SEMINARS

THE EUROPEAN UNION

 

BACKGROUND

The second part of PASSIA's seminar programme 1995 was a field trip for six of the participants to European capitals and the EU headquarters in Brussels for further training and experience in foreign policy, with the aim to enabling them to gain first hand experience in this field.

PASSIA's partner institutions in London (Royal Institute of International Affairs, RIIA, "Chatham House"), Paris (Institute Francais des Relations Internationales, IFRI), Bonn (Friedrich Ebert Stiftung, FES), Madrid (Foreign Ministry, arranged via the Spanish Consulate, CG Manuel Cacho in Jerusalem), The Hague (The Netherlands Institute of International Relations "Clingendael") and Rome (Istituto Affari Internazionale, IAI) each hosted one of the fellows for one week, arranging accommodation and contacts with the Foreign Ministry and assisting the fellow wherever necessary.

After the first week (February 25th-March 2nd, 1996), the fellows converged for a further study week at the headquarters of the EU in Brussels (March 3rd-9th, 1996) to broaden their knowledge and experience on the EU, its practical functioning and its foreign policy as well as to establish their own contacts.

NOMINATIONS

Following the two-week seminar held at PASSIA and the submission of the second written essay required from the participants, the PASSIA Seminar Committee (consisting of Dr. Mahdi Abdul Hadi, Dr. Rosemary Hollis, and Dr. Paul Meerts) nominated the following participants as PASSIA fellows for the EU field trip:

Mr. Allam Ashhab, PASSIA fellow to Chatham House, London Ms. Hania Bitar, PASSIA fellow to FES, Bonn Ms. Rula Dajani, PASSIA fellow to IAI, Rome Mr. Adli Da'na, PASSIA fellow to the Spanish Ministry for Foreign Affairs, Madrid Ms. Lily Habash, PASSIA fellow to IFRI, Paris Ms. Maral Kaprielian, PASSIA fellow to Clingendael, The Hague

Ms. Deniz Altayli of PASSIA and Ms. Valerie Grove of Chatham House attended the second study week in Brussel as coordinators.

FIRST STUDY WEEK IN EUROPE (26 February - 2 March 1996)

COUNTRY REPORTS BY THE PASSIA FELLOWS

RULA DAJANI Instituto Affari Internazionale - IAI Rome, Italy

Monday, 26th February

Dr. Gianni BONVICINI, Director of the IAI, and Dr. Roberto ALIBONI, Director of Studies at the IAI. (Topics discussed: PASSIA, the EU seminar and the field trip; programme set up by the IAI; work of the IAI; focus of research at the IAI)

Tuesday, 27th February

Dr. Nicola LENER, Policy Researcher, Ministry of Foreign Affairs (Topics discussed: Palestine question; Palestinian vs. Israeli views on Jerusalem; peace process and economic aid to Palestine; securing lasting peace in the region; European defence policy; EMU; the Inter-governmental Conference 1996; EU member states and challenges regarding the EU's future; EU enlargement and institutional reform; Italy and the EU).

Wednesday, 28th February

Dr. Missirolli CESPI, Centre for Studies of International Politics

Thursday, 29th February

Dr. Enrico LETTA, Agenzia di Ricerche e Legislazione (AREL; Law and Research Agency) (Topics discussed: Italian policy; upcoming Italian elections; political parties and their views on the EU; and the Italian parliament; the Inter-governmental Conference; Italy's EU presiden-cy and its role in forming European Foreign Policy; EMU; Italy and the Middle East; Palestine question; Palestinian elections; prospects for democracy and human rights in Palestine)

Dr. Antonio CASU, Camera dei Deputati (House of Deputies, Defence Committee) (Tour of the parliament; Topics discussed: internal rules and procedures; parliament's by-laws; different committees and their power; internal work of the Senate and the Deputies; Palestinian democratisation process; the peace process). Dr. Roberto ALIBONI, Director of Studies, IAI (Topics discussed: work of the institute; input in Middle East affairs)

Friday, 1st March

Dr. Flaminia GALLO, Researcher, IAI (Topics discussed: Dr. Gallo's research; European and international matters/current concerns).

Mrs. Cathrine FLUMIANI, Middle East Desk Officer, Foreign Ministry (Topics discussed: Palestinian elections; Israeli closure and collective punishment policy; impact on Palestinians and the peace process; the question of Jerusalem: boundaries, checkpoints around the city and their implication, future scenarios; Palestinian economic development and Israeli restrictions; role of the donor countries/international community, both politically and economically; EU vs. US role in the peace process; EU policies: EMU, enlargement, institutions and future prospects; Italy's position towards the EU and international affairs).

HANIA BITAR Friedrich Ebert Stiftung - FES Bonn, Germany

Monday, 26th February

Day at the FES headquarters in Bonn. Meetings with: Dr. Wolfgang LUTTERBACH, Head of the Near East Section; Ms. Astrid BECKER, Coordinator on FES Women's Projects; Mr. Peter SCHLAFFER, Project Group for Development Policy; Dr. Alfred PFALLER (Topics discussed: Activities and projects of the FES)

Tuesday, 27th February

Mr. Rainer EXENIEK, Chief of Staff, Committee on Foreign Affairs of the German Bundestag (Topics discussed: Tasks of the Committee; position of the German Bundestag vis-a-vis Palestinian-Israeli relations and their development; Germany's history and its implications for German relations with Israel and Palestine).

Ambassador Peter M. DINGENS, Commissioner for Near and Middle East Policy, Ministry of Foreign Affairs. (Topics discussed: Tasks of the Commissioner; Germany's role in the new world order; Germany's special history and its implication for German foreign policy and Germany's position vis-a-vis the EU; German aid to the Palestinians).

Thursday, 29th February

Counselor ROTTEN, Ministry of Foreign Affairs. (Topics discussed: Germany and the EU; EU's trade agreements with Israel and Palestinians). Friday, 1st March

Dr. Franz-Joseph MEIERS, German Society for Foreign Politics. (Topics discussed: Activities and objectives of the Society; the role of societies in shaping foreign policies; Germany's decision to move the government to Berlin and its implications).

Following an invitation by Mr. Rainer ZIMMER-WINKEL, Head of the German-Palestinian Society, Berlin/Trier, Ms. Bitar proceeded to Hofgeismar to attend the Annual Conference of the Society. The conference lasted from Friday evening to Sunday afternoon and dealt with human rights and conflict resolution issues in a Palestinian-Israeli context. Panel topics included: - Human Rights in Israel and Palestine after the Elections; - Human Rights: A View from Israel - Human Rights: A View from Palestine - The Human Rights Discussion and Its Political Function in the Peace Process: Possibilites and Dangers. - Options for Political Settlements in the Israeli-Palestinian Conflict. - Peace Without Human Rights? Democratic Models for Arab Palestine Neighbouring Israel.

