Participation of the Union in "PRIMA".

EESC opinion: Participation of the Union in "PRIMA".

Following a request made by nine Member States in December 2014, on 18 October 2016, the European Commission adopted a proposal to establish a new public-public Partnership for Research and Innovation in the Mediterranean Area (PRIMA) under Article 185 TFEU. PRIMA would focus on two key socio-economic issues that are important for the region: food systems and water resources. The legislative proposal has been sent to the EESC for an opinion.

The proposed decision would establish PRIMA as an Article 185 initiative funded under the Horizon 2020 framework programme for research, with a total EU contribution of EUR 200 million. The partnership would be established and funded for 10 years (until 31 December 2028). A dedicated implementation structure – the PRIMA-IS – would be established to manage the EU contribution.

The proposal mentions that the partnership for PRIMA would be jointly undertaken by 14 countries, with varying status depending on their participation in Horizon 2020: nine Member States (Cyprus, Czech Republic, France, Greece, Italy, Luxembourg, Malta, Portugal and Spain), two associated countries (Israel and Tunisia) and three third countries (Morocco, Egypt and Lebanon).

The participating states agreed "to focus on the development of innovative solutions and the promotion of their adoption for improving the efficiency and sustainability of food production and water provision".