CAIRO: The first twining agreements between the European Union and Egypt in the sectors of tourism and postal services took place Monday, Feb. 26 at the Conrad Hotel. The signature ceremony will be attended by Tarek Kamel, Minister for Information and Communication Technology, Zohair Garana, Minister of Tourism, and Ambassador of the Delegation of the European Commission in Egypt Klaus Ebermann.
France for postal services and Austria for tourism have been selected as twinning partners. The overall funds allocated for the twinning program are 27 million euros; of which 2.3 million euros will be for the tourism twinning and 1.4 million euros for the postal twinning.
Under the twinning arrangements, both organizations have been chosen to work together with their Egyptian counterparts for the implementation of an ambitious program of capacity upgrade and modernization. The twinnings will include the permanent secondment of officials from France and Austria to their Egyptian counterpart administrations. The twinning will deliver training, coaching and peer-to-peer work in selected areas.
The twinning program is an initiative of the European Commission that was launched in 1998 in the context of the preparation for enlargement of the European Union. It was conceived as an instrument for targeted administrative co-operation to assist candidate countries to strengthen their administrative capacity to implement European Community legislation as future Member States of the European Union.
Under the new European Neighborhood Policy, Egypt has now access to this co-operation instrument. The twinning instrument will play an important role in the implementation of the EU/Egypt Action Plan, which will be signed next week in Brussels. The twinning instrument is also available in other Mediterranean countries such as Morocco, Tunisia, Jordan and Lebanon where similar twinning agreements have already been signed.