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February 2013
EU Med partnership bridging R&I for growth and employment - ETC Final Conference

On 18-19 February 2013 took place in Tunis, Tunisia, the final conference of the EU-Tunisia BILAT project entitled ETC for European-Tunisian Cooperation. The theme chosen for this international final conference was EU Med partnership bridging R&I for growth and employment. The conference was attended by 200 participants and was a major success.

Conference Agenda PDF icon


April 2013
International Conference on Sustainable Water Management -CB-WR-MED Final Conference

The International Conference on Sustainable Water Management took place on 24-27 April 2013 in Tunis. The Conference provided a forum for researchers and practitioners around the Mediterranean to exchange on recent developments in the water management, treatment and reuse/recycling for sustainable water management with a special focus on the contribution of advanced oxidation process (AOP). The conference also hosted the presentation of successful EU projects and was a dynamic forum of knowledge, exchange and networking.

The event consisted of plenary and parallel sessions, an exhibition and technical visits to sites.

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17 September 2013
Future EU-Tunisia Research and Innovation Cooperation- FETRIC Kick off meeting

The Kick off meeting of the new FP7 supported EU-Tunisia BILAT project, FETRIC, was held on 17-18 September 2013 in Tunis. FETRIC aims at a progressive strengthening of bilateral cooperation in research and innovation between the EU and Tunisia, particularly within the new context of Horizon 2020.

Following the path of its predecessor, ETC, FETRIC will support the policy dialogue between the EU and Tunisia and the proper implementation of the EU-Tunisia S&T agreement.

FETRIC will target the EU and Tunisian research and innovation chain by:

  • analysing the whole Tunisian STI system through the setting up of a link among actors belonging to the scientific, technological and the innovation communities;
  • improving the quality and number of partnerships involving both researchers and entrepreneurs;
  • creating a research and innovation network in the North African region;
  • boosting the participation of the Tunisian research centres and enterprises in the forthcoming program Horizon 2020.

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December 2013
International Chemical Engineering Congress

The International Chemical Engineering Congress (ICEC 2013) is to be held in the Island of Djerba, Tunisia, on 16-19 December 2013. The ICEC 2013 is organised by the Tunisian Chemical Engineering Society. This scientific meeting will provide an opportunity for participants to exchange new ideas and information on many important issues in Chemical Engineering.

Conference Announcement PDF icon


Policy Dialogue

General Background

Tunisia is participating into the Barcelona process and was the first Mediterranean country to sign an Association Agreement with the EU on 17 July 1995. The Euro-Med Association Agreement between the European Community and its Member States, on the one part, and the Tunisian Republic, on the other, came into force on March 1, 1998.

Under the term of the Agreement, the EU and Tunisia commit themselves to co-operate in a wide range of areas including: strengthened political dialogue, trade, economic, social and cultural issues. The Agreement foresees also financial co-operation to accompany reform measures in Tunisia.

This bi-regional co-operation was given new impetus at the Paris summit in 2008. The ‘Union for the Mediterranean ­ UfM’ was launched, with the political objective of upgrading relations and focusing on six main axes including Research.

Tunisia is a participant to the European Neighbourhood Policy, which has been reviewed in 2011 to adapt it to the changes in the country. In May 2011, the High Representative of the Union for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy and the European Commission published a joint communication (COM (2011) 303) presenting a new approach to strengthen the partnership between the EU and the neighbourhood countries. In terms of Research and Innovation the focus is on working towards the development of a Common Knowledge and Innovation Space, which would pull together policy dialogue, national and regional capacity-building, cooperation in research and innovation and increased mobility of researchers. An Action Plan, which includes mutually agreed priorities and objectives in the areas of political, economic, commercial, justice, security and cultural cooperation is in force since 4 July 2005. To take the recent changes in the country into account, a new Action Plan is currently being negotiation in the framework of the "nouveau partenariat" ("statut avancé" in the case of other ENP countries).Implementation, notably through the sub-committees established under the Association Agreement, is on-going. Research activities are dealt with in the Research Development and Innovation subcommittee.

The Science and Technology Cooperation Agreement

A Scientific and Technological cooperation agreement between the EU and Tunisia was signed on June 2003 and has entered into force in April 2004.

Since the date of entry into force of the Agreement five Joint Committee Meetings took place, the last one on 13 and 14 December 2011. The operational outcome of the Joint Committee is reflected in a Roadmap which is to be considered as a rolling agenda for the further cooperation between the EU and Tunisia.

The 5th Joint Committee meeting of the EU-Tunisia S&T Cooperation Agreement took place in Tunis on 13 and 14 December. The meeting was carried out jointly with the ENP Sub-Committee Meeting on Research, Innovation and Education. The meeting was co-chaired by Prof. Jelel Ezzine, Director General of International Cooperation at the Tunisian Ministry of Higher Education and Scientific Research and Laurent Bochereau, Head of Unit International Cooperation Policy at the European Commission's DG Research and Innovation. Representatives from EEAS and the EU Delegation in Tunis attended on the EU side as well. The Committee reviewed advances in S&T cooperation, now under conditions of the 'Arab Spring', which brought new perspectives and aspirations to Tunisian research.

