Regional cooperation through the eyes of journalists in the South


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Regional cooperation through the eyes of journalists in the South

  1. 1. Projects in Action SOUTHERN NEIGHBOURS Regional cooperation through the eyes of journalists People Environment Energy Transport
  2. 2. FOREWORDA flavour ofNeighbourhoodcooperation “What exactly are you achieving with all this money?” This is a key question we are asked on a daily basis when we talk about cooperation with our Neighbours in public. Explaining projects in their specific context is difficult enough. But what is even more difficult is to show the concrete added value of our Regional cooperation. Our best link to the public in the Neighbourhood countries is the media that can capture, analyse, and finally, tell a story. I’m therefore proud to present this first story magazine, written through the ENPI Info Centre under the Regional Information and Communication Programme. The Partnership through “the eyes of the journalists” is meant to give readers a flavour of our cooperation in the 16 countries benefiting from the European Neighbourhood Partnership Instrument. And, hopefully, it will help to give an answer to the recurrent question on what exactly we achieve. Marcus Cornaro Director Europe, Southern Mediterranean, Middle-East and Neighbourhood Policy EuropeAid Development and Co-operation Directorate-General
  3. 3. IndexA flavour of Neighbourhood cooperation 3Regional cooperation through the eyes of journalists 6Our network of journalists 8 People Education as a tool to curb Jordan’s deadly domestic accidents by Mohammad Ben Hussein – Jordan 11 A bridge of knowledge across the Mediterranean by Maurice Aaek – Syria 14 Breaking the wall of silence by Elias Zananiri – Occupied Palestinian Territory 17 Sharing experiences to bring equal opportunities by Yair Quedar – Israel 20 Familiarising civil servants in Partner Countries with EU Affairs Interview with Stéphanie Horel 23 Combating discrimination and violence against women by ENPI Info Centre/ANSA – Lebanon, Israel, Occupied Palestinian Territory 24 A pioneering scheme that transformed the Medina by Lotfi Touati – Tunisia 27 Putting the hammam back at the heart of the community Interview with Andreas Oberenzer 30 A research and education network to tackle the oldest affliction by Lofti Touati – Tunisia 31 Local authorities – a bridge across the neighbourhood Interview with Frank Samol 34 EU-funded Samir Kassir Award for Press Freedom improves journalists’ lives by ENPI Info Centre/ANSA 35
  4. 4. Environment Guardians of Water: EuroMed Heritage project in Morocco and Tunisia by ENPI Info Centre – Morocco and Tunisia 39 Battling to beat pollution in the Mediterranean Sea Interview with Michael Scoullos 42 Water, a link to the Mediterranean identity by ENPI Info Centre – Algeria 43 Working across borders to bring people together Interview with Bodil Person 46 Energy Tracking the sun by Dalia Chams – Egypt 49 Sharing a good energy by ENPI Info Centre 52 An energetic collaboration across the Mediterranean Interview with Alessandro Ortis 55 Building for the future by Maurice Aaek – Syria 56TransportRoads of hopeby Hicham Houdaïfa – Morocco 61Blending loans and grants to finance investmentsfor the Neighbourhood Interview with Richard Weber 64A new vision for cargo freightby Yair Qedar – Israel 66Maritime security: reducing imbalances around a shared seaInterview with Albert Bergonzo 69Building the Motorways of the Seaby ENPI Info Centre – Morocco and Tunisia 70Euromed Common Aviation Area: An economy boosterInterview with Olivier Turcas 73EGNOS airport security system shown in Moroccoby ANSA/ENPI Info Centre – Morocco 74EuroMed Transport programme: Making an Impacton People’s Lives Interview with Dalila Achour Limam 77Find out more 78
  5. 5. Regional cooperationthrough the eyesof journalists Cooperation between the European Union and the countries participating in the European Neighbourhood Policy (ENP) and benefiting from the Euro- pean Neighbourhood Partnership Instrument (ENPI) exists on two levels. The first is the political. The meetings where leaders get together to decide the policy areas on which emphasis should be given. The second deals with turning these decisions into actions on the ground, through the funding of projects, of- fering the Partners practical support in their efforts to bring about change and modernization. This support is given to Partners mainly on a bilateral level. However, there is a regional dimension, whereby funds are allocated to projects involving more than one Neighbourhood country. This regional cooperation programme is managed by EuropeAid. It brings partner countries around the table to discuss and act upon issues of common interest, be they economic, political or cultural. It supports over 80 programmes and projects in both the Eastern European Neighbour countries and in the Southern Neighbours. These programmes have a direct or indirect impact on the lives of ordinary citizens. Through the projects funded, new poli- cies and actions are promoted within the countries themselves, an on-going dialogue is maintained and relationships and networks are built. Regional cooperation is truly a “Channel of Change” in 16 countries, namely: Algeria, Armenia, Azerbaijan, Belarus, Egypt, Georgia, Israel, Jordan, Lebanon, Moldova, Morocco, Occupied Palestinian Territory, Russia, Syria, Tunisia, Ukraine. 6 Projects in Action — Southern Neighbours
  6. 6. Telling the storyThe ENPI Info Centre, in cooperation with journalists and photogra-phers in the partner countries, has tracked down, written about and All the stories are available on the “Featurephotographed some of the projects funded. The journalists researched Section” of the ENPI Info Centre’s websiteprojects’ activities and spoke to the people who have benefited from in English, French, Russianthem about their experiences, what they have gained, their consider- and Arabic, depending on the country.ations and thoughts about the future. On their part, the photographers Detailed information on and news from thecaptured the story with their lens. Regional projects funded is also available on the ENPI Info Centre Website.This magazine includes stories covered in 2010, and gives a flavour ofNeighbourhood Cooperation on the ground. The reportages are divid-ed into four main categories: people, energy, environment, transport.They tell the story of a Partnership. Projects in Action — Southern Neighbours 7
  7. 7. Our networkof journalists Tarik HAFID – AlgeriaJournalists collaborating with the ENPI Info Centre. Winner of the Euromed HeritagePartner news agency: ANSA/ANSAMED. Journalist Award 2007 with his article «Si la Grande Poste nous était contée», Mr. Hafid has been writing in one of the main French-speaking newspapers in Algeria “Le Soir d’Algerie” since 2002. He contributed to the previous EU-funded project Euromed Info Centre with features and articles. Hicham HOUDAIFA - Morocco Freelance journalist in Casablanca, he worked at the « Hebdomadaire » Lotfi TOUATI – Tunisia newspaper where he wrote features After having worked as a journalist and reports on human rights and and reporter for Tunisian French- society related stories. Between 1999 speaking newspapers “L’Action” and and 2003, Mr. Houdaifa was the New “Le Renouveau”, Mr. Touati is now York correspondent of the French Editor in chief of “Le Quotidien”. He has, international magazine “Jeune Afrique”. throughout his career, participated in He currently collaborates with a several workshops on EU affairs and is number of magazines, websites and currently lecturing at the Arab Science TV channels as well as communication University in Tunis. EU-funded projects. 8 Projects in Action — Southern Neighbours