(Participants: Dr. Ludwig WATZAL, Centre for Political Education, Bonn; Mrs. Daphna GOLAN, Director of Bat Shalom; Mr. Manuel SCHIFFLER, amnesty international, Berlin; Mr. Jörn BÖHME, Green Party; Prof. Dr. Alexander FLORES, University of Bremen; Prof. Dr. Klaus TIMM, Humboldt University, Berlin).

LILY HABASH Institut Francais des Relations Internationales, IFRI Paris, France

Monday, 11th March and Tuesday, 12th March

Research at IFRI on French domestic and foreign policy, the Chirac government, its programme, its cabinet members and their political backgrounds, French position and politics towards the Middle East; French EU policy.

Wednesday, 13th March

Mrs. Basma KODMANI-DARWISH, Head of Middle East Studies at IFRI (Topics discussed: Economic situation in Palestine and prospects for future development; French/francophone involvement in Middle Eastern and Palestinian issues; possibilities for increased lobbying and practical assistance on the part of France). Mr. Joseph MAILA, Assistant Director, Institut d'Etudes Economiques et Sociales de Paris (IES), and Chief Editor, Cahiers de l'Orient. (Topics discussed: French foreign affairs issues and foreign policy; French position and politics towards the Middle East; possibilities of exchanging information and students in the future).

Thursday, 14th March

Mr. Frederick CLAVIER, Directorate of European Cooperation, Ministry of Foreign Affairs (Topics discussed: Maastricht Treaty; impending Inter-governmental Conference; EU policy within the international arena; EU regional policy efforts and non-visibility of CFSP; role of the EU Troika; possibilities of preventive European foreign policy; France's role within the EU; French proposals for institutional reforms within the EU).

Friday, 15th March

Mr. Christian JOURET, Directorate of Relations with Israel/Palestine, Ministry of Foreign Affairs. (Topics discussed: EU and the peace process; role of the EU as against US role in the Middle East peace process since Madrid; different regional policy positions; EU's economic interests and potential political weight; Syria; French position towards a Palestinian State).

Mr. Roland DUBERTRAND, Responsible for Policy Planning and Staff, Ministry of Foreign Affairs (Topics discussed: Ministry's planning and strategic think tank; elaboration of strategic plans and alternative scenarios regarding foreign policy issues, including the situation in the Middle East; general options for shaping external relations; French interest in Lebanon in terms of security issues and economic cooperation; peace process and final status negotiations).

ADLI DA'NA Ministry of Foreign Affairs Madrid, Spain

Monday, 26th February

Mrs. Pilar Ruiz CARNICERO, Subdirectorate of Community Coordination for Institutional Relations, Secretary of State for EU Affairs, Ministry of Foreign Affairs. (Topics discussed: Overview of the programme and the arranged meetings).

Mr. Jose Luis OSTOLAZA ZABALLA, Directorate General of Technical Community Coordination, Secretary of State for EU Affairs, Ministry of Foreign Affairs. (Topics discussed: Current political situation and the peace process in the Middle East; structure of the department; possibilities of future cooperation with and technical assistance to the PA; the sending of Spanish experts to negotiations in an EU context).

Mr. Santiego MENDIOROX ECHEVERRIA, Subdirectorate General of Technical Community Coordination 'Internal (EU) Trade and Commerce', Secretary of State for EU Affairs, Ministry of Foreign Affairs. (Topics discussed: Mr. Mendiorox Eccheverria's role as Spanish representative to EU meetings regarding customs, taxation etc.; EU internal market; tax regulations and rates; single market; EU-trade, bilateral trade, trade regulations, restrictions and problems).

Mr. Nicolas Pascual DE LA PARTE, Subdirectorate General of Economy, Finances and Social Affairs, Environment and Water Department, Secretary of State for EU Affairs. (Topics discussed: Water and environmental situation in Palestine, Spain and the Mediterranean region; different interests of northern and southern EU member states regarding water issues; water problems in the Middle East and possible solutions).

Mr. Ricardo PEREZ VILLOTA, Subdirectorate General of Technical Community Coordination for Economics, Finance and Social Affairs, Ministry of Foreign Affairs. (Topics discussed: Amman Economic Summit; Barcelona Conference and follow-up; decision-making regarding economic, financial and social issues; different positions towards EMU and the single currency).

Tuesday, 27th February

Mr. Javier M. CARBAJOSA SANCHEZ, Subdirectorate General 'Middle East', Directorate General of External Political Affairs (Africa and Middle East), Ministry of Foreign Affairs. (Topics discussed: Political situation and peace process in the Middle East; recent suicide bombings; structure and duties of the department; cooperation with Spanish diplomatic missions; Spanish support to the Palestinians).

Mr. Alonso DEZCALLAR Y MAZARREDO, Subdirectorate 'North Africa', Directorate General of External Political Affairs (Africa and Middle East), Ministry of Foreign Affairs. (Topics discussed: Spanish support, cooperation and relations with North African states; Spain's interest in stability in the North African region; North African immigration to Spain and the EU; Spanish sanctions against Libya).

Wednesday, 28th February

Mr. Pedro MARTINEZ-AVIAL, Subdirectorate of Cooperation with the Arab World, DG Cooperation with the Arab World, the Mediterranean and Development Countries (Topics discussed: Structure and work of the DG; Spanish support and development projects to the Palestinians; lack of experience of the PA in identifying priorities).

Mr. Borja Rengifo LLORENS, Technical Consultant, Subdirectorate of Cooperation with Mexico, Central America and the Caribbean, Spanish Agency for International Cooperation. (Topics discussed: Spanish support and development projects to the region indicated above).

Mr. Miguel Angel RECIO CRESPO, Technical Consultant, Cooperation with EU, Spanish Agency for International Cooperation. (Topics discussed: Budget and decision-making regarding international cooperation; country and project priorities).

Mr. Edwardo DE QUESADA, Subdirectorate General of Planning and Evaluation, Ministry of Foreign Affairs. (Topics discussed: Role of NGOs in development of Third World countries; Spanish NGOs' involvement in Palestine and their projects; future project priorities; financing of NGOs).

Thursday, 29th February

Mr. Juan SUNYE MENDIA, Directorate General of Protocol, Ministry of Foreign Affairs. (Topics discussed: Structure of the department and duties of the security, diplomatic, visitor's section, coordination, finance and public relations sections; procedures and organisation of official visits of head of states or foreign ministers).

Mr. Felipe BRAGADO, Director of Protocol, Ministry of Foreign Affairs. (Topics discussed: Spanish diplomatic missions, their internal working and duties; various diplomatic passports and their meanings).

