Questions & Answers

Does the UfM Secretariat finance projects?

The UfM Secretariat is not a donor institution and does not fund the implementation of the projects. It supports the project’s development, the search for the necessary financial resources as well as political and technical support to secure its launch and cooperates with the project promoters to facilitate all steps needed to start project implementation. The Secretariat facilitates the access to a network of partners and donors and accompanies the promoters in their fundraising and preparation of implementation strategy.

What is the UfM label and how can it help regional projects?

The UfM label is attributed to regional cooperation projects by the unanimous endorsement of the 43 UfM countries that meet on a regular basis through their country representatives, or Senior Officials, designated by the respective ministries of foreign affairs. It:

  • Brings the support of 43 countries: through the UfM label, the project promoter gains the support of 43 countries; this awareness and visibility helps him to further raise support and mobilise partners.
  • Facilitates access to finance: the UfM Secretariat helps project promoters gain access to a strong network of donors and financial institutions, from the Mediterranean region and beyond.
  • Helps to find solutions for complex regional projects: the UfM Secretariat’s mandate allows it to overcome difficulties in regional initiatives and mobilise governments and stakeholders towards a project’s success.
  • Makes a project idea become a reality: the Secretariat’s network of Euro-Mediterranean partners as well as in-house and external expertise help a project idea become a reality on the ground.

What is the relationship between the UfM and its Secretariat and how is support to projects structured?

The mandate and mission of the Secretariat were defined in the Paris and Marseille Declarations as well as in the Statutes adopted on 3 March 2010.

  • The UfMS provides continuous support towards ensuring the implementation of the project through technical expertise, providing networking opportunities, joint identification of issues etc.
  • Through the Senior Officials, the UfMS ensures a constant link to the national authorities of the countries involved in the project and to provide feedback on project progress.
  • The main mandate of the UfMS is to promote and give visibility to labelled projects through communication and networking.
  • The UfMS works with the promoters aims to take stock of particularly innovative ideas and up-scale particularly relevant activities to a more regional level, replicate best practices and/or extend the regional scope of existing regional frameworks to new countries.

How is a project processed towards UfM labelling?

Internally, the Secretariat mobilises its staff and expertise to assess and revise project proposals and their compliance with the UfM mandate and priorities. Following the completion of the project proposal appraisal and internal approval stages and on the basis of the decisions taken by the decision-making bodies of the Secretariat, the UfM Secretariat submits the project proposal(s) recommended to be labelled to the Senior Officials and country representatives of the 43 Member States of the Union for the Mediterranean, who decide, unanimously, on the endorsement of a project proposal as a UfM labelled project.

What basic criteria should a project fulfil in order to be considered for labelling by the 43 Member States?

All the project proposals have to fully comply with the general UfM project criteria (the full reference document can be found here) in line with the UfM’s core values and principles:

  • To contribute to the overall goal of enhancing cooperation, integration, peace and sustainable development in the Mediterranean region and demonstrate meaningful impact for the population and progress in the region.
  • To comply with principles and rules of international law and development cooperation while taking into account the principle of variable geometry.
  • To be of regional, sub-regional (involving at least three countries), transnational nature or national (implemented in one country) in the framework of a regional initiative.
  • To demonstrate added value- and complementarity to existing efforts and initiatives, coherent with local, national, and/or regional strategies with a potential for replication and expansion of regional scope.
  • To include effective community engagement and stakeholders consultations and adequate participatory processes.
  • To ensure partnership and synergies with relevant organisations and institutions working in related and associated programs, project or initiatives.

The UfM Secretariat carries out its project analysis based exclusively on the criteria for UfM labelling. It does not carry out in-depth technical studies, such as for example feasibility studies or environmental assessments, or technical reviews of any existing studies but relies on those already completed by the promoter or by potential funders. The political, economic, social, environmental or any other responsibility lays entirely with the project promoter(s).

How do I submit a project proposal?

In order to be registered and subsequently assessed, project proposals must be completed in the Project Proposal Template, signed and returned with the requested annexes to the UfM Secretariat by registered mail, with a copy equally submitted electronically in word format to projects.info@ufmsecretariat.org.

A project proposal has to be duly filled and signed at the technical level by the promoter (Project Manager or relevant person in charge). Even in its first draft, it must include sufficiently informative descriptions of the essential elements of the project.

Projects are processed according to the Project Guidelines of the UfM and assessed according to the UfM Project criteria which can be accessed here.

In which languages can I submit a proposal?

A proposal can be submitted in English and/or French. Project Templates are available in both languages.

Can I submit a project all year-long or is there a deadline and do you work through calls for proposals?

Promoters can submit project proposals at any time, as the Secretariat generally does not work through calls for proposals with pre-set deadlines.

How much time can I expect to pass between the submission of the project and the labelling?

As for the calendar, all depends on the maturity of the proposal and the quality of the documentation provided. The Secretariat aims to provide an initial response to proposals within the first month of receipt and carry out a more in-depth assessment in the following two months.

Following a positive indication, the internal assessment and complete appraisal of a project prior to its submission to the 43 Member States for labelling can take anywhere from one to three months depending on the calendar of scheduled Senior Officials’ Meetings. Therefore, an average of four to five months in total is to be foreseen between the submission and the potential labelling.

Does the UfM help to find 100% of the project financing? Is the promoter required to fund part of the project?

First, the Project proposal must detail the already secured funding from the Project Promoter to cover the financing needs, directly and/or indirectly. To be considered for UfM labelling, the share already covered should be at least 20% for all projects, and indicatively 10% for projects including an infrastructure component representing more than 50% of the budget.

In addition, and in the case where the project is not 100% financially covered, it must include a reasonable financial perspective of funding for the remaining gap. This clear and realistic financial perspective means that concrete and credible financial partners should be identified and approached by the promoter. This reasonable perspective must be presented in the Project Template. It can also be elaborated with the help and advice of the Secretariat during the appraisal phase.

What is expected from a Project Promoter once the label is secured?

Once the labelling is secured, the Promoter is expected to fulfil and implement activities foreseen by the project, informing the UfMS a regular basis in order to report back to the 43 Member States. Equally, the Promoter is expected to ensure its own appropriate mention and visibility of the UfM label and political recognition of the project as a regionally relevant, to be highlighted in relevant communication materials related to the project. The UfM label does not entail any financial commitment towards the Promoter or the UfMS with regard to the Project.

Can UfM labelling help me develop my business and open new market opportunities?

As an intergovernmental organisation and public institution working towards regional integration and prosperity, the UfM and its Secretariat must remain vigilant as to not create market distortions. In the case of a promoter being a private company, the latter has to demonstrate that it has public sector support and that the direct promotion of the project would not risk triggering an unfair competitive advantage vis-à-vis other private companies.

Likewise, the project has to demonstrate its added value and complementarity to existing efforts and initiatives and be coherent with local, national, and/or regional strategies.

For further questions regarding the project cycle, assessment or labelling process you may contact the Directorate for Operations and Partnerships at projects.info@ufmsecretariat.org.

How is the Secretariat of the Union for the Mediterranean financed?

The UfM Secretariat operational budget is financed up to 50% by the European Commission and, for the other half, by contributions from its member states.