NEWS

Regional deputies call for more funds

Mediterranean deputies meeting in Cairo on the eve of the Euro-Med summit welcomed the launch of the EU-backed Horizon 2020 initiative but stressed that further action must be taken by the European Union and its partners to sufficiently tackle the multiple threats to the regional environment. Delegates of the Mediterranean platform COMPSUD, who presented their recommendations at the ministerial meeting on Monday, also called on the EU to provide more funds to support its European Neighborhood Policy (ENP), a program aimed at strengthening ties between the bloc and its neighbors. COMPSUD Chairman – and Greek conservative deputy – Nikos Georgiadis called on the EU to «earmark a minimum level of funding for environmental integration on the national and regional level.» The ENP, launched in 2004, covers Algeria, Egypt, Israel, Jordan, Lebanon, Morocco, the West Bank and Gaza, Syria and Tunisia. Deputies from 11 nations also urged the EU to collaborate with existing instruments in the region, particularly MAP, the UN’s environment chapter in the region. «Whatever has been won within the MAP framework needs to be integrated. Nothing should be lost,» said Michael Scoullos, chairman of MIO-ECSDE, an Athens-based umbrella organization of some 100 Mediterranean NGOs which organized the meeting.