Friday, 1st March

Mrs. Pilar Ruiz CARNICERO, Subdirectorate of Community Coordination for Institutional Relations, Secretary of State for EU Affairs, Ministry of Foreign Affairs. (Topics discussed: Programme evaluation)

Mr. Pablo GARCIA-BERDOY CEREZO, Director of the Cabinet of the Secretary of State for the European Union. (Topics Discussed: Role of the department to present priorities and different Spanish positions at minister meetings in Brussels).

Mr. Emilio FERNANDEZ-CASTANO Y DIAZ-CANEJA, Secretary of State to the EU, Spanish Foreign Minister to the EU. (Topics Discussed: Political situation in the Middle East; peace process and the recent suicide bombings; Spain's role in the peace process; important of training seminars for Palestinians).

Mrs. Jesus AROZAMENA LASO, Executive Deputy for Legal Affairs, Secretary of State for EU Affairs, Ministry of Foreign Affairs. (Topics Discussed: Legal issues regarding the Secretary's activities and work).

Ms. Belen Alfaro HERNANDEZ, Assistant to the Secretary of State for EU Affairs (for governmental conferences), Ministry of Foreign Affairs. (Topics Discussed: Writing and content of political statements of the Minister; planning, coordination and organisation of visit of the minister). Mr. Ramon Abaroa CARRANZA, Deputy Secretary of State for EU Affairs, Ministry of Foreign Affairs. (Topics Discussed: Role and work of the secretary; coordination with other departments; structure of the ministry).

Mr. Sylvia CARRASCO, Head of the Press Office, Secretary of State for EU Affairs, Ministry of Foreign Affairs. (Topics Discussed: Preparations for press conferences, preparing official statements; importance of media coverage of the secretary's activities and of inter-governmental conferences).

ALLAM ASHHAB Royal Institute of International Affairs (RIIA) Chatham House, London, UK

Monday, 26th February

Conference at RIIA: "After Barcelona: the Euro-Mediterranean Partnership Programme" Participants included: HE Mr. Khalid HADDAOUI, Moroccan Ambassador to the UK; Mr. Richard STAGG, Head of the European Union Department of the Foreign and Commonwealth Office (FCO); Dr. Rosemary HOLLIS; Dr. Asia BENSALAH ALAOUI, Dr. Muhammad JARRI. (Topics discussed: North Africa & Europe, the economic dimension, politics and society).

Tuesday, 27th February

Dr. Claire SPENCER, Centre for Defence Studies, King's College for War Studies. (Topics discussed: Palestinian Legislative Council elections; Islamic movements in Palestine; Palestine and the Euro-Mediterranean Partnership Programme)

Dr. Ibrahim KARAWAN, International Institute of Strategic Studies. (Topics discussed: Political situation in Palestine; future of the peace process after the bomb attacks; upcoming Israeli elections; Palestinian elections; PNC - amendment of the National Covenant; future scenarios for Jerusalem; political role of Islamic movements in Palestine).

Mr. Robert WALKER, Press and Public Affairs, UK Information Office, The European Parliament (EP) - UK Office. (Topics discussed: EU-UK relations; EU decision-making; multi-national parties/political groups in the EP; rights, duties, power and problems of the EP; the CFSP and WEU; EU enlargement; UK national agenda vs. EU common agenda).

Wednesday, 28th February

Mr. Gerard RUSSELL, Assistant Desk Officer, Near East & North Africa Department, FCO (Tour of the FCO; Topics discussed: work of the department; political and socio-economic situation in Palestine; Palestinian elections; upcoming Israeli elections and impact on the peace process; final status negotiations on Jerusalem, settlements and refugees). Mr. Matthew TAYLOR, Inter-Governmental Conference Unit, European Union Department (internal), FCO (Topics discussed: The impending Inter-Governmental Conference; EU enlargement, EU budget and UK's contribution; UK position on EMU; Common Agricultural Policy).

Mr. Giles PORTMAN, European Union Department (external), FCO (Topics discussed: The CFSP; EU role towards the peace process and the need for more involvement; international observation of the Palestinian elections; Oslo II provision for an international observer delegation to the city of Hebron; EU aid to the PNA).

Mr. Greg SHAPLAND, Research and Analysis Department, FCO (Topics discussed: work of the department regarding the provision of information related to external relations issues).

Mr. Peter WALKER, Managing Director, Technitube Ltd. (Topics discussed: Technitube; British unilateral aid to the PNA; Technitube assistance to the PNA: infrastructure project "water and sewage systems'; general water problem in Palestine and in Hebron in particular).

Working Lunch at RIIA with Dr. Rosemary HOLLIS, RIIA; Mrs. Valerie GROVE, RIIA; Mr. Awad MANSOUR, PASSIA fellow (currently King's College, London); Mr. John KING, Freelance and BBC Journalist; Mr. Martin BROUGHTON, BBC Arabic Service; Mr. Dai RICHARDS, Brian Lapping Association. (Topics discussed: BBC series on the Arab-Israeli conflict and the Palestinian leadership from 1967 until the Oslo I Agreement; the Palestine question and the role of the international media; the credibility of the BBC Arabic Service).

Dr. Kirsty HUGHES, Head of the European Programme, RIIA (Topics discussed: Britain's role in the EU and prospects; Britain and the 1996 Inter-Governmental Conference).

Thursday, 29th February

International Conference "Israel After Rabin", Britain Israel Public Affairs Centre (BIPAC), King's College, London, in association with Friends of the Hebrew University, Jerusalem, Friends of Bar Ilan University, Tel Aviv. Topics and Participants: - "Rabin - The Legacy": Mr. Brian KERNER, Dr. Ephraim SNEH, Israeli Minister of Health. - "Strategic and Military Challenges": Dr. Efraim KARSH (Chair); Mr. Dov ZAKHEIM, SPC International Corporation ("Peace and Security"); Mr. Shimon NAVEH, Tel Aviv University ("Defending 'Smaller Israel'"); Dr. Efraim SNEH ("Israel in the Year 2000"). - "The Zionist Dream Revisited": Mrs. Helen DAVIS (Chair); Mr. Shabtai TEVETH, Tel Aviv University ("The Legacy of Ben-Gurion"); Mr. Arthur KOLL, Embassy of Israel, London ("From Ben Gurion to Rabin"); Mr. Robert WISTRICH, Hebrew University/University College, London ("Between Zionism and Post-Zionism"). Friday, 1st March

Mr. Afif SAFIEH, Palestinian General Delegate to the UK; Director of the Office of Representation of the PLO to the Holy See. (Topics discussed: PASSIA and the EU Seminar; role and importance of the PLO London Office; significance and financial problems of PLO Representative Offices; the need and importance to recruit and increase PLO office staff in a professional manner; importance of recruiting a commercial attache; fund-raising in London for the PNA and Palestinian NGOs; the media in the UK; Mr. Safieh's contribution by lecturing and writing articles on Palestinian issues; Palestinian Council elections; and the question of Jerusalem).

