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Source: European Union (EU)
29 May 2013

The European Union and the Palestinian Authority policy dialogue continues: Two sub-committees meet in Ramallah

The European Union (EU) and the Palestinian Authority (PA) officials are meeting in Ramallah today and tomorrow as part of an annual policy dialogue in the framework of the European Neighbourhood Policy (ENP), which guides the partnership between the EU and the PA. The two days will be dedicated to the work of two separate sub-committees one covering Social Affairs & Health and one focused on Research, Innovation, Info Society, Audiovisual and Media, Education and Culture. At the same time the EU will hold two workshops with Palestinian partners on research and innovation and on EU programmes and agencies.

Officials from the EU and their counterparts at the relevant Palestinian Authority Ministries (including Ministries of Social Affairs, Women Affairs, Health, Education, Higher Education, Labour, Telecommunication and IT, Culture, Tourism and Antiquities, and the High Council of Youth and Sports) are engaging in detailed exchanges on the latest developments in these important areas of cooperation between the EU and the PA.

"The meetings of these two sub-committees come just after the adoption of the new European Neighbourhood Policy (ENP) Joint Action Plan. This Action Plan sets out an agreed blue print for reform across a comprehensive range of issues. As a result the EU is engaged in a continuous and constructive dialogue with the Palestinian Authority in many sectors and areas. In this round, two important sub-committees are meeting and we are looking forward to intensive and open discussion with our Palestinian partners." said the EU Representative Mr. John Gatt-Rutter. "We are very proud of our work with the Ministry of Social Affairs especially with regards to the PA's social protection programme and we encourage the PA in its effort to ensure the equal treatment for men and women in the different sectoral policies. We are looking forward to further enhancing our cooperation in the fields of higher education and vocational training in order to help increase employment opportunities, in particular for youth. We are delighted to see the keen interest from the Palestinian side in the area of research and innovation through the significant engagement of Palestinian academics and researchers who attended the research and innovation workshop co-organized with the Ministry of Higher Education," added the EU Representative.

In the Sub-Committee for Social Affairs and Health, discussions will focus on the promotion of equal opportunities for youth, disabled people and women both from a legal and technical perspective. Particular attention will be provided to the referral system of patients from West Bank and Gaza Strip to the East Jerusalem Hospitals.

The dialogue of the Sub-Committee on Research, Innovation, Info Society, Audiovisual and Media, Education, Youth and Culture focuses on new trends in these areas and the potential for deepening cooperation. At the core of discussions will be how to promote Palestinian participation in the European Research Area and in the European higher education programmes together with the national developments to regulate the information society. The implementation of the Technical Vocational Education and Training strategy (TVET) across the Palestinian Authority as well as EU support for cultural activities will also be debated.

As per Palestinian's recommendations of last year dialogue, two workshops will be held in conjunction with this year subcommittees: one on EU-Palestinian cooperation in research and innovation, and the other on Palestinians and the EU programmes and agencies. Officials, researchers, academics, and representatives of the relevant organizations have been invited to attend these events where speakers from both Palestinian and European side will speak on the latest developments and further opportunities for cooperation.

For further details please contact:

The Office of the European Union Representative, West Bank and Gaza Strip, UNRWA
Antonia Zafeiri, Tel: +972 (0) 2 5415 859, Mob: +972 (0) 548 024 915
Shadi Othman, Tel: +972 (0) 2 541 5867, Mob: +972 (0) 599 673 958

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