  8. 8. Dalia CHAMS – EgyptHaving started as a TV reporter and presenter, Mrs. Maurice AAEK – SyriaChams has been working at the art, profiles and Mr. Aaek has a wide-ranging journalisticculture pages of the French-speaking “Al-Ahram experience having worked at severalHebdo” for many years. She media outlets including newsalso works at the social features agencies, websites and magazines. Hesection at the Arabic-speaking currently writes reports andAl-Chourouq daily newspaper. features at a youth magazineShe won the Euromed Heritage based in Damascus. He hasJournalist Award in 2005. participated to many national and international workshops on media, journalism and communication. Yair QEDAR - Israel As a freelance writer and filmmaker, Mr. Qedar currently writes for various Israeli Mohammad BEN HUSSEIN – Jordan newspapers including Ha’aretz, Yediot Mr. Ben Hussein is the correspondent Aharonot, and produces documentary of the Italian news agency ANSA and films. He wrote scripts and edited ANSAmed in Jordan, where he also several audiovisual productions and works as a TV producer for Thomson was awarded a special Reuters. He also writes in the “Jordan notice of the jury for Times” and produces the Euromed Heritage political analysis articles Journalist Award 2005. for the “Lang Institute”. Mr. Ben Hussein won the 2007 Natalie Lorenzo award on the Arab world, Elias ZANANIRI– Israel and Iran. Occupied Palestinian Territory Mr. Zananiri has 31 years of media experience as a reporter, journalist, editor, Antoine B. AJOURY - Lebanon teacher/ trainer, radio/TV programme Journalist in the Lebanese French- producer, and public relations consultant speaking newspaper “L’Orient Le throughout the Middle East. He is currently Jour” since 2003 and Head of its the CEO of MAHARAT PR and Media Talents International News section since 2008, Empowerment, a public relations consulting Mr. Ajoury has contributed to the and media training company he established EU-funded project Eurojar with several in the Palestinian Territories articles on cooperation between the in 2005. European Union and its partner countries in the South of the Mediterranean. Projects in Action — Southern Neighbours 9
  9. 9. PeopleEnergyEnvironmentTransport 10 Projects in Action — Southern Neighbours
  10. 10. JORDANEducation as a toolto curb Jordan’s deadlydomestic accidents Domestic accidents are claiming the lives of more and more children in Jordan’s poor and overcrowded neighbourhoods. For the Kingdom’s Civil Defence Department, providing children with a safe environment is a top priority, and education is the key, under a project financed by an EU programme on Prevention, Preparedness and Response to Natural and Man-made Disasters (PPRD South). Text and photos by Mohammad Ben Hussein AMMAN – Situated in a politically unstable region, battling water scarcity and an unsure peace process to the west, officials say that Jordan is facing another much more dangerous everyday threat: deadly domestic accidents. Sameera, who lives in the Sweileh neighbourhood in northwest Amman, lost her seven-year-old son af- ter leaving him unsupervised near the stove. “I put the food on the stove and went to hang wet clothes and left my son to watch the food to make sure it didn’t burn. “Children like The next thing I heard was my son’s screams, with fire all over his body,” said the to play, so 23-year-old mother. “I should not have left him alone,” she admitted. Leaving chil- we will give dren on their own is a common practice in Sameera’s neighbourhood, and many awards other areas in Jordan where high birth rates and crowded conditions can be a to those who deadly mix. In the Baqaa refugee camp, children play near makeshift fires they ar- give the best range to cook tea. Twelve-yearold Ahmed says his parents never tell him what he answers to should avoid while playing. “I spend most of my day playing with friends. I have six encourage brothers and my mother is often busy with the house and my younger brothers,” the learning he said. process” Education is key According to the Jordanian Civil Defence Department, education is key to halt- ing the rising number of child victims of such accidents. Waleed Al-Soub, Director General of the Civil Defence Department, said the major issue was lack of aware- ness of household risks, particularly in areas of poverty and high unemployment. Soub said a €5 million EU-funded programme on Prevention, Preparedness and Response to Natural and Man-made Disasters (PPRD South) was key to raising Projects in Action — Southern Neighbours 11
  11. 11. awareness on the hazards women face in the home and how to prevent acci- dents. The programme, which aims to improve the civil protection capaci- ties of Mediterranean partner coun- tries, contributes to the development of a civil protection culture based on risk mitigation and prevention, rather than purely response. The three-year project works with national civil pro- tection authorities and is managed by a consortium of the Civil Protection Authorities of Italy, France, Egypt and Algeria as well as the UN International Strategy for Disaster Reduction. Un-N Children in the Baqaa der the initiative, each partner country identifies its priorities. For Jordan, provid-refugee camp. ing children with a safe environment was the top concern, according to Soub. “The civil defence department will soon start distributing booklets across the Kingdom to alert housewives to fundamental principles that can help protect their children and to prevent hazards in the daily environment including electricity, gas leaks and fires,” he said. The project, which is financed within the PPRD South with a budget of €40,000, is one of five regional initiatives carried out in Jordan, Lebanon, Egypt, the Occupied Palestinian Territory as well as Montenegro. “Jordan’s population has increased sharply and the programmes we have are for households. We want to tackle bad practices, such as housewives and caretakers unable to deal with gas cylinders or electronic appliances,” said Soub. The civil defence department is also trying to reach mothers directly, Soub said, adding that in August, they would or-“In order for ganise seminars across the country for hundreds of women of all backgrounds.people to be “Experts will explain to women how to do safe housekeeping and what the bestinformed, practices are.” Meanwhile, nearly 1,000 children will be targeted through bookletsyou need an explaining everyday risks, and experts will hold child safety-themed competitions.awareness “Children like to play, so we will give awards to those who give the best answers tocampaign, and encourage the learning process,” Soub said.this is what thePPRD South istrying to do” N Ali, a 10-year-old boy who lost four of his fingers while playing with sharp objects. 12 Projects in Action — Southern Neighbours
