Wednesday 24 June 2009

European Commission, Israel sign financing accord for twinning projects

The European Commission and Israel on Monday signed a financing agreement for the development of two twinning projects in the areas of equal employment opportunities and veterinary services aimed at fostering economic integration.

"European experts will be working in Israel for extended periods of time to assist the respective Israeli institutions in conforming to EU standards," Raphael Morav, director of the Foreign Ministry's Europe Department, told The Jerusalem Post.

Foreign Ministry Director-General Yossi Gal and European Commission Ambassador to Israel Ramiro Cibrian-Uzal signed the agreement for implementation of the Annual Action Program for Israel, which is part of the European Neighborhood Policy of the European Union. The program, which was established last year, is for seven years and has a €2 million annual budget.

Last week the EU said any upgrade of its relations with Israel would depend on shared values, common interests and objectives, including "the resolution of the Israel-Palestinian conflict through the implementation of the two-state solution."

"It has to be emphasized that independently of the upgrade considerations, all signed agreements are being continued," Morav said. "The 2008 Annual Action Program for Israel is part of the ongoing cooperation between Israel and the EU, and its objective is to achieve a significant level of economic integration." European experts will be working in Israel to assist in establishing an Equal Employment Opportunity Commission within the Industry, Trade and Labor Ministry.

Last year, two twinning projects were established: to help the Transportation Ministry provide quality public transport in urban areas; and to establish the Israel Law, Information and Technology Authority.

Source: article by Sharon Wrobel in JPost

European Union and Israel sign civil aviation agreement

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