Sumario: November 26, 2004: MEDA: over €700 million in 2004 to support the EU's Mediterranean partners (Brussels)
In 2004, the European Commission is providing, under the MEDA Programme, €709 million for co-operation and external aid operations with its Mediterranean partners. This assistance illustrates the EU's commitment to support development in the region focused on reforms based on common values. Algeria (€55 million), Egypt (€164.5 million), Jordan (€36.5 million), Lebanon (€19.5 million), Morocco (€156 million), Syria (€55 million), Tunisia (€24 million), and the West Bank and Gaza Strip (€73.5
million) and the region as a whole (€125.5 million), are benefiting from this new package that brings the MEDA assistance to the region to over €6.156 billion in bilateral and regional co-operation programmes since the Barcelona Process was launched in 1995.
Algeria, €55 million
The assistance to Algeria in 2004 is focusing on reform of the justice system (€15 million), reform of the educational sector (€17 million), rehabilitation of areas affected by terrorism (€14 million) treatment of urban solid waste (€5 million), and the participation of Algeria in the TEMPUS programme (€4 million).
Egypt, €164.5 million
In 2004, the Commission has agreed to provide Egypt with €15 million for the modernisation of its banking and financial sectors, €80 million to support the country textile sector, € 64 million for the development of the South Sinai, and €5.5 million to allow Egyptian participation in the TEMPUS programme.
Jordan, €36.5 million
The assistance to Jordan is focusing on poverty reduction through local development (€30 million), on water resource management (€5 million) and to support the extension to Jordan of the TEMPUS programme (€1.5 million).
Lebanon, €19.5 million
Modernisation and extension of the waste water treatment systems is the priority for Lebanon in 2004. The assistance is focusing on the agglomerations of Said and Sour in southern Lebanon (€8 million) and in Grand Beirut (€10 million). The TEMPUS programme receives € 1.5 million.
Morocco, €156 million
In 2004, the Commission has allocated €79 million to reform the Moroccan public administration. The "Mediterranean Bypass" (Rocade Méditerranéenne) project receives €43 million, EIB interest subsidies of €30 million and €4 million for the TEMPUS programme are provided.
Syria, €55 million
For Syria, an ambitious programme of modernisation has been envisaged: modernisation of the Ministry of Finances, focusing on the tax system and public finances (€8 million); modernisation of vocational training, to match the labour market with employment needs (€21 million); and modernisation of the public administration (€18 million). Also, €6 million has been allocated to support the banking sector and €2 million to the TEMPUS programme.
Tunisia, €24 million
The priority for 2004 is the modernisation of the judicial system that receives €22 million and €2 million for the TEMPUS programme.
West Bank and Gaza Strip, €73.5 million
2004 assistance to the Palestinians under MEDA addresses urgent needs and contributes to the creation of a viable and democratic Palestinian state by building and strengthening institutions. Actions include: a contribution to the World Bank Reform Trust Fund (€65 million), funding for initiatives in support of the Middle East Peace Process (€7.5 million) and reinforcement of the TEMPUS programme in the territories (€1 million).
The total community budget for the Palestinians in 2004 will be approximately over €250 million. Apart from the MEDA expenditure outlined in this memo, further support is given through a separate budget line, which entails Emergency Support to the health and higher education sector (€22.75 million), specific actions for Gaza (€20 million), implementation of the Palestinian Authority's reform agenda (€5 million), and technical assistance action in favour of the Palestinian Authority (€3 million). In addition, around 128 million have been provided for emergency assistance, comprising a contribution to the UN agency in charge of Palestinian refugees, UNRWA, as well as food aid, and humanitarian aid through the Commission's humanitarian office, ECHO.
Regional co-operation, €125.5 million
The regional MEDA programmes complement and reinforce bilateral programmes.
In the economical and infrastructure area, the programmes to be supported are: New approaches to Telecommunication Policy II (NATP II) (€4 million), Third Regional Euro-Mediterranean Environment Programme (€15 million), Programme to improve the energy efficiency in the Mediterranean construction sector (€4 million), Enhancing Energy Co-operation within the Mediterranean countries (€14 million), Euro-Mediterranean Satellite Navigation Programme (€4.5 million), Euro-Mediterranean co-operation on Maritime Safety and prevention of pollution from ships (€4.5 million) and EIB risk capital (€28 million).
In the social and cultural areas, the programmes are: Improvement of employability of young Palestinian refugees (€4 million), Promoting the role of women in economic life (€5 million), II programme for the Euro-Mediterranean audiovisual Co-operation (€12.5 million), and Education and training for employment (€5 million).
An additional €25 million is provided for the Support Fund for the Euro-Mediterranean Investment and Partnership Facility - FEMIP.
 See IP/2004/1001 - Aid to the Palestinians in 2004