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The European Union and Israel agreed to cooperate in education and training.

European Commissioner Jan Figel’ and Israeli Minister of Education Yuli Tamir signed a Joint Declaration on cooperation and dialogue in education and training during Figel’s official visit to Israel on Wednesday. The declaration strengthens the integration process of Israel into the European Union’s education policies and programs. An outcome of the EU-Israel Association Agreement, which dates back to 2000, the Joint Declaration facilitates the participation of Israel in the E.U.’s educational programs, notably in the fields of the modernization of higher and further education and in non-formal and informal learning. Israel and the European Union also signalled an interest in enhancing inter-university cooperation, specifically through the E.U.’s Erasmus Mundus and Tempus programs, which arranges exchanges between Israeli and European students and faculty. Figel’ also opened two offices for the Tempus program during his visit, in Jerusalem and in Ramallah. Noting the fact that Israel’s educational policies are similar to those of the E.U., Figel’ stated that: “The European Union is determined to develop a closer partnership with Israel. This process needs to be seen in the context of the broad range of our common interests.”

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