Mediterranean beyond borders: A European Vision for the future of mare nostrum

Hello Everyone, my name is Wish and I am finishing my Masters 2 studies in the domain of International Relations, International Project Management. Before that, I read my Master 1 in the subject of Political Sciences with a particular focus on the European Union.

I started my IVY experience in July 2021 as an Interreg reporter. I am currently volunteering at the Regional Council of Provence-Alpes-Côte d’Azur for the French national contact point (NCP) in the framework of the Interreg MED programme. Here in Marseille, we are responsible for helping and accompanying French project partners to set up their projects within the scope of the Interreg MED project. We are also involved in the capitalization efforts of closed projects.

Parc National des Calanques, Marseille

The project that I volunteer with, Interreg MED, is an European regional cooperation programme (i.e., local governments collaborate directly between themselves and with minimal intervention from the central government). The programme is conducted on an international scale, with territories in 13 countries considered as eligible, representing more than 140 million inhabitants and covering 25% of the EU’s landmass. The programme is funded mainly by the European Regional Development Fund (ERDF), with a budget of 275 Million Euros for the 2014-2020 MFF period.

Furthermore, Marseille is also the seat for the Joint Secretariat of the Interreg MED programme itself. Thus, I have had the chance to exchange directly with the Joint Secretariat.

For the 2021-2027 MFF period, I am excited to say that the Interreg MED would be rebranded as the Interreg EURO-MED, to reflect the ever-increasing ambition to tackle issues that are central to the mediterranean space in a collaborative, comprehensive and holistic manner. This follows two fundamental logics which are central to the EU: First of all, challenges that we face today, especially climate change and its impacts, are transnational in nature. This means that only international collaboration could efficiently mitigate and surmount said challenges. Secondly, following the subsidiarity principle, local administrations are best equipped to solve issues that are immediately affecting them.

Indeed, Interreg EURO-MED contributes to a transition towards a climate-neutral and sustainable society, fighting against the impact of global changes on mediterranean resources, whilst ensuring a sustainable growth and the well-being of local citizens in domains which are central to the mediterranean such as tourism and blue economy.

Wish Yardpaga, IVY Reporter for Interreg EURO-MED Programme

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