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Développement durable: Rencontre ministérielle de l’UPM

28 septembre 2011
Mme Benkhedra appelle à l’unification des efforts pour relever les défis.
 
   
 
 
Quarante trois pays membres de l’Union pour la Méditerranée ont répondu présent à la réunion préparatoire à la première réunion ministérielle de l’Union pour la Méditerranée sur le développement urbain durable qui s’est tenue à Rabat les 12 et 13 septembre.
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Cette rencontre intervient dans un contexte marqué par la dynamique renouvelée de renforcement du partenariat euro-méditerranéen, notamment dans le cadre de l’Union pour la Méditerranée. Elle fait suite à plusieurs rencontres tenues par l’Union pour débattre des principales questions de développement de la région méditerranéenne et des moyens de renforcement de la coopération euro-méditerranéenne dans ce domaine. En effet, la problématique du développement urbain durable constitue un véritable enjeu du développement pour la région méditerranéenne qui intégrera durant les deux prochaines décennies quelque 80 millions d’urbains supplémentaires, principalement dans les villes du littoral, qui connaîtront dès lors des mutations sociales, économiques et environnementales profondes. D’après la ministre de l’Énergie, des Mines, de l’Eau et de l’Environnement, Amina Benkhadra, cette urbanisation accélérée, principalement dans les pays méditerranéens du Sud et de l’Est, provoquera la détérioration d’une situation déjà préoccupante aux niveaux de la consommation des terres, de la pollution des eaux souterraines, de l’accès à une eau potable de qualité et à des services d’assainissement, de la gestion des déchets et aura des impacts négatifs sur l’environnement et la santé humaine. Lire la suite…

First meeting of EU/Tunisia Task Force to support transition to democracy and economic recovery

28 septembre 2011

 

Brussels, 27 September 2011 – The first meeting of the EU/Tunisia Task Force will take place in Tunis tomorrow. The Task Force will ensure better coordination of European and international support for Tunisia’s transition. It will be co-chaired by EU High Representative for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy and Vice-President of the European Commission, Catherine Ashton, and Tunisian Prime Minister Béji Ca ĭd Essebsi. Stefan Füle, the European Commissioner for Enlargement and the European Neighbourhood Policy, and Bernardino Léon, the EU Special Representative for the Southern Mediterranean Region, will also participate in the event.

 

The EU-Tunisia Task Force is the first task force in the Southern Mediterranean since the Arab Spring began. In Tunis, HR/VP Ashton and Commissioner Füle will reiterate the full support of both the European Union and the international Community to Tunisia’s transition towards an open and democratic society, less than a month before the elections scheduled for 23 October. The Task Force will follow up the implementation of its decisions and will meet again in 2012 to continue work on medium and long term projects.

 

It will put a strong focus on support to the economic recovery in Tunisia. Concrete actions will aim in particular to assist the recovery of frozen assets, and to boost Foreign Direct Investment and job creation. A number of EU grants, which are part of a 1 billion € multi-donor programme, will besigned during or in the margins of the event.

Market access, mobility of persons, education and research and support to civil society will also be high on the agenda – including in a session with civil society representatives – and the EU will offer enhanced cooperation and new partnerships in these areas.

Source: http://www.consilium.europa.eu/uedocs/cms_data/docs/pressdata/EN/foraff/124766.pdf

EU response to the Arab Spring: new package of support for North Africa and Middle East

28 septembre 2011

Brussels, 27 September 2011 – The European Commission has adopted four new decisions for its Neighbourhood. The programmes will include support for areas like democracy, growth, job creation, microfinance and higher education.

« The European Union was the first to offer a serious response to the Arab Spring. This new set of decisions is the result of the new and ambitious European Neighbourhood Policy launched in May and it confirms that the EU has made it one of its main priorities to support ‘deep’ and sustainable democracy, but also economic recovery, in North Africa and the Middle East, » said Catherine Ashton, High Representative for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy and Vice President of the European Commission.

Štefan Füle Commissioner for Enlargement and European Neighbourhood Policy added: « These decisions prove our strong commitment to our neighbouring partners. Through job creation, improved living conditions, university partnerships and promoting a stronger voice for civil society, this support demonstrates Europe’s full engagement in ensuring the desired transition to democracy in the region. »

Today, the SPRING programme (Support for Partnership, Reform and Inclusive Growth) was adopted. Under this flagship initiative, the Commission will provide support for the Southern Neighbourhood countries for democratic transformation, institution building and economic growth in the wake of the Arab Spring. Support provided through SPRING will be tailored to the needs of each country. The total value of this initiative is €350 million to cover the years 2011 and 2012.

