Euro-Mediterranean cooperation: first meeting of Joint Monitoring Committee marks operational start of new Programme ENI CBC Med

Representatives of 12 countries met in Cagliari on 9 and 10 March 2016 and took important decisions for the launch of ENI CBC Med, the second generation of the Programme which aims to reinforce cooperation in the Mediterranean area.

The Joint Monitoring Committee, decision-making body of the ENI (European Neighbourhood Instrument) CBC (cross-border cooperation) Mediterranean Sea Basin Programme (ENI CBC Med), met for the first time in Cagliari on 9 and 10 March 2016. This gathering was hosted by the Autonomous Region of Sardinia, which is the Managing Authority of the Programme, in continuity with the 2007-2013 period.

Based on the proposals of the Managing Authority, institutional representatives of national delegations - including Cyprus, Egypt, France, Greece, Israel, Italy, Jordan, Malta, Palestine, Portugal, Spain and Tunisia - discussed several items linked to the start-up of the Programme. In particular, the Joint Monitoring Committee adopted its Rules of Procedure as well as the actions to be carried out in 2016 and related budget.

Concerning the preparation of the first call for proposals, participating countries agreed on the total financial allocation, i.e. €84,6 million, breakdown by Priority and procedure for the submission of projects. 

In addition, national delegations shared the objective of publishing the first call by the end of the year, which is conditioned by the signing of Financing Agreements between the European Commission (EC) and Mediterranean Partner Countries. Regarding this issue, a representative of the EC’s Directorate General NEAR provided information on the state of play of the process.

Other items discussed during the meeting include the eligibility rules and selection criteria of projects.

"We witness with a lot optimism the launch of the second generation of the programme for cross-border-cooperation in the Mediterranean area," said Ms. Moufida Jaballah, General Director at the Tunisian Ministry of Development, Investment and International Cooperation. "We hope that the new programme will be implemented in a context of peace and that all eligible countries will fully take part."

Ms. Anastasia Evangelidou, legal adviser at the Ministry of Economy, Infrastructure, Shipping and Tourism of Greece highlighted that "all participating countries are committed to work closely together with the Managing Authority in order to put in place all the necessary structures and procedures so as to launch the first call for proposals by the end of this year."

Mr. Raffaele Paci, Vice-President of the Autonomous Region of Sardinia, emphasized on "the central role of cooperation to contribute to overcome divisions and conflicts that nowadays characterize the Mediterranean area."

About the ENI CBC Med Programme

The ENI CBC Med Programme was adopted on 17 December 2015 by the European Commission.

This multilateral initiative provides a unique framework for the implementation of cooperation projects on both sides of the Mediterranean Basin in four main thematic fields:
• Business and SMEs development, including sustainable tourism;
• Support to education, research, technological development and innovation;
• Promotion of social inclusion and fight against poverty;
• Environmental protection, climate change adaptation and mitigation.

The budget allocated by the EU to the Programme is €209 million, out of which 188 dedicated to project financing.

ENI CBC Med is the follow-up for ENPI CBC Med 2007-2013. Within the context of the European Neighbourhood Policy, cross-border cooperation (CBC) plays an essential role by virtue of operating for the benefit of both sides of the EU’s external borders.