Spreading colours over isolation
Armed with brushes, paints and spades, their chosen battlefields are schools across the West Bank. A group of young Palestinian and European volunteers are travelling by bus to the region’s rural areas, renovating schools and bringing with them a message of solidarity to isolated communities. ...
Turning olive oil waste into euros while protecting nature
It’s no secret that the Mediterranean region accounts for the overwhelming majority of the world’s olive oil production, in fact 97% of it. What is less well-known, however, is that for the estimated two million tons of olive oil produced annually, some nine million tons of waste is gene...
Interview with Paul Walton – sharing experiences and values to find common ways to overcome challenges
Since 2005, the Anna Lindh Foundation has led and supported joint initiatives involving many thousands of civil society leaders on both shores of the Mediterranean. “In practice, it is about bringing people together to share experiences and values, in order to find common ways to overcom...
Hotels are going green too
The European project Shmile 2 aims to spread eco-labels to tourist accommodation services in the Mediterranean, particularly in six countries: Egypt, Italy, France, Jordan, Greece and Tunisia. Visit by our correspondent from the European Neighbourhood Info Centre to the only hotel in Alexandria to h...
Libya, showing a new face to the world
Under Muammar Gaddafi's regime, the state’s institutions and the country’s social fabric were ravaged. But Libyan civil society organisations have been quick in their actions to repair the democratic damage that has been wrought. So far, over 300 organisations have registered as civil so...
Children: ambassadors for sustainable energy
Being eco-friendly is a civic act: this is the message to emerge from the ‘energy days’ organised in Salé, the first town in Africa and the Arab world to have signed up to the Covenant of Mayors. An approach where local communities are heavily involved is at the centre of the fram...
Interview with Rafaella Iodice – Cooperation is all about people
Working closely with civil society and cooperation in the areas of human rights, culture, media, youth and gender are at the heart of the EU’s partnership with its Southern Mediterranean Neighbours. “We try to go beyond the one-size-fits-all approach,” says Raffaella Iodice, ...
Aladdin flies to the rescue of ancient theatres
An EU-supported project to protect and preserve ancient theatres in five Euro Med countries has turned to the magical world of Aladdin and his genie to inspire and educate children about coliseums and the value of cultural heritage. The EU Neighbourhood Info Centre sent along one of its journa...
Civil society leading the way towards democracy
Between June 2011 and June 2012 the EU donated nearly €6,500,000 towards supporting Tunisian civil society with the aim of securing a democratic transition and developing a human rights culture in the country. Our journalist met with bloggers, journalists and other major players in this t...
The car of the future
Four prototype vehicles that run exclusively on solar energy are parked in the seaside resort of Sharm El-Sheikh, at the workshop of the Airtec company. In 2008, the company received a grant from the bilateral Research, Development and Innovation (RDI) programme funded by the European Commissi...
A hospital powered by wind
Spreading the word about renewable energy is one thing, but who would have thought that you could run a hospital on wind power? Well, you can and the proof is in Hebron, where the Al Ahli Hospital plans to use wind power to cover about 40% of its energy needs. The project, which is the first of its ...
Interview with Holger Standertskjold-Nordenstam - Export Helpdesk, your gateway to European markets
Imagine you own a small company in Tunisia or Moldova and you’re about to take a strategic decision as to whether to export your dried fruit or apples to the European Union. Will the business be profitable? What are the chances of success? The EU’s Export Helpdesk is your first port of c...
Plants could be at the root of new jobs
Could the medicinal plant sector become a catalyst for development in Morocco? The INPMA, the largest institute in the country for research in aromatic and medicinal plants, certainly thinks so. Morocco has a rich and diverse heritage, but its market is supplied by high value-added products imported...
EuropeAid Feature: Rights Awareness Raising and Empowerment Courses for Bedouin Girls and Boys in Israel
“Talking to these girls and boys, I see that they are thirsty to think and express what they feel. The boys also get hurt from polygamy, but they never say so. Participation in the courses gives them this opportunity.”
Atidal Abu Aish - Field coordinator of the Rights C...
EuropeAid Feature: Promoting Better Migration Management in Israel
Israel was established as a Jewish state that would provide a safe haven for Jews from all over the world. As a direct consequence, Israel's migration policies were focused almost entirely on Jewish immigrants and their integration. However in recent years Israel is increasingly facing migration man...
