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Monitoring Committee for Euro-Mediterranean Cooperation in RTD (MoCo)

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Policy dialogue

Following the European Council in Lisbon (June 1992), the European Union established a new framework for its relations with the Mediterranean countries with a view to forming a Euro-Mediterranean Partnership. This Partnership became a reality at the Barcelona Conference of November 1995, which brought together Ministers of Foreign Affairs of the EU Member States and the Mediterranean non-member countries. The Partnership is based on political, security, economic, financial, cultural, social and human affairs. A Monitoring Committee (MoCo) for Euro-Mediterranean cooperation was created in 1995 to monitor and promote cooperation in Research, Technology and Development. This bi-regional cooperation was given new impetus at the Paris summit in 2008. The 'Union for the Mediterranean – UfM' was launched. It was decided to focus the relations on six main axes including Research.

These six axes are:

  1. Depollution for the Mediterranean
  2. Maritime and land highways: security and safety
  3. Civil protection
  4. Alternative energies
  5. Higher education and research
  6. Mediterranean Business development initiative (with a focus on SMEs)

In terms of bilateral relations, the current EU policy dialogue with the Mediterranean countries is framed within the European Neighbourhood Policy (ENP), which was established in 2004 with the objective of strengthening relations with Southern and Eastern neighbours. The ENP was reviewed in 2011 to adapt it to the changes in the Southern Mediterranean region. In May 2011, the High Representative of the European Union for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy and the European Commission published a joint communication (COM (2011) 303) presenting a new approach to strengthen the partnership between the EU and the neighbourhood countries. In terms of Research and Innovation, it suggests to work towards the establishment of a Common Knowledge and Innovation Space (CKIS), which pulls together policy dialogue, national and regional capacity-building, cooperation in research and innovation and increased mobility of researchers.

Research and Innovation policy framework

EU bilateral Science and Technology cooperation agreements with Egypt, Jordan, Morocco, Tunisia and soon Algeria focus on strengthening the bilateral policy dialogues and promoting cooperation.

In addition to the bilateral policy dialogues, the Monitoring Committee (MoCo) for Euro-Mediterranean cooperation in Research, Technology and Development plays a key role as a bi-regional policy dialogue platform bringing together EU Member States and all Mediterranean Partner Countries. The MoCo plays a central role in stimulating Euro-Mediterranean cooperation in research and innovation and was assigned the task by the Council of making recommendations for the joint implementation of RTD policy priorities.

The first ministerial conference on Higher Education and Research led to the Cairo Declaration (2007) 'Towards a Euro-Mediterranean Higher Education and Research Area' and constitutes a policy framework for Euro-Mediterranean cooperation in research and higher education.

 

 

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