!! Flash Info!!
Please be informed that the East and South regional studies and the benefits assessment manual of our ENRTP-project on 'Socio-Economic Benefits of Enhanced Environment Protection in the Neighbourhood Countries and the Russian Federation' have been now been put online here, as well as a press release that was also distributed through the ENPI Info Centre.
The sixteen country-studies under the same project will be put online in the middle of January.
Environmental cooperation with the countries of the Mediterranean lies in the framework of EU external policy, the European Neighbourhood Policy (ENP), whose aim is to strengthen relations between the EU and its neighbours. The policy covers Algeria, Egypt, Israel, Jordan, Lebanon, Libya Morocco, the occupied Palestinian territory, Syria and Tunisia. This policy reinforces the Euro-Mediterranean Partnership, while using all its institutions and mechanisms. EU third countries relations are governed by a series of bilateral Association Agreements between the EU and each country concerned. The environmental chapter of the National Action Plans agreed with partner countries under the ENP will be implemented primarily through discussions that will take place in bilateral Environment Subcommittees under each ratified Association Agreement. These relations are bilateral whilst regional cooperation in the Mediterranean takes place under the Union for the Mediterranean.
Financial assistance is provided through the European Neighbourhood and Partnership Instrument (ENPI). This is a flexible, policy-driven instrument, designed to target sustainable development and approximation to EU policies and standards - supporting the agreed priorities in the ENP Action Plans and/or the Association Agreement (as well as the Strategic Partnership with Russia).
From 2014 onwards this will be replaced by the European Neighbourhood Instrument (ENI).
International Financial Institutions such as the European Investment Bank are also active in funding environmental actions in the Mediterranean region.
The Mediterranean countries have a long history of co-operation in the field of the environment, considered to be a shared value of common interest. The Mediterranean environment is recognised by specialists as one of the richest and most vulnerable in the world, in particular regarding its biodiversity. The Mediterranean countries have continued their joint efforts for the protection of this shared environment at a multilateral level for more than 25 years, in spite of cultural, political, economic or technical differences.
The European Commission strategy for the region is outlined in a Commission Communication establishing an environmental strategy for the Mediterranean. The strategy's key aims are to:
In line with the European Neighbourhood Policy and the Euro-Mediterranean Partnership, these aims will be achieved through four means: financial assistance from existing and already planned EU aid programmes; strengthened dialogue with the region's representatives; improved coordination with other organisations and partners; and sharing of EU experience in dealing with the problems of the Mediterranean and other regions.
A key pillar of the environmental strategy for the Mediterranean is 'Horizon 2020', an initiative to tackle the top sources of Mediterranean pollution by the year 2020 that was endorsed by leaders of Euro-Mediterranean countries at the 10th Anniversary Euro-Mediterranean Summit in Barcelona in 2005.
The Mediterranean strategy fleshes out the detail of Horizon 2020, grouping activities under four headings:
Developing indicators to monitor the success of Horizon 2020.
The key forum for the protection of the marine and coastal environment in the Mediterranean is the Barcelona Convention; this Convention and its Protocols provide the legal basis for the multilateral co-operation aiming at protecting the environment and fostering sustainable development in the Mediterranean Basin through the work of the Mediterranean Action Plan (MAP), the MED POL Programme (the marine pollution assessment and control component of MAP) and the Regional Activity Centres, each of which deals with a specific issue.
The Mediterranean Commission for Sustainable Development (MCSD) is an Advisory Forum consisting of representatives of the contracting parties to the Barcelona Convention, local/regional organisations, private enterprises and NGOs. Under its auspices was developed the Mediterranean Strategy for Sustainable Development (MSSD).
The EU is a Contracting Party to the Barcelona Convention, represented by the European Commission. The Commission participates actively in the elaboration and implementation of the MAP Work Programme, ensuring, inter alia, its consistence and complementarity with other EU Mediterranean-related policies and financing possibilities, in particular ENP, H2020, the EU RTD framework programmes and the Development Cooperation Instrument. The Barcelona Convention and the Ecosystem Approach to the management of human activities that it is implementing, constitute an appropriate framework for the regional cooperation required for the implementation by the EU Mediterranean Member States of the Marine Strategy Framework Directive.
Euro-Mediterranean Ministerial Conference on the Environment,
20 November 2006, Cairo:
- Final Declaration (pdf 21-22k)
- Horizon 2020 Timetable 2007-2013 (pdf 31-36k)
- Communication flyer (pdf 620K)
- Life in the Mediterranean flyer (pdf 847K)
Environment and Sustainable development in the Mediterranean