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Mediterranean Neighbourhood

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. 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:

  • Reduce pollution levels across the region
  • Promote sustainable use of the sea and its coastline
  • Encourage neighbouring countries to cooperate on environmental issues
  • Assist partner countries in developing effective institutions and policies to protect the environment
  • Involve NGOs and the public in environmental decisions affecting them.

These aims are being 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.