Barcelona, 19 February 2016. The Senior Officials of the UfM member countries met on 16 February in Brussels and approved four new regional projects by according to them the UfM label, bringing up the total number of UfM-labelled regional cooperation projects to 41.
The 4 new UfM-labelled projects will contribute to strengthening regional cooperation in the following areas:
- private investments for renewable energies
- marine litter
- shipping services
- women’s health.
The endorsement by UfM Member States of new regional projects confirms the 2015 dynamics of development and implementation of the UfM’s pipeline of labelled projects: by December 2015, 19 projects had been already launched. From 29 projects in 2014, 8 more were endorsed by the UfM Member States in 2015, representing close to €5 billion in investments for the region, reaching around 200,000 beneficiaries in the fields of Youth Employability and Inclusive Growth and targeting 50,000 beneficiaries in the field of Women’s Empowerment.
In addition to the labelling of 4 new projects, two other new projects were presented to the UfM Member States with the aim to be labelled at the next SOM:
- The first project aims to set up a regional demand-driven toolbox for youth-orientated labour market services in Algeria, Egypt, Jordan, Morocco, Palestine and Tunisia. This regional project is promoted by “GIZ” (Global Initiative on Innovative Labour Market Services for Youth – YouMatch), commissioned by the Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development of the Federal Republic of Germany, and in cooperation with the UfM Secretariat under the Med4Jobs Initiative.
- The second project, “OPTIMED IMPLEMENTATION, Implementing a new Mediterranean Corridor: from South-Eastern to North-Western ports”, is promoted by the Autonomous Region of Sardinia (Italy) with the objective of optimising trade relations in the Mediterranean Basin through the improvement of commercial connections between public and private operators in maritime transport and logistics sector in Spain, France, Italy, Lebanon, Egypt, Turkey, and Cyprus.
The representatives of the 43 Member States commended the activities undertaken by the UfM Secretariat in various fields throughout 2015. Over the last year, the UfM Secretariat continued to act as the platform for regional dialogue and operational cooperation in the Mediterranean engaging relevant actors and stakeholders as well as institutional partners, and addressing a number of strategic issues related to regional integration and development.
NOTE TO EDITORS – Brief Summary of the four new UfM-labelled projects:
- SEMed Private Renewable Energy Framework (“SPREF”) is an innovative framework to boost the development of private renewable energy markets in Morocco, Tunisia, Egypt and Jordan with efficient policy dialogue and financing mechanisms promoted by the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD). With a total budget of ca. EUR 835 million, the project will aim to overcome barriers that can prevent the development of private renewable energy markets and provide technical cooperation support through policy dialogue. Most importantly, the framework will aim to develop efficient financing mechanisms for the realization of renewable energy project to directly stimulate an estimated EUR 600 million in investments and encourage local private energy companies in renewable energy in beneficiary countries.
- PLASTIC-BUSTERS for a Mediterranean free from litter is a truly regional initiative aiming to tackle the issue of marine litter on a regional level through an integrated approach. Promoted by the University of Siena (SDSN – MED Solutions) with a number of Mediterranean partners, the four-year project will be working to closing knowledge gaps, identifying hot spots and launching concrete pilot demonstration activities on the collection of marine litter and prevention measures, including joint activities with the fishing communities to remove the so-called ‘ghost fishing nets’ that can cause serious damage to marine environments as well as prevent and reduce marine litter overall. The findings and information is then aimed to be fed into awareness raising campaigns, providing information and elaborating recommendations to facilitate effective policymaking at regional, national, local levels with regards to the reduction of marine litter in the Mediterranean Sea. The budget of the project is of 8.8 M Euros and 10 countries are currently participating in the project.
- UfM MoS: The Turkey-Italy-Tunisia Project aims to propose and develop a “Motorway of the Sea”, i.e. a seamless intermodal goods transport service bridging Turkey with Maghreb area with calls in the Ports of Bari, Brindisi and Taranto in Italy, offering a door-to-door Roll-on-Roll-off service which combines Short Sea Shipping with other modes of transport (road, rail). In addition to Turkey, Italy and Tunisia other Maghreb countries could take advantage of the new maritime services, which will be developed in the framework of the Trans- Mediterranean Transport Network (TMN-T) implementation strategy and of the connection between the TMN-T and the Trans-European Transport Network (TEN-T). The project costs are estimated at 500 Mio Euros for the service with a revenue estimation of 600 Mio Euros over the life cycle of 20 years. The Promoter of the Project is the Turkish Chamber of Commerce in Italy, with the technical support of the Italian College of Railway Engineers (CIFI) and of “Titi Shipping”, a maritime company based in Brindisi, under the patronage of the Honorary General Consulate of Turkey in Brindisi.
- Women’s Right to Health – The WoRTH Project aims to implement a comprehensive cervical and breast cancer control strategy through multi-sectoral partnerships anchored in relevant national policies and plans in Albania, Montenegro and Morocco. With a budget of just over 4.1 million, WoRTH will target, in addition of health professionals, 15.000 women disadvantaged women living in vulnerable situations who will be offered the opportunity to be tested for free for cervical and breast cancer. The project will be carried out in a comprehensive approach: National diagnostics, training activities for policy makers, health professionals, other relevant actors, women’s awareness campaigns, early detection activities for disadvantaged women, establishment of national networks for exchange of updated information and knowledge on CC and BC early detection and screening, strengthening of the existing Mediterranean network to promote translational and implementation research, and North-to-South and South to South cooperation and concluding policy recommendations. The project is promoted by the Centre for Epidemiology and Prevention of Cancer in Piedmont (CPO) in partnership with the World Health Organization and will be implemented over 4 years.