Future Interreg MED Programme
A new approach
Currently under negotiations among the participating states, the next Interreg Euro MED Programme 2021-27 will be mission-oriented. “Contributing to the transition towards a climate-neutral society: fighting against climate change impact on Mediterranean resources, while ensuring a sustainable growth and the well-being of its citizens” are the watchwords.
The Interreg Euro MED Programme 2021-27 is expected to be marked by a renewed sense of how to push forward cooperation in the Mediterranean region while providing thematic continuity with the previous periods.
The programme architecture under discussion has two cooperating flanks: the thematic side and the Governance one, both making happen three missions: a “smarter Med”, a “greener Med” and “green living areas”.
On the first one, the thematic projects will implement on the ground a single type of operations, such as a pilot, a study or the transferring of previous results (known in this programming period as “modular projects”) and the strategic projects, implementing in a specific region or sector the full range of operations (currently called the “integrated projects”).
On the Governance side, the Thematic Network Projects (known presently as “Horizontal projects”) will coordinate the missions, and finally the Governance projects (continuing the current designation) will connect to the policy-making level the results of the thematic missions.
This new architecture addresses a a need for simplification of all thematic work and a greater focus on governance and policy-making to truly change the lives of the populations towards a greener, resilient and smarter Mediterranean.
On 3rd March 2021, the Task Force members of the Interreg MED Programme reached a concensus on the geography of the next Programme, the Interreg Euro-MED Programme.
The Programme will welcome 2 new countries, Bulgaria and Republic of North Macedonia (IPA country) and 3 new Spanish regions: Castilla-la-Mancha, Comunidad de Madrid and Extremadura bringing the total of participating Spanish Autonomous regions to 9.
The number of partner countries in the next programming period will amount to 14 (10 UE and 4 IPA) for a total of 66 regions.
Launched in October 2019, the Task Force is responsible for the drafting of the Interreg Euro MED Programme 2021-27 cooperation programme. The Task Force discussed the terms of the future programme, including its architecture and the new geography over the course of a set of meetings and written procedures spanning one year.
A potential submission for approval by the European Commission is expected in July 2021 and a subsequent launch for the second semester of the year.
Glossary of acronyms and abbreviations
CE: European Commission
PO: Priority objective. Investment axis of regional policy proposed to be adopted in the programme
SEA: Strategic Environment Assessment. Systematic and anticipatory process, undertaken to analyze the environmental effects of proposed programmes
SFC: System for Fund Management in the European Union. The Information system of the EU where programmes draft governing documents are submitted for final validation.
The programming process relies on the input of stakeholders, such as (potential) project partners, policy-makers and main Mediterranean players. It therefore foresees a number of formal and informal opportunities to voice opinions and give input on the design of the Interreg Euro MED programme 2021-2027.
Last Spring, citizens and stakeholders replied to an online survey, asking for their valuable insights regarding priorities, types of projects and objectives to be achieved by 2027. We collected a total of 399 responses.
Framework - 2021-27 Regional Policy
The New Cohesion Policy proposed by the Commission is a revised framework to modernise the EU’s main investment policy. Among the changes, there is a more concentrated number of policy objectives for a smarter, greener, more connected and closer to its citizens Europe. On regional development investments, resources will be mainly allocated to meet the first two objectives: a “Smarter Europe, through innovation, digitisation, economic transformation and support to small and medium-sized businesses” and a “Greener, carbon free Europe, implementing the Paris Agreement and investing in energy transition, renewables and the fight against climate change”.
A single rulebook is implemented for shorter, fewer and clearer rules and to facilitate efficient emergency responses, and the application of “enabling” conditions for businesses is meant to ensure a strengthened link with the Union’s economic governance.
KEY NEW PROGRAMME PREPARATION DOCUMENTS
Interreg Euro MED draft strategy
Interreg MED JS, December 2020
Draft proposal for the new Interreg Euro MED programme 2021-2027, by the Managing Authority. It takes into account the “Orientation paper”, the evaluation process and the Task Force discussions.
It lays out the Programme approach, the priorities, the projects’ typologies.
MED Diagnosis Report 21-27
Interreg MED JS, March 2020
Building on EU strategic orientations, the diagnosis report identifies opportunities for future EU Mediterranean transnational cooperation including governance perspectives based on the EC orientation paper.
The Mediterranean Orientation Paper
European Commission, October 2019
Issued by the European Commission, it served as the basis to kickstart the discussion within the Task Force for the new programme. It contained ideas and orientations on the thematic focus of the Euro-Mediterranean Area Programme 2021-2027. The paper contains policy objectives as well as considerations for the new extended geography to hinterland areas.