Mr. Edward FOSTER, Researcher, European Defence and Military Sciences Programme, Royal United Services Institute for Defence Studies (RUSI), London. (Topics discussed: EU and security issues since the second world war; problems of the EU's CFSP; the WEU and the role of NATO; the Anglo-American alliance and the Franco-German alliance).

Working Lunch at the FCO with Mr. Gerard RUSSELL, Assistant Desk Officer, Near East and North Africa Department and Mr. David HALLAM, Western Asia Department, Overseas Development Administration (ODA). (Topics discussed: PASSIA, the EU seminar and the field trip; situation in Palestine; Palestinian elections; amendment of the PNC Charter; peace process, recent bombings and Israeli upcoming elections; Hamas-PLO dialogue; Oslo II Agreement, PNA credibility and economic aid to Palestine; future scenarios for Jerusalem; Palestinian-Jordanian relations and future prospects; human rights in Palestine).

Mr. Martyn BROUGHTON, Editor Topical Unit, BBC Arabic Service (Topics discussed: PASSIA and the EU-Seminar; political situation in Palestine; and visit of the BBC Arabic Service Radio Station - live broadcasting).

MARAL KAPRIELIAN Netherlands Institute of International Relations "Clingendael", The Hague, Netherlands

Monday, 26th February

Mr. Hans LABOHM, Economist, Advisor to the Board at Clingendael (Topics discussed: EMU and prospects for its implementation; Dutch position; possibilities of establishing free trade zone in the Middle East).

Prof. Fred VAN STADEN, Director of Clingendael (Topics discussed: Programmes and activities of the institute; welcome to Clingendael).

Dr. Sam ROZEMOND, Department of Research, Clingendael (currently researching on Islamic fundamentalism in North Africa) (Topics discussed: Islamic fundamentalism in North Africa and its rise in the Middle East)

Tuesday, 27th February

Mr. Leendert-Jan BAL, Coordinator of Courses on European Integration at Clingendael. (Topics discussed: EU enlargement; widening vs. deepening of the Union).

Mr. P. DE KLERK, Head of Arms Control Section, Atlantic Cooperation and Security Affairs Department, Ministry of Foreign Affairs. (Topics discussed: Arms control as part of confidence-building measures to secure peace).

Mr. Mohammed RABBANI, Head of the Lutfia Rabbani Foundation, Honorary Consul for Jordan and Kuwait (Topics discussed: Activities of the Lutfia Rabbani Foundation).

Thursday, 29th February

Lecture at Clingendael with young visiting diplomats from the London School of Diplomacy headed by Dr. Nabil AYAD. (Topic of the lecture: Challenges facing the EU until the year 2000 and the Dutch position towards these challenges; followed by a discussion with the participants).

Friday, 1st March

Mr. M. DEN HOND, African and Middle Eastern Affairs Department/Middle East Section (Political Affairs), Ministry of Foreign Affairs; Dr. Paul MEERTS, Deputy Director of Clingendael. (Topics discussed: Political developments in the Palestinian territories and future prospects).

Mr. N. BEETS, Head of the European Commission Section, Ministry of Foreign Affairs. (Topics discussed: External relations of the EU).

Dr. Nederveen PEITERSE, Institute of Social Studies (ISS), Lecturer on Politics of Alternative Development Strategies. (Topics discussed: Exchange programmes between the ISS and Birzeit University for lecturers and students).

Mr. Y. HABAB, Representative, and Dr. Jaffar SHADID, Commercial Attache, Palestinian General Delegation to the Netherlands. (Topics discussed: Changing positions of the Dutch government towards the Palestinians since the beginning of the peace process; actual assistance to the Palestinian people due to this change; the Dutch Ministry of Foreign Affairs' programme of financial assistance to the PNA; financial contribution of other Dutch institutions such as banks and investment bodies).

***

EVALUATION AND RECOMMENDATIONS

[The participants were required to write a report about their trip to and experiences in Europe, including a list of all meetings they attended in their respective host countries and an evaluation about the field trip programme. The following is summary of their assessment and recommendations].

The fellows considered the field trip to Europe as an excellent opportunity to learn more about the issues raised during the original seminar and to deepen their knowledge in the field of foreign policy and the EU. Therefore, the study visit was of great value in terms of gaining practical experience and many new perspectives on the relevant issues. At the same time, it was regarded as a good opportunity to educate people in Europe about Palestinian issues and the Palestinian perspective of the peace process. Also very beneficial was the possibility of establishing contacts. However, the purpose of such a trip was perceived as not being defined in a sufficiently clear manner; for example, the fellows expected to receive more of a training in order to gain skills on the level of a desk officer rather than having mainly a meetings programme with individuals from various institutions, ministries and professional backgrounds.

Suggestions on how to improve such a field trip programme, included the following:

-providing more appointments with higher-ranking officials and policy makers rather than with researchers and administrators; -placements as desk officer, for example, for practical experience following the theoretical seminar; -precise coordination with the host institute in formulating a visiting programme and providing that a detailed schedule be sent prior to departure of the fellow, in order to assure that the programme matches the purpose of the visit and for the fellow to be able to prepare him/herself accordingly; -focussing on certain departments/projects within which the fellow could join the working team and be directly involved in their work in order to gain first-hand experience; this could be combined with few complementary meetings at other departments; -longer-term placements at departments relevant for Palestinians to gain further education, training and experience - such as International Cooperation, Politics and Protocol Departments - would be extremely useful and desirable.

STUDY VISIT TO BRUSSELS (3-9 March 1996)

1. Format

The PASSIA fellows as well as the PASSIA and the European coordinator met with officials from the Directorate General for External Relations: Southern Mediterranean, Middle and Near East, Latin America, South & South East Asia and North South Cooperation of the Directorate Southern Mediterranean, Middle and Near East, Mashreq and Israel for an introductory meeting to discuss the programme set up by the Directorate.

The European Commission's Visitor's Service provided the group with a hostess, Ms. Hilde de Coninck, to guide the group between the meetings and to arrange security clearance where necessary (e.g. at the European Parliament). The Commission also provided each participant with EU information material and gifts.