  12. 12. Focus on prevention PRRD South officials highlighted the importance of such programmes to help partner countries mitigate risks by building the capacities of civil defence staff to provide better services for com- munities. Milojka Saule, Euromed PPRD“I still have my South communications expert, notedfour sons as well that Jordan is implementing for the firstas nephews and time a project that focuses not only onniece who remain response, but on prevention and pre-vulnerable. paredness, which means educatingWe need to people on the risks they encounter inprotect them their daily lives, and how to act when afrom themselves natural disaster such as a flood or earthquake happens. “In order for people to be N Mariam, a 56-year-oldand the world” informed, you need an awareness campaign, and this is what the PPRD South is mother of ten children. trying to do,” she said. A similar project is taking place in Lebanon, where a local company will be distributing 125,000 CD-ROMs with computer games teaching children how to avoid accidents, at home, on the street or outdoors. The launch of the game will be accompanied by a media campaign to increase awareness. Meanwhile, an ambitious project funded by the EU is under way in the West Bank, where young residents are encouraged to join volunteer work, as civil defence cadres are scarce in the occupied territory. Egypt, the most populous country in the Middle East, has identified children and households as its priority target area to prevent domestic accidents, Saule said. For Sameera, although her own son is gone, it is not too late to save the lives of thousands of other children through such badly-needed awareness programmes. “I still have my four sons as well as nephews and niece who remain vulnerable. We need to protect them from themselves and the world,” she said. Civil Protection (PPRD South) Programme for Prevention, Preparedness and Response to Natural and Man-made Disasters (PPRD South) Participating countries Objective Algeria, Egypt, Israel, Jordan, The “Programme for Prevention, Preparedness and Response to Natural and Man- Lebanon, Morocco, Occupied made Disasters” (PPRD South) contributes to the improvement of the civil protection Palestinian Territory, Syria, capacities of Mediterranean partner countries at international, national and local Tunisia, Albania, Bosnia- levels. Building on the achievements of two previous programmes it contributes Herzegovina, Croatia, to the development of a civil protection culture based on prevention rather than Montenegro and Turkey. response. It works with the Civil Protection Authorities of the participating countries Libya and Mauritania are and is managed by a consortium consisting of the Civil Protection Authorities of observer countries Italy, France, Egypt and Algeria as well as the UN International Strategy for Disaster Reduction (UN/ISDR). Timeframe 2009-2011 Find out more PPRD South fiche > Budget ENPI Info Centre Civil society and local authorities Thematic Portal > € 5 million (ENPI/IPA) Projects in Action — Southern Neighbours 13
  13. 13. SyRiA A bridge of knowledge across the Mediterranean In Syria the Tempus program has financed 35 projects allowing the mobility of 300 Syrian Academics to European Universities. Tempus or (Trans-European Mobility Program for the University Studies) is based on transfer the experiences from European educational institutions to their counterparts in neighbouring countries. Erasmus Mundus was inspired by the highly successful Erasmus programme, an internal EU programme supporting co- operation and mobility between European higher education institutions. It offers a valuable framework for exchange and dialogue between cultures and gives many Syrian students the opportunity to complete their education in European universities. Text and photos by Maurice Aaek DAMASCUS – It’s a dream for many Syrian students, the dream of studying in Eu- rope. On the other shore of the Mediterranean, there is another dream, that of sharing Europe’s higher education with its neighbours – a dream of intercultural “Travelling to dialogue among students, ultimately leading to a better world. On Study in Europe Europe has Day, organised recently by the EU Delegation in Syria, students brought with them enhanced my their dreams, but also their concerns and fears – financial, linguistic and cultural. experience in As EU-funded student exchange programmes seek to address the financial difficul- dealing with ties, additional efforts are being made to address the fears of adapting abroad. other cultures, From this perspective, growing student mobility between countries is of particular it showed meN According to official importance, as Pascal Restel, administrator of the cultural section of the Swedishstatistics, 62% of all Syrian a differentstudents abroad are studying Embassy in Damascus, expained: “The Syrian who has never been to Sweden will lifestyle andat European universities, and build a picture that is not based on personal experience, so it will be unreal, justmore than 75% of academics differentwere educated in the EU. like the Swedish student who has never been to Syria.” Restel said the experience of research one or two students would make little difference, but the mobility of methods” thousands would lead to a better understanding, a better integration across cultures. Such personal experience is exactly what Ziad Naser has gained. Ziad, an IT student, spent nine months at the University of Brighton in the United Kingdom, as part of the Erasmus Mundus exchange programme. 14 Projects in Action — Southern Neighbours
  14. 14. N The “Study in Europe Day” was organised by the EU Delegation in Syria.The Dream of Studying in Europe “On the basis ofZiad had never thought of going to Britain, especially given the international po- the positive resultslitical climate – “How could Arabs be accepted in Europe?” he wondered. But his achieved, weexperience was an eye-opener: “Travelling to Europe has enhanced my experience reached manyin dealing with other cultures, it showed me a different lifestyle and different re- agreementssearch methods… It’s an unforgettable experience.” Tempus and Erasmus Mundus between Syrianare EU-funded programmes for the exchange of students and academic expertise and Europeanbetween Europe and its Neighbourhood, including Syria. Tempus is specialised in universities”promoting higher education in participating countries, while Erasmus Mundusis based on financing scholarships to exchange students between participatinguniversities in Europe and its neighbours. Tempus is based on transferring exper-tise between European educational institutions and their counterparts in partnercountries. In Syria, Tempus has financed about 35 projects over eight years, mostof them at Damascus and Aleppo Universities, allowing Syrian academics valu-able exchanges with European universities. The programme, says its coordinatorin Syria, Rami Ayoubi, is an important opportunity for dialogue and to stimulateacademic networking. “If we want to talk about a programme that transfers knowl-edge from more advanced countries into Syria, we won’t be able to measure itquickly, it is an accumulated process and it takes time… Tempus works to financethat process.” The programme, which allocated about €10 million to Syria from2002-2006, has been extended to 2013. The new orientation of Tempus in Syria,Ayoubi explains, is moving from developing curricula, to giving greater support tocomprehensive sectoral and structural evolution projects, benefiting Higher Edu-cation in general.Stimulating the academic dialogueErasmus for its part gives students the opportunity to spend time at European N Rami Ayoubiuniversities, offering scholarships for both undergraduates and postgraduates. Tempus programme coordinator in Syria.According to Ayman Hemada, the project coordinator at Aleppo University, Eras-mus aims to bridge the cultural, linguistic, and social divide, while also supportingconvergence between Middle Eastern and European students through a mobilityscheme between eleven EU universities and nine in Jordan, Syria, and Lebanon.Hemada says the scholarships cover all expenses, from tickets to tuition fees andhealth insurance, as well as a monthly stipend ranging from €1,000 for undergrad-uates, up to €2,500 for members of the faculty. During the last three years, theproject provided 35 scholarships a year, 20 for Syrian students to study in Europe,and 15 for European students coming to Syria. Rand Quwatli, Erasmus Munduscoordinator at Damascus University, is enthusiastic: “We were able to send Syrianstudents of all disciplines to European universities, where they showed very highstandards. At the same time, we received students from EU universities. Projects in Action — Southern Neighbours 15