The second decision concerns a Special Measure designed to support poorer areas in Tunisia in the aftermath of the events of the Arab Spring. €20 million has also been allocated in order to foster employment and job creation in the country and to improve living conditions for inhabitants of urban areas in the most impoverished regions, as well as to improve access to microfinance.

The third of these decisions, adopted on 23 September 2011, is the Erasmus Mundus programme. This will go towards achieving better understanding and mutual enrichment between the EU and neighbouring countries by creating possibilities for student and academic staff mobility (for example, the opportunity to study in universities in EU Member States) and exchange of knowledge and skills. The overall budget for this programme is €66 million.

The fourth decision, adopted on 20 September 2011, is the Neighbourhood Civil Society Facility, designed to strengthen the capacity of civil society to promote reform and increase public accountability in their countries. With a total budget of €22 million, the programme will also support regional and country projects led by non-state actors. Similar amounts are envisaged for 2012 and 2013.

The four decisions come in response to actions outlined in the Commission’s recent Communication entitled « A new response to a changing Neighbourhood ».

More information: http://europa.eu/rapid/pressReleasesAction.do?reference=IP/11/1083&format=HTML&aged=0&language=EN&guiLanguage=en

 

Assurer la réussite du processus électoral en Tunisie

27 septembre 2011

Les Socialistes et Démocrates au Parlement européen, expriment leur profonde inquiétude face à l’annonce de l’Instance Régionale Indépendante pour les Elections (IRIE), l’organisme qui veille au bon déroulement des élections tunisiennes du 23 Octobre, concernant l’agression physique de l’un de ses représentants, Monsieur Moez Boukhriss, alors même qu’il se trouvait dans son bureau de l’IRIE au sein du Consulat Tunisien.

« Nous condamnons sans réserve cette agression et nous faisons appel aux autorités diplomatiques tunisiennes de Belgique afin de faire respecter les droits politiques de tous les citoyens Tunisiens », ont déclaré Véronique De Keyser, vice-présidente du Groupe S&D et Antonio PANZERI Président de la Délégation Maghreb en soulignant l’attachement du Groupe à la liberté d’expression et à la sécurité de tous. 

« Le Groupe S&D considère que la violence de ce geste vise directement la réussite du processus électoral et de transition démocratique porté par le peuple tunisien depuis le 14 janvier », ont indiqué Véronique De Keyser et Antonio Panzeri.

« Le Groupe demande le déploiement d’observateurs internationaux dans les bureaux de vote des Tunisiens de l’étranger afin d’accompagner la Tunisie dans sa transition démocratique et de soutenir l’IRIE dans sa tache », ont-ils conclu.

Source: www.socialistsanddemocrats.eu

L’UE solidaire de la Tunisie dans son processus démocratique

22 septembre 2011

Les Socialistes et Démocrates au Parlement européen considèrent les élections tunisiennes du 23 octobre comme une opportunité historique pour ce pays d’aller de l’avant et de consolider la démocratie au profit du peuple tunisien.

 

Le processus de transition démocratique ainsi que l’évolution du pays depuis la chute du régime répressif de Ben Ali ont été débattus, ce mercredi au Parlement européen, lors d’une conférence organisée par le Groupe  S&D.

 

« L’Union européenne, et en particulier le Parlement européen, doivent assumer pleinement leurs responsabilités et engager tous les efforts nécessaires afin de redessiner une nouvelle politique de voisinage pour la rive sud de la méditerranée qui mette au cœur la démocratie et les droits de l’Homme », ont déclaré Antonio Panzeri, Député S&D et président de la délégation Maghreb du Parlement européen et Véronique De Keyser vice-présidente du Groupe S&D.

 

 « Nous devons, tous ensemble, soutenir la tenue d’élections libres et transparentes », ont-ils indiqué, en soulignant que « seule la tenue d’un scrutin irréprochable permettrait de légitimer l’assemblée constituante qui écrira l’acte de naissance d’une Tunisie démocratique.  La Tunisie a, là, une opportunité historique pour être le chef de file du processus de démocratisation dans toute la méditerranée. Nous sommes certains que les tunisiens seront pleinement  capables de saisir cette occasion ont-ils conclus les Députés du S&D  « .

Source: www.socialistsanddemocrats.eu

 

Libya: EU response to democratic transition needs must be rapid and pragmatic

22 septembre 2011

« The situation in Tripoli is calm but the needs are enormous and the EU must lose no time in responding to such needs », reports S&D MEP Ana Gomes from Tripoli.

