Commission seeks views on research partnership in the Mediterranean
Brussels, 2 February 2016
The European Commission has opened a public consultation on a new research and innovation initiative for sustainable food production and improved water management in the Mediterranean area. PRIMA, the Partnership for Research and Innovation in the Mediterranean Area, will involve both EU and non-EU Mediterranean states. It will reinforce international cooperation in research and innovation to address the food and water-related challenges that are critical to the region's sustainable development.
Carlos Moedas, European Commissioner for Research, Science and Innovation, said: "Research cooperation in the Mediterranean region exemplifies the EU commitment to being open to the world, and to our immediate neighbourhood in particular. We are consulting and gathering views on how to work together on global challenges and ensure the sustainable provision of vital resources – water and food – in the Mediterranean basin."
The consultation will run until 24 April 2016. Researchers, businesses, civil society and other stakeholders will be able to give their views on the scope, potential impact and make-up of the PRIMA initiative.
The current proposal aims to establish PRIMA as a public-public partnership under Horizon 2020, the EU's research and innovation funding programme. The consultation launched today will feed into an impact assessment of the PRIMA initiative, currently developed by the Commission.
On 22 December 2014, nine EU Member States – Croatia, Cyprus, France, Greece, Italy, Malta, Portugal, Slovenia and Spain – submitted a proposal for the participation of the Union in a joint research and innovation programme focused on the development and application of innovative solutions for food systems and water resources in the Mediterranean basin. This would be through an Article 185 TFEU initiative under Horizon 2020.
The proposal has been named PRIMA (Partnership for Research and Innovation in the Mediterranean Area). Seven non-EU countries are taking part in PRIMA: Algeria, Egypt, Jordan, Lebanon, Morocco, Tunisia and Turkey. Germany, Israel and Romania have also shown interest in joining the initiative. A total of €200 million has been committed to this initiative over a 10-year period starting in 2018. This figure includes the contribution from the Czech Republic and Luxembourg, which joined PRIMA at a later stage.
The European Commission consults citizens and other stakeholders on all major policy initiatives in order to make the EU more transparent, accountable and effective. Building on the existing minimum standards on consultation, the Commission's new Better Regulation Guidelines strengthen the commitment to carry out consultations that are of a high quality and reach all stakeholders.