  15. 15. On the basis of the positive results achieved, we reached many agreements be- tween Syrian and European universities.” Speaking at Study in Europe Day, Maher“Most students Kabakibi, Syria’s Deputy Higher Education Minister, underlined the importance ofattending cooperation with Europe, revealing it was the government’s goal to see formalSyrian collaboration with foreign research institutions before the end of 2010. A new lawuniversities had been passed, he said, allowing the creation of joint programmes with Euro-dream of pean universities that would allow students to get degrees from both universi-studying in ties. According to official statistics, 62% of all Syrian students abroad are studyingEurope” at European universities, and more than 75% of academics were educated in the EU. Most students attending Syrian universities dream of studying in Europe. With Tempus and Erasmus, that dream is one step closer. N In Syria, Tempus has financed about 35 projects over eight years, allowing Syrian academics valuable exchanges with European universities.Erasmus Mundus II – Action 2 PartnershipsPromotes cooperation between higher education institutions through encouragingpartnerships, mobility and exchanges of students, researchers and academic staff countries ObjectiveArmenia, Azerbaijan, Belarus, Georgia, The Erasmus Mundus II - Action 2 Partnerships seeks to promote betterMoldova, Russia, Ukraine (East) Algeria, Egypt, understanding and mutual enrichment between the EU and third countries and inIsrael, Jordan, Lebanon, Morocco, Occupied the medium term strengthens political, cultural, educational and economic links.Palestinian Territory, Syria, Tunisia (South) Find out moreTimeframe Budget Erasmus Mundus fiche > €29 millionErasmus Mundus II – Action 2 PartnershipsSupports the modernisation of higher education, creates opportunities for cooperationamong actors in the field and enhances understanding countries ObjectiveArmenia, Azerbaijan, Belarus, Georgia, The Trans-European Mobility Scheme for University Studies (Tempus) supports theMoldova, Russia, Ukraine (East) Algeria, effort of the Partner Countries to modernize their higher education systems and createsEgypt, Israel, Jordan, Lebanon, Morocco, opportunities for cooperation among higher education actors of the EU and theoccupied Palestinian participating countries through joint projects. It also enhances understanding betweenterritory, Syria, Tunisia (South) cultures as it promotes a people-to-people approach and promotes convergence with EU developments in higher education leading to more jobs and growth.Timeframe Budget2008-2013 aprox €35-39 million Find out more per year (ENPI) Tempus fiche > ENPI Info Centre – Education and Training thematic portal > 16 Projects in Action — Southern Neighbours
  16. 16. OccupiED pAlEStiNiAN tERRitORyBreakingthe wall of silenceWomen in the Occupied Palestinian Territory have long lived inthe shadow of their male relatives, often suffering untold abuse.Now, an EU-funded film project, ‘Masarat’, has given them a voice,shattering taboos in the most dramatic way.Text by Elias ZananiriPhotos by Elias Zananiri “People were encouraged and many demanded that similar films be made in the future. I think we broke the wall of silence”EAST JERUSALEM – When local TulkaremTV station Al Fajr Al Jadid showed GoldenPomegranate Seeds, a short film made byGhada Terawi under an EU-funded project topromote Palestinian women film directors,the impact was immediate. Just minutes intothe film, furious viewers began to call in pro-testing that “the film had crossed red lines”says the channel’s Raja Nafee. “I told my staffnot to respond but simply to ask the viewersto wait until the end and then talk.” By thetime the film was over, 15 minutes later, themood had changed. “People were encour-aged and many demanded that similar filmsbe made in the future.” “I think we broke thewall of silence.” Golden Pomegranate Seeds juxtaposes the folk-tale of a girl whose N Ghada Terawi on the set of Golden Pomegranate Seeds.silence in the face of what she saw would always haunt her, with real stories of realwomen, who dare to speak out about the sexual abuse they have suffered in thefamily. The message from the women is stark: “If you’re silent once, you’ll stay silentforever.” A taboo had been shattered, said Nafee: a few days later, a police officercalled to tell her that in less than 24 hours, 14 cases of sexual abuse by relativeshad been reported by girls to the local police station. Projects in Action — Southern Neighbours 17
  17. 17. N The Masarat project included not only the production of four films but also 58 screenings, like this one in Beit Fajjar village. Snowball effect What happened in Tulkarem was repeated all over the occupied Palestinian territo- ries, where the film was shown at community centres and on local channels. Farha Abu Alheija of Farah TV in Jenin said people called her afterwards asking that such cases be addressed more in the future. And secondary schools have taken up the challenge, asking to show the film to their students, while the United Nations Relief and Work Agency (UNRWA) and the Palestinian Ministry of Health have asked to “From the use it in their gender outreach and counselling programmes. Golden Pomegran- outset, ate Seeds was one of four films made by Palestinian women under the ‘Masarat’ I thought the project, fully funded under the EU’s Regional Information and Communications festival should programme with €120,000. The project has been a spectacular success for Shashat, not be directed a Palestinian cinema NGO with emphasis on capacity building for Palestinian film- exclusively makers, mostly women. Not all films touch such a raw nerve, but they do thrust to the elite women to the fore, in a deeply conservative, patriarchal society. In Far from Loneli- intelligentsia… ness, Sawsan Qaoud draws on the inspiration of an accidental meeting to follow but reachN The poster of theMasarat film project. three old farming women on the tough pre-dawn journey from their fields to the the largest market. Mahasen Nasser-Eldin tells the story of Samia, a feisty, audience active and committed 71-year-old woman, whose struggle to possible” remain in Jerusalem and to promote girl’s education marks her personal and professional life. The fourth film, Dima Abu Ghoush’s First Love, tells the story of tender love blooming in the lives of young girls, who speak of the importance of their parents’ role in dealing with their emotions and dilemmas. Alia Arasoughly, the director general of Shashat and Masarat proj- ect director, says women should be given the chance not only to consume, but also to create culture. Culture, she explains, goes far beyond knowledge, entering deep into emotions and feelings. Women, therefore, can and must play a major role in cultural outreach. The EU funding for Masarat included not only the production of four films but also 58 screenings, 25 showings in community and cultural centres in the West Bank and Gaza Strip, and some 168 local community TV broadcasts, followed by live talk shows. Following every showing, feedback forms were distributed to the audience. Out of 7,790 respons- es, 7,285 were positive (2,139 said the showings were excel- 18 Projects in Action — Southern Neighbours
