10/03/2015

"Enhancing the integrated maritime policy in the Mediterranean basin"

Med Maritime Projects Mid-Term Conference

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“Enhancing the Integrated Maritime Policy in the Mediterranean basinconference was held on 4th March 2015 in the Committee of the Regions in Brussels, organized by the Molise Region in the framework of the COM&CAP MarInA-Med project.

The conference gathered about 120 participants representing EU Institutions – EU Commission (DG MARE, DG REGIO, DG GROWTH, DG ENVI), the Committee of the Regions, the European Economic and Social Committee and Members of the European Parliament, Mediterranean Member States, Local and Regional authorities, European Territorial Cooperation Programs, universities and research centers.

The conference consisted of constructive debates between the 13 selected projects of the Med “maritime integrated approach“ call and EU Institutions representatives. They dealt with cooperative approaches and challenges to be faced in the Mediterranean as environmental issues, but also about economies and employment, as well as fisheries and coastal tourism. Moreover, an introductory round-table was held in order to encourage political debates dealing with the governance perspectives of the Mediterranean through Macro-regional and Sea-basin strategies for future cooperation in the area.

Discussions were mainly based on the on-going research and results of the Med Maritime Integrated projects and the preliminary conclusions drawn from the COM&CAP MarInA-Med capitalization seminars in order to determine recommendations for future Med maritime policies. Eventually, these exchanges will allow the partnership of COM&CAP MarInA-Med to deliver recommendations to the MED Programme regarding issues and challenges in the Mediterranean basin to be tackled during the forthcoming 2014-2020 programming period.

More specifically, Mrs. Tarja Richard, Med Programme JTS Coordinator, focused on the innovative approach taken by the Med Programme through the implementation of capitalization projects and the importance of the projects results -- maps, statistics, records -- in order to thoroughly orientate the new MED programing period.

As underlined by Mr. Iban Rabasa, Director General for Foreign Affairs of the Government of Catalonia, also Lead Partner of the project, “the COM&CAP MarInA-Med project is the platform to turn scientific evidence and results into social, economic and environmental political actions that will contribute to an inclusive and integrated sustainable development in the Mediterranean. It states that the project challenge is to move from data to action in policy making.”

Mr. Francesco Cocco, Secretary General of the Adriatic-Ionian Euroregion and Molise Region representative and organizer of the event, stressed the great opportunity the Med Maritime Projects results represent to help develop the EUSAIR, concerning the future axes and priorities for cooperation in the area.

Throughout the conference, EU Institutions representatives outlined the critical role played by European Cooperation Programmes to coordinate the transformation of projects results into effective political actions, and the importance of creating these kinds of interactive platforms where projects can share their scientific results with policy makers. “The challenges that we have across Europe and in the Mediterranean are so big that we all have to collaborate together, at all governance levels” said Mr. Joachim D’Eugenio, Deputy Head of Unit from DG ENV, “in order to really capitalise all the investments that we are doing on the Mediterranean.”

Mrs. Anna Repullo, Programme Manager of the Competence Centre for Macro-Regions and European Territorial Cooperation from DG REGIO, corroborated the idea that horizontal projects as COM&CAP MarInA-Med that offer wide dissemination and diffusion of projects results, while increasing the visibility of EU-funded projects and the possibility to capitalise in real time all the efforts produced. “As European Commission, we want to make sure that funded programmes have an impact, and that they hace concrete results” she commented.

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