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French Version


Euromed News - the 21st october of 2002

DECISIONS

* The European Investment Bank (EIB) on 11 October announced it was lending a total of € 220 million to the Republic of Cyprus for investment in energy, education, and transport. The financing contracts were signed in Nicosia by EIB President Philippe Maystadt during a visit to Cyprus. An amount of € 100 million is being lent to the Electricity Authority of Cyprus for upgrading the electricity transmission and distribution networks by end-2005.

Another € 65 million is for the construction of a campus at the University of Cyprus in Nicosia. The remaining € 55 million goes towards improving the efficiency, safety, and capacity of air traffic services in the Nicosia Flight Information Region. This particular investment receives EIB support because of its wider benefits for the Mediterranean region.
www.eib.org

* The European Parliament on 10 October gave its assent unanimously to the conclusion of the EU-Algeria Association Agreement. In a separate resolution adopted on the same day with only 10 MEPs voting against and 20 abstaining (out of a total of 626), the European Parliament "calls on the Council and the Commission urgently to develop together with Algeria plans and measures to fight against extremely high unemployment, especially among the younger generation". The resolution also "calls on the Algerian authorities to pursue and step up their efforts to ensure greater respect for fundamental rights". The Association Agreement has to be ratified by the Algerian Parliament and national parliaments of EU Member States before it can enter into force.


MEETINGS

* The Palestinian Authority's Finance Minister Dr Salam Fayyad met European Commission President Romano Prodi on 16 October in Brussels. They discussed the situation in the Middle East in general and focused on the economic and financial situation of the Palestinian Authority. President Prodi highlighted the importance of the continuing reform of the Authority, which is an essential part of the political process. The President noted that good progress has already been achieved in the financial and budgetary sectors. Co-operation with the Commission has been excellent. The Palestinian Minister will hold talks with European Commissioner for External Relations Chris Patten, and with his colleague in charge of the Budget Michaele Schreyer on 18 October, also in Brussels.
www.europa.eu.int/rapid/start/cgi/

* European Commissioner for External Relations Chris Patten visited Egypt and Jordan from 13 to 15 October to discuss bilateral relations and recent events in the Middle East, and to underline the EU's continuing strong commitment to the Euro-Mediterranean Partnership. In Egypt Mr Patten was received by President Hosni Mubarak. He met Prime Minister Atef Ebeid, Foreign Minister Ahmed Maher, Minister of State for Foreign Affairs Fayza Abu El Naga, and other members of the government. The Commissioner also had meetings with Arab League Secretary General Amr Moussa, and with representatives of Parliament and the private sector.
In Jordan Mr Patten was received by H.M. King Abdullah II on 15 October, and on the same day he held talks with Prime Minister Ali Abul Ragheb, Foreign Minister Marwan Muasher, and President of the Senate Zaid Al Rifai. In Amman the Commissioner signed four Financing Agreements for a total of € 92 million. The 4 corresponding MEDA funded programmes are Support to Jordan's public finance reform (€ 60 million); Assistance to the Jordanian Government in implementing the Association Agreement in the areas of free trade, improvement/enforcement of the legislative and regulatory framework, and institutional strengthening (€ 20 million); Institutional support to the Aqaba Special Economic Zone Authority (€ 10 million); and Promotion of Human Rights and Democratisation (€ 2 million).

* The Facility for Euro-Mediterranean Investment and Partnership (FEMIP) will be launched by the 27 Euro-Mediterranean Finance Ministers at the first meeting of the Policy Dialogue and Coordination Committee (PDCC), to be held on 18 October in Barcelona, Spain. The PDCC will be FEMIP's guiding and supervising body. The meeting will take place on the initiative of the European Investment Bank (EIB) under the joint chairmanship of Spain's Minister of the Economy Rodrigo de Rato y Figaredo, and EIB President Philippe Maystadt, in the presence of European Commissioner for Economic and Monetary Affairs Pedro Solbes. The new Facility should lead to a gradual increase in the annual volume of EIB lending in the Mediterranean Partners from € 1.4 billion to € 2 billion.
www.eib.org

* The EU-Israel Association Council will meet on 21 October in Luxembourg. An exchange of views will be held on issues of mutual interest, notably the situation in the Middle East. The EU is expected to express its concern regarding humanitarian access to the West Bank and Gaza as well as damage caused to development projects there. The Council will also discuss commercial and economic relations. The Israeli delegation will be led by Foreign Minister Shimon Peres, and the EU will be represented by the Danish Foreign Minister as President of the EU Council of Ministers, EU High Representative Javier Solana, and European Commissioner for External Relations Chris Patten. The meeting was prepared by an Association Committee held on 8 October in Jerusalem.

