Econostrum | Economic News in the Mediterranean

Interreg Med banking on community action

Written by Christiane Navas, NICE on Monday, January 16th 2017 à 15:17 | Read 1007 times


The 2014/2020 programme aims to combat the proliferation of unconnected projects by pushing for the creation of stakeholder communities with the necessary tools for developing synergies.

Nelly Bourlion
Nelly Bourlion
The latest generation of the Interreg Med programme remains on track. A vehicle for the implementation of the European Union Cohesion Policy, Interreg Med aims to reduce the disparities between regions and reinforce transnational cooperation as a contribution to the long-term development of the Mediterranean area. The programme is targeting 57 regions in 10 member countries (Cyprus, Spain, France, Greece, Italy, Malta, Portugal, United Kingdom, Slovenia and Croatia) and three applicant countries (Albania, Bosnia-Herzegovina and Montenegro).

Drawing on the results of the previous programme (2007/2013), the new Interreg Med programme, which has a budget of €224M for the 2014/2020 period, aims to offset the dangers of a -sometimes excessive- dispersing of projects. "This is the raison d'être of the new horizontal projects. Their purpose is to create stakeholder communities with the tools for exchanging information and communicating more efficiently in order to link the different modular projects together and create synergies," explains the Plan Bleu's Nelly Bourlion, in charge of coordinating these communities. 

Three horizontal projects underway

Midi-Pyrénées, The Eco-Logis of Ensarnault photo toprural
Midi-Pyrénées, The Eco-Logis of Ensarnault photo toprural
Three horizontal projects were launched at the end of 2016. The aim of PANACea (France, Italy and Spain) is to optimise the networking efforts of stakeholders involved in a more efficient management of the Mediterranean Protected Areas for the benefit of biodiversity. PANACea will help them enhance the visibility of the results obtained from the various modular projects in which they are involved to improve collaboration.

BleuTourMed is another horizontal project, one dedicated to the sustainable tourism community in the Mediterranean and carried by the General Secretariat of Arco Latino and various partners including the Plan Bleu. BleuTourMed will be implementing a strategy of capitalizing on modular projects focussing on the protection and promotion of the Mediterranean's natural and cultural resources. The aim: to reduce the impact of human activity on those resources.

Lastly, a third horizontal project, aimed at what is termed "blue growth" in the Mediterranean, has also just started. Managed by the National Inter-University Consortium for Marine Sciences (CONISMa), InnoBlueGrowth aims to reinforce the transnational activities of clusters by -once again- developing a true community and by creating tools and events around "blue growth" in the Mediterranean.

These different horizontal projects will last three years. The goal of their coordinators is to set up at least two annual meetings in the form of workshops to complete the range of tools to be developed (newsletters, stakeholder map, forums for exchanges etc.) to make interregional cooperation more efficient.  

In partnership with le Plan Bleu

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