2. Programme and Summary of the Meetings

Monday, 4th March 1996

9.30 -10.30 Plenary with Mr. Gavin EVANS, Desk Officer - Occupied Territories Directorate General for External Relations: Southern Mediterranean, Middle and Near East, Latin America, South & South East Asia and North South Cooperation; Directorate Southern Mediterranean, Middle and Near East, Mashreq and Israel. Place: European Commission, 14 Rue de la Science, 1040 Brussels

Summary: Participants were welcomed by Mr. Gavin Evans and handed a programme schedule for those meetings set up by the Directorate General. Followed by a briefing about the DG's work.

12.30-14.00 Meeting with Mr. Shawki ARMALI, Palestinian General Delegate in Brussels, and Mr. Hisham EL-FARRA, Head of the Euro-Palestinian Economic Unit, Commercial Attache of the PLO Delegation, Brussels Place: Palestinian General Delegation, 111 Franklin St., 1040 Brussels

Summary: Mr. Armali welcomed the participants and asked them to briefly introduce themselves. He then explained the role of the PLO office before and after the Oslo Agreement. He emphasised the lack of funding faced by PLO delegations all over the world, saying that this affects their work and achievements considerably and endangers their future. He explained that although the PLO office has no official status yet, it is recognised de facto with most countries dealing with the representatives on any relevant matters. Mr. Armali stressed the importance of training young Palestinians in the field of diplomacy in order to build a cadre which will provide staff for the PLO offices in the future. He pointed out that the current PLO delegates are representatives of the older generation and might continue for another few years only. Therefore, the Palestinians need to prepare a new generation for these tasks.

14.30-15.45 Meeting with Mr. Peter CARTER, Principal Administrator, Near & Middle East, Common Foreign and Security Policy Unit, General Secretariat of the Council of Ministers. Place: European Council, Justus Lipsius Building, Room HN 70

Summary:

Mr. Carter began by saying that CFSP could be summarised as quite operative and active but not necessarily effective in every field. The EU is seriously trying to create a role for the CFSP in the international arena. The provisions of the Maastricht Treaty foresaw that CFSP shall not just respond or follow but also shape foreign policy. Mr. Carter said that Bosnia is a negative example for a regional CFSP action but has also been the most visible and spectacular one so far. Another example for common action was the sending of a observer delegation to the first Palestinian elections held in January 1996. This was very important for the EU since it became politically visible in the Middle East for the first time. It made clear to the US, Israel and Syria that the EU strives for a role beyond being the major funder of the peace process. Mr. Carter pointed out that the US has certain advantages regarding the mediator role, including the following:

- the EU lacks continuity (e.g. the presidency changes every six months); - the Troika - whose constituents change continuously - is not an effective means to represent the EU abroad; - different national Foreign Ministry structures hinder the development of a continuous and clear organisation; - some EU member states are too small or large to perform the role of presidency properly.

Suggestions to improve the current situation include:

- the introduction of a permanent "CFSP-Man" who would be recognised as representative of the EU's CFSP; or the introduction of a Mr./Mrs. Europe representing the EU as a body; - a permanent senior official heading the CFSP and being controlled by the Council; - extension of the presidency period (which, however, would expand the waiting period for each state correspondingly). In the subsequent discussion, the following questions were raised:

Q: Would the realisation of the EMU have an impact on strengthening the CFSP? A: No. EMU would basically contribute to strengthening the EU as a union. Q: How does NATO effect the EU's CFSP? A: The EU stays away from NATO territory and does not interfere with its work. Q: Why did the EU not interfere in former Yugoslavia? A: We were present there but we cannot intervene militarily, starting with the fact that the EU has no army. We sent a peace monitoring team to Mostar. Q: What was the EU's reaction to the recent bus bomb attacks in Jerusalem? A: We released a statement condemning these attacks. Israel wants us to send a delegate to Arafat but we consider it self-evident that Arafat has to do all he can to stop suicide attacks. The EU is aware that Arafat's responsibility has limits, for example if the suicide bomber comes from an Israel-controlled area. Q: Why does the EU not send someone to Israel forbidding them to kill members of Hamas, even within the autonomous areas? A: As a union, we can only react to or speak on occurrences about which we have accurate knowledge. This did not apply in the case of the assassination of Yahya Ayyash. It might be clear to you who was behind the killing, but we don't have the proof and we don't have an EU Secret Service which could be sent to investigate, for example. On the other hand, we are hard with Israel regarding issues such as the closure policy and economic restrictions for Palestinians. The same goes for settlement and land confiscation activities which we do consider illegal. The EU tends to favour the eventual evacuation of settlements. And our policy towards the Jerusalem issue is to continue visiting Orient House in order to demonstrate our non-acceptance of Israeli annexation of parts of the city as well as our position that the final status of Jerusalem is subject to negotiations. Q: Why did the EU not postpone the signing of the Association Agreement with Israel until the provisions of the peace agreements with the PLO are fully implemented? A: The EU has good relations with Israel which is also an important trade partner. The agreement itself has nothing to do with the peace process so why should we alienate Israel by postponing its signing? In Barcelona, the decision was made to establish better relations with the Mediterranean countries, including those in the Middle East. The idea did not come because of the peace process and although it is linked to it in one way or another, it generally has nothing to do with it. Q: If the EU is basically an economic partner and power but not a political one, and therefore - although it wants to - cannot play a role in the peace talks between Syria and Israel; why does the EU not focus on countries other than Syria and initiate its own tracks? Thus it could develop an independent role and go its own way. A: That's a good question and my answer is: we simply have not thought of it. The option for the EU to initiate its own tracks has not yet been discussed or considered.

Tuesday, 5th March 1996

10.00-11.00 Meeting with Mr. Gianluca BRUNETTI, Administrator Committee on Foreign Affairs and Security Policy of the European Parliament "The Role of the European Parliament in the External Activities of the EU" Place: European Parliament, 97-113 Rue Belliard, Room 7020, 1047 Brussels (followed by a tour of the new European Parliament building)

Summary: Mr. Brunetti began by explaining that the European Parliament (EP) is elected every 5 years in all member states which then send their national representatives to deal with EU matters. He added that the national parliaments of the EU member states have no control over decision-making within the framework of the EP. The EU's foreign policy consists of two elements:

a) common positions (e.g. statements such as condemning the recent bus bomb attacks in Jerusalem), b) common action (e.g. sending a observer delegation to the Palestinian elections).

However, regarding the election observation delegation it was the Council which made the decision, without prior consultation with the Committee on Foreign Affairs and Security. This shows the limited political power of the Committee although there is enough room to shape foreign policy by agreeing to or vetoing decisions. In order to strengthen its role, the Committee plans to ask in the impending Intergovernmental Conference for the following:

- to generally decrease the Council's role (obligation for unanimity) - to introduce majority voting in the Council - to guarantee the financing of common action by the EU budget - to accept the neutrality of some member states (e.g. Austria) when it comes to common action such as sending troops to former Yugoslavia. While these countries should not be forced to provide troops or equipment, they should allow free passage through their territory.

