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This week, the EU has completed the biggest photovoltaic solar field in Gaza. It will provide 0.5 Megawatts of electricity per day to fuel the Southern Gaza Desalination Plant. The EU-funded Southern Gaza Desalination Plant currently provides drinking water to 75,000 inhabitants in the Khan Younis and Rafah governorates. With the new energy field and new investments foreseen it will eventually reach 250,000 people in Southern Gaza by 2020.
Johannes Hahn, Commissioner for European Neighbourhood Policy and Enlargement Negotiations, commented: "Limited energy supplies in Gaza are one of the main challenges when improving access to safe and drinkable water to the local population. The photovoltaic solar field is essential to respond to the urgent water needs in Gaza and create dignified living conditions for its people, thus mitigating tensions in a highly conflict sensitive area."
The European Commission has approved a new assistance package worth €400 million, for the education of Syrian refugees in Turkey. This is the first action adopted following the agreement by EU Member States to finance an additional €3 billion for the Facility for Refugees in Turkey.
Johannes Hahn, Commissioner for European Neighbourhood Policy and Enlargement Negotiations will visit Skopje and Tirana tomorrow 17 July. The visit follows the June Council Conclusions setting out the path towards opening of accession negotiations in June 2019 with the former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia and with Albania.
40 young civil society activists from Armenia, Azerbaijan, Belarus, Georgia, the Republic of Moldova and Ukraine, met in Brussels on 2-3 July to exchange experiences , learn about new opportunities of better contributing to reforms in their countries, and raise awareness of local civic activism as a major vehicle of needed changes in the life of their communities. The 40 young activists, who are part of the EU-funded Eastern Partnership Civil Society Fellowship Initiative, also had the opportunity to enter into dialogue with representatives of the European Commission.
As part of its External Investment Plan, the EU gave its green light to a package of financial guarantee programmes worth around €800 million on 10 July. This will help to leverage an estimated €8-9 billion in public and private investment in Africa and the Neighbourhood.
The European Commissioner for European Neighbourhood Policy and Enlargement Negotiations, Johannes Hahn, will lead an unprecedented delegation of eight development financial institutions to Tunisia on 12th July. Together, these partners will reaffirm their support to Tunisia, particularly for the country's socio-economic reform programme aimed at stimulating growth and employment generation.
Today the High Representative of the European Union for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy/Vice-President of the European Commission, Federica Mogherini and the Minister of Foreign Affairs of Azerbaijan, Elmar Mammadyarov, marked the end of negotiations of the EU-Azerbaijan Partnership Priorities in the presence of President of the European Council, Donald Tusk, and the President of Azerbaijan, Ilham Aliyev.
Today we commemorate the 23rd anniversary of the genocide in Srebrenica. As some victims are still being laid to rest, we extend our sympathies to the survivors and to the families and friends of those who have suffered and lost their lives.
This commemoration reminds us of one of the darkest moments of humanity and modern European history, and of our responsibility to prevent such an atrocity from ever happening again.
At the London Summit on the Western Balkans, the EU is continuing to strengthen cooperation with the region, with a clear commitment and concrete measures, focussing on the three key areas of cooperation: economy, security and reconciliation. Heads of Government, Foreign Ministers and Ministers of Interior from the Western Balkans together with their counterparts from several EU Member States and high-level EU representatives are meeting yesterday and today in London to continue strengthening regional cooperation between the six partners of the Western Balkans, as well as between the region and the EU, to further advance the European integration process of the Western Balkans.
The 20th Summit between the European Union and Ukraine is taking place in Brussels today, with President of the European Commission, Jean-Claude Juncker and President of the European Council, Donald Tusk, representing the European Union. President Petro Poroshenko will represent Ukraine. They will be joined by the High Representative/Vice-President Federica Mogherini, Commission Vice-Presidents Maroš Šefčovič and Valdis Dombrovskis, and Commissioner Cecilia Malmström.