Community Research and Development Information Service - CORDIS

Official Journal Reference

L 63 of 1991-03-09

Legislative Reference

563/91/CEE of 1991-03-04
To intensify efforts to protect and improve the quality of the Mediterranean environment, to increase the effectiveness of Community environment policy and measures in the region, to integrate cooperation and coordination at regional, national, Community and international level, to encourage the transfer of appropriate technologies, and to help make the environmental dimension a more integral part of Community policies.


Embedded in the 1987-1992 environmental action programme of the European Community, the 1991-1994 MEDSPA action follows on a four-year preparatory phase (1986-1989) during which 76 demonstration projects were financed representing a total investment of more than ECU 22 million.

MEDSPA covered the entire Mediterranean region, both within the Community and outside, together with the Spanish and Portuguese territories of the Iberian Peninsula south of the River Tagus not on the Mediterranean coast.

The programme included demonstration projects. Such projects consisted of the implementation and operation of a full-scale installation, process or technique to gather all the data needed on its economic and technical viability in order to proceed to large-scale applications. Research proposals or studies will not be considered unless they are directly linked with such a project.

Other Community actions on the environment include ACE, initiatives under the structural funds (RESIDER, RENAVAL, RECHAR, ENVIREG), and Community RTD programmes (Environment, STEP/EPOCH, environmental and remote sensing programmes of the Joint Research Centre, MAST and MONITOR).

This programme is repealed by Council Regulation (EEC) No 1973/92 of 21.5.1992 establishing the LIFE financial instrument.


Priority measures:

- Action in the European Community:
. Collection, treatment, storage and disposal of waste water and solid waste (for coastal towns with less than 100.000 inhabitants and small islands);
. Collection, treatment, storage, recycling and disposal of sewage sludge and toxic and dangerous waste;
. Treatment of water from ship's tanks containing residues of oil and other chemicals;
. Integrated management of biotopes of Community interest in coastal regions;
. Protection of soil threatened or degraded by fire or desertification;
. Protection of land against coastal erosion;

- Action in both Community and non-Community Mediterranean countries:
. Help with the establishment of the requisite environmental administrative structures;
. Technical assistance required for the establishment of environmental policies and action programmes;

- Projects addressing a problem likely in the short term to cause a permanent change in the ecological conditions of the area concerned may also be considered in exceptional cases.


The Commission, assisted by a committee of an advisory nature, ensured effective monitoring of the implementation of this action by means of reporting procedures agreed jointly between itself and the beneficiary of the operation and by spot checks.

The amount estimated necessary for the execution of the action during the first two years was ECU 25 million.

The possibility of granting financial support for operations existed may be granted for operations which fall under the MEDSPA priorities, with the exception of operations already benefiting from aid under a structural fund or any other Community financial instrument.

Support took the form of capital grants towards investment in projects other than infrastructure projects, or financial contributions towards pilot or demonstration schemes, towards measures designed to provide the information necessary for the execution of the MEDSPA action, or of the technical assistance measures implemented on the initiative of the Commission, or interest rebates for infrastructure projects, or repayable advances decided on a case-by-case basis.

Support was limited to a maximum of 50% of the total cost in the case of public investment projects and pilot or demonstration schemes, to a maximum of 30% in the case of private investment projects for non-commercial purposes, and to a maximum of 100% of the total cost of information and public-awareness campaigns and of the costs of executing the measures implemented on the initiative of the Commission.

All natural or legal persons and associations bearing ultimate responsibility for the implementation of the operations qualified for financial support.
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