Discussion: Q: What does the European Parliament contribute to European integration? A: There are several efforts towards this end, such as the involvement of NGOs, cooperation with other bodies, spreading information about the EU, its goals and achievements etc. The most important thing is to convince the people in all member states of the benefits of the EU. Q: How does the EP react if single member states take unilateral action such as France with its recent nuclear testing programme? A: We were very upset and the EP did not hide its displeasure and disagreement with the French plans. France itself had not even consulted with the other EU members but just went ahead with its project. At one time we considered bringing the case before the European Court of Justice but we refrained. A similar case erupted when Germany unilaterally recognised some of the states which emerged after the fall of former Yugoslavia. Generally, it can be said that the process of building a common policy is very long and requires first an agreement on common interests which is very difficult to achieve. Q: How is the EP structured? A: We have seven departments such as Administration, Research, Information and Finances. All member states are represented to a certain percentage but the staff themselves are not linked to their respective national governments.

15.00-16.15 Meeting with Mr. Michael WEBB, Deputy Head of Unit Directorate for Southern Mediterranean, Middle and Near East, Mashreq and Israel; DG for External Relations: Southern Mediterranean, Middle and Near East, Latin America, South & South East Asia and North South Cooperation. Place: European Commission, 14 Rue de la Science, 1040 Brussels

Summary: Mr. Webb began by saying that the two major event of 1995 were (1) the EU Council's meeting in Cannes, where the EU's Mediterranean policy was discussed and an agreement about its financial budget was reached, and (2) the Euro-Mediterranean Conference in Barcelona where the Foreign Ministers of all EU member states as well as officials from the EU Commission met with the Foreign Ministers of 12 Mediterranean countries to discuss the Mediterranean Partnership Programme. The 12 partners are: Morocco, Egypt, Algeria, Tunisia, Palestine, Israel, Jordan, Syria, Lebanon, Malta, Turkey and Cyprus. According to Mr. Webb, Libya is excluded for the time being for political reasons but it is hoped that the situation there will improve so that it can be involved as well.

The reasons which led to the initiation of such a partnership programme were:

- the realisation of the importance of stability in the region - the striving for peace and security in the Mediterranean - the necessity to cooperate on issues such as terrorism, drug trafficking and environmental protection - the huge potential for economic opportunities to be jointly exploited.

The relationship envisaged between the EU and the Mediterranean is based on the following dimensions, the details of which will be outlined in bilateral agreements with each partner country:

a) politics-security-stability dimension: to work together towards peaceful coexistence in the region; b) economic-financial dimension: (1) achieving a free trade area by the year 2010; (2) provision of EU assistance and aid (currently 4.268 billion ECU), and (3) exchange and development of culture, media, education and human resources. c) social-cultural-human dimension: supporting civil society in the widest sense. Mr. Webb concluded by saying that in some areas such as transportation, trade and environment, also multilateral agreements are foreseen since they are of mutual concern.

Discussion:

Q: Why has the EU initiated such a programme? What's really in it for the EU? A: It is obvious that the EU did not launch the programme out of altruism; the main aim behind it is the strategic interest of Europe to avoid a worsening of the situation in the Mediterranean countries on our doorstep in terms of economic development and employment. Poverty and unemployment lead not only to political unrest, but also cause problems within the EU states, such as increased immigration. On the other hand, the Mediterranean countries obviously offer a huge market for the EU. Q: Different EU member states have different interest in different Mediterranean countries, whether for historical or because of geo-strategic reasons. How did you integrate these differences? A: There was a long process of discussion and debate within the EU before we took the next step and approached the Mediterranean countries. But in spite of all our differences, there is not a single EU country which has no interest in the region. Q: Is the huge amount of EU investment in the Mediterranean expected to be worth it? And what about the Gulf States, which in the long-run cannot be left out. A: We expect that our investment will attract further foreign investment, both public and direct. If the individual countries do not take the right development measures - in accordance with their respective agreements - we will cut off the money flow. Regarding the Gulf, we plan to draft some sort of agreement but it will take time. The Gulf is certainly not a priority area, at least not for the time being. Q: Why are products such as strawberries and cut flowers, which are very important for the Palestinian export sector, not included in the current agreement? A: It is currently being discussed what kind of concessions are possible in this regard. An export volume for cut flowers of 15,000 tons per year has been proposed but the member states have yet to agree. As for the strawberry quota, it will most likely stay as it is because there are some experts who think that Palestinians may try to export as many strawberries as possible to the European market and we are not ready for it. Generally, however, the EU is open to other Palestinian agricultural goods and offers most liberal treatment. Q: How do you view the de facto custom union between Israel and the Palestinian territories? A: We are very aware of the problem that Israel is blocking Palestinian export activities and the free movement of goods, and we have put pressure on Israel to refrain from such measures. Q: The Barcelona Declaration refers to GATT regulations. Why should we, as Palestinians, abide to them, while we have no state as yet and therefore, cannot become a member of GATT? A: We are GATT members and as such have to abide by GATT rules and regulations. Beyond this, it does not matter whether our partners are members or not.

Other points discussed included the role of the EU and the US vis-a-vis the peace process and the issue of democratization and human rights in the context of EU aid and assistance.

16.30-18.00 Discussion with Mr. Gavin EVANS, Desk Officer "Occupied Territories' and Mr. Diego OJERA, Political Officer for the Mashreq Place: European Commission, 14 Rue de la Science, 1040 Brussels

Summary:

Questions raised and topics discussed included: The CFSP in the making and its future outlook; the impending inter-governmental conference, its issues and prospects; the de facto practical functioning of the EU; EU aid to the Palestinian Authority as against aid to Palestinian NGOs; the EU-Mediterranean Partnership programme; and the budget lines allocated for Palestinian within the DG.

Wednesday, 6th March 1996

10.30-13.00 Meeting with Dr. Hermann BÜNZ, Head of the Friedrich Ebert Foundation (FES)/Brussels: Lecture and discussion on The European Union - Experiences followed by lunch with the participants. Place: 5 Rue Archimede, 1040 Brussels

Summary:

Dr. Bünz welcomed the participants and asked each one to introduce him/herself and to describe what they have experienced during their week's stay in the different European capitals as well as their impressions of their respective countries. He mentioned that having realised the importance of Palestinians being aware and informed of the EU and its functioning, FES Brussels, in cooperation with FES Jerusalem is currently preparing a lobby course for Palestini-ans at the EU which is due to take place later this year and aims at educating Palestinians on how to deal with the various EU departments in order to effectively promote their case.

