European Commission Vice President Antonio Tajani is visiting Israel from 30 October to 1 November to examine options for better co-operation under the EU-Israel Action Plan and to explore new avenues for joint work. The visit is aimed at reinforcing the relations in the fields of industrial cooperation and entrepreneurship with particular focus on area such as innovation, standards, satellite navigation programmes, SMEs and tourism.

Today, Vice President Tajani and the Minister of Industry, Trade and Labour of Israel Shalom Simhon signed two joint statements of intent to improve cooperation in the fields of space and tourism. In the field of space, the Commission and Israel recognise the very positive track record of joint initiatives in the development of satellite navigation (the Galileo programme), and Satellite Based Augmentation Systems (EGNOS, the European Geostationary Navigation Overlay Service), and agreed to build upon their achievements in this forward-looking sector that interlinks high technology and innovative applications. The joint statement indicates that both partners wish to continue and further develop their successful cooperation in the context of the Galileo Israeli User Segment Initiative.

The joint declaration on tourism recognises the importance of this sector for growth and jobs and expresses the desire to strengthen bilateral tourism cooperation. Several actions have been agreed in order to facilitate tourism flows by promoting travel in the respective low seasons, thereby optimising the use of available spare airline and accommodation capacity. It was also decided to seize the opportunity of the current negotiation of an aviation agreement between Israel and the EU to support the development of an efficient bilateral air transport that could facilitate tourism.

Vice President Tajani also opened the Go4Europe Conference underlining the special political, economic, scientific and cultural ties between Europe and Israel and the importance of further strengthening market integration and cooperation in the field of industry and entrepreneurship.

Tomorrow Tajani will meet with senior representatives of the State of Israel, notably with President Shimon Peres and Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu and with Mr Stanley Fisher, Governor of the Bank of Israel.