The Council of EU Ministers, meeting in Brussels on 15 and 16 July 1996, reached agreement on the MEDA Regulation on financial and technical measures to accompany the reform and economic and social structures of the Euro-Mediterranean partnership. The Regulation will allow practical implementation of financial cooperation with Algeria, Cyprus, Egypt, Israel, Jordan, Lebanon, Malta, Morocco, Syria, Tunisia, Turkey and the Occupied Territories of Gaza and the West Bank. Financial support will be given to initiatives which contribute to: - The reinforcement of political stability and of democracy; - The creation of a Euro-Mediterranean free trade area; - The development of economic and social cooperation. The programme will have a budget of around ECU 3.4 billion for the years 1995 to 1999. The Regulation had been blocked by Greece for some time, but amendments by the European Parliament enabled the Greek delegation to lift its objections at the Council meeting. The Regulation will be formally adopted following finalization of all language versions, and will enter into force upon publication in the Official Journal of the European Communities. The Commission envisages taking the first decisions on financing under the MEDA programme during September 1996.
Cyprus, Algeria, Egypt, Israel, Jordan, Lebanon, Morocco, Malta, Syria, Tunisia, Turkey