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The second High-level Economic Dialogue (HLED) between the EU and Turkey was held in Brussels on 8 December 2017. The HLED is intended to support high level meetings that began on 29 November 2015 between the two sides and the political dialogue meetings, as a useful platform also in view of the accession process. The HLED aims to contribute to the further enhancement of economic relations and creates a business platform to bring business circles together.
The EU-Turkey high-level Economic Dialogue is taking place today in Brussels, co-chaired by Commission Vice-President Jyrki Katainen, responsible for Jobs, Growth, Investment and Competitiveness, and Turkey's Deputy Prime Minister Mehmet Şimşek. The purpose of the Dialogue is to contribute to strengthening economic relations between the two partners, and to create a platform to bring business circles together. Commissioner Pierre Moscovici, responsible for Economic and Financial Affairs, Taxation and Customs, and Commissioner Cecilia Malmström, responsible for Trade, will also participate in the High-level Economic Dialogue. The Turkish Deputy Prime Minister will be accompanied by Minister for Economy Nihat Zeybekci, and Minister for Customs and Trade Bülent Tüfenkc. Representatives of EU and Turkey's business associations will also participate in the discussions. Vice-President Katainen and Deputy Prime Minister Mehmet Şimşek will hold a press point at the VIP corner at 13.30 which you can follow on EbS. At the conclusion of the Dialogue, a press release will be available online.
Three new programmes worth €29.6 million have been adopted in the framework of the EU Trust Fund for Africa as part of EU work in addressing migration challenges in the Mediterranean. A set of priorities for 2018 have also been agreed.
These new programmes will step up the EU's ongoing work to strengthening protection of migrants, support sustainable reintegration and provide assisted voluntary returns. The programmes will also contribute to fight criminal networks across the region.
Commissioner for European Neighbourhood Policy and Enlargement Negotiations Johannes Hahn said: "The current challenges in the Mediterranean Sea remain a top priority for the European Union. The EU Trust Fund for Africa continues to take action to tackle the root causes of irregular migration and to defend the rights of people who risk falling into the hands of traffickers and smugglers. With our new programmes, we will help dismantle criminal networks in North of Africa, support migrants who wish to return to their home countries and facilitate access for migrants to legal advice. We will also promote socio-economic integration in Morocco and will foster socio-economic development of the Libyan Municipalities".
"On the occasion of the International Day for the Elimination of Violence against Women, we say once again, violence must stop now.
On 5 and 6 December 2017, a TAIEX-supported high-level conference on combating gender-based violence against women and girls takes place in Ramallah, Palestine. Organised by the Office of the European Union Representative in cooperation with the Ministry of Women Affairs of Palestine, the conference brings together more than 80 experts from EU Member States and Palestine. The two-day event is an important contribution to the United Nations' #OrangeTheWorld-campaign launched on the occasion of the International Day on the Elimination of Violence against Women. Thematically, the conference focuses on the legislative and societal frameworks and challenges in Palestine. Good practice examples will be brought from Hungary, Italy, Lithuania, Portugal and Sweden as well as from the region. Interactive discussions will seek to bolster the cooperation and involvement of key stakeholders to fight gender-based violence. Participants will be invited to draw up recommendations for future actions.
Johannes Hahn, Commissioner for European Neighbourhood Policy and Enlargement Negotiations, is in Sarajevo, Bosnia and Herzegovina today to reiterate the EU's engagement to support the country on its EU path and to discuss the implementation of the necessary reforms and measures.
The 5th Eastern Partnership Summit kicked off this morning in Brussels with leaders focussing on the way in which the initiative - which brings together the EU institutions, the 28 EU Member States, and the six Eastern partner countries, namely Armenia, Azerbaijan, Belarus, Georgia, the Republic of Moldova, and Ukraine – can continue to be a Partnership of added value for citizens across the continent. "I expect that the relationship between our neighbours and the European Union will be consolidated", said the President of the European Commission, Jean-Claude Juncker upon arrival to the Summit. Ahead of the Summit, the Commissioner for European Neighbourhood Policy and Enlargement Negotiations, Johannes Hahn said: " It is in the EU's interest for its neighbours to have peace, stability and prosperity. The way to do this is through strong partnerships, to support our neighbours in their reform efforts, and to focus on bringing real and concrete results that are positively felt by ordinary people. Results so far show that we are doing this, and today will be a time to make sure this trend continues."
The European Commission is in charge of the pre-selection of the Executive Director of the Anna Lindh Foundation for Inter-cultural Dialogue (ALF).
The Anna Lindh Foundation is an inter-governmental institution bringing together civil society and citizens across the Mediterranean to build trust and improve mutual understanding, based in Alexandria (Egypt) and registered with the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Arab Republic of Egypt.
The Foundation was created by the governments of the Euro-Mediterranean Partnership - the far-reaching political agreement established in 1995 between the European Union and its Southern Mediterranean partners with the purpose to bring people together from across the Mediterranean to improve mutual respect between cultures and to support civil society working for a common future for the region.
Since 2005, the Anna Lindh Foundation has launched and supported action across fields impacting on mutual perceptions as well as developing a region-wide Network of over 4000 civil society organisations. Through its action and reflection the ALF aims to contribute to the development of an Intercultural Strategy for the Euro-Mediterranean Region, providing recommendations to decision-makers and institutions and advocating for shared values. The main scope of the ALF is overcoming the misunderstandings and stereotypes which affect relations between and within the societies of the Region, a task which became of utmost importance in the last decade. As a contribution to the creation of a space of prosperity, coexistence and peace, the ALF works to restore trust in dialogue and bridge the gaps in mutual perceptions, as well as promoting diversity and coexistence.
The Foundation is co-funded by the European Commission and the 42 countries of the Union for the Mediterranean and its contracting procedures are in line with the EU procedures stipulated in the Practical Guide to Contract procedures for EU external actions.
The conference was organised by the European Commission in close cooperation with the European External Action Service, and with a support from the Ukrainian Government. It was one of the key preparatory events leading to the Eastern Partnership (EaP) Summit in November 2017.
The youth seminar "Bridging the gap between youth policy, youth participation and parliamentarians in the Western Balkans" takes place on 20-21 November in Brussels. It is organised by the European Commission and the European Parliament and takes place in the framework of the "High Level Round Table on the European Integration Process of the Western Balkans in a Regional Perspective".