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* The Quartet will meet on 17 September in New York in the margins of the United Nations General Assembly. Discussions will cover Palestinian Reform, the Middle East Peace Process, Security in the region, the humanitarian situation in the Palestinian Territories, and probably the holding of elections there.
The Quartet comprises representatives of the EU, the United States, and Russia, as well as the UN Secretary General.

Also in the margins of the UN General Assembly the EU Troika should have meetings with UN Secretary General Kofi Annan, the Gulf Cooperation Council, and the Organisation of the Islamic Conference on 13 and 14 September. The situation in the Middle East will feature high on the agenda of those meetings. The Troika will be made up of Danish Foreign Minister Per Stig Moeller and his Greek counterpart George Papandreou (the current and future EU Presidencies), the EU High Representative Javier Solana, and European Commissioner for External Relations Chris Patten. Mr Patten will also meet Turkish Foreign Minister Prof Dr Sukru Sina Gurel on 14 September.

* Senior Officials of the Euro-Mediterranean Partnership responsible for Political and Security Issues will meet on 18 September in Brussels, and the Euro-Mediterranean Committee for the Barcelona Process will meet on 19 September in the same city. Both meetings are the fist of their kind to be held under the current EU Danish Presidency. They will therefore start with a presentation by the Presidency of their priorities and their work programme. Both meetings will also look at the implementation of the Valencia Action Plan. In this regard Senior Officials will examine the state of play of the Euro-Mediterranean Assembly project, and the Euro-Med Committee will focus on the ‘Regional Co-operation Programme in the field of justice, in combating drugs, organised crime and terrorism as well as co-operation in the treatment of issues relating to the social integration of migrants, migration and movement of people’. Within Political Dialogue Senior Officials will discuss human rights, civil society, and terrorism. Presentations on human rights will be made by the President of the Euro-Mediterranean Human Rights Network (EMHRN) Abdelaziz Bennani, and by its Executive Director Marc Schade-Poulsen. The Euro-Med Committee will discuss trade relations among the partners, and evaluate past activities. Information on existing regional MEDA programmes will be provided by the European Commission.

* A Conference on ‘Mediterranean Security, Stability and Co-operation: an Issue for all of Europe’ will be held on 19 and 20 September at the Swedish National Defence College in Stockholm. The first day will be devoted to lectures on the influence of each of the 3 chapters of the Barcelona Process on stability in the region. Conference activities on the second day will be split into thematic workshops conducted by panels of specialists. Subjects to be addressed include The EU’s New Crisis Management Tools, Migration and Demography, Trade Policy and Economic Co-operation, and A Critical Assessment of the Barcelona Process. Most speakers and panel members will be Euro-Mediterranean Senior Officials and academics.

* Algerian Foreign Minister Abdelaziz Belkhadem was received by European Commissioner for External Relations Chris Patten on 10 September in Brussels. The possibility of an Interim Agreement between Algeria and the EU was discussed, though the Algerian side would prefer a gradual approach and counts on a quick ratification of the Association Agreement. Discussions also touched on the fight against terrorism, on human rights in Algeria which give the EU some cause for concern, and on Kabylia in the perspective of the forthcoming local elections. Mr Belkhadem outlined the Algerian plan for boosting the economy, which relies on stimulating job creation, investing in infrastructure, and reforming education, the judiciary, and State structures. The Arab Maghreb Union and the Middle East conflict also featured in the discussions. On the latter the Algerian Minister said his country valued EU positions.

* Ahead of his visit to Jordan and Egypt from 13 to 15 October European Commissioner for External Relations Chris Patten received Jordan’s Minister of Planning Bassem Awadallah on 9 September in Brussels. They reviewed progress in the implementation of the € 95 million MEDA bilateral co-operation programme for 2002, approved by EU Member States in July. Discussions also covered issues related to the implementation of the Association Agreement in the light of the 1st Association Committee Meeting scheduled for early November.

* European Commissioner for Employment and Social Affairs Anna Diamantopoulou visited Israel and the Palestinian Territories from 8 to 10 September to support the role of civil society, notably that of women, in helping resolve the conflict there, and to establish a dialogue with both Partners on social issues. She met the President of the Palestinian Authority Yasser Arafat, Israeli Foreign Minister Shimon Peres, and other ministers in the Israeli government and the Palestinian Authority, as well as representatives of almost 40 civil society organisations and peace activists from both Israel and the Palestinian Territories.

* The 2nd Economic Dialogue Meeting between Morocco and the European Commission will take place on 16 September in Rabat at Senior Officials’ level. Macro-economic developments and perspectives in both Morocco and the EU will be discussed. Both sides will make presentations on investment. Moroccan representatives will outline the implications of free trade with the EU, other Mediterranean Partners, and the United States. Each side will state its views on possible effects of EU enlargement on Morocco’s economy. The Moroccan side will make a presentation on the role of MEDA in supporting the transition process. Finally the Commission will propose extending the joint analysis of employment and labour market policies to some Mediterranean Partners.

* European Commissioner for Education and Culture Viviane Reding will take part in a seminar entitled ‘National cinema between art and industry’ to be held on 20 September in the framework of the Marrakesh International Film Festival. She will deliver a speech on ‘Europe, the Euro-Mediterranean Partnership, and defending cultural diversity’. The seminar will be moderated by Claude-Eric Poiroux, co-ordinator of the Europa Cinemas project within the MEDA funded EUROMED AUDIOVISUAL Regional Programme. Among the speakers will be another EUROMED AUDIOVISUAL project co-ordinator, Tunisia’s Ahmed Attia (Euromediatoon-Viva Carthago project). The Festival itself will be opened on 18 September, and will on the next day feature another seminar called ‘Cinema’s powers and responsibilities’, with yet another EUROMED AUDIOVISUAL co-ordinator taking part, the Egyptian film director Youssef Chahine (‘Elles … aux abords de l’an 2000’ project).


The MEDA funded ‘Network of Investment Promotion Agencies’ or ‘ANIMA’ Regional Programme will be effectively launched at a Conference taking place from 17 to 19 September in Paris. The Conference will include presentations of the new Regional Programme and of the network of national Investment Promotion Agencies which will play a central role in the Programme, whose goal is to increase Foreign Direct Investment in the Mediterranean Region. A session will be devoted to the main issues of Foreign Direct Investment in the Mediterranean, and the Conference will feature a visit to EuroDisney as a foreign investment success story. The regional investment programme has been awarded € 3.95 million for 3 years. The contact person for the Conference is Ms Véronique Ledru – Invest in France Agency – 2 Avenue Velasquez – F – 75008 – Paris – Tel: +33 1 40 74 73 17 – Fax +33 1 40 74 74 01 –
E-mail: v.ledru@investinfrance.org.

The preparatory phase of the MEDA Regional Education and Training Programme has started recently with the signing of a contract for the organisation of 2 regional conferences, and of 3 thematic and/or sub-regional workshops. Those meetings will help define the actions to be undertaken under the programme, whose main aim will be to step up the fight against unemployment through regional co-operation. The contract is worth € 546,400.

Bruxelles 17-09-2002
European Union
Union Européenne

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