Mediterranean cooperation: first meeting of the Monitoring Committee to kickstart Interreg NEXT MED Programme


The first meeting Monitoring Committee (MC) of the Interreg NEXT MED Programme will be held in Cagliari, Italy on 14 and 15 March 2023. The MC is the decision-making of the Programme, chaired by the Region of Sardinia in its capacity as Managing Authority, and is composed by members from the countries participating in the Programme, as well as the European Commission. 

The meeting will be attended by delegates from 15 countries of the Mediterranean area - Cyprus, Egypt, France, Greece, Israel, Italy, Lebanon, Jordan, Malta, Palestine, Portugal, Spain, Tunisia, which had already participated in the previous editions Programme (namely ENPI CBC Med 2007-2013 and ENI CBC Med 2014-2020), and Algeria and Türkiye - as well as representatives of the European Commission’s DG for regional and urban policy (REGIO), the hosting institutions of the two Programme Branch Offices (Aqaba Special Economic Zone Authority, Jordan and the Region of Valencia, Spain) and TESIM (Technical Support to the Implementation and Management of ENI CBC programmes, a EU-funded technical assistance project). 

A strategic appointment, which gives the operational start to a new cycle of activities and opportunities within one of the largest transnational cooperation initiatives financed by the European Union in the Mediterranean area. With a budget of €253 million, Interreg NEXT MED's main objective is to contribute to a smart, sustainable, fair development for all in the Mediterranean area, through balanced cooperation and multilevel governance.

In addition to the adoption of its rules of procedure, the Monitoring Committee meeting will focus on approving the main features, rules and evaluation criteria of the first call for proposals. 

The call, which budget should be over €100 million, will address all the thematic priorities of the Programme for a smarter, greener, more inclusive Mediterranean, namely: strengthening of research and innovation capacities, competitiveness of SMEs and job creation; energy efficiency, sustainable water management, adaptation to climate change, transition to a circular economy; education and training, health care; development of local governance processes to foster cooperation and dialogue between citizens, civil society and public institutions.

In the context of the first call, a budget line is entirely dedicated to encouraging the participation of youth organizations in Euro-Mediterranean cooperation projects and strengthening their operational capacitiese: a unique and innovative approach within the community of over 90 Interreg programmes ongoing for the 2021-2027 period.

Other items under discussion of the first meeting of the Monitoring Committee include the criteria for the selection of the Joint Secretariat and Branch offices staff, communication activities and the action plan of the multi-programme coordination mechanism currently involving Interreg Euro-Med, Italy-France Maritime and NEXT MED programmes.