The 2011 joint Eurostat-Medstat Meeting of the Directors of the National Statistical Institutes (NSIs) of the Mediterranean European Neighbourhood Policy (ENP) Countries was held on 13 April 2011 in Istanbul,Turkey following the First Session of the OIC-Statistical Commission. This meeting was organised by Eurostat within the Medstat III Programme a regional statistical cooperation programme of the Mediterranean Countries and the European Union. Mediterranean partners of the Programme are: Algeria, Egypt, Jordan, Lebanon, Morocco, Palestine, Syria and Tunisia. All partners of the Programme except Lebanon were represented in the Meeting. The EuropeAid, UN-ESCWA, the World Bank, the Arab Institute for Training and Research in Statistics (AITRS) and the Statistical, Economic and Social Research and Training Centre for Islamic Countries (SESRIC) were also participated in the meeting. SESRIC was represented at the meeting by Ms.Münevver Nilgün Egemen, Senior Researcher at the Centre. Main objectives of the meeting were to discuss the work programme prepared at the latest Task Force Meeting and to develop regional strategy for statistical cooperation post-Medstat III.
The meeting started with the welcoming remarks of Mr. Pieter Everaers, Director for External Cooperation, Communication and Key Indicators, Eurostat and Mr. Jesus Lavina, EuropAid. At the beginning of the meeting, work programmes prepared at the latest Task Force Meeting for Medstat III were presented and approved by the participants. Then, the Mediterranean-Household International Migration Survey (MED-HIMS) Project aiming to develop a common migration survey for the partner countries and the list of the harmonised set of social indicators specific to the region were presented, all participants agreed to set up a small Technical Task Force (TTF) to develop the proposed list of the indicators according to the needs of partner countries.
The long-term and sustainable regional strategy prepared by the experts to replace the Medstat Programme was presented. According to the report, potential areas to be handled in the future have been proposed to be as employment, social statistics, implementation of the System of National Accounts (SNA) 2008, agriculture, business and short–term statistics and measuring progress of well-being. Following the Medstat III Programme, Mediterranean partner countries expressed their strong desire to extend the EU-Mediterranean cooperation. After the discussions, it was decided to involve also other international organisations active in the region as well as take in to consideration key areas addressed by the European Neighbourhood Policy such as trade, environment, labour and migration in developing the regional strategy. At the end of the Meeting, the date of the next Directors of the NSIs of the Mediterranean ENP Countries Meeting has been decided as 16-17 November 2011.