The EU-funded Horizon 2020 initiative Steering Group held its 4th meeting in Amman, Jordan gathering representatives of the Ministry of Environment in Jordan, the EU Directorate General for Environment, and member countries of the programme to review progress achieved by the initiative.

A press release said the meeting, held on 22 and 23 February, was largely dedicated to the progress in the Horizon 2020 components: investment; monitoring, review and research; capacity building- financed mainly by ENPI projects, as pollution in the Mediterranean is tackled at three different levels:

– Major infrastructure investments for waste and water related facilities
– Regional, sub-regional and national activities to build or strengthen institutional and individual capacities, sensitization and mobilization of civil society
– Identifying indicators and scorecards to help Mediterranean countries produce reliable, comparable and timely statistical data and information to monitor progress in the depollution process.

The meeting was also the opportunity to outline the state of play with the Union for the Mediterranean (UfM) and discuss perspectives for the future, including the current situation with the Strategy for Water in the Mediterranean (SWM) and the outlook for its adoption in the coming period as well as related and new UfM priorities and initiatives. The next phase of the Horizon 2020 initiative was also discussed.

The Steering Group members consist of nominated focal points of the Ministries of Environment from the EU Member States, the ENP Partner Countries, other regional/international organizations active in the protection of the Mediterranean, International Financing Institutions, the European Commission, and other interested stakeholders, such as municipalities, regional networks, NGOs and the business sector.

On Jordan’s contribution to the programme, Irene Mingasson, Head of the Development and Regional Cooperation Section at the EU Delegation in Jordan said “EU considers Jordan as a model on environmental institutional reform.” She explained that “based on its vast experience and true commitment to Euro-Med environmental integration, Jordan played a major role in the development of Horizon 2020, starting from helping to shape its themes and objectives to participating in the development of the overall work-plan.”

The Steering Group is responsible for the implementation of the Horizon 2020 Initiative in which all Euro-Mediterranean countries jointly work towards de-polluting the Mediterranean by the year 2020. The focus of the Initiative is tackling municipal solid waste, urban waste water and industrial pollution that account for around 80% of the overall pollution of the Mediterranean Sea.

Horizon 2020 builds on existing institutions and results, filling gaps where it could bring added value. It operates within the existing and developing policy instruments, and supports the implementation of the commitments undertaken in the framework of the ENP as well as other regional agreements such as the Barcelona Convention and UNEP’s Mediterranean Action Plan, while cooperating, coordinating and synergising with all relevant (EU and other) programmes.

source: ENPI info centre – Regional Project News: http://enpi-info.eu/mainmed.php?id=24276&id_type=1&lang_id=450