 The EP rapporteur for Libya Ana Gomes (S&D, Portugal) arrived on 18 of September for a 5-day visit to the country.

 

« When I landed in Tripoli, I found a city with very few buildings destroyed (demonstrating the remarkable surgical nature of NATO strikes), bustling traffic, open shops and supplied markets, with basic services running (including primary schools), showing remarkable Libyan resilience and organisational capacity ».

 

A pragmatic and swift EU response is needed, defends Ana Gomes. « Speed will be essential as the security and governance needs are tremendous. EU and Member States should step up technical assistance in the assigned areas under UN coordination, as agreed with the NTC at the Paris Conference: securing borders, strengthening civil society and media and communications ». 

 

 As an interim government is to be formed soon, Ana Gomes underlines that « the EU must support the democratic forces. The ongoing constitutional debate will be crucial to determine if the interpretation of sharia as the source of law will ensure protection of human rights, namely women rights. We must help the democratic forces and civil society organising themselves and promoting the participation of women in public and political life, at all levels »

 

Besides disarmament, social reinsertion of combatants and the reform of the security sector, transitional justice will be a key issue in the upcoming months, including addressing the situation of thousands of sub-Saharan migrants detained as prisoners of war. « Human rights education and a national reconciliation process will be crucial for the long-term stabilisation of the country », declared Gomes.

 Source: www.socialistsanddemocrats.eu

S&D Group fully supports calls to assist the new Libyan authorities

20 septembre 2011

The S&D Group and the European Parliament call on the new Libyan authorities to build a unified, democratic and pluralist state in which human rights, fundamental freedoms and justice will be guaranteed.

 

In a resolution adopted today MEPs stress that « the credibility of the interim government will rest on its capacity to address the most pressing issues while at the same time creating conditions for democratic institutions ». They also expect the National Transitional Council (NTC) « to fulfil its responsibilities and deliver on the commitments made to build a tolerant, unified and democratic state, protecting universal human rights for all Libyan citizens, as well as for migrant workers and foreigners ».

The National Transitional Council is urged to launch a national reconciliation process without delay and to include women and young people in all decision-making bodies. The text underlines the importance of investigating all human rights violations — on both sides of the conflict. European Parliamentarians also call on the NTC to respect international humanitarian laws on prisoners of war and to protect the rights of minority and vulnerable groups, including thousands of sub-Saharan African migrants facing harassment, as well as migrants and refugees stranded in camps in the region.  

The resolution welcomes the fact that the EU quickly established an office in Tripoli soon after the city was liberated, and urges the member states to swiftly release the Libyan assets that are still frozen. It also calls on the EU to assist Libya in Security Sector Reform (SSR), Disarmament, Demobilisation and Reintegration (DDR) of former combatants, and in strengthening control of the borders.

 

S&D MEP Ana Gomes, the Parliament’s rapporteur for Libya, called on the High Representative for External Policies and the European External Action Service (EEAS) « to be ready to respond to Libyan requests for assistance in the interim governance and in the transition towards democracy, ensuring the necessary coordination among member states, so that national agendas do not overshadow a coherent EU political strategy, so that there are no doubts about the European respect for the sovereignty of the Libyan people and to enable the UN’s role of coordinating international assistance to help Libya rebuild its economy and institutions ».

Source: www.socialistsanddemocrats.eu

 

Need for a peaceful and lasting transition to democracy in Syria

14 septembre 2011

The S&D Group in the European Parliament strongly condemns the Syrian authorities for the deliberate violent repression against peaceful demonstrators, human rights activists and the Syrian people.  The Group calls for a peaceful and lasting transition to democracy in Syria.

S&D vice-president Véronique De Keyser and S&D coordinator on human rights Richard Howitt said:

 

« We call once again for an immediate end to violent crackdowns against peaceful demonstrators and harassment of their families. We ask for the unconditional release of all detained protesters, political prisoners, human rights defenders and journalists.

 

« We strongly support the legitimate democratic aspirations of the Syrian people and we support the Council’s decision of 18 July 2011 which states that the Syrian regime is calling its legitimacy into question by choosing a path of repression instead of fulfilling its own promises on broad reforms. It is time for President Bashar al-Assad to relinquish power. » 

 

« President Bashar al-Assad’s announcements and promised reforms, offering amnesties and an end to the state of emergency, have lost all credibility. Consequently, the Socialists and Democrats call for further sanctions that target the regime but do not have a negative impact on the living conditions of the population. 

