The ENI CBC “Mediterranean Sea Basin” Programme was adopted by the European Commission on 17 December 2015. The Joint Monitoring Committee, a body composed of 14 countries – Algeria, Cyprus, Egypt, France, Greece, Israel, Italy, Jordan, Lebanon, Malta, Palestine, Portugal, Spain and Tunisia – was responsible for designing the strategy and implementing modalities of the new Programme.
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' seeks 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' focuses 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' continues 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.
Over € 209 million have been granted by the European Union to the ENI CBC Mediterranean Sea Basin Programme for the period 2014-2020.
According to the Programming document, a fifth of the financial allocation for Cross-Border Cooperation (CBC) under the European Neighbourhood Instrument (ENI) total budget - € 1 billion - is dedicated to the Mediterranean Sea Basin Programme. This makes the Programme the largest one from a financial point of view out of 16 other programmes to be implemented with Partner Countries to the East and South of EU’s external borders.