  18. 18. lent, 2,934 very good and 2,212 good). With such a result, Shashat feels Masarat is “The films have important enough to produce every year. helped to open up a debate Reaching out to a wide audience on the role of “From the outset,” said Arasoughly, “I thought the festival should not be directed women – and we exclusively to the elite intelligentsia of society nor concentrate its activities in the have much to centre of the West Bank, but reach the largest audience possible.” She wanted a learn from how wide platform, through screenings in multiple and socially diverse locations, ac- they managedN Alia Arasoughly companied by discussions. For the EU, the project has “exceeded all expectations to raise suchthe director general of Shashat in touching people’s hearts and prompting debates on difficult, even taboo sub-and Masarat project director difficult issues jects,” says Alix de Mauny, who as Press and Information Manager at the Europe- so positively and an Commission Technical Assistance Office for the West Bank and Gaza Strip was constructively” closely involved with Masarat. “Because the local women film directors themselves came up with the subjects and decided how to approach them, they were able to tap into the real issues facing Palestinian women, and found a way to ask search- ing questions without ever preaching to their audience.” Masarat has given women a voice: “It exploded in us what we do not say, and gave us the confidence to think that there are options!” one Bethlehem woman said after a screening of Golden Pomegranate Seeds. “These things should be talk- ed about.” Indeed, De Mauny is struck how many of the issues raised find echoes in other parts of the world, including Europe. “The films have helped to open up a debate on the role of women – and we have much to learn from how they managed to raise such difficult issues so positively and con- structively.” N A scene from Golden Pomegranate Seeds. Regional Information & Communication Programme Aims at boosting public awareness and understanding of the EU and its relations in the ENPI area, through support to journalists and media outlets for material production, as well as training Participating countries Objective Armenia, Azerbaijan, The Programme seeks to increase public knowledge and awareness of the EU and its Belarus, Georgia, Moldova, relationship with the Neighbourhood countries and create a local sense of involvement Russia, Ukraine (East) and shared ownership. It clarifies policies but also highlights the development aid Algeria, Egypt, Israel, implemented by the EU in the region It facilitates cooperation between journalists and Jordan, Lebanon, Morocco, media organizations, helps build sustainable communication networks and assists the Occupied Palestinian continued development of free opinion and freedom of expression in a bid to contribute to Territory, Syria, Tunisia the creation of an environment conducive to dialogue and mutual understanding. (South) Find out more Timeframe Shashat website - 2008-2011 Regional Information & Communication Programme fiche - Budget €19 million European Commission Technical Assistance Office for the West Bank and Gaza Strip - (€12 million ENPI South, €7 million ENPI East) Projects in Action — Southern Neighbours 19
  19. 19. iSRAEl Sharing experience to bring equal opportunities In the two years since it was founded, Israel’s Equal Employment Opportunities Commission has begun to make a real difference in the fight against discrimination at work. Now, the Commission is gaining valuable experience through its partnership with a UK expert, sent to Israel under an EU-funded Twinning initiative. Text and photos by Yair Qedar Tel Aviv –You could have cut the air with a knife in the Tel Aviv Labour Court in September 2009. Abdelkarim Kadi stood nervously before the judge, who slowly began to read the verdict. In the lawsuit of Kadi against Israel Railways on the basis of discrimination… the state finds the Railways at fault. This moment was the end of a long process, which began in tragic circumstances. A train had caused the deaths of five people at a level crossing. As a result, the Railways decided to change the way they hired the watchmen who serve as lookouts at level crossings, excluding all those who had not served in the army. Kadi is an Israeli Arab. He did not serve in the army and therefore could not be a watchman. But he did not giveN Bob Niven up. With the help of the Equal Employment Opportunities Commission in IsraelResident Adviser at the Equal (EEOC), he sued Israel Railways for discrimination. “This is a very interesting case –Employment OpportunitiesCommission, Jerusalem, Israel. and a successful one from our point of view,” says Tziona Koenig Yair, the National Commissioner of the EEOC. “We won eventually. The court decided that the criteria of army service was not relevant to this position and therefore discriminatory, and now the way is open to Kadi to get his job.” Discrimination in employment Koenig Yair is the founder of the Commission – which is only two years old and is focused on tackling discrimination in employment in respect of gender, pregnancy, age, religion, ethnic origin, nationality, sexual orientation, personal status, opinion, party affiliation and reserve duty in the armed forces. “The EEOC’s current priorities 20 Projects in Action — Southern Neighbours
  20. 20. centre on women, the Arab Communities, Orthodox Jews and age,” says Koenig- Yair, noting that Israel has “wide-ranging progressive legislation on discrimination and equality, particularly in employment, but enforcement remains inadequate.” “In the attempt to improve our work, we applied for the Twinning project – and we won.” Twinning is an EU-funded initiative to twin a neighbouring country with“Israel has an EU member – where the experience and knowledge of the EU country can bewide-ranging put into practice through a mentor seconded to the partner country. In July 2009,progressive the European Commission in conjunction with the EEOC accepted a bid from the N Tziona Koenig-Yairlegislation on the National Commissioner Northern Ireland Equality Commission (NIEC) in conjunction with Northern Irelanddiscrimination of the Equal Employment Public Sector Enterprises (NICO), a body with extensive experience of administering Opportunities Commissionand equality, (EEOC) in Israel. Twinning projects. They sent over Bob Niven, who from 1993-2000, was Director ofparticularly in Equal Opportunities Legislation and Policy in the British Civil Service, covering allemployment, aspects of gender and disability, as well as race, in employment and education andbut enforcement the UK’s national childcare strategy.remainsinadequate” Raising awareness on equality at work “The programme is specifically concerned to promote good employment practice by employers,” explains Niven, “to design and implement a sustained awareness- raising campaign on equalities at work; to construct accessible, up-to-date data bases and reports on equalities