The Green Growth Community is awarded the UfM label

After a proposal made in April 2019, the Interreg MED Green Growth Community has eventually been labelled by the 43 Member States of the Union for the Mediterranean (UfM) in October 2019, in Barcelona.

The goal for The Union of the Mediterranean is to promote and give visibility to projects through communication and networking, by granting them recognition thanks to the the“UfM label”. It also provides support to projects through technical expertise, making sure that their implementation goes smoothly. 

The UfM label recognises the Green Growth Community’s achievement to promote a sustainable development based on the sound management of the natural resources. It acknowledges the capacity of the community to deliver concrete benefits to the citizens of the Euro-Mediterranean region. Beyond this, it represents incredible opportunities of collaboration and expansion of the thematic community current scope to other countries outside the Interreg MED area through UfM support. 

The two main benefits coming from this label is to obtain leverage for funding and to facilitate associations with new projects partners. As a result, the community gains the support from the 43 UfM countries which allows the projects more awareness and visibility, as well as access to new fundings.  

Fifty-nine regional cooperation projects with a budget of more than €5 billion have already been granted the UfM label, covering many areas: business development, higher education, social and civil affairs, water and environment, transport and urban development, energy and climate change. Often, projects from the same thematic area interact through the facilitation of the UfM.

The main interest is to expand the reach of the Community to the entire Mediterranean region, to both shores of the Sea. Indeed, it fosters a closer collaboration between the Green Growth community and existing regional initiatives involving non-EU UfM countries and allows matchmaking between projects to capitalise on knowledge, tools and methodology transfer. This way, it allows the community to fully contribute to the Mediterranean agenda by responding to the Sustainable Development Goals and the Ufm 2030 GreenerMed Initiative. The objective of this initiative is to “foster the transition towards a Green, Circular, Socially Inclusive economy” thus enhancing climate change mitigation.

The partners from the Northern shore of the Mediterranean have shown a great interest to work with their counterparts from the Southern shore and share the results of their work, notably with Tunisia and Morocco. Meanwhile, North African countries have been willing to develop greener and more sustainable businesses through circular economy.

The Green Growth community has started collaborating with their Southern counterparts without further ado and is working on the organisation of a joint session in ECOMONDO – an international event dedicated to green technology - with the SwitchMED Programme. The session will be focused on how to attract and favour more investments in sustainable development in these territories. SwitchMED is an initiative that aims at strengthening social and ecological innovation in the Southern shore of the Mediterranean. 

The Community is also contemplating the idea of hosting a session at the Mediterranean Economic forum that will take place in Morocco in 2020 (to be confirmed).  The event will gather about 150-200 participants from the north and southern shore of the Mediterranean. The topic of the forum this year is to promote investment for sustainable and innovative development. The target public is business intermediate organisations (e.g. business associations, clusters, investment agencies, chambers of commerce, etc.) as well as local authorities.