Dr. Bünz then explained the activities and objectives of the FES which has some 100 offices spread all over the world:

- cooperation and consultation with international trade unions; - promoting/supporting job creation efforts and activities as part of a socio-economic program; - training and education for journalists and others involved in the field of media (e.g. "Arab Vision" in Algiers); - political training; - supporting administration-building process in Eastern European countries; - activities related to the EU, dealing with issues emerging from a Europe which on the one hand is becoming much closer but on the other hand still faces considerable differences regarding social systems and employment regulations. Activities of these projects include: - supporting trade unions within the EU; - promoting regional projects (e.g. women's development projects in Spain) - educating non-EU countries about the EU, its functioning, implications and goals. 15.00-16.30 Meeting with Mr. Hans SCHOOF and Mr. Henning NIEDERHOOF, Med-Programme/Med-Interprise Place: DG 23, 80 Rue Aarlen, 4th Floor - Room 15, Brussels

Summary:

Mr. Schoof began by saying that the Med-Interprise Programme developed from the EU's concern over increasing unemployment and deteriorating economic conditions in Mediterranean countries. The aim of the EU is to encourage small and medium sized enterprises in these countries in order to foster economic development and help improve the living conditions. Within the EU, a European Information Center (EIC) has been established and branches opened in Mediterranean partner countries (including one in Gaza). These centres provide information on a wide range of goods and services suitable for the domestic markets and needs and try to facilitate joint ventures as well as partnership licenses for manufacturing and supplies of raw materials between companies in EU member states and Mediterranean partners. In order to stimulate cooperation between such companies, the following activities have been initiated: - Bureau de Rapprochement des Enterprises (BRE): publication of magazines containing relevant information and disseminating information among interested companies (the Euro- Palestinian Chamber of Commerce is the BRE correspondent for the Palestinian territories); - Business Consultancy Net: providing consultants to advise companies how to conduct business; - Med-Interprise:establishing contacts between European companies and those of host countries; - Euro-Partenariat: held twice a year; more than 3,000 companies from the Mediterranean region participate in projects; - Med-Invest: launched in 1992 to finance programmes such as the Med-Interprise events.

The last Med-Interprise event took place on February 23/24 in Bethlehem, Palestine. Organised by the European-Palestinian Chamber of Commerce, based in Jerusalem, more than 100 local companies and over 200 visiting companies from across Europe as well as from Jordan, Morocco, Israel and Cyprus attended displaying their goods at stands, exploring each others markets and initiating contacts. The European-Palestinian Chamber of Commerce now has to follow-up on the event and keep a record of the development between companies.

Mr. Schoof said that the Med-Interprise Palestine event was the most successful event which had taken place under the framework of the programme so far. He stressed the professional organization and the advanced and high quality of the goods displayed. He concluded by saying that the projects planned for the 1996 Med-programme include holding a Med-Partenariat in Jordan (with 500-600 participants anticipated) and smaller events in Malta, Cairo, Syria and Lebanon. For the period from 1997 to 1999, two large events (among them a second round of Med-Invest) and eight smaller events are planned.

Mr. Henning Niederhoof explained that with the focus on trade, the EU aims at fostering the commercial sector in its partner countries, hoping that this will lead to a significant decrease in unemployment and a prospering economy. Part of the "Commerce 2000" project is the introduction of technologies in the trade sector to increase efficiency, productivity and competitiveness. Thursday, 7th March 1996

14.00-16.00 Impressions of Europe: Interviews conducted by Mr. John KING - BBC World Arabic Service (on Euro-Arab Relations, the EU & the Trip to Europe). Place: Hotel Euro Flat, Restaurant Broadcast on March 19th as part of the programme "EUROFILE".

Friday, 8th March 1996

12.15 Group pick-up by NATO bus at Hotel Euro Flat 13.00-14.00 Lunch in NATO Restaurant with Mr. Nicola DE SANTIS, Officer for Southern and Eastern Mediterranean Countries & Mrs. Greta GUNNARSDOETTIR, Multilateral & Regional Affairs Division. 14.00 Video film How NATO Ticks Place: NATO Headquarters, 1110 Brussels

Remark:

The group was officially welcomed by the External Relations Department and considered, thus treated, as "Delegation of Young Palestinian Diplomats".

14.15-15.15 Briefing on Political and Military Interfaces in NATO by Mr. Nicola DE SANTIS, Officer for Southern and Eastern Mediterranean Countries

Summary:

Mr. de Santis welcomed the participants saying that this was the first ever visit by a Palestinian delegation to NATO. He said that it was very important for NATO to establish such contacts because it had only recently started a dialogue programme with non-NATO states. Mr. de Santis explained that in accordance with NATO rules, his department had to ask all 16 NATO member states for approval for such a visit and had just one not agreed, the meeting would not have taken place. However, all had approved the request unanimously.

Mr. de Santis then explained the organisation and activities of NATO, the structure of NATO's forces, and the NACC (North Atlantic Cooperation Council). The latter is a forum for dialogue and consultation on political and security related issues, and includes NATO member states as well as 22 East European and former Soviet Union states. He illustrated NATO's role in peacekeeping in the former Yugoslavia and NATO's Partnership for Peace (PFP) initiative, which was launched in 1994 and aims at working towards the expansion and intensification of political and military cooperation in order to promote peace and stability. Signatories of the PFP document include former Warsaw Pact members as well as Austria, Finland and Sweden. Mr. de Santis concluded by saying that NATO had recently also begun a dialogue with the following Mediterranean countries: Tunisia, Egypt, Israel, Mauritania, Jordan and Morocco. The decision on which countries to include in its partnership programmes has always to be made by consensus.

15.30-16.30 Briefing on NATO's Current Political Issues by Mr. Nicholas WILLIAMS, Speech Writing and Policy Planning Section, Political Affairs Division

Summary:

Mr. Williams introduced himself and said that this was the first time he had spoken to a group of Palestinians which was a great pleasure for him and very valuable for his own purposes. He said that part of his job was to inquire what people think about NATO. He explained that NATO is a diplomatic body rather than a thinking organisation. Within NATO, the US has the main role in terms of power, security issues and keeping a balance among members. Due to its obvious military and political strength, the US is also the most needed and, thus, most influential member. Even after the fall of the former main enemy, the Soviet Union, all NATO members have their own national interest in maintaining NATO. Less influential countries like Italy, for example, are guaranteed through NATO that stronger countries such as the UK, Germany or France do not become too dominant or align themselves against others.