EuropeAid Feature: Multimedia Virtual Space for Human Rights in Lebanon
“The Multimedia Virtual Space for Human Rights gives the participating organisations an opportunity to constantly exchange new ideas and information on human rights in Lebanon within a flexible, open and friendly network.”
Marie Daunay, President of the Lebanese Centre f...
Talking about the Neighbourhood - Interview with Andrew Jacobs and Fabienne Bessonne on EU support to Libya
Libya does not need cash, what it needs is expertise
The EU’s priority in Libya is to help its people and government establish a normal functioning democratic society. “It’s true that we have money to spend in Libya but Libya does not really need cash. What Libya needs is ...
The Old Khan restored to its former glories
Few would have imagined that this ancient caravanserai could be restored to its former glories after it had been reduced to rubble by a powerful earthquake in 1927. Prior to that, generations of merchants had spent the night here on their travels from Asia to North Africa. But the earthquake l...
Talking about the Neighbourhood - Interview with Commissioner Štefan Füle
EU and Neighbours: a turning point in relations
EU relations with its Neighbours are at a turning point, says Enlargement and European Neighbourhood Commissioner Štefan Füle in an exclusive interview with the EU Neighbourhood Info Centre on the occasion of the release by the Eur...
Protecting Bizerte lagoon
From a distance, the view of Lake Bizerte is breath-taking. However, as you get closer to this natural lagoon, the extent of the damage can be seen: a worrying level of pollution resulting from unregulated industrial activity and a lack of public awareness. There is reason to be optimistic h...
What should you do in the event of an earthquake? Find out by playing a game.
125,000 copies of a CD ROM that aims to develop preventative techniques through awareness-raising amongst young people have been distributed to schools by the Lebanese Civil Defence Organization as part of the Euro-Mediterranean Programme on Prevention, Preparedness and Response to Natural and Man-M...
Women seeking freedom and respect
They have been trained and empowered. Today they run small business, they manage shoe shops, they even teach aerobics at ladies’ gyms. Palestinian women living in six villages throughout the West Bank were given the chance to set off on a journey of self-accomplishment. Despite opposition, mai...
Supporting budget: Supporting change - Interview with Luca Oriani Vieyra
TALKING ABOUT THE NEIGHBOURHOOD
EU Budget Support is not a gift. It is a mutually agreed contract aimed at supporting reforms in a jointly agreed sector, explains Luca Oriani Vieyra, responsible for Budget Support, Macro-Fiscal Policy and General Coordination with International Financial Instituti...
Talking about the Neighbourhood - Interview with Marcus Cornaro
The EU and the Arab Spring: helping a new generation build a new society
The EU was quick to react to the changes prompted by the Arab Spring and to recognise the challenges of political and economic transition faced by the region. “We are not there to make revolutions but...
The new trade routes of old natural soap
Cosmetics were chosen because of their great potential for market expansion: olive oil soap and other ointments from the East and the South are now within closer reach of European consumers. The Med Cosmetic project – completed in 2011 and part of the EU supported Invest In Med programme &ndas...
I learned to be a fully-fledged citizen
Youth attending the Youth Development Centre (YDC), barely aged 30 or a bit less, aspire to become ‘citizens at home’. They take refuge in the development field and the informal education methods which have been acquired through the European programme EUROMED Youth among others.
A movie from Gaza to London: Awatif’s mission impossible
A girl from a refugee camp in Gaza who wants to become an international movie director: it sounds like mission impossible, but it’s becoming reality for Awatif Aljedaili, from el Bourej refugee camp, whose film “Waiting for Heaven” was selected to participate at the prestigio...
A good recipe for farming? Trading pesticides for owls
It was a cultural barrier that the European Union had to address together with its partner at the start of a new programme to assist Palestinian farmers in the Jordan Valley. How can owls be good for farming? In Arab culture, owls are a symbol of doom. But as time goes by, results speak for themselv...
Seeking film producers to portray the ‘Arab Spring’
Could the ‘Arab Spring’ be the creative driving force behind the Mediterranean cinematic landscape? At a time when entire film scripts are being written, the means to produce documentaries should also be secured. That’s exactly where the shoe pinches: in Beirut- just like in many o...
Don't touch my wooden door!
The story of a venture that brought together teachers, state school pupils, parents, school heads and museum interpreters and curators with a single purpose: to save the wooden doors of Tangier's medina – an initiative led by the Siwa & Tangier project, funded by the European Union under t...