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NextMed: ENI to usher in new phase for Euromed cooperation

Taking the baton from ENPI, conference in Rome 12/12

12 December, 15:53

    NextMed in Rome, the Enpi/Eni projecvts on show NextMed in Rome, the Enpi/Eni projecvts on show

    (ANSAmed) - ROME - The ENPI CBC (Cross-Border Cooperation) - Mediterranean Basin program focused on reducing the gap between the northern and southern Mediterranean through European neighborhood policies based on cooperation, mutual trust and planning of partner nations. The same aims will be pursued in the new ENI CBC 2014-2020 program.

    Marking the transition will be the 'NextMed - From ENPI to ENI: a new phase in cross-border cooperation in the Mediterranean' conference on Friday in Rome, organized as part of the Italian six-month presidency of the Council of the European Union. The event will make it possible to compare the 95 projects financed during the ongoing ENPI 2007-2013 program as well as look towards the future until the year 2020. The conference will take place at Hotel Parco dei Principi, where an attempt will be made to shed light on the results achieved in such sectors as socio-economic growth, cultural dialogue, sustainable tourism, environmental challenges and development of human capital, while looking towards future projects with optimism and confidence. The Autonomous Region of Sardinia will continue in its role as management authority for the program, which includes seven EU member states and seven partner nations from the southern part of the area (Cyprus, Egypt, France, Greece, Israel, Italy, Jordan, Lebanon, Malta, Palestine, Portugal, Spain and Tunisia).

    So far, the program has served as a cooperation platform between 735 local bodies, public administrations, local institutions, universities, civil society and the private sector and has resulted in 95 projects being started with a budget of some 200 million euros. A total of 209 million have thus far been allocated for 2014-2020.

    ''Focusing on neighborhood policy in Europe is of central importance in this phase,'' underscored Minister Alberto Cutillo, director general for European integration, during the presentation of the event. ''We sought to give strong European stimulus to Mediterranean policy on several levels,'' he added. ''We launched challenges that will have repercussions across Europe, as well as on migratory trends.'' On the latter issue, he added that Italy intends to manage it ''through cooperation''.

    One of the participants will be Nehad Abdel Latif, previously Egypt's ambassador to Italy and assistant to the Egyptian foreign ministry, who said that he was ''proud to have taken part in the program and for having seen the Arabic language recognized in the program.''

    Ian Borg, parliamentary secretary for the 2017 Maltese presidency of the Council of the European Union at Malta's foreign ministry, said that ''we shouldn't speak about the Mediterranean only when there are problems'' such as the migration emergency, since it is a region that has much to offer. Borg suggested that a forum be set up ''to meet and discuss the economy, SMEs and social inclusion''. (ANSAmed).

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