The CPMR’s Intermediterranean Commission (IMC), as well as many representatives from its member Regions, took part in the “MADE in MED – Crafting the future Mediterranean” event organised by the Interreg MED Programme in Rome, Italy, on 18-19 April 2018.
This major event, which celebrated reaching the mid-term of the Programme for the 2014-2020 period, gathered around 800 people. These included representatives from the Programme’s 91 projects, decision-makers, experts, policy promoters and the media, among others.
All the Programme’s thematic communities were represented in this two-day conference addressing issues such as blue and green growth, creative industries and social innovation, energy efficiency in buildings, renewable energy, low carbon transport, sustainable tourism, biodiversity protection, maritime surveillance and governance.
The main outcomes of all the projects in which the IMC is involved (modular and horizontal alike) were presented during the sessions on day one. The dynamics revolved around three specific comprehensive themes going beyond the thematic communities i.e. climate change, blue economy and inclusive growth.
Projects also took part in the design and execution of the “Tasting and Testing MED” exhibition area, available during the whole event, where the public could see and sometimes experience what the projects are producing.
The second day’s sessions moved the focus to the capitalisation of Interreg MED projects, offering the opportunity for discussions with other programmes and initiatives, and a reflection on the future of territorial cooperation in the Mediterranean.
These included a debate between several programmes from the Mediterranean area -including Interreg ADRION, Interreg Balkan-Mediterranean, Interreg SUDOE, Interreg Europe and ENI CBC MED– on the possible synergies and what they can learn from each other.
A session dedicated to the Interreg MED PANORAMED project on governance, which involves the IMC as associated partner, outlined the crucial role of the project in promoting multilevel dialogue as well as ensuring that all Interreg MED projects built on relevant past and current experiences and knowledge, and that their results be capitalised on.
The Executive Secretary of the IMC, Davide Strangis, stressed the importance of multilevel dialogue, which is part of the IMC’s core work, during the panel discussions. He also stressed the necessity of reinforcing the capacity of the public sector to digest project’s results and to bridge the “science to policy” gap.
Following this, key EU actors, including EU institutions, Regions, national authorities and the Union for the Mediterranean (UfM), were invited to debate on the future of territorial cooperation in the Mediterranean.
Panellists stressed the positive impact of territorial cooperation and its role towards addressing key EU challenges.
Agnès Rampal, Regional Councillor of Provence-Alpes-Côte d’Azur and Vice-President of the IMC, stated: “Cohesion policy and its territorial cooperation component should not pay the heavy price of the difficult decisions on the future EU budget”. She added: “Territorial cooperation brings considerable benefits to the territories, in particular its maritime component”.
Patrizio Bianchi, Regional Minister of the Emilia Romagna Region and member of the IMC Political Bureau, supported this message, saying that “the Mediterranean must become the real front of European Policies” and insisted on the importance to invest more on research infrastructures and Big Data at Mediterranean level.
The IMC finally took part in a meeting of PANORAMED with its partners and associated partners, including the IMC, in the margins of the event, on 20 April in Rome. They discussed the expectations for this ambitious project and how associated partners could contribute to its goals towards improved governance and stronger multilevel dialogue in the Mediterranean.
To learn more about the projects in which the IMC and its member Regions are actively involved, click here.
All presentations are available here.
The recording of all sessions is available on the Programme’s YouTube channel.