The governance projects within the Interreg Euro-MED Innovative Sustainable Economy mission enhance the legacy of the Interreg MED 2014-2020 Programme, building on the work done by the previous Thematic Communities on Green Growth, Blue Growth, and Cultural and Social & Creative areas. The current mission has a broader scope embracing innovation capacities – technological, social, institutional – and practices conducive to more sustainable production and consumption in the region, in line with European Cohesion Policy priorities and specific objectives.


The world is confronted with a more and more urgent need to accelerate the transition from a social and economic development model relying on excessive exploitation of natural resources to a more sustainable one, compatible with the planetary boundaries. Global change is happening, and it is happening fast, pushed by human pressure. The consequences of these changes – climate change and biodiversity loss above all – are increasingly visible and affecting our daily life. The Mediterranean region is a densely populated sea basin and a climate change hotspot.

The United Nations 2030 Agenda Sustainable Development Goals offered an integrated framework to guide collective efforts. In the European Union, the European Green Deal traces the way for a new growth strategy that aims to transform the EU into a fair and prosperous society, with a modern, resource-efficient, and competitive economy, conserving and enhancing the EU’s natural capital, and protecting the health and well-being of citizens from environment-related risks and impacts. Overall, this transition will lead to a European Union where there are no net emissions of greenhouse gases in 2050 and where economic growth is decoupled from resource use.

At the Mediterranean level, following the approval of the Union for the Mediterranean (UfM) Ministerial Declaration on Environment and Climate Action in October 2021, the 2030 GreenerMed Agenda provides a regional structured framework that creates political and operational convergence to accelerate the transition of the Mediterranean region towards a green, blue, circular and inclusive economy.

There is growing consensus on the role of transformative place-based innovation to reach these ambitious targets. Innovation investment can be oriented to meet the most pressing challenges of sustainable development, beyond short-term economic growth

In this context, the Interreg Euro-MED Programme mission is implemented through governance projects and different types of thematic projects (such as strategic territorial, study, test, and transfer). To amplify individual thematic projects’ results and raise the overall mission impact, the mission relies on the know-how and field implementation knowledge of the Thematic Community Project along with the policy and advocacy knowledge of the Institutional Dialogue Project.

Jointly the two governance projects contribute to:

  • Facilitating the exploitation and REUSE of knowledge, experiences, and project results towards other stakeholders.
  • Facilitating the TRANSFER of results to other stakeholders, Programmes and territories and their mainstreaming into local, regional, national, and European policies.
  • Increasing COORDINATION between stakeholders covering the Mediterranean based on shared knowledge, experiences, and results.


The Innovative Sustainable Economy mission governance projects kicked off in January 2023 and will run until September 2029. The governance projects cover the whole Programme area, covering 14 countries from Cyprus to Portugal with a look at the whole Mediterranean Sea basin.

Beyond the Interreg Euro-MED Programme area, the mission is committed to promoting cooperation with stakeholders from Southern and Eastern Mediterranean countries. Well-established and important North-South Mediterranean networks are directly implied, either as partners or associated organisations.

The mission governance mechanism has been labelled by the Union for the Mediterranean and may count on the support of the 43 participating countries and the Secretariat to favour an active engagement of additional actors.


One mission, two governance projects
The Thematic Community Project embraces the know-how of the mission scope, along with the policy alignment ensured by the Institutional Dialogue Project, to improve the capacity of policymakers and stakeholders from the quadruple helix to uptake and enhance valuable results and promote multilevel coordination for better Mediterranean governance. Both approaches work in synchrony and focus on common challenges within the innovative green and blue circular economy.

Thematic Community Project

The project works to achieve the mission goals with on-the-ground activities and a bottom-up cooperation approach. The project focuses on field activities and innovation development around the region. The consortium is integrated by 10 partners from Spain, Italy, Greece, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Belgium, France, and Bulgaria.


Institutional Dialogue Project

The project contributes to improving the long-lasting conditions for institutional and social dialogue in the Mediterranean, bridging the transnational dimension with local solutions and increasing coordination, orientation, policy coherence and alignment of actions for an innovative sustainable economy. The project’s activities are carried out by a consortium of 9 partners including National and Regional Authorities and agencies, Mediterranean network organisations and an innovative SME.


Associated Partners

Union of Mediterranean Confederations of Enterprises (TN) • Medcities Association (ES) • Energy Cities (FR) • Agency for Sustainable Mediterranean Cities and Territories (FR) • European Public Law Organization (EL) • United Nations Environment Programme / Mediterranean Action Plan – Barcelona Convention Secretariat (EL) • Ministry of Development and Investments (EL) • Circle of Mediterranean Parliamentarians for Sustainable Development (EL) • Arab Network for Environment and Development (EG) • National Inter-University Consortium for Marine Sciences (IT) • The Balkan Forum (XK) • United Nations Sustainable Development Solutions Network Mediterranean (IT) • Apulia Region (IT) • Association of Rural Initiatives of Catalonia (ES) • Barleti Institute for Research and Development (AL) • Euroregion Pyrenees Mediterranean EGTC (FR) • INGENIO [CSIC-UPV] (ES) • Ministry of Finance and Economy (AL) • Regional Council Of Shkoder (AL) • ENEA Italian national agency for new technologies energy and sustainable economic development (IT) • The Malta Council for Science and Technology (MT) • MA of the Operational Program for Sustainability and Efficiency in the Use of Resources (PT) • Ruder Boskovic Institute (HR) • General Directorate for European Funds of the Ministry of Finance and Civil Service (ES)