Barcelona, 27 November 2015. Following the High-level UfM Conference: Towards a Common Development Agenda for the Mediterranean that gave a strong political impetus to the UfM and its activities, the Senior Officials of the 43 Member States unanimously endorsed 4 new projects during their meeting in Barcelona, increasing the total number of labelled projects up to 37. These projects, just over 70% of which are already financially secured, illustrate concrete efforts in the three priority areas of sustainable development, inclusive growth and youth employability and women’s empowerment.
4 new UfM labelled projects
UfM Energy University by Schneider Electric will provide free and specialised education programmes for energy professionals through an online platform. The objectives of the project are the development of expertise in energy efficiency and renewable energy through free online courses together with enhanced networking amongst regional experts in energy efficiency and renewable energy. A core group of countries, Morocco, Tunisia, Turkey and Algeria, will act as project facilitators to ensure the content of the courses meets the identified needs and priorities of the region in coordination with the promoter Schneider Electric. The project costs are fully financed by the promoter.
Economic Development through Inclusive and Local Empowerment (EDILE) formulates a regional approach to identify and support investments and best practices with high local impact. The purpose is to promote investments with high spill-over effects by creating a rating tool to measure the inclusiveness of investment projects associated with a label (EDILE label). The main targets are public and private investment project evaluators, private investors, civil society stakeholders and international financial institutions and other donors.
The EDILE pilot phase, implemented in the framework of the ENPI CBC MED programme financed by the European Commission, covered Lebanon, Palestine and Tunisia. The UfM label will promote the consolidation of the activities in Lebanon, Tunisia and Palestine, and their extension to Morocco, Algeria, Egypt and Jordan.
The EUROMED Invest Promotion & Observatory will maximise investments and support private sector development in the region. The objective is to develop investment and business partnerships by monitoring and promoting economic integration in the Mediterranean region through promoting partner relationships and foreign investment, training and technical assistance for entrepreneurs, project incubation, as well as impact evaluation and optimisation of international investment and partnerships through the existing observatory. Promoted by the ANIMA Investment Network, this project will be implemented in EU 28 countries and the Mediterranean region from 2015 to 2017. The target beneficiaries are investment promotion agencies, SME development agencies, chambers of commerce and industry and other organisations representing the private sector, industry associations, public and private investors and diaspora networks. The current project is supported by the European Commission at 80% of the total budget of the project which corresponds to €2.7 million.
The Women’s Economic Empowerment in the MENA Region project, promoted by the United Nations Industrial Development Organisation (UNIDO), will create favourable conditions to enhance women’s entrepreneurship through inclusive dialogue and policy reform as well as a capacity building programme, the identification of investment opportunities and facilitating access to finance for women. This project directly responds to the recommendations of the UfM Ministerial Conference on Strengthening the Role of Women in Society held in Paris in 2013 and is in line with the UfM Mediterranean Initiative for Jobs (Med4Jobs).
The main objectives are to enhance women’s economic inclusion and create conditions for more sustainable and inclusive growth by harnessing the great potential of women entrepreneurs in Algeria, Egypt, Jordan, Lebanon, Morocco, Palestine and Tunisia. As such, it will particularly contribute to enhancing trade and regional integration through stimulation of North-South and South-South industrial partnerships between Mediterranean countries. 950 000 Euros for the first phase of the project is funded by the Italian Government.