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Mediterranean Neighbourhood

Bilateral cooperation

Bilateral cooperation with countries in the Mediterranean neighbourhood is based on the environmental part of the National Action Plans, which is being implemented through discussions taking place in bilateral Environment Subcommittees under each ratified Association Agreement. Currently EU has signed Association Agreements with 7 countries in the Southern Neighbourhood (Morocco, Algeria, Tunisia, Egypt, Lebanon, Israel, Jordan) and has signed Interim Association Agreement on Trade and Cooperation with Palestine. EU also has Action Plans agreed with 7 countries. Environmental priorities in the Action Plans are listed in the table below.

The Single Support Framework (SSF) builds on the priorities identified in the Action Plans and outlines areas where EU assistance will be directed. Environmental is either directly or indirectly identified under the SSF in all countries in the Mediterranean neighbourhood.


Single Support Framework

Environment priorities in the Action Plan


  • Access to basic services (among them drinking water and waste water treatment in rural areas)
  • Support to democratic governance, rule of law and mobility
  • Jobs, sustainable and inclusive growth (mainstreaming environment in business opportunities, green jobs)
  • Promoting good Environmental governance
  • Preventing and combating the deterioration of the environment, protect human health and promote the rational use of natural resources
  • Cooperation on environmental issues


  • Justice reform and strengthening of citizen participation in public life
  • Labour market reform and employment creation
  • Support to the management and diversification of the economy (reference to integrated environmental management, sustainable development and green economy) Environment is one of the nine horizontal priorities to be integrated in  other sectors
  • Action Plan is currently being negotiated


  • Socio-economic reforms for inclusive growth, competitiveness and integration
  • Strengthening fundamental elements of democracy
  • Sustainable regional and local development (environmental governance and green economy is one of the specific objectives)
  • Promoting good Environmental governance
  • Preventing and combating the deterioration of the environment, protect human health and promote the rational use of natural resources
  • Enhancing and boosting cooperation on environmental issues


  • Democratic governance
  • Youth: active citizenship and socioeconomic integration
  • Health
  • Complementary support to CSOs and Capacity development
  • Environment to be mainstreamed
  • No Action Plan


  • Poverty Alleviation, Local socio-economic development and Social Protection (socio-economic development at the local level, strengthening sustainable economic activities)
  • Governance, Transparency and Business Environment
  • Quality of life and environment (improving waste-water management and citizens' access to sanitation, Improving access to clean energy)
  • Promotion of sustainable development
  • Improving environmental performance and enhance good environmental governance
  • Enhancing cooperation on environmental issues


  • Rule of Law
  • Private sector and Trade
  • Water and Sanitation
  • Development of a framework for an integrated water and wastewater management system
  • Implement sustainable development policies
  • Enhancing co-operation in environmental issues
  • Ensuring good environmental governance
  • Converging with certain EU legislation and principles on environment
  • Review institutional structures of the environment sector
  • Conserving environmental diversity and protect the marine and coastal environment
  • Strengthening the framework for hazardous and solid waste management


  • Reinforcing the rule of law for enhanced accountability and equity in public delivery
  • Employment and private sector development (includes focus on green economy and green jobs)
  • Renewable energy and energy efficiency
  • Promotion of sustainable development
  • Ensuring good environmental governance
  • Gradual convergence with EU policy principles and legislation
  • Enhancing regional cooperation (Horizon 2020 initiative, regional water issues, etc.)


  • Justice and Security System Reform
  • Reinforcing social cohesion, promoting sustainable economic development and protecting vulnerable groups
  • Promotion of sustainable and transparent management of energy and natural resources (specific reference to monitor environment as objective and reference to SEIS among the sources of information in the indicators)
  • Enhancing environmental protection and advancing sustainable regional development
  • Cooperation to strengthen the protection and management of the environment, in the framework of existing and future environmental actions, notably the Horizon 2020 programme
  • Advancing the practice of integrated water management both on the supply and the demand
  • Environmental awareness raising and support for activities of and cooperation with local authorities, civil society and the private sector



  • Promotion of sustainable development
  • Ensuring good environmental governance
  • Taking action for prevention of deterioration of the environment, protection of human health, and achievement of rational use of natural resources
  • Enhancing co-operation on environmental issues


Bilateral cooperation programmes with Syria have been suspended, as has participation by the Syrian authorities in the EU’s regional programmes.