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EU Lebanon Cooperation Days 2015

The European Delegation to Lebanon, in collaboration with the EU Member States, will be organising the 3rd EU Lebanon Cooperation Days on 8 and 9 May 2015 at the Pavilion Royale in BIEL, Beirut.

This two-day conference will be open to all interested audiences and will provide a unique opportunity for Lebanese and European partners to showcase their activities, present their results, extend their professional networks, and increase their knowledge on the EU-Lebanon cooperation.

The exhibition area will be composed of various thematic booths, and several topics will be addressed in full depth during a series of panel discussions. The sectors that will be covered include economic development, infrastructure, natural resources, human rights, social and cultural development and heritage, and humanitarian aid.

 

The Conference

 

Day 1

11:00 – 12:30
Solutions for a better water and waste management

Addressing environmental challenges

A secured energy supply (with the highest share of renewable resources), energy efficiency, climate change, sustainable use of water resources, mitigation of pollution factors and other environmental concerns are some of the gravest challenges facing Europe and the Mediterranean region.

The EU promotes various environmental initiatives and projects that help protect our common environment. This includes the protection of the Mediterranean Sea through investments in waste and sewage treatment, and developing a sustainable rural policy that ensures that local needs are met without causing unnecessary harm to the environment.

13:00 – 14:30
Response to the Syrian Refugee Crisis in Lebanon

Support to the most vulnerable communities

The conflict in neighbouring Syria has had implications for Lebanon in terms of economy, social affairs, political and security issues. The most visible impact has been the influx of refugees from Syria. The EU has responded by providing substantial humanitarian assistance to the refugees in Lebanon e.g. health, shelter, water, sanitation and hygiene (WASH) and cash. At the same time, the EU has allocated a comparable amount in assistance to Lebanon, its institutions and its communities in dealing with the consequences of the crisis focusing on medium to long term needs and linking relief with recovery and development.

15:00 – 16:30
Future economic challenges for Lebanon

Investment promotion and quality infrastructure

Economic growth is one of the most effective tools to fight poverty. High and sustained growth is also necessary to generate needed public resources for social welfare and physical infrastructure, and to encourage investment in law-and-order. The role of the private sector and small businesses in particular is instrumental for job creation and income growth. The European Union, together with the Government of Lebanon, the private sector and intermediary organisations, support projects that aim at boosting economic growth and development, and improve the living conditions of the Lebanese people.

17:00 – 18:30
Education and training

Investing in your future

Education and training are  key factors for social change, reduction of inequalities and economic development and democratisation.

The European Union offers Lebanon support at different levels from primary education to Higher education or Vocational and Technical education and Training. Diverse opportunities are available for Lebanese institutions, teachers, education staff, and students.

 

Day 2

11:00 – 12:30
Human Rights and Freedom of Expression

A challenge for the Judicial system

Description: The principles of liberty, respect for human rights, democratic values and fundamental freedoms are inherent to the European Union and constitute crucial elements in its relation with its partners. The European Union places the promotion of Human Rights at the centre of its External Policy and is working to ensure that these rights are universally respecte.

13:00 – 14:30
Peace, Reconciliation and Stability

Towards a safer Lebanon

The European Union acts as a force for stability, cooperation and understanding in the Mediterranean region and beyond by way of conflict prevention, peace-keeping, support for the Security Sector Reform, as well as growth and development activities.

To meet this challenge, the EU is active in political and policy dialogue, and in cooperation with the Lebanese authorities, Civil Society Organisations, as well as international partners and organisations.

The Exhibition

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The 10 Themes

Human rights and democracy

The principles of liberty, respect for human rights, democratic values and fundamental freedoms are inherent to the European Union and constitute crucial elements in its relation with its partners. The European Union places the promotion of Human Rights at the centre of its External Policy and is working to ensure that these rights are universally respected. Under the European Neighbourhood Policy (ENP) the EU supports the protection of human rights and fundamental freedoms through continuous political dialogue and financial assistance. The EU holds such political dialogues with the Lebanese Government and with various civil society organisations. Furthermore, It financially supports the Government of Lebanon’s efforts to reinforce human rights and strengthen the democratic process.

