Commission proposes first research partnership in the Mediterranean to increase food and water sustainability
The European Commission has launched its first research partnership on solutions for sustainable water management and food production around the Mediterranean. PRIMA is the first partnership of its kind pooling knowledge and money to bring more clean water and food to the people, boost local economies and create jobs. PRIMA already includes Cyprus, the Czech Republic, Egypt, France, Greece, Israel, Italy, Lebanon, Luxembourg, Malta, Morocco, Portugal, Spain and Tunisia. The participation of Germany is currently under negotiation. As the initiative is evolving over time, more participants are expected to follow, for other EU and non-EU countries. Funding for the €400 million partnership will come from the participating countries (currently around €200 million), matched by a €200 million contribution from the EU through its current research framework programme Horizon 2020. The partnership is scheduled to run for 10 years, starting in 2018. Today, 180 million people in the Mediterranean basin are considered 'water poor'. The lack of clean water and nutritious food has adverse effects on the health and stability of the populations. The Commission's proposal will now be sent to the European Parliament and the Council of the EU for political discussion and legislative approval.