SPECIAL ANSAMED PRIZE
In the framework of the recently launched Euromed Heritage Journalistic Award (Synopsis 332), ANSAmed, an international press agency for the Mediterranean basin based on a network of national press agencies, will be offering a Special Prize for the best article on an example of regional cooperation, to a journalist from MEDA partner countries. For more information, please see: http://www.ansamed.info/ansamed/home_eng.shtml www.euromedheritage.net
* EIB - PRODUCED TV REPORT HIGHLIGHTS EU EFFORTS IN MEDA COUNTRIES
In the run-up to the 10th anniversary of the Barcelona process in November 2005, the EIB proposes a background TV report of 13' highlighting the EU efforts to stimulate the private sector and create jobs in the Mediterranean countries, particularly through the action of the European Investment Bank. The report was filmed in Morocco and Jordan, and offers interviews with key officials of the region, the EU and the EIB. The background report is available in EN, FR and international version, free of copyrights. For more information on the script (available in EN and FR), or on getting a broadcast copy, or on taping the report from Europe by Satellite, please contact: firstname.lastname@example.org.
* NTERNATIONAL CONFERENCE “CULTURE IN THE EURO-MEDITERRANEAN SPACE ”22-23 NOVEMBER, BARCELONA
In the framework of the 10th anniversary of the Euro-Mediterranean Declaration, the Department of Culture of the Government of Catalonia and the Interarts Foundation are organising an international conference which aims to be a departure point for establishing a working agenda that can provide continuity in this field. The conference will also be an opportunity for various institutions from around the region to take stock of the results achieved in the field of culture. For further information, contact: Alana Henry, email@example.com and visit: www.interarts.net
* EURO-MEDITERRANEAN UNIONS’ FORUM “FOR PEACE, DEMOCRACY,ECONOMIC PROGRESS AND SOCIAL JUSTICE”, 6-7 NOVEMBER, BARCELONA.
On the occasion of the 10th anniversary of the Barcelona Process in November, the 3rd General Assembly of the Euro-Mediterranean Unions’s Forum will take place in Barcelona on 6 and 7 November under the title “For peace, democracy, economic progress and social justice”. The Forum has been functioning since 1999 and includes the European Trade Union Confederation (ETUC), the International Confederation of Free Trade Unions (ICFTU), the International Confederation of Arab Trade Unions (ICATU) and the Trade Union of Maghreb Workers (USTMA). The Forum’s objective is to enhance the partnership’s social dimension. For more information, contact: Peter Seidenek, firstname.lastname@example.org
Brussels,11 01 2005