Supervisor Elham AbolFateh
Editor in Chief Mohamed Wadie

Al Mashat Unveils Ambitious Plan for Mediterranean Cross-Border Cooperation

Sat 27 Jan 2024 | 05:30 PM

The Minister of International Cooperation, H.E. Dr. Rania A. Al-Mashat, delivered a speech at the information session that the goal of the new regional cooperation program under the title INTERREG NEXT MED 2021-2027 to support the implementation of projects by private sector companies, unions, universities, research centers and civil society organizations.

In her speech, H.E. pointed to the importance of this session in the context of the Ministry of International Cooperation’s keenness to maximize the benefit from all development programs and funds available through development partners, most notably the various cooperation programs with the European Union, including regional cooperation programs that aim to support universities, national entities, research centers, unions, the public and private sectors, organizations and civil society in Egypt. This is not only by providing grants but also by creating partnerships with their counterparts in the member states of the European Union and the countries of the Mediterranean basin, allowing for the exchange of expertise, technology and modern techniques.

Al-Mashat added that this program is a continuation of previous cooperation efforts with the European Union, as the “Cross-Border Cooperation for Mediterranean Basin Countries” program, including Egypt, was implemented for the period from 2014-2020 at a value of €209 million with the aim of promoting economic and social development, and developing business and small and medium enterprises, supporting education, scientific research, technological development and innovation, promoting social inclusion, fighting poverty, and protecting the environment and climate change through adaptation and mitigation projects.

Dr. Rania Al-Mashat indicated that, in light of the Ministry of International Cooperation’s keenness to maximize and achieve Egypt’s maximum benefit from this program, approximately 26 projects have been funded in many priority sectors, namely the sectors of business development, small and medium enterprises, tourism, education, scientific research and development, technology and innovation, developing social inclusion and combating poverty, as well as implementing projects aimed at combating the repercussions of climate change and enhancing sustainability in the areas of environmental protection and climate change, water management, waste management, renewable energy and integrated management of coastal zones.

Al-Mashat explained that out of keenness to advance comprehensive development efforts in all governorates of the Republic, many governorates have benefited from the program, including Kafr El-Sheikh, Dakahlia, Alexandria, Sharqia, Matrouh, Port Said, Beheira, Ismailia, Damietta, Gharbia, Menoufia, Suez, and Qalyubia. H.E. further explained that there are also many entities benefiting from project financing, including the Federation of Egyptian Industries, the Federation of Egyptian European Business Organizations, Japanese universities in Egypt, the Egyptian Center for Innovation and Technological Development, as well as many civil society organizations.

Al-Mashat noted that the Ministry of International Cooperation is working to advance the efforts undertaken by the state through international cooperation and development financing, which contribute to creating close ties between relevant parties. On that note, H.E. expressed the Ministry of International Cooperation's aspiration for more successful development programs and projects that will be achieved through strategic partnerships with the European Union to continue development efforts and rebuild better in all sectors, thus contributing to achieving prosperity and well-being for the entire society.

It is worth noting the strong partnership between the Arab Republic of Egypt and the European Union, within the framework of which many development projects are being implemented in various priority sectors, including energy, water, transportation, agriculture, and small, medium and micro enterprises, with the current portfolio recording approximately €1.3 billion through european financing mechanisms within the framework of bilateral and regional cooperation and blended financing mechanisms.