* European Commissioner for External Relations Chris Patten on 14 October signed a Memorandum of Understanding in Amman for a grant of € 55 million to be made available this year to UNRWA (United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestinian Refugees in the Near East). This represents the first allocation under the 11th EU-UNRWA Convention, which has earmarked € 237 million in EU aid to Palestinian refugees for the period 2002-2005. The funds will be credited to the UNRWA General Fund to be used to implement the agency's education, health, and social services programmes.

* The next preparatory meeting for the 22nd meeting of the EU-Cyprus Joint Parliamentary Committee will take place on 24 October in Strasbourg, France. The 22nd meeting will be held in early November in Brussels.

* An information seminar on the water sector in Jordan will be held on 23 October in Amman on the initiative of the Euro-Mediterranean Information System on know-how in the Water sector (EMWIS), and Jordan's Ministry of Water and Irrigation. The seminar aims at raising awareness of the benefits of know-how and information exchanges among Jordan's main water sector stakeholders. The new Spanish Presidency of EMWIS' Steering Committee will outline a strategic plan for the System's second phase (2003-2005). EMWIS now has 20 National Focal Points, 13 of which have launched a national information service available on the web.
www.emwis.org


PROGRAMMES & PROJECTS

* 3RD EUROMED AUDIOVISUAL ANNUAL CONFERENCE
The 3rd Annual Conference for the MEDA funded EUROMED AUDIOVISUAL Regional Programme will take place on 18 and 19 October in Cairo, and it will be opened by the Head of the European Commission Delegation in Cairo Ian Boag, and Egypt's Under-Secretary of State for Culture Anwar Ibrahim. The Conference is organised by the European Commission. More than 100 participants from over 20 Euro-Mediterranean countries including film directors, producers, distributors, and cinema managers are expected. A mini-market will bring together 7 European film exporters, and over 30 Mediterranean distributors and cinema managers.

* TRAINING PROGRAMME FOR WOMEN IN THE MAGHREB
The 2nd part of the training programme within the EU funded project 'Positive actions for the citizens' rights of women and equal opportunities in the Maghreb' will take place from 21 to 27 October in Rome, Italy. The Programme receives EU support under the European Initiative for Democracy and Human Rights, and it is co-ordinated by the Italian Institute for the Mediterranean.
www.imednet.it

* SUPPORT TO ECONOMIC TRANSITION IN MOROCCO
MEDA funded Programmes of Support to Economic Transition in Morocco were presented at a meeting on 9 October in Casablanca. The meeting was organised by the Support Programme to Trade Organisations, and was held in the presence of European Commission Head of Delegation Sean Doyle, and Moroccan senior officials and business representatives. Three grant contracts for Moroccan trade organisations, including the Moroccan Businesswomen's Association, were signed during the event.
www.delmar.cec.eu.int

* CALL FOR PROPOSALS FOR CULTURAL ACTIVITIES IN TURKEY
A Call for Proposals has been launched by the Representation of the European Commission to Turkey for the MEDA funded Mosaic Programme of cultural activities. The programme is about promoting intercultural dialogue between Turkey and the EU in such fields as performing arts, radio, TV, and multimedia. Non-profit making organisations such as NGOs or universities may apply. The deadline for submitting applications is 22 October.
More on www.deltur.cec.eu.int


PUBLICATIONS

EU EXTERNAL ASSISTANCE 2001 ON THE WEB
The Annual Report 2001 from the European Commission to the EU Council and the European Parliament on the Commission's development policy and the implementation of external assistance is available on the web in the EU's 11 official languages at
http://europa.eu.int/comm/europeaid/reports/index_en.htm
The report includes an 18 page chapter on the Mediterranean region.


MISCELLANEOUS

* JEWISH-ARAB CULTURAL FESTIVAL IN JAFFA
The annual Jewish-Arab cultural festival 'Duet in Jaffa', supported by the European Commission Delegation in Tel Aviv, will be held on 18 and 19 October in various locations throughout Jaffa. It includes over 30 workshops, lectures, master classes and tours, all targeted at joint Jewish-Arab audiences. The festival will culminate with a large outdoor concert featuring well-known Jewish and Arab artists on the same stage.
www.eu-del.org.il

Bruxelles 22-10-2002
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European union



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