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23 Projects Implemented as part of EU cross-border cooperation for the Mediterranean Sea Basin Program (CBC MED)

Al-Mashat affirmed that the projects implemented within the European Union's Cross-Border Cooperation Program for the Mediterranean Basin (ENID CBC MED) are in line with the 17 United Nations SDGs.

Minister of International Cooperation H.E. Dr. Rania A. Al-Mashat stated that 23 projects have been implemented as part of the European Union’s (EU) cross-border cooperation for the Mediterranean Sea Basin Program (CBC MED), during the period 2014-2020. The Minister explained that the CBC MED contributes to accelerating the pace towards achieving the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) and enhancing economic growth for the Mediterranean basin countries. Al-Mashat further applauded the EU’s funding for this program which amounts to EUR 208 million and benefits 14 countries. This program also represents the largest cross-border cooperation implemented by the EU, and aligns with the European Neighborhood Instrument (ENI), with the aim of creating a competitive, innovative, inclusive and sustainable Mediterranean region. Within the framework of the program, the EU launched four regional projects that aim to establish and develop business incubators, provide technical and financial assistance and support to entrepreneurs and Small and Medium-sized Enterprises (SMEs), in addition to supporting innovation and advancing businesses’ support organizations in order to develop the services provided, especially to the SMEs. Al-Mashat added that this program aims to promote sustainable regional economic and social development, which shall enhance cross-border cooperation and increase the economic growth of the participating countries as well as support them in facing global challenges. The Minister also hinted towards the high rate of unemployment, climate change risks and other challenges as huge obstacles facing the Mediterranean region. H.E. Al-Mashat further affirmed that the projects implemented within the European Union's Cross-Border Cooperation Program for the Mediterranean Basin (ENID CBC MED) are in line with the 17 United Nations SDGs. She added that the four new projects come within the framework of Egypt's keenness in enhancing and supporting innovation, entrepreneurship and start-ups, as these projects fall within the Ministry of International Cooperation’s development framework that is developed through international partnerships. Al-Mashat applauded the CBC MED program, as its previous phase was able to reach more than 10 million people and provide them with the newly developed services, in addition to providing training to 35,000 people, supporting 344 start-ups, developing 215 heritage sites, and supporting the work of 144 tour operators. The 2014-2020 phase of the program was also able to produce more than 1 million kWh of clean energy, and allow entry of 9 ports to the Mediterranean Sea, as part of the initiative that aims to enhance logistics services. The Minister said that she expects many results to be achieved within the program’s new phase in order to enhance development efforts, by bridging the financing gaps, the gender gap, technological gap, and to enable countries to overcome the effects of the pandemic. On May 9, Europe celebrated Europe Day which is an annual celebration of peace and unity in the continent. One of the program’s newly launched projects is the regional EU ENI EBSOMED which aims to raise the efficiency of the public and private business support organizations and to create new mechanisms of cooperation to support SMEs across the Mediterranean Sea. Moreover, the INVESTMED project that comes within the framework of the CBC MED program aims to create a supportive and sustainable environment for businesses, support young entrepreneurs - especially women, and facilitate access to new markets in the field of SMEs and start-ups. Another project that supports innovation is the INTECMED, which aims to establish incubators for creativity, innovation and technology transfer in the Mediterranean region so as to support education, research, technological development and innovation. In addition, the CRE @ CTIVE project, aims to strengthen value chains and trade alliances across the Mediterranean between MSMEs in heavy sectors such as textiles, clothing, footwear and leather.