Cross-border cooperation, a voice for local and regional authorities in Euro-Mediterranean relations

March 1, 2017
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A report on cross-border cooperation was adopted by the Euro-Mediterranean Regional and Local (ARLEM), the body of the European Committee of the Regions in charge of Euro-Mediterranean relations, at its 8th plenary session held last week in Malta. The report focuses on the contribution of local and regional authorities to cooperation processes in a changing Mediterranean.

The participation of local and regional authorities (LRAs) in cross-border cooperation programmes since their launch in 2017 has been significant, representing almost 20% of the actors involved in the 2007-2013 ENPI CBC Mediterranean Sea Basin Programme.

While analysing the recent political transformations in the Mediterranean and the most crucial issues the area is facing – political tensions, conflicts, economic instability, migration flows, youth unemployment, environmental degradation – the report, designed following consultations with ARLEM members, EU institutions, Ministries, networks, civil society organisations and managing authorities of cross-border cooperation programmes, highlights the capacity of LRAs to transform challenges into opportunities by “reinforcing cooperation and working on innovative and shared solutions and approaches to sustainable and inclusive development”.

While characterised by distinct policy objectives and geographical contexts, the report acknowledges that the participation of LRAs is “key to the successful implementation of cross-border programmes.”

Regarding the ENPI CBC Med Programme – the largest Mediterranean multilateral initiative funded by the EU in the framework of the European Neighbourhood Policy – the report says that, despite being a first experience of cross-border cooperation also involving LRAs from both Member States and Partner Countries, the joint actions undertaken “could impact upon and influence Mediterranean policies”.

ENI CBC Med, the second generation of the Programme, has the ambition to foster deep cooperation among Ministries, LRAs, universities, the private sector, and the civil society in view of addressing key economic, social and environmental challenges of the Mediterranean area. The Programme will continue to be managed of the Autonomous Region of Sardinia. 

The ENI CBC Mediterranean Sea Basin Programme 2014-2020 follows the ENPI (European Neighbourhood Instrument and Partnership) CBC Med 2007-2013. Funded by the European Union and managed by the Autonomous Region of Sardinia (Italy), the Programme will offer cooperation opportunities between partners from the Mediterranean area in fields of intervention such as economic development, education and research, social inclusion and environmental protection. 

Read more

Press release

Draft Report on Cross-border cooperation in the Mediterranean region

ENI CBC Med 2014-2020 strategy

ENI CBC Med 2014-2020 webpage

CBC 2014-20 programming document

CBC MED website


Countries covered:

  • Algeria
  • Egypt
  • Israel
  • Jordan
  • Lebanon
  • Libya
  • Morocco
  • Palestine *
  • Syria *
  • Tunisia