Community Research and Development Information Service - CORDIS

Reaching out to the south and the east

Initiatives to strengthen the presence of EU information offices in the Arab world have allowed robust exchanges on a research level between this region's different nations and the EU.
Reaching out to the south and the east
Euro-MEDANet is an EU project that opened the European Research Area (ERA) to Jordan, Morocco and Tunisia. Following in its footsteps, the EU-funded project ‘Opening up the European Research Area to the Mediterranean countries’ (Euro-MEDANet2) aimed to do the same for Algeria, Egypt, Lebanon and Syria, promoting strong European-Mediterranean networking and collaboration. Both projects were clustered together to increase value and networking opportunities, growing the project's influence to seven countries.

Through training seminars and workshops, participants learned about preparing and submitting proposals to participate in EU projects. The Euro-MEDANet projects fostered a network of Information Points (InPs) in target countries, bringing sectors such as agricultural, industrial, environmental and information technology (IT), from both public and private arenas closer to the Framework Programmes of the EU.

To achieve its aims, the project established a strong network of InPs, similar to EU countries' National Contact Points (NCPs) and conducted training for the staff. It also ensured that these InPs would thrive after the project's end by linking them to local government organisations. Other project initiatives surrounding the InPs included identifying target groups for each one, creating its website, preparing information material, and raising awareness to launch each InP among national scientific communities.

These actions enabled the Euro-MEDANet projects to strengthen ties with the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) region, helping unlock its potential for contributing to the ERA and benefitting from this new openness. In this way, the EU has helped bring business and innovation opportunities to its southern and eastern neighbours.

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