Brussels, 02 Jul 2003
EU Research Commissioner Philippe Busquin has signed scientific and technological cooperation agreements with Tunisia and Morocco.
This is the first time that such agreements have been made between the EU and these two countries, with cooperation up until now having come under the umbrella of EU-Mediterranean programmes.
'The goal of this cooperation is the more efficient participation of Morocco and Tunisia in the European framework programme for research, as well as the participation of European researchers in the research activities of these countries,' said Mr Busquin.
Morocco's Minister for Research and Technology, Omar Fassi-Fehri, emphasised that the agreement will support the participation of his country in the European Research Area (ERA), and claimed that such agreements help to create the conditions for both growth and peace.
Representing Tunisia, Minister for Research and Technology Sadok Korbi welcomed the agreement, saying that it will open up new opportunities for his country in the field of research, and support the development of a knowledge-based society.
The agreement was finalised during the last days of the Greek Presidency, and therefore also signed by Greek Minister for Research and Technology, Apostolos Tsohatzopoulos.
'The EU, Morocco and Tunisia have successfully collaborated in sectors of great importance for the prosperity of the people living in the Euro-Mediterranean area. [B]y signing agreements for scientific and technological cooperation today, we made a further important step towards the development and the reinforcement of mutual relations, not only in science and technology, but also in the wider frame of Euro-Mediterranean relations,' Mr Tsohatzopoulos said.
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