On the 5th of December the MED Talks webinar jontly organised by the Interreg Euro-MED and the Union for the Mediterranean took place. The webinar that reached more than 130 participants online aimed to explore opportunities for cooperation between the two shores of the Mediterranean.
The Euro-MED Missions had the opportunity to explain their next steps and how associated partners and stakeholders can get involved in their future plans. The Innovative Sustainable Economy Mission has two associated partners from the southern Mediterranean: BUSINESSMED, based in Tunisia, and the Arab Network for Environment and Development, based in Egypt. For the Mission, the webinar was an opportunity to demonstrate the synergies and benefits of working together with all our partners over the next six years. Indeed, as demonstrated during the Interreg Euro-MED event, cooperation between the two shores of the Mediterranean will be necessary to address the much-needed transition.
Haris Paliogiannis, MIO-ECSDE, provided an update on the 14 thematic projects approved under the Innovative Sustainable Mission, which will be clustered thematically to consolidate the scope of the Mission. Blue, Green, Circular Economy and S3 Strategies will be the main thematic strands. He then presented some of the tools and tailor-made online and face-to-face activities aimed at the main target groups of the Mission, which will be launched from 2024 onwards to enable them to acquire competences for innovative solutions. Among them:
- Guidelines, reccomendations, trainings and workshops
- Exchanges, technical guidance, site visits
- Training modules on the Mission scope.
Maria Garcies, CPMR, shed light on the ISEC Hub. A dynamic community of people from across the Mediterranean, committed to steering innovation towards sustainable development in our basin. The ISEC Hub will be a space for dialogue and exchange on different skills, capacity needs, territorial challenges and priorities. The activity, which is now in the development phase and will be launched in September 2024, is based on four pillars: connect, learn, share and collaborate.
Hedi Chouria, BUSINESSMED, underlined the benefits of participating in European projects in terms of capacity-building and implementing partnership actions between the different business communities at regional level. Building on its consolidated multiple expertise in the field of business, regional integration policies and institutional reforms, as well as its experience in cooperation projects at the Mediterranean level, BUSINESSMED will provide a great added value to the Mission’s scope. Indeed, Mr. Chouria mentioned some projects in which the institution participated during the last programming period, such as B-BLUE and GREEN GROWTH COMMUNITY. In addition, the Mission can also learn from the projects that BUSINESSMED is currently implementing, such as Med4Waste and BLUE MISSION MED.
Mercè Boy Roura and Maria Caldero Pascual, UVIC, reinforced the concept that as a Mission we want to continue to understand the needs and priorities of our partners on the southern shore and create the basis for renewed cooperation in the future.
Curzio Cervelli, Interreg Euro-MED Joint Secretariat, stressed the importance of coordination between the Interreg Programmes that finance actions in the Mediterranean, such as Interreg Euro-MED and Interreg NEXT MED, in order to promote effective projects that respond to the current challenges. Taking advantage of the context and the audience, Joumana Sweiss, Interreg NEXT MED, also intervened to reinforce this concept and to present the upcoming first call, which will address different themes such as the green transition. Alessandra Sensi, Union for the Mediterranean, closed the session dedicated to the Innovative Sustainable Economy Mission by complementing the previous interventions. She reiterated that the support of the Interreg programmes is crucial to foster the processes that the Mediterranean countries have agreed to carry out, such as the management of marine litter. Finally, she recalled the need to cooperate also with other programmes such as the PRIMA Program.