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* Euro-Mediterranean Ministerial Conference on Transport, 15 December, Marrakesh, Morocco For the first time, the Euro-Mediterranean Ministers of Transport will get together on 15 December and discuss issues related to the Transport sector in the Mediterranean region. Their work will be organised around 4 Sessions dealing with the assessment of the sector and the reforms undertaken following 10 years of Partnership, the way forward for future cooperation, infrastructure development and financing of transport investments in the region, and the adoption of conclusions. The Conference will be opened by the Minister for Transport of Morocco, Mr Karim Ghellab, Dr Stephen Ladyman, Minister of State for Transport for the UK and Mr Jacques Barrot, Vice-President of the European Commission and Commissioner for Transport.

* On 30 November, The EU and Morocco signed the first 3 financial agreements for institutional twinning between EU Member States and Morocco. The agreements were handed to the partners involved during a signing ceremony in Rabat in the presence of the Secretary General for Foreign Affairs of Morocco, the Head of the Commission Delegation in Morocco, the Head of Unit “Twinning Operations” at EuropeAid, Cooperation Office, and the French and Italian Ambassadors to Morocco. The institutional twinnings concern customs administration (with Italy), maritime safety (with France) and environment protection (with Italy). A fourth twinning contract is expected to be signed in the very near future relating to “training of border police” (with France). These agreements are signed in the framework of the support Programme to the Association Agreement, financed by the EU with an initial financial package of € 5 million, to which a supplementary €15 million have been added. This new type of action, the first in Morocco and the MEDA region, opens a new chapter in the EU-Morocco cooperation as it launches the effective implementation of the European Neighbourhood Policy. It will now be possible to twin sectors of the Moroccan administration with their european counterparts and enable the Moroccan administration to benefit in its reform programme from operational experience of civil servants from EU Member States.

* On 29 November, the EU and Egyptian Government signed a financial agreement of 80 million euros in support of the Egyptian Reform Programme of the water sector which was launched in May 2005. This programme aims to improve the management of water ressources in order to ensure the supply of the population with sufficient drinking water, while balancing conflicting needs of industry, agriculture and other water uses. Special attention will be given to ensuring the development of a nationwide Water Supply and Sanitation Master Plan, including a rural sanitation strategy. Decentralisation and support of private/public partnerships are major axes of the programme.

* High-level meeting on the Environment, 19 December, Barcelona. This meeting was originally scheduled for 29 November around the Barcelona Summit on the occasion of the 10th Anniversary of the Euro-Mediterranean Partnership. The purpose of the meeting is to launch a major Environmental Initiative designed to improve the life of the citizens by de-polluting the Mediterranean by 2020. This initiative is known as the “Horizon 2020” initiative. It aims to tackle all sources of pollution in the Mediterranean, including industrial emissions, municipal waste and particularly urban wastewater, on the basis of a roadmap to be adopted in 2006. This proposal was endorsed in May 2005 by the Euro-Mediterranean Foreign Ministers meeting in Luxembourg and was formally agreed at the recent Barcelona Summit of Heads of State and Government. For more information, contact: George.strongylis@cec.eu.int

* On 6 December, the European Commission, Algeria, Morocco and Tunisia signed in Algeria a project for the integration of the maghreb electricity markets. This Project is outlined among the objectives of the Euro-Mediterranean Partnership in the energy sector, as developed in the framework of the Barcelona Process and the Euro-Mediterranean Energy Forum which was established in 1997. The 3-year Project is financed by MEDA and will aim to support the harmonisation of standards as well as the industrial structure of the Maghreb countries in view of the future integration of the markets concerned in the EU internal electricity market. The total cost of the project is 6,200 000 euros, and the EU contribution amounts to 5,600 000 euros. For more information, contact the Commission Delegation in Algeria. mailto@deldza.cec.eu.int


* EUROMED MARKET SEMINAR ON “CUSTOMS COOPERATION AND FIGHT AGAINST COUTERFEITING AND PIRACY”, 12-15 DECEMBER, BARCELONA. This Seminar, organised in the framework of the MEDA-funded EuroMed Market Programme, aims to further and update the knowledge of those responsible for the fight against counterfeiting and piracy, of the current legislative framework in Europe in this field, as well as the prospects for the future; to present the latest administrative and technical developments in the fight against counterfeiting and piracy; to promote a common approach in the Euro-Mediterranean area regarding customs legislation and practices to fight against counterfeiting and piracy; to encourage an exchange of experience, knowledge and best practices. Consolidate a network of expertise on fight against counterfeiting and piracy among the Euro-Mediterranean Partners. For further information, contact: anna.abariotou@cec.eu.int

* TERRORISM AND INTERCONNECTION OF CRIMINAL NETWORKS – SEMINAR 2: “TERRORISM”, 12-15 DECEMBER, THE HAGUE. This seminar is the second of four seminars under the topic “Terrorism and interconnection of criminal networks” of the MEDA-funded Euro-Med Justice Programme, managed by EuropeAid, Cooperation Office of the European Commission. During this seminar, participants (judges, magistrates, court registrars, lawyers, training officers and any other practitioners of the legal professions of the 10 Mediterranean partners and of the EU Member States) will work on International and European conventions as well as national law, analyse the grounds for excluding extradition, terrorism and political offences, finally discuss in open debates and working groups the ways to improve judicial mutual assistance in this field. For further information, contact: anna.abariotou@cec.eu.int

