Economic development, education & research, social inclusion and environmental protection as key topics of 2014-2020 Mediterranean Sea Basin Programme
Economic development, education & research, social inclusion and environmental protection are the key topics of the ENI CBC Mediterranean Sea Basin Programme for the period 2014-2020. An agreement was found amongst the 14 countries participating in the Joint Programming Committee* during a meeting held in Aqaba (Jordan) on 14th and 15th May 2014.
A major step in preparing the new ENI (European Neighbourhood Instrument) CBC (Cross-Border Cooperation) Mediterranean Sea Basin Programme was taken following the approval of its strategy: a set of four strategic objectives has been identified from the list contained in the draft Programming Document (which includes the strategic framework of all ENI CBC programmes), the socio-economic analysis of the cooperation area and extensive consultations with national authorities and stakeholders.
As detailed below, the new Programme will be structured in two overarching objectives declined in four thematic objectives and eleven priorities. The strategy adopted could be amended during the preparation phase of the Programme and until its final approval by the European Commission.
One of the biggest challenges of the cooperation area is to create economic opportunities and jobs to reduce high rates of unemployment: the thematic objective entitled 'Business and SMEs development' will seek to positively contribute to this situation through the support to start-up enterprises and the enhancement of Euro-Mediterranean value chains and clusters. Diversification of tourism into new segments and niches is also part of this first objective.
Innovation is a major driver for competitiveness and productivity of Mediterranean economies. The objective referring to 'Support to education, research, technological development and innovation' will focus on technological transfer, commercialisation of research results and links between industry and research.
'Promotion of social inclusion and fight against poverty' represents a new topic of the Programme compared to the current one. Issues to be addressed concern the support to the NEETS category (Not in Education, Employment or Training) as well to actors from the social and solidarity economy.
'Environmental protection, climate change adaptation and mitigation' will continue to be a major field of intervention of the Programme. Efficiency in water, waste and energy management as well as conservation of coastal areas are set to contribute to a more sustainable Mediterranean region.
'People to people cooperation' shall be considered as a modality to achieve the four thematic objectives mentioned above while 'institutional capacity building' will act as a transversal priority.
* Algeria, Cyprus, Egypt, France, Greece, Israel, Italy, Jordan, Lebanon, Malta, Palestine, Portugal, Spain and Tunisia
Mr. Fethi Ben Mimoun, head of the Tunisian delegation: "Tunisia counts a lot on cooperation under the Mediterranean Sea Basin Programme in order to support the ongoing socio-economic reforms and to address the multiple challenges which the country is facing such as youth unemployment, poverty, water scarcity, waste management and regional development".
H.E. Dr Muhammad Hararah, head of the Jordan delegation: "Jordan was keen in the outputs of the national consultations understanding the importance of setting priorities for the Joint Operational Programme 2014-2020. It also values high the agreement reached on the thematic objectives".
Mr. Marcos Alonso, head of the Spanish delegation: "The new strategy will contribute to the creation of start-up enterprises by young people and women all across the Mediterranean".
H.E. Ambassador Mr. Nihad Abdel Latif, head of the Egyptian delegation: "The Mediterranean Sea Basin Cross-Border Cooperation Programme constitutes an important milestone in the context of the Euro-Mediterranean relations. It positively contributed to enhancing cooperation and mutual understanding between both shores of the Mediterranean. This is due to the fact that the Programme was based on a number of significant principles namely: co-ownership, partnership, mutual benefit, common interest and joint management. Egypt aspires that the same principles will guide the implementation of the future Programme. In addition, the Programme is one of a kind in acknowledging Arabic as a working language besides English and French. Following a bottom-up approach in identifying, formulating and agreeing on the Egyptian eligible governorates' (territories) priorities in the program at the national level, contributed positively to enhancing the Government of Egypt's efforts in fostering local administration and decentralization.
Egypt contributed effectively in elaborating jointly with all participating countries the four thematic objectives for the ENI CBC Med Programme for the years 2014-2020. These objectives are reflective to the priorities of the Egyptian eligible governorates (territories), hoping that the projects which will be implemented in their framework will respond to the pressing needs of the society and citizens in a new changing reality".