in Israel as well as on leading legal cases here “I think and abroad; and to help the EEOC frame its longer term strategy with effect from working January 2012.” He says equality laws are impressive on paper, but more needs to be with the EU done to make them a reality. “There are marked difference in employment rates - in the and income - between various groups throughout Israel including with respect to Twinning women, Arabs, older people and orthodox Jews.” Changes cannot be brought to project is a Israel overnight, Niven admits: “It will be necessary to shift awareness and attitudes golden on the benefits of diversity; to boost the confidence of both employers and opportunity individuals that they can help to bring about change; to provide more information to promote on how to apply the legislation and good practice in straightforward ways; and, our aims” where necessary, to demonstrate that the law will be enforced. The EEOC can play a key role on all of that, working with employers, NGOs and the government. As I say, there are already signs of progress.” Does Koenig-Yair agree? “There is no N A shopping mall in Jerusalem - the new Equal Opportunities Commission aims to ensure equality to reflect the diversity. Projects in Action — Southern Neighbours 21
  21. 21. N Divesity in everydaylife: the Equal doubt that Israel should and can learn a lot from EU countries. Though Israel has “It will beOpportunities Commission progressive legislation, it has very little resources. I think working with the EU in the necessary toaims to safeguard theinterests of all groups in Twinning project is a golden opportunity to promote the aims of the Commission. shift awarenessIsraeli society. The Twinning is actually a way for us to build cooperation with employers and and attitudes prompt awareness in the Israeli public.” on the benefits Such experience can be invaluable in of diversity; cases like that of K, a young woman to boost the from the south. She worked in a factory, confidence of but when she became pregnant, the both employers company did all it could to make and individuals her go: they barred her from using that they can the computer, from talking to other help to bring workers, and eventually relocated her about change” to a spot where she was exposed to toxic environment. K, who spoke on condition of anonymity, contacted the EEOC. Her employers eventually fired her and soon the Commission will represent her at her trial, where she hopes to gain both justice and her job. Koenig-Yair has learned a lot from dealing with such cases: “I learned that real social change can come only with a combination of the layers involvers – the employers, the employed, civil society and the government. I see the role of the Commission in leading and make these processes possible.” TWINNING Twinning is an EC initiative originally designed to help candidate countries acquire the necessary skills and experience to adopt, implement and enforce EU legislation. Since 2004, Twinning has also been available to countries in the ENPI region. On a demand driven base, the projects bring together public sector expertise from EU Member States and partner countries, with the aim of enhancing co-operation activities. Twinning projects are joint projects, shared by the two partner administrations. The partner country retains ownership. Find out more Twinning fiche Multi-country cooperation instruments 22 Projects in Action — Southern Neighbours
  22. 22. Interview with Stéphanie HorelFamiliarising civilservants inPartner The EuroMed Training of Public Administration Programme’s mission is to reinforce the managementCountries capacity of the civil service in Mediterranean Partner Countries and train their civil servants on European affairs, in order to facilitate the implementation of thewith Association Agreements. One of its main achievements, its coordinator Stéphanie Horel told the ENPI Info Centre in anEU Affairs interview, is the development of some 60 training and networking activities which allowed over 1500 civil servants and experts from the Partner and the EU countries to exchange views and best practices on common public administrations issues.Q: What is the project trying to achieve? creation of durable working practices on topics of commonStéphanie Horel: The EuroMed Training of Public Admi- interest. This contributes to achieving better mutual unders-nistration Programme seeks to enhance the Euro-Med Par- tanding and confidence in a collective future.tnership by supporting the implementation of the Asso- Is it expected to have a long term impact or a ripple effect?ciation Agreements. As the main actors in this process are A ripple effect can already be seen in the creation of the ME-the public administrations, the Programme aims to support DPAN association comprising Euro-Mediterranean Schools oftheir familiarisation with the main aspects of EU affairs and Public Administrations. Its objective is to formalize the Networkreinforce cooperation between the public administrations created in the framework of the Programme and ensure theon both shores of the Mediterranean. Its first objective is the sustainability of its of civil servants of the Mediterranean Partners and What do you consider as your most important achievement?a second objective is the creation of a Euro-Mediterranean Definitely, the development of over 60 training and networ-Network of Schools of Public Administration to enhance king activities which allowed over 1500 civil servants and ex-cooperation at regional, national and local level. perts from the 10 Mediterranean Partners and the EU countriesHow does it achieve its objectives? to discuss and exchange views and best practices on commonIn the first phase, the programme focused on training activi- Public Administrations issues. We also manged to establishties on EU affairs. In total 49 training seminars took place, on durable relations and work practices in both South- North and5 modules: ‘EU basics’ covering the Union’s functioning EU South-South approach that will continue to be developed.advanced that focused on the implementation of the Asso- What is the biggest challenge you are facing in itsciation Agreements, EU Programmes discussing the mana- implementation?gement of EU funds, the European Neighbourhood Policy The implementation of the Programme has been smooth,explaining cooperation opportunities offered, with a focus however, like in all capacity building programme, the biggeston the three instruments for public administrations: SIGMA, challenge is to ensure the sustainability of the results obtainedTAIEX and Twinning, and the “Train the Trainers” module. In and to further deepen cooperation and exchanges betweenthe second phase we put more emphasis on networking Euro-Mediterranean Public Administrations, in particular inactivities. We organised conferences and activities for the view of the Union for the Mediterranean.Euro-Meditern ranean Schools of Public Administrationaround two topics: Territorial governance and Quality inTraining Civil Servants. “Over 60 training and networking activities wereWhat is the expected impact on the citizens of partnercountries? held and over 1500 civil servants and expertsOne of the expected impacts is the reinforcement of the ma- exchanged views and best practices on commonnagement capacities of their public administrations and the public administrations issues” Projects in Action — Southern Neighbours 23