Meeting report  PDF icon



FP7 EU-Tunisia S&T BILAT project European-Tunisian Cooperation ETC

The overall objective of the ETC project is to foster and boost the involvement of the Tunisian research centres into the European Research Area by building a network, consisting of Tunisian research centres, Universities and SMEs.

Hence ETC project's consortium will create a community of Tunisian actors, in charge of spreading information on European research opportunities and programmes, by means of:

  1. Providing a wider access to information on scientific and technological programmes, funded European Community projects building and management.
  2. Identifying the main priorities in the scientific and technology field and demonstrating the mutual benefit arising from the S&T cooperation between the European Community and Tunisia.
  3. Improving knowledge and skills transfer on scientific and technological matters, spreading and sharing best practices in order to present the state of the art and the prospects for cooperation in defined fields in the project areas.

The above mentioned aims will be reached by developing and setting up information facilities, such as information services, a web platform and events. The platform will be a tool helping to create a virtual shared space, in order to strengthen the interactions of the target audience of the project. All these activities will improve the information exchanges, the scientific and technological network and a common policy on scientific and technological matters between Tunisia and the European community.

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FP7 CAPACITIES: ERA- WIDE (Integrating Europe's neighbours in the ERA) project: CB-WR-MED (Capacity Building for Direct Water Reuse in the Mediterranean Area)

In the Mediterranean region the pressure on water resources is high, so there is no water to waste. Water is becoming a limiting factor for agricultural, and even for industrial development. Treated wastewater is part of the community's water resources and one component of sustainable water management approach. The direct reuse, instead of waste water discharge in the network, reduces costs of treatment and throwing of biological recalcitrant compounds into a water stream. To reach this purpose, water treatment should target (i) pollutants degradation, (ii) multi-purpose water use and (iii) sustainability of the technologies. Reinforcement of cooperation between EU and ENP countries is necessary to implement sustainable water management. The project proposes to use the frame of the FP7 programme (ERA-WIDE) for the reinforcement of cooperation capacities of the Tunisian research centre CERTE (Centre of Water Researches and Technologies) in specific items which CERTE has already an expertise to build on competency and capacity. The topic Waste water treatment for elimination of recalcitrant compounds allowing multiuse of the water and direct recycling and avoiding pollution of water system is considered the leitmotiv for this proposal. The objective of this project is to reinforce the R&D capacities of CERTE and its regional and international impact with the ultimate goal that R&D activities lead to a fruitful cooperation with the EU for sustainable water management in accordance with the national and European strategies. There is much effort needed to build cooperation to develop appropriate sustainable water management. Still, high attention is given to capacity building on EC cooperation and scientific research through workshops, trainings, technical visits and pilot plants upgrading. Networking and dissemination to bring the results of these efforts to effective cooperation include construction of a web platform, network and international conference.

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FP7 COOPERATION: ARIMNET (Coordination of Agricultural Research in the Mediterranean)

Agricultural research in the Mediterranean is characterised by three main features: it is scattered within the EU members and in Mediterranean Partner Countries as well as most of the problems and challenges that the Mediterranean agriculture is facing are shared by all the countries in the area and even further, its objectives are largely the same in the whole area, even if priorities can vary from one country to another; the conditions resulting from climate change as well as the objective of sustainable development and production need to rethink agricultural research in all the countries and to begin its alignment in the whole area to increase its impact. This situation allows and requires a coordination action at the level of the Mediterranean (among EU members and between them and the other Mediterranean countries) to fight again fragmentation in fostering the convergence of national programmes and in founding a new critical mass to address the key issues (such as the growing demand for safer, healthier and higher quality food; the sustainable production and use of renewable bio-resources). More info


FP7: COOPERATION ICT – JOIN-MED (Establishing the EU-Mediterranean ICT research network)

The first objective of Join-MED is to create a sustainable network of ICT research organisations in the Mediterranean Partner Countries (MPC) and Europe, reinforcing the Research Cooperation between these two regions on a wider scale. To achieve this, Join-MED will organise a series of networking events in the MPC that will bring researchers from different MPC and EU together. Furthermore, it will support the creation of institutionalised networks on a cross-regional basis, suggesting appropriate methodologies for accomplishing this.

To support all networking activities Join-MED will develop an interactive web-based directory of research organisations from both regions, the MPC and EU.

To help unfold the potential of the research capacity across the MPC, where is still driven by national initiatives with very little cross-regional co-operation, Join-MED will promote closer research co-operation across the region. This will achieved by moving from country-focused networking events to cross-regional ones.

The second objective of Join-MED is to support the Information Society policy dialogue and the co-ordination of national policies on international co-operation in the MPC. This will be achieved by for-mulating a harmonised MPC ICT policy and through an open dialogue, among the MPC as well as with Europe.

Join-MED will establish close links with existing and emerging co-operation projects addressing the MPC, in particular the NCP Network, to exploit synergies with the different objectives they pursue, maximise impact and contribute to the definition of co-operation strategies.

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Framework documents

Background documents


European Commission
DG Research and Innovation
Dr. Fadila Boughanemi
Senior Policy Officer
Unit RTD C.3 European Neighbourhood, Africa and the Gulf
Telephone: (+32) 229 92638

Fadila Boughanemi