Justice and Good Governance

Democratisation is a gradual and continuous process rooted in a country’s socio-economic and cultural contexts. While countries are free to choose and develop their own democratic model according to national civic processes, this model must be consistent with universal human rights principles as stipulated in internationally recognised conventions and declarations. One of the European Union’s main external policy objectives is the development and consolidation of democracy, the rule of law and other civil and political liberties in its neighbourhood out of the belief that adherence to these principles constitutes prerequisites for peace, development and security. Throughout all aspects of its relationship with Lebanon, the EU has worked to promote the principles of human rights and democratisation through political dialogue, development projects, and financial and technical assistance programmes. These three instruments focus on promoting fair, free and transparent electoral processes; strengthening parliamentary representation; promoting an independent and professional press; and encouraging a pluralistic political system.

The EU considers the justice sector in Lebanon as one of the priorities of its cooperation with Lebanon. It is the major donor to this sector (ongoing projects totalling €12 million and initiatives for €9 million in the pipeline), and has concentrated its efforts on key areas that can serve as entry points for broader justice reform, such as automation, training, access to justice or prison administration.

The Action Plan (AP) under the European Neighbourhood Policy foresees as one of the first priorities the development of a comprehensive strategy for judicial reform, including further enhancement of independence and impartiality.

Economic Development

Economic growth is one of the most effective tools to fight poverty. High and sustained growth is also necessary to generate needed public resources for social welfare and physical infrastructure, and to encourage investment in law-and-order. The role of the private sector and small businesses in particular is instrumental for job creation and income growth. The European Union, together with the Government of Lebanon, the private sector and intermediary organisations, support projects that aim at boosting economic growth and development, and improve the living conditions of the Lebanese people.

Infrastructure and natural resources

A secured energy supply (with the highest share of renewable resources), energy efficiency, climate change, sustainable use of water resources, mitigation of pollution factors and other environmental concerns are some of the gravest challenges facing Europe and the Mediterranean region. Since a sound physical environment is crucial to our development, growth and well-being, the European Union is committed to the highest environmental standards in the world. The EU is determined to protect its citizens and its neighbours against water, air and noise pollution and mitigate risks related to chemical production and biotechnology industry. It is of critical importance that all countries of the Mediterranean make the necessary efforts to reduce environmental problems, secure energy supply from diversified sources, enhance energy efficiency and anticipate future challenges. The EU promotes various environmental initiatives and projects that help protect our common environment. This includes the protection of the Mediterranean Sea through investments in waste and sewage treatment, and developing a sustainable rural policy that ensures that local needs are met without causing unnecessary harm to the environment. The EU environmental policy areas of concentration are: climate change; nature and biodiversity; environment and health; renewable energy and energy efficiency; and natural resources and waste management. This is reflected in our approach to the bilateral relationship with Lebanon, as we support initiatives that aim at improving the environmental conditions leading to a better environment in the Mediterranean neighbourhood and particularly in Lebanon.

Peace, Security and Stability

The European Union acts as a force for stability, cooperation and understanding in the Mediterranean region and beyond by way of conflict prevention, peace-keeping, support for the Security Sector Reform, as well as growth and development activities.

To meet this challenge, the EU is active in political and policy dialogue, and in cooperation with the Lebanese authorities, Civil Society Organisations, as well as international partners and organisations.

EU assistance in this field encompasses a wide range of instruments, in particular the ENPI/ENI and the Instrument for Stability, rebranded as the Instrument contributing to Stability and Peace. In post-conflict situations, EU assistance fosters peace-building, reconciliation initiatives and safety-driven activities, essential for ensuring lasting peace and economic prosperity. In crisis prevention situations, the EU is involved in activities aimed at stabilising fragile environments and averting conflict relapses. The EU is also actively engaged in Lebanon to foster Security Sector Reform. This support includes initiatives which strengthen the resilience and respond to the organisational needs of State Security Institutions to withstand internal and external pressures. In parallel, the EU support measures aim at increasing the responsiveness, effectiveness and credibility of local agencies and institutions actions vis-à-vis citizens in line with democratic norms and standards.

Crisis Response

The conflict in neighbouring Syria has had implications for Lebanon in terms of economy, social affairs, political and security issues. The most visible impact has been the influx of refugees from Syria. Lebanon has been the main recipient of refugees from Syria with 1.18 million registered in the country by mid-September 2014.