  23. 23. lEbANON, iSRAEl, OccupiED pAlEStiNiAN tERRitORy Combating discrimination and violence against women Gender equality and stopping violence against women are at the focus of EU-funded Enhancing Equality between Men and Women programme (EGEP) that is assessing the situation in 9 Mediterranean partner countries. Stopping violence against women is a priority, team leader Judith Neisse said, adding another key issue is women’s representation. A general report and 9 country reports are being produced by the project, with an aim to establish priorities and carry out needs-based regional activities. Text by ENPI Info Centre/ANSA Photos by Cawtar/ EPEG/ Euromed Heritage II BRUSSELS – “Family law often does not allow charging husbands who commit “A top priority violent acts. It is said they are family disputes, tensions, there is a certain trivialisation for women in of the phenomenon,” Neisse explains. Israel is EGEP will support the conducting of a national study in Jordan and Lebanon. to challenge Another key issue is the role of women in the decision-making process, in public existing and private spheres. “In several countries, women have a lower status because restrictions on legislation, private law and family law is still based on religion. In several cases, the marriage and approach is archaic, especially for marriage or divorce,’’ Neisse says. Making family divorce still law lay is one of the aims. EGEP wants to create subgroups of EU Partner Countries handled in at regional level to work on training at sub-regional level. ‘’After gathering data and religious the priorities,’’ Neisse concluded, ‘’we will organise regional trainings on a series of courts”N Yael Slater priorities for groups of countries, between 2010-2011.’’ Yael Slaterresearcher at the The situation in the Mediterranean countries was discussed at a meeting in BrusselsAdva Center, Israel. (March 2010), where ANSA news agency spoke to some of the participants. 24 Projects in Action — Southern Neighbours
  24. 24. “Women in Lebanese women face double discriminationLebanon To achieve this goal, Montada has scheduled variousface twofold activities (communicating via a dedicated website anddiscrimination, newspapers, debate meetings, technical assistance forfirst by religious the renovation of buildings, education and Women inlaw Lebanon face twofold discrimination, first by religiousand then in law and then in numerous ways according to whichnumerous of the 18 communities they belong. Ghada Jabbour,ways according from the local NGO “Kafa (Enough) violence andto which of the 18 exploitation” says “women in Lebanon are subordinatecommunities they at home, thus they cannot take a lead role in society.belong” The current system, reflected in the penal code, is stillGhada Jabbour patriarchal.” Jabbour says “women’s associations are trying to reform the female status within the single communities, or else ask for a civil code that it is equal for all denominations.” Violence, especially domestic, “is fortunately no longer taboo,” she says, “and a draft law developed by us is at the Cabinet Office.” A little known issue, she adds, is “that of some 200,000 female immigrant domestic workers that are discriminated against and exploited for sexual reasons.” Women are also trafficked for the sex industry. N Ghada Jabbour NGO “Kafa (Enough) violence Religious courts in Israel and exploitation”, Lebanon. One of the top priorities for women in Israel is to challenge existing restrictions on marriage and divorce still handled in religious courts, said researcher at the Adva Center in Tel Aviv, Yael Slater. “Jews cannot marry non-Jews, for example, and the three religions are very strict on the issue of divorce, always favouring men.” Divorces have to be filed in religious courts. Janet Shalom, of the government equal rights commission, believes divorce is the main issue for the three religions. Slater said. Israeli women are also faced with a weak enforcement of employment regulations, a general deterioration of employment conditions, restrictions to their numbers in the army, abortion restrictions and a small number of female politicians. “Family law often does not allow the charging of husbands who commit violent acts. It is said they are family disputes, tensions” Judith Neisse N Judith Neisse EGEP programme team leader Projects in Action — Southern Neighbours 25
  25. 25. Palestinian culture discriminates The culture prevalent within Palestinian society discriminates against women and legitimises violence against them within families. According to Hanan Abu Goush, of the Women’s Centre for legal aid and counselling in Ramallah, although the fundamental law recognises equality, the situation is actually very different and the family law and the penal code must be modified if discrimination is to cease. “There are honour crimes, which basically lets men who kill women in their own family go unpunished,” she said. In order to marry, Goush continues, “a woman must ask for permission from the male head of the family, otherwise she has to appeal to the judge. The only exception is if she is divorced and over eighteen.“Although “Divorce and custody of children always favours the husband,” she says, addingfundamental another discrimination is inheritance which Sharia provides for though the law isPalestinian law never enforced.recognisesequality, thesituation isactually very N Hanan Abu Goush Women’s Centre for legal aiddifferent and and counselling, Occupiedthe family law Palestinian Territory.and the penalcode must bemodified”Hanan Abu Goush Enhancing Equality between Men and Women in the Euromed Region Supports gender equality and the full implementation of Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination against Women (CEDAW), increases knowledge on gender-based violence and backs the follow up to the Istanbul Ministerial Conference on Gender Participating countries Objective Algeria, Egypt, Israel, Aims at promoting three main priorities: support to the current dynamics that Jordan, Lebanon, favour gender equality and promote women’s rights, and to the full Morocco, Occupied implementation of CEDAW and related instruments; contribution to increased Palestinian knowledge of gender-based violence; backs the follow-up of the conclusions and Territory, Syria, Tunisia the action framework of the Istanbul Ministerial conference on “Strengthening the Role of Women in Society”. Timeframe 2008–2011 Find out more EGEP fiche Budget ENPI Info Centre Gender Press Pack €4.5 million 26 Projects in Action — Southern Neighbours
