Economic development, education & research, social inclusion and environmental protection have been identified as the key topics of the new ENI Cross Border Cooperation Mediterranean Sea Basin Programme (CBCMed) for the period 2014-2020, following the approval of its strategy by the 14 countries participating in the Joint Programming Committee during a meeting held in Aqaba (Jordan) last month.
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 contribute to this situation through 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 for the Programme. Issues to be addressed concern 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.
The new ENI (European Neighbourhood Instrument) CBC (Cross-Border Cooperation) Mediterranean Sea Basin Programme follows the ENPI (European Neighbourhood Instrument and Partnership) CBC Med for the period 2014-2020. Funded by the European Union and managed by the Autonomous Region of Sardinia (Italy), the Programme will offer cooperation opportunities between partners from the Mediterranean area in fields of intervention such as economic development, education and research, social inclusion and environmental protection.