The EU approved 4 regional cooperation programmes worth over €41 million to support job creation, economic development, social inclusiveness and youth empowerment in the Southern Neighbourhood region.
This regional assistance package consists of the following four programmes:
- Middle East Peace Process – EU Peacebuilding Initiative (€5 million): in line with the EU position on the Middle East Peace Process, this project will support and promote conditions for a sustainable resolution of the Israeli-Arab conflict by facilitating the work of civil society and citizens in Israel and Palestine.
- Security package 2016 (€11 million): this project will strengthen partner countries’ capacities to prevent and to respond to natural and man-made disasters. It will help tackle cybercrime and cooperate effectively, in compliance with the Budapest Convention on Cybercrime of the Council of Europe, and intensify and accelerate exchange of data in the Southern Neighbourhood, and with the EU, on issues related to organised crime, terrorism, smuggling of migrants, trafficking of human beings and of small arms.
- Support to job creation, economic development and inclusiveness (€14 million): this project will support (a) business-to-business networking which will enhance business support organisations and increase business linkages, in particular with EU counterparts through creating economic opportunities at international level; (b) social enterprises, which are increasingly becoming important drivers for inclusive growth and play a key role in tackling current economic and environmental challenges as well as job creation at local level; (c) regional trade integration through the implementation of the ‘Agreement for the Establishment of a Free Trade Zone between the Arabic Mediterranean Nations‘ (Agadir Agreement) in order to create new trade and investment opportunities for the private sector.
- Empowerment of young women and men in the EU’s Southern Neighbourhood (€11.29 million): this project will facilitate youth engagement through (a) a structured dialogue between the civil society, EU institutions, regional entities and national/local authorities; (b) the empowerment of young citizens in their ability to participate in public affairs through dialogue and debate; (c) the cooperation between local media and youth in order to increase the role and visibility of youth in pluralistic media including on line media.
Regional cooperation in the European Neighbourhood complements national assistance programmes through funding of innovative approaches across the region on common regional challenges – e.g. trade, energy, employment and security. Moreover it also encourages South-North and South-South cooperation and promotes dialogue and knowledge sharing among the partner countries and with the League of Arab States and the Union for the Mediterranean.
Source: European Commission
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