* REGIONAL SEMINAR EUROMED POLICE ON “THE FIGHT AGAINST TERRORISM”, 12-16 DECEMBER, LYON, FRANCE This Seminar is organised as part of the MEDA-funded Regional Police Cooperation Project which was launched in 2004 with the aim of facilitating and reinforcing Euro-Mediterranean police cooperation on regional matters. Its activities include fighting terrorism, money laundering, drug and human trafficking, organised crime and cyber crime. The Lyon Seminar will focus on “fighting terrorism”. Presentations of case studies by individual countries will be made on aspects such as “action of sleeping terrorist cells and administrative measures taken by the Police in order to neutralise them”, “methods used by police forces in order to eradicate and neutralise terrorist groups”. Various working groups will be set up to look at issues such as the legislation of each country on terrorism and report back to the plenary meeting. For more information, contact: anna.abariotou@cec.eu.int

* TRAINING THE TRAINERS: “DEVELOPMENT AND MANAGEMENT OF TRAINING PROGRAMMES AND TRAINING TECHNIQUES”, 12 – 16 DECEMBER, ATHENS This seminar is organised under the MEDA-funded regional programme “Euromed Training of Public Administrations”, managed by EuropeAid, Cooperation Office of the European Commission. The objective is to facilitate and improve the preparation and implementation of training programmes with specific focus on such programmes supporting the implementation of the EU Association Agreements, to further co-operation at bilateral and multilateral level in the field of human resource development and training within the public administration; and to encourage networking and the exchange of experience, knowledge and good practices. For more information, contact: anna.abariotou@cec.eu.int

* “EUROMED COOPERATION ON MARITIME SAFETY AND PREVENTION OF POLLUTION FROM SHIPS” – SAFEMED PROJECT LAUNCHED. This MEDA-funded regional project of € 4 million was launched at the International Maritime Organisation (IMO) headquarters on 30 November, in the presence of representatives of the European Commission (EC), IMO, EU Member States and beneficiary countries. SAFEMED is a response to the EU’s interest in developing Euro-Mediterranean cooperation in the field of maritime safety and security and prevention of pollution from ships, by providing technical advice and support to its Mediterranean Partners. The project will be implemented between 2006 and 2008 by the Regional Marine Pollution Emergency Response Centre for the Mediterranean Sea (REMPEC). The Vice-President of the EC in charge of Transport, Mr Jacques Barrot, declared: “SAFEMED is a major step forward in strengthening the Euro-Mediterranean cooperation in the field of maritime safety and security. We have to join forces to ensure that an accident such Erika or Prestige never happens in the Mediterranean Sea”. For more information, contact: leonidas.kioussis@cec.eu.int

* EUROPEAN COMMISSION FINANCES THE ARABIC VERSION OF A VIRTUAL TRAINING COURSE ON INTEGRATED COASTAL ZONE MANAGEMENT. In the framework of the MEDA funded SMAP Programme for the environment, a virtual training course in Arabic, MedOpen, on integrated coastal zone management will be launched in December by the SMAP RMSU (regional management support unit) for participants from the Southern and Eastern Mediterranean countries The MedOpen training course has been designed by experts from the regional activities centre (RAC) of UNEP to assist decision makers, policy advisors, civil society organisations, project managers and experts from Mediterranean countries in building capacities for coastal management and in order to disseminate ICZM knowledge resources in Arabic language and to support the SMAP stakeholders in following up the SMAP III ICZM plans of actions. For more information, contact: Alessandro Candeloro: candeloro@apat.it


* REGIONAL FORUM ON THE INVESTMENT CLIMATE IN THE SOUTHERN MEDITERRANEAN REGION AND THE MIDDLE-EAST This major event, the first of its kind, was jointly organised by EuropeAid, Cooperation office of the European Commission, the EIB and the World Bank Group in collaboration with the Egyptian Ministry of Investment. Based on a Memorandum of Understanding signed in May 2004, the three institutions are coordinating their initiatives for development in the region, namely the EU’s Barcelona Process and the European Neighbourhood Policy, the World Bank’s regional strategy and the EIB’s Facility for Euro-Mediterranean Investment and Partnership (FEMIP). Around a hundred representatives from the mediterranean area participated in this event. The Egyptian Minister of Investment, Mr Mahmoud Mohieldin, underlined, in his opening speech, that growth in itself is not enough to promote employment. Reforms should be undertaken on different fronts in a fair and transparent way, the fight against corruption being an important aspect of the reform process. The Forum has been a catalyst of ideas to sustain economic and social reform and the exchange of best practices and has provided a unique insight into areas of great importance to the region, including improving access to finance and land, strengthening trade, reducing red tape and administrative barriers to investment, and encouraging SMEs development.

Brussels,12 12 2005
European Union
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