In a significant stride towards fostering collaboration and sustainable development in the Mediterranean region, the Interreg Euro-MED Programme organized a 2-day event in Ljubljana, bringing together the governance projects that will be implemented until 2029 and key representatives of Mediterranean initiatives, strategies and organisations. MIO-ECSDE participated in the exchanges as key partner of one of the four governance Missions of this programming period: Innovative Sustainable Economy (ISE).

Τhe event served as a platform for insightful discussions and knowledge exchange on pressing issues facing the Mediterranean region such as the blue-green transition, the protection of natural resources, the development of sustainable living areas and low-impact tourism, as well as fostering collaboration and networking opportunities for a smarter and greener Mediterranean. What is more, the event provided a conducive environment for the ISE Mission to open the discussion with key target groups at the European and Mediterranean levels and associated partners, Arab Network for Environment and Development (RAED) and BusinessMed, on how to better prepare for upcoming activities in 2024 and gain an understanding of the respective necessities, expectations and meaningful ways of collaboration.

During the event, the Programme Monitoring Committee announced the selection of 56 new thematic projects set to start in January 2024, that will feed the four Missions over the coming years by developing innovative solutions, pilot studies and on-the-ground activities so as to turn them into real practices at local, regional and national levels. Other key highlights of the event included project showcases during which representatives from various projects funded under the European Territorial Cooperation Programme in the period 2014-2020 shared their achievements, demonstrating the tangible impact of cross-border cooperation and therefore connecting the dots with the vision of the ongoing programming period.

During the final afternoon four parallel workshop sessions dedicated to each Mission took place. The objective of the ISE Mission collaborative workshop was to foster exchanges among the partnership as well as other external actors to co-build a narrative for the project, by discussing how each of its activities (e.g., smart specialization strategies, advocacy, capacity building) will aid the transition from the current, unsustainable, “business as usual” model to new more inclusive and sustainable pathways.

Echoing on some of the key points that marked the discussions and round-tables of the two days such as the  importance of connecting with the southern Mediterranean shore through concrete and meaningful exchanges, the Union for the Mediterranean (UfM) together with Interreg Euro-MED organized on December 5th the first MED Talks. During the on-line event, MIO-ECSDE and CPMR-IMC, presented the main activities of the ISE Mission that are being organized, such as capacity building programs, mentoring schemes and trainings to directly engage stakeholders from both shores of the Mediterranean.

Currently, MIO-ECSDE is working on the development of the Innovative Sustainable Economy Community Hub, a platform for stakeholders to collaborate and exchange on innovative actions and practices. The Mission will soon start working closely with the 14 thematic projects awarded under its scope, some of them focusing on blue economy, circular business models and digitalization, among other themes. Moreover, preparations have started for the organization of the 1st MED Innovation Days in Marseilles, in June 18-19, 2024. The event will focus on circular economy practices at local and regional levels and it will be a great opportunity to gather and enlarge the Mission’s community.

Read in French here.