  26. 26. tuNiSiAA pioneering schemethat transformedthe medinaFor years, the medina of Mahdia suffered from the lack of aregular household waste collection service. Today, thanks toa series of urban cooperation programmes funded by theEuropean Union, waste disposal has become a reflex action forthe inhabitants, and the neighbourhood has been transformed.Text and photos by Lotfi Touati MAHDIA – It has become a reflex action for the inhabitants of this charming ancient medina in the Tunisian city of Mahdia. Each evening, for around ten years now, they have got into the regular habit of disposing of their household waste by leaving it outside their homes in bags which are then collected by municipal waste collection employees. This may appear to be an ordinary or even insignificant event at first glance, but it’s one which has required significant action and a large budget, the majority of which – 120,000 Euros – was funded by the European Union. In fact this part of the North African city of Mahdia suffered from the lack of a regular household waste collection service for years, due to a lack of vehicles. N Samir Gandoura The architecture of the streets constructed in the Fatimid era does undoubtedly director of the Association have a certain charm, but they were unable to accommodate the vehicles used by for the Protection of the Mahdia Medina. the municipal authorities to collect household waste. The city’s history dates back to the tenth century. It was built by the Caliph Fatimide, Obeid Allah El Mehdi, after whom the city is named and whose reign was a prosperous time for the city. The same period to which the great mosque, which is a source of immense pride among the inhabitants of the city, can be dated. The fact that the neighbourhood was built as a stronghold goes a long way towards explaining the narrowness of the streets and the difficulty its inhabitants encounter in meeting the demands of modern life. A long-term effort Mr. Samir Gandoura, the director of the Association for the Protection of the Mahdia Medina, explains that this action required long-term work, which has been undertaken in partnership with the European Union since 2004 as part of a series of urban cooperation programmes focusing on sustainable development. The first step was taken by the MED’ACT programme (2004-2006), with an overall budget, Projects in Action — Southern Neighbours 27
  27. 27. N The architecture of the narrow streets“The inhabitants in Mahdia does undoubtedly have aof the medina certain charm, butsee the positive they were unable to accommodate theresults every day” vehicles used by the municipal authorities to collect household waste. funded by the European Union, amounting to 567,530 Euros, “We were faced with a problem regarding the collection of household waste because the equipment available was unsuitable for the configuration of the medina. In cooperation with the European Union, we started off by carrying out a study to help determine the contents of household waste baskets as well as the rubbish bins belonging to the inhabitants of the medina in order to be able take action appropriate to their needs.” “The results concluded that 65% of the waste is organic waste, which is a much higher figure than the amount of organic waste produced by the average household in Europe. We then obtained a suitable vehicle, able to move comfortably through the labyrinthine medina and regularly collect the household rubbish.” It was important to educate the residents to leave out their rubbish in bags at a set time just before the rubbish removal team collected it in order to avoid the “The project is a contents spilling out onto the street – an important action, according to officials, success in the which now needs to be encouraged. Four years after the completion of this phase technical of the project, it is a fine example of the continuity of the action of the European sense. Union, forming part of a vision for long-term cooperation, which eventually allows We are even local authorities to assimilate the good practices introduced. The inhabitants of able to provide the medina see the positive results every day. Mohamed Turki, an employee in a assistance to soap manufacturing company, was born in the heart of the medina around fifty other cities as part years ago. He lives in a detached house inherited from his parents which he has of the cooperation passionately refurbished. “This neighbourhood is part of our heritage and I am N Four years after the start of project” pleased that the household waste collection project has been successful and has the waste collection project, both residents and officials allowed us to improve the appearance of the area and make it more attractive for agree that it is a fine example the benefit of both for residents and visitors. The disposal of bags of household of the continuity of the European Union action. waste has become an everyday automatic reflex for us.” Look how clean it is… This opinion is shared by Mr. Mohamed Fraj, who is 75 years old and retired. “I’ve lived in this neighbourhood and know it like the back of my hand. I can assure you that the rubbish collection project is deservedly deemed a success and has made the medina more beautiful. Look how clean it is,” he says, pointing to an alleyway. Following this success story, other projects funded by the European Union were launched, including the SHAMS and GODEM projects, the latter in the framework of European Interregional CIUDAD programme, which aims to help local authorities of neighbouring countries to address sustainable urban development issues in the long-term, encouraging 28 Projects in Action — Southern Neighbours
  28. 28. cooperation between local stakeholders and their EU counterparts. The SHAMS project - funded in Mahdia with 90,000 Euros from the EU within the framework of the MED-PACT programme (overall EU contribution € 600,000), the successor of MED’ACT - relates to the composting of organic waste from public and private gardens. Mr. Gandoura explained that this project is progressing well from a “Four years after technical perspective. A young entrepreneur has created a composting facility the completion of to provide a reliable product, expertise and support for which has come from this phase of the universities. However, the project has encountered a certain reluctance on the project, it is a fine part of the users. It is difficult to convince farmers who have been accustomed example of the to using conventional fertilisers for years to opt for a new product. “The project is continuity a success in the technical sense. We are even able to provide assistance to other of European cities as part of the cooperation project. But I think that raising awareness among Union action” users is necessary.” With regards to the GODEM project, it is progressing very well, with financial support from the EU amounting to 492,000 Euros. It tackles the optimisation of hotel waste in Mahdia, Sousse and Djerba. The agreements have already been signed and all that remains now is for the tangible phase of the work to begin, which will not take long. N Waste disposal became a reflex action for inhabitants of the medina of Mahdia and the neighbourhood has been transformedCIUDAD – Sustainable urban developmentCIUDAD aims to help local authorities of neighbouring countries to addresssustainable urban development issues, by encouraging cooperation betweenlocal stakeholders and their EU countries ObjectiveAlgeria, Egypt, Israel, The CIUDAD programme (Cooperation in Urban Development and Dialogue) aims to promoteJordan, Lebanon, mutual understanding, dialogue and cooperation between local stakeholders in the EU on the oneMorocco, the hand and partner countries in the South and East (ENPI region) on the other. For this purpose, itOccupied Palestinian supports capacity building for modernisation and improvement of local and regional governments.Territory, Syria, Tunisia; It also aims to establish new partnerships and strengthen existing partnerships between local andArmenia, Azerbaijan, regional authorities in the ENPI region (south-south, east-east and south-east) in order to sustainBelarus, Georgia, the achievements beyond the lifespan of the programme itself.Moldova, Russia, CIUDAD uses the work of previous initiatives to its advantage like the MED’ACT and MED-PACT,Ukraine funded by MEDA (South), and the TCAS and IBPP programmes, funded by TACIS (East), among others.Timeframe Find out more2009-2013 GODEM project fiche > CIUDAD project fiche > ENPI Info Centre Civil Society and Local Authorities portal >€ 14 million Projects in Action — Southern Neighbours 29