13 April 2024 11:48 PM

Al-Mashat Spearheads Launch of Interreg NEXT MED 2021-2027

Thursday، 29 February 2024 - 05:10 PM

The Minister of International Cooperation, Rania A. Al-Mashat, Delivers the Opening Speech at the Introductory Session for the 3rd Phase of the Mediterranean Sea Basin for the Transnational Cooperation Program(Interreg NEXT MED) 2021 - 2027.

The Transnational Cooperation Program was organized in cooperation with the European Union and the program management authority in Sardinia, with the participation of various national bodies; ministries, universities, research centers, the Federation of Egyptian Industry, the Federation of Chambers of Commerce, and other federations, representatives of the private sector, representatives of civil society organizations, and on the European side, the program authority in Sardinia - Italy.

This comes in light of the preparations for signing the agreement for the 3rd phase of the Mediterranean Sea Basin for the Transnational Cooperation Program (Interreg NEXT MED) after the successful implementation of two phases in the period from 2007 to 2013, and 2014-2020, in light of the close relationship between Egypt and the European Union, and the phase is being implemented. The 3rd phase of the program, for the period from 2021-2027, is set to take place in 15 Mediterranean countries, with the participation of 500 concerned parties in those countries, and the Ministry of International Cooperation is the national coordinator for implementing the program in the Arab Republic of Egypt.

It is worth noting that 4 “Calls For Proposals" in the participating countries were launched, where the 1st call for project proposals is open for submission by qualified entities in participating countries and will end on April 30, 2024.

In her video speech, Al-Mashat expressed the close cooperation with the European Union, through the Mediterranean Sea Basin for the Transnational Cooperation Program (Interreg NEXT MED) in the 1st and 2nd phases, explaining that the 3rd phase will witness intensive cooperation between 15 countries, and various rounds of cooperation and consultations, along with 500 relevant parties from the Mediterranean region.

Al-Mashat indicated that all these efforts aim to contribute to smart, sustainable and equal development for all in the Mediterranean basin region by supporting balanced, sustainable and ambitious cooperation, pointing out that the program is one of the largest cross-border cooperation initiatives implemented by the European Union in the Mediterranean region, which is based on the experience and results of the “Mediterranean Sea Basin for the Transnational Cooperation Program” (Interreg NEXT MED) from 2021 to 2027.

H.E. confirmed that the first and second phases contributed to strengthening the seventeen SDGs, which represent the cornerstone of cooperation with development partners. The importance of this program also lies in its contribution to smart, sustainable and equitable development across the Mediterranean basin, by supporting balanced and long-term cooperation between various parties.

Furthermore, the focus is on financing cooperation projects that address shared social, economic, environmental and governance challenges at the Mediterranean level, such as the absorption of advanced technologies, enhancing the competitiveness of SMEs and job creation, energy efficiency, sustainable water management, climate change adaptation, and transition to a circular and resource-efficient economy, education and training, healthcare, etc.

Al-Mashat confirmed that the Ministry of International Cooperation is working to implement ambitious programs and partnerships at the regional and bilateral levels that address the priorities of the Mediterranean in various sectors, during this stage, to extend the success achieved in the first and second stages.

It is also worth noting that the “Mediterranean Sea Basin for the Transnational Cooperation Program” (Interreg NEXT MED) played an important role in enhancing the needs and priorities of the countries of the region through European Union funding worth €209 million for 13 countries, in the 2nd phase, with the aim of establishing an initiative that promotes sustainable development and reduces levels of inequality in terms of living standards among the Mediterranean countries, and supporting cooperation between the governmental and private sectors and civil society.

Egypt has benefited from the program in light of cooperation with the European Union through the implementation of 26 projects in various sectors, including business development, SMEs, tourism, education and scientific research, technological development, innovation and social integration, climate change, renewable energy and integrated management of coastal areas in the governorates of Egypt; Kafr El-Sheikh, Dakahlia, Alexandria, Sharqia, Marsa Matrouh, Port Said, Beheira, Ismailia, Damietta, Gharbia, Menoufia, Suez and Qalyubia.

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