On 9th February 2021, the European Commission and the High Representative of the Union for Foreign Representatives of the Union for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy issued the Joint Communication for a “New Agenda for the Mediterranean: Renewed partnership with the Southern Neighbourhood”.We reviewed the interventions and actions proposed in the Communication, as they lay down opportunities for new projects and partnerships among European and Southern Mediterranean countries in the next future.
At the 25th anniversary of the Barcelona Declaration, a strengthened Mediterranean partnership remains a strategic imperative for the European Union and for its Southern Mediterranean partners. The Mediterranean basin must become an area of dialogue, exchange andcooperation, guaranteeing peace, stability and prosperity.
The new effort coming from the Neighbourhood EU policy is at generating opportunities on strategic priorities of green and digital transition in all Mediterranean countires. This also comes from the conviction that sustainable prosperity and resilience can only be built in strong partnership across the Mediterranean. The idea is to connect the new Mediterranean Agenda with other high-level policies, such as the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development, the Paris Agreement and the European Green Deal.
For the period 2021-2027, the European Commission proposes to mobilise up to €7 billion under the Neighbourhood, Development and International Cooperation Instrument (NDICI), including the European Fund for Sustainable Development Plus guarantees and blending under the Neighbourhood Investment Platform, which would help mobilise private and public investments of up to €30 billion in the Southern Neighbourhood.
The Economic and Investment Plan for the Southern Neighbours will include flagship initiatives in priority sectors. Main directions will be in:
- Strengthen preparedness and response capacities of healthcare systems
- Support a renewed commitment to human rights;
- Empower young people and civil society, and foster gender equality;
- Encourage research, innovation, culture and education;
Resilience, prosperity and digital transition:
- Build inclusive, resilient, sustainable and connected economies;
- Support the leap to the digital transition, both for the public and the private sectors;
- Support access to finance for Small and Medium Enterprises;
- Take advantage of the benefits of women economic empowerment;
Peace and Security
- Reaffirm EU’s role as an actor for peace, conflict resolution and prevention;
- Step-up security cooperation to better counter terrorism;
Migration and Mobility:
- Enhance cooperation on migration;
- Address the root causes of irregular migration;
- Seize the benefits of legal migration
Green transition: climate resilience, energy, and environment:
- Support countries in meeting their climate commitments;
- Drive energy transition and ensure energy security.
- Encourage resource efficiency and biodiversity;
- Achieve transition to sustainable food systems.