The EU has responded by providing substantial humanitarian assistance to the refugees in Lebanon e.g. health, shelter, water, sanitation and hygiene (WASH) and cash. At the same time, the EU has allocated a comparable amount in assistance to Lebanon, its institutions and its communities in dealing with the consequences of the crisis focusing on medium to long term needs and linking relief with recovery and development.

By September 2014, the European Commission has allocated € 372.7 million to the response in Lebanon. The Directorate General of the European Commission for Humanitarian Aid and Civil Protection (ECHO) had contracted € 172.3 million for humanitarian assistance and € 200.4 million had been allocated for Lebanon through the European Neighbourhood and Partnership Instrument (ENPI) and the Instrument for Stability (IfS) budgets focusing on assisting Lebanese structures respond to the crisis.

Humanitarian aid

Currently approximately 260,000 – 280,000 Palestinians live in Lebanon, most of them in the twelve refugee camps and 42 ‘gatherings’. Their presence dates back to 1948 and several generations have been born here since. Often living under precarious conditions, more than half live in unsuitable houses, over 50% are jobless, two thirds are poor, and 95% have no health insurance. Despite their longstanding presence they continue to be excluded from several key aspects of economic and social life and their marginalisation has, throughout their long presence, posed an additional risk to the stability of Lebanon. The European Union, partnering with the United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees in the (UNRWA) and a number of non-governmental organisations are supporting the improvement of living conditions in the camps and working closely on programs focused on children and youth who constitute over half of the Palestinian population in Lebanon. A principal occupation is housing Palestinian families in individual homes and improving camps’ infrastructure. In education, EU projects cover the entire educational cycle starting in pre-school and ending in universities. Additional targeted support is given also in the form of food aid to the poorest, through protection activities and by supporting health programmes, including those for reproductive and mental health. Worth noting, the EU is one of the two world’s largest donors to the UNRWA general budget, ensuring the day-to-day functioning of the institution. It is also the largest donor supporting education for Palestinians in Lebanon and Palestinian Refugees from Syria (PRS).

Social development

The European Union support to education in Lebanon is built on the belief that knowledge, skills and innovation are the basis for economic growth. The stability of a society rests upon its ability to offer a future to its youth. Education plays an essential role promoting social cohesion, strengthening identity and improving decision-making capacity of free- thinking citizens, eager to actively participate in a democratic society.

Rather than importing solutions from abroad, the EU in Lebanon aims to support the advancement of home-grown Lebanese reforms. That is why it was agreed with the Lebanese Ministry of Education and Higher Education to collaborate in the planning and implementation of national reforms chiefly focused on student dropout prevention and citizenship education in public schools.

In addition to national programmes, the EU strives to support the education of marginalised and vulnerable groups by financing civil society remedial education and vocational training programmes. Tertiary education has always been the flagship of the EU-Lebanon cooperation.

Regional development

The importance of local development and the role of local governance to make public institutions more effective in meeting citizens’ needs are now widely accepted and largely recognised. Local governance aims to ensure that local authorities address issues more effectively at the local and municipal levels. Municipalities and their councils play an important role in regional and local developments achieving better goals through accountability and responsiveness to the needs and rights of their constituents. It is within this context that the European Union actively supports local authorities by strengthening their ability to carry out their public service tasks, as well as help implement projects successfully.

Culture and heritage

The European Neighbourhood Policy provides for a dialogue of cultures and civilisations between the EU and its neighbours. Enabling dialogue brings people from both sides of the Mediterranean together and it is within this context that the EU funds cultural activities aimed to improve exchange through the arts, culture and the preservation of the national Lebanese heritage. The European Union, in its longstanding partnership with Lebanon, has always been a supporter of cultural development in the country. The EU funds cultural activities aimed at facilitating the development of local quality production, promoting access and participation for all, and strengthening dialogue between regions and cultures. This support also aims at alleviating poverty and social exclusion since the dynamic cultural industry can create jobs and contribute significantly to economic activity.

 

Register online now: http://eulebdays.com/

Participation is free of charge!

The European Union (EU) is represented in Lebanon by the EU Delegation, one of over 136 EU Delegations around the world. The EU is composed of 27 individual Member States and the EU Delegation in Lebanon works closely with all of the 23 Member States that are accredited to Lebanon.

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