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Relaunch of MED programmes

The European Commission has decided to relaunch the decentralized cooperation programmes for the Mediterranean region (MED programmes). These programmes aim to facilitate cooperation between Europe and the Mediterranean partner countries with a view to promoting closer ties an...

The European Commission has decided to relaunch the decentralized cooperation programmes for the Mediterranean region (MED programmes). These programmes aim to facilitate cooperation between Europe and the Mediterranean partner countries with a view to promoting closer ties and better understanding in specific sectors. The Commission suspended these programmes temporarily at the end of 1995, in order to re-examine and improve management systems and mechanisms. These programmes constitute a small but important element of Euro-Mediterranean relations in the framework of the MEDA programme, the financial and technical measures which accompany the reform of economic and social structures in countries such as Algeria, Cyprus, Egypt and Israel. Following their suspension, the Commission undertook an in-depth technical and financial evaluation of these programmes, resulting in the establishment of new management and control measures, after receiving recommendations from the European Parliament. The relaunch involves three programmes: - MED-URBS, which aims to improve the living conditions of people in urban areas and to develop cooperation between local authorities; - MED-CAMPUS, which aims to bring together universities from North and South of the Mediterranean Sea in order to exchange experience; - MED-MEDIA, which aims to develop networks in the media and journalistic fields. In addition a technical assistance office (MED Secretariat) has been established to review projects selected in the framework of the 1995 call for proposals on the basis of new management norms established. This will be launched in parallel with a new call for project proposals in 1998-1999.