11 April 2017: The Maltese Presidency of the Council of European Union struck a provisional deal with the European Parliament on the participation of the EU in a partnership to develop innovative solutions for sustainable water provision and management and food production in the Mediterranean region.
The initiative, known as PRIMA (Partnership for Research and Innovation in the Mediterranean Area), will pool the know-how and financial resources of the EU and participating states. The partnership currently involves nine member states: Cyprus, Germany, Greece, Spain, France, Italy, Luxembourg, Malta and Portugal; and six non-EU countries: Egypt, Jordan, Israel, Lebanon, Morocco and Tunisia.
The EU's participation will include a contribution of €220 million from its Framework Programme for research and innovation, the "Horizon 2020" Programme.
"The PRIMA partnership will help improve the health and livelihoods of those living in the Mediterranean region. It is also expected to encourage economic growth and stability in the longer-term," said Chris Agius, the Maltese Parliamentary Secretary. "Today's agreement in just one trilogue meeting means that PRIMA can be operational in early 2018, as planned."
The presidency will submit the outcome of the talks for approval by member states in the coming weeks.