NATO today: conditions for crisis management The changes in Eastern Europe have led to several developments which have affected NATO in the following ways:

-With regard to security concerns, NATO's role has become more political than military.-NATO is increasingly involved in crisis management "out of area", i.e. it is not limited to self-defence anymore. In this context, Mr. Williams explained that forces and weapons are always provided by the member states who each guarantee to contribute a certain contingent in case of action since NATO itself does not have an army. NATO only intervenes in an out-of-area dispute if requested by the UN or the OSCE. -NATO is undergoing a restructuring from within, aiming to give more power to Europe ("Europisation"). NATO's Future NATO's future plans and prospects are determined by its short-, medium- and long-term goals:

-Short-term: Implementation of the Dayton Peace Agreement for Bosnia, which consists of military and civil tasks. NATO will function as a supervisor and assure the separation of conflicting forces. It is hoped that the action in former Yugoslavia may become a model for security measures in the future, with Europe coming closer together for a common purpose. In reality, however, the time frame for such programmes is limited, which might hamper their success.

·Medium-term: The enlargement of NATO. This will undoubtedly take place although it must be questioned whether the good relationship with non-members which are not offered membership can be maintained. This is especially the case with Russia which may be humiliated by its exclusion. NATO, as a security organisation, risks creating a security problem for itself. Therefore, some sort of compen-sation for these countries has to be worked out. This could take the form of closer relationships or cooperation in various matters.

-Long-term: The restructuring of NATO with focus on a greater European responsibility. The WEU is compatible with NATO but as yet outside the NATO framework. The US might have resentments since the rebuilding of NATO as a more European structure would occur at the expense of the North-Atlantic relationship.

The discussion which followed centred around issues such as the NATO-EU relationship and the prospects for partnership programmes involving Middle Eastern countries. Mr. Williams concluded by saying that he was very impressed by his first encounter with a Palestinian delegation and that he hoped that there will be increasing opportunities to meet with such visiting groups.

16.30-17.45 Briefing on NATO's Cooperative Relations with Countries of Central and Eastern Europe by Dr. Marco CARNOVALE, Central and Eastern Europe & Liaison Section, Political Affairs Section

Summary: Dr. Carnovale lectured on NATO's NACC and PFP programmes, which involve former "enemy states" (Warsaw Pact members) as well as neutral states such as Sweden. He explained that NATO offers these countries stability projections upon their request. NACC and PFP include cooperation and consultation projects which aim at promoting peace and security in the whole of Europe. While NACC is mainly based on consultation on a political, often multilateral level, PFP involves military and cooperation programmes (e.g. civil emergency cooperation such as in the Bosnia peacekeeping action) and is mainly bilateral.

The discussion with the participants included topics such as military intervention, security issues, security threats vs. socio-economic development, and the possibilities of future NATO involvement in the Middle East. Mr. Carnovale concluded by saying that it was the first time ever for him to brief a Palestinian group and that he hoped it would not be the last.

3. Assessment and Recommendations

Brussels Programme: EU officials very much welcomed the programme and stressed that it was excellent to get feedback from Palestinians and that such an opportunity was rare for the EU. The feedback could have actually been greater but the group did well in addressing their issues of concern and expressing their views. The group also have certainly realised that it is not enough to expect, ask for or receive advice or assistance from the EU but rather to work on a specifically Palestinian agenda and lobby for it. However, there was not always enough time for this with the speakers so that some of the sessions had to be finished with questions/issues left open. It was also unfortunate that the group was sometimes not met with the seriousness it should have been received and that some of the EU officials met did not have an adequate background about the group and were thus, to some extent, either uncertain what exactly to talk about or repeated information. The main reason for this lack of information is probably the fact that no one at the EU Commission is responsible for setting up such programmes, except the EU Visitor's Programme, which usually deals with school classes.

EU administrators and other officials repeatedly stressed that the EU is seeking a (greater) political role in the Middle East. With regard to the peace process, it became clear that the EU, in the long run, will not be satisfied with being only the major donor and that its provisions of funding may become contingent on being allowed a more significant political role by the US, Israel and other states involved. A first step towards more engagement/visibility and towards establishing its credibility as political partner was the decision to send a delegation of some 300 EU observers to the recent Palestinian elections. The envisaged future involvement of the EU should go beyond the provisions of the recently launched Mediterranean Partnership Programme.

The background provided by this field trip has major potential for the development of future links, cooperation and dialogue with the EU. Given the political and socio-economic implications of EU policies in the region, there is an urgent need to disseminate more information and understanding of the EU within the Palestinian community. This should be emphasised in future proposals and taken into consideration when setting up future seminar/field trip programmes.

More emphasis should be given to the group as presenters of Palestinian concerns. For example, sessions could be organised, in which the participants give presentations (prepared in advanced) and answer questions/lead the discussion. Meetings arranged in Brussels should be longer in order to allow for real discussions rather than briefings which may not be sufficient.

Preparation: The idea of a field trip as follow-up to the PASSIA seminar on the EU was developed after the seminar programme itself and then "attached" to the original project without prior consultation with the partner institutions involved. Therefore, the study visit, although theoretically sound, lacked some basics in terms of its practical implementa-tion. For example, the feasibility of a one-week placement of the fellows at the Foreign Ministries of the respective countries was not examined thoroughly. The week spent in the European capitals was more of a 'meetings programme' than - as originally envisaged - 'further training.' Due to the expectations raised on the part of the participants (a training programme in which would give them an insight in the practical work of a desk officer), the actual programme left behind a certain amount of disappointment. The purpose of the field trip needs to be much more clearly defined next time, with an emphasis on the educational element of such a visit.

The planning of the field trip should be made in the context of the seminar programme itself. There should be early coordination with partner institutes which should be asked to submit a programme for the fellows prior to their departure so that certain items can be discussed/altered/improved and clarified. The participants selected for the field trip could be more involved in setting up a programme: they should be given the possibility to identify/indicate their individual interests, for example in accordance with their own professional background, or specific fields of interest arising from the seminar itself. The involvement of former PASSIA fellow(s) could also be considered for the preparation/coordination of such a field trip next time.

The preparation for such a programme should be made either in liaison with the EU's Visitor's Service as far as arrangements for security entrances etc. are concerned, while meetings should be directly arranged with the concerned departments/ officials; this would also enable the provision of the speakers with an adequate background of the group. Another option is that PASSIA, jointly with selected partner institutions (e.g. RIIA, Clingendael, and FES-Brussels), will consult about the field trip prior to the seminar while the details could be finalised during the seminar, ensuring that a member of each partner institute is lecturing at the seminar.

NATO: The meeting at NATO was professionally organised with a detailed programme being handed out to the participants upon arrival. That this was the first visit by a Palestinian delegation was repeatedly stressed by NATO staff. The officials met were very interested to meet Palestinians, especially since NATO has just started a dialogue programme with non-NATO states. The group was treated as an official diplomatic delegation. NATO should be definetely utilised to a greater extent in the future, also for lecturers for seminars.