 

« Socialists and Democrats in the European Parliament call for an immediate, genuine and inclusive political process with the participation of all democratic political actors and civil society organisations for a peaceful and lasting transition to democracy in Syria. »

Source: www.socialistsanddemocrats.eu

 

Une nouvelle ère s’ouvre pour l’Union pour la Méditerranée

13 septembre 2011

par Youssef Amrani, Secrétaire général de l’Union pour la Méditerranée

L’Union pour la Méditerranée (UPM), qui rassemble 800 millions d’hommes et de femmes, est à la fois une évidence géographique, une nécessité politique, une opportunité socio-économique et par-dessus tout un besoin stratégique pour les pays de la région.

Avec le « printemps arabe », une nouvelle ère s’est ouverte en Méditerranée. Les partenaires euro-méditerranéens doivent être à la hauteur de ce processus historique de transformation : il faut soutenir la transition démocratique et favoriser le développement économique et social pour construire un espace euro-méditerranéen démocratique, apaisé, stable et prospère.

Les révolutions qui ont eu lieu dans certains pays arabes nous appellent à travailler sur les priorités stratégiques déjà identifiées mais aussi à innover pour sortir des schémas classiques. L’Union pour la Méditerranée, partenariat régional lancé dès 2008 à l’initiative de la France, et en particulier son secrétariat, peuvent accompagner ces transformations, en coordonnant et promouvant des actions concrètes qui auront un impact sur le citoyen.

Bâtie sur l’acquis du processus de Barcelone, lancé en 1995, l’Union pour la Méditerranée apparaît aujourd’hui comme une initiative visionnaire. Elle est fondée sur des principes forts et clairs : égalité, co-appropriation entre les pays du Sud et du Nord, géométrie variable, promotion et assistance au financement de projets et de partenariat régionaux concrets tels que la dépollution de la Méditerranée, le Plan solaire méditerranéen (PSM), etc.

L’UPM est appelée à jouer un rôle clé dans l’accompagnement et la promotion d’actions régionales innovantes répondant aux besoins des populations et des pays méditerranéens, de travailler à la mise en place de grands projets régionaux, en symbiose avec les partenariats et les processus existants qu’elle n’a nullement vocation à remplacer. Il se situe à l’intersection du politique et du technique. Lire la suite…

THE EU MUST BE UNITED IN SUPPORTING THE PALESTINIAN BID FOR RECOGNITION

13 septembre 2011

Joint statement by

Poul Nyrup Rasmussen, President of the Party of European Socialists

Martin Schulz, President of the Group of the Progressive Alliance of Socialists & Democrats in the European Parliament

The upcoming 66th session of the UN General Assembly and the Palestinian initiative that has been announced by President Mahmoud Abbas for a number of months now give a unique opportunity for the EU and its Member States to demonstrate their solidarity with and express their support to the legitimate aspirations of the Palestinian people to have their own state and to obtain the recognition of this state by the international community.

The right of Palestinians to have their own state is unquestionable as it is the right of Israel to exist.

The Group of the Progressive Alliance of Socialists & Democrats in the European Parliament and the Party of European Socialists have repeatedly expressed their support for the two-state solution based on the 1967 borders with the State of Israel and an independent, democratic, contiguous and viable State of Palestine living side by side in peace and security.

The success of the two-year state-building plan of Prime Minister Salam Fayyad, supported and endorsed by the EU and other international actors, has made Palestine ready for sovereign statehood and constitutes a solid basis for the recognition of the State of Palestine by the UN General Assembly.

The EU must say yes to the recognition of the State of Palestine.

This will strengthen our credibility in the world and will give a new momentum to peace efforts.

Peaceful and non-violent means are the only way to achieve a sustainable solution to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.

Therefore, peace talks must resume without delay as only a negotiated agreement between the two sides can bring lasting peace and security to Israelis and Palestinians, which is crucial for a stable and prosperous Middle East.

 In this context, any changes to the pre-1967 borders, including with regard to Jerusalem, other than those agreed by the parties must be rejected.

The EU and its Member States must be united and coherent in supporting Palestinian statehood in this critical period and must play an active role, with a strong mandate to High Representative Catherine Ashton, in the efforts aimed at achieving just and lasting peace between Israelis and Palestinians. 

Poul Nyrup Rasmussen  President of the  Party of European Socialists                 

 Martin Schulz   President of the Group of the Progressive Alliance of Socialists & Democrats in the European Parliament