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ENPI — achievements and challenges

Dec 21,2014 - Last updated at Dec 21,2014

Hope for a better future for development programmes in the MENA region was abundant at the ENPI (the financing instrument of the new European Neighbourhood Policy) Cross Border Cooperation (CBC), discussed at a conference that took place on December 12 in Rome.

The event was used to launch the new CBC Mediterranean Programme 2014-2020 and brought together stakeholders, politicians and NGOs from across the Euro-Mediterranean area.

The conference consisted of open and transparent speeches, realistic visions and real examples from those who were part of these projects.

It presented a great opportunity to those who attended to listen to the comments, evaluations and suggestions from the experiences of the 95 projects funded by ENPI CBC Med 2007-2013.

This vast network of stakeholders was connecting and working efficiently together, sharing ideas, concerns, worries, hopes and dreams for a better future.

While development is the main focus of the ENPI target projects, intercultural encounters are also an essential part of these meetings. They provide the opportunity to evaluate past experiences and prepare for improved experiences in the future.

While there was little discussion about the efficacy of previous projects, it was important to focus on the upcoming projects as the Middle East is facing critical political times in the coming years.

Over the next few years, the projects must target human development and build capacities, while also adopting a common strategy to address the high risk of radicalisation and extremism, which is pervading most of our societies today.

Far from the military and security measures, this strategy should focus on deradicalisation through education reform, development of small and medium businesses across industries, agriculture and human development activities.

NGOs in the MENA region should also take into consideration all these needs when they formulate their strategies.

The ever-increasing challenges across the MENA region and in the Mediterranean make the efforts of projects like ENPI extremely important and highly appreciated.

The continuing success of this initiative should encourage more people to support its operations over the next few years.

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