EU Holds Neighborhood Policy Dialogue with PA

JERUSALEM, May 30, 2013 (WAFA) – The European Union (EU) and the Palestinian Authority (PA) started Wednesday two days of dialogue in Ramallah as part of an annual policy dialogue in the framework of the European Neighborhood Policy (ENP), which guides  the partnership between the EU and the PA, said an EU press release.

The two days were dedicated to the work of two separate sub-committees: one covering Social Affairs and Health and one focused on Research, Innovation, Info Society, Audiovisual and Media, Education and Culture. At the same time the EU held two workshops with Palestinian partners on research and innovation and on EU programs and agencies.

“The meetings of these two sub-committees come just after the adoption of the new European Neighborhood Policy Joint Action Plan,” said the EU Representative John Gatt-Rutter.

“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,” he added.

Discussions focused in the Sub-Committee for Social Affairs and Health on the promotion of equal opportunities for youth, disabled people and women both from a legal and technical perspective. Particular attention was 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 focused on new trends in these areas and the potential for deepening cooperation.

At the core of discussions was how to promote Palestinian participation in the European Research Area and in the European higher education programs 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 was also debated.

Source: WAFA News