Taking into consideration Euro-Mediterranean RDI experience matured so far and simultaneously the
fragmented funding landscape into small-scale projects or several co-fund actions under Horizon 2020,
scientific, managerial and financial integration has become a necessary condition to obtain relevant
innovative advancements in the crucial field of food production and water provision in the Area.
Challenges just mentioned need a wide, strongly structured and long –term committed partnership
inspired by principles of co-ownership, mutual interest and shared benefits.
For this reason, I am very pleased to inform you that the support of Euro-Mediterranean Countries to
the Consortium has considerably further grown after the submission of the Programme in 2014.
This is clearly demonstrated by financial commitment expressed in 2015 by Tunisia, and in 2016 by
Cyprus, Egypt, Israel and Lebanon. This means additional long term cash contributions to be summed
up to the commitment expressed on 22 December 2014.
Financial cash contributions, coming from 14 Countries, are now close to two hundreds and fifty million
euros, with the significant participation of 5 non-EU States, out of which three are not associated to
Horizon 2020. Furthermore, in-kind contributions are foreseen by the Participating States equalling at
least their in-cash contributions. These in-kind contributions cannot be ex-ante quantified since they will
highly depend on selected RDI projects but will be thoroughly reported ex-post.
Further countries have expressed strong interest and support to the PRIMA Initiative, participating
regularly in PRIMA meetings. Furthermore, institutions of 5 countries who have not expressed yet their
financial commitment to the PRIMA programme are willing to contribute to the definition of its Strategic
Research and Innovation Agenda (SRIA) since they joined the application for a Coordinated Support
Action entitled “4PRIMA”.
These signs all show a widespread attention and commitment to a stronger and integrated Euro-
Mediterranean partnership in RDI.
Contributions announced so far are long-term national commitments (10 years) subject to the use of
Article 185 of TFEU, which demonstrates that this instrument, compared to others, would allow the
highest leverage effect on national public funds, and ensures the most stable commitments in the long-
Recent developments highlighted in this note and the contents of the attached Addendum make this
belief even stronger.
The operational objectives of the Programme, defined in accordance also with the analysis of the
previous Mediterranean and national RDI programmes and initiatives, has been structured around 3
pillars: 1) Sustainable management of water for arid and semi-arid areas; 2) Sustainable farming systems
under Mediterranean environmental constraints; 3) Mediterranean food value chain for regional and
local development. This structure in three pillars will also be the backbone of the upcoming Strategic
Research and Innovation Agenda, but we would like to reiterate the willingness of the PRIMA
Consortium to take into consideration the priorities that the Commission will suggest, in particular with
respect to the Work Programme 2018-2020 of Horizon 2020.
The definition and implementation of the Strategic Research and Innovation Agenda will promote the
key principles of Open Innovation, Open Science and Openness to the World, highlighted by the
European Commissioner for Research, Innovation and Science, M. Carlos Moedas. This commitment,
dependent upon changes occurring in the ways science works, will allow widest possible dissemination
of PRIMA results, thereby bringing greater concrete advantages to Euro-Mediterranean end-users,
communities and enterprises, and fostering dialogue among different ministries (especially agriculture,
environment, research, foreign affairs) from the largest possible number of Euro-Mediterranean
PRIMA presents high potentialities in terms of Science diplomacy. Science diplomacy produces added
value in promoting cooperation and conflict prevention, rebuilding trust and fostering shared
understanding across countries.
PRIMA Programme, as reported in the Addendum, aiming at tackling
territorial imbalances, adaptation to climate change, water and food security through an integrated
framework, could contribute to face migration issues.
International events occurred during 2015, such as the adoption of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable
Development and the related 17 Sustainable Development Goals by UN Countries and the Agreement
achieved at the Paris Climate Conference (COP 21), confirmed the crucial role played by sustainability in
the societal agenda for the future.
PRIMA topics and activities are perfectly in line both with this new international agenda and with the 10
priorities of Juncker’s Commission – with a special focus on priorities 1, 3, 8 and 9. Furthermore,
monitoring systems to assess the impacts of PRIMA projects will be based on the SDGs framework in the
field of food security and water provision, taking into consideration general (e.g. poverty, health, land
use, GHGs emissions) and sectorial issues (e.g. agriculture, water services), the biophysical limits of
Mediterranean ecosystem and the water-food-energy nexus.
Since the date of the PRIMA Proposal submission, the importance of the PRIMA Programme has been
reiterated by Ministers of Countries involved in the Initiative. In particular during the 2nd Dialogue 5+5
Ministerial Conference on Research, Innovation and Higher Education conveyed on 23-24 March 2015
in Madrid. In endorsing a work programme for 2015-2016 defining concrete steps to move forward
cooperation, the Ministers of the ten governments involved (Algeria, France, Italy, Libya, Malta,
Mauritania, Morocco, Portugal, Spain and Tunisia) expressed their full support to the PRIMA
On 20 July 2015, Ministers of EU Member States confirmed their support to the PRIMA initiative during
the Foreign Affairs Council, by inviting the Commission to a rapid adoption of a proposal for PRIMA under
Art. 185 TFEU.
PRIMA is a scientific bridge across the Mediterranean sea. We hope to count on your support to
reinforce the foundations of this bridge and make it as strong and as stable as possible in the long-term