SANTA CRUZ DE TENERIFE, 22 Sep. (EUROPA PRESS) –
The European Commission approved this Wednesday the Interreg Madeira-Azores-Canary Islands (MAC) cooperation program for the period 2021-207, with an allocation of 199.8 million euros for the development of joint projects between these regions and the African countries in matters such as business innovation, the fight against climate change or the improvement of mobility.
The Canarian Vice President and Minister of Finance, Budgets and European Affairs, Román Rodríguez, explained this Thursday that the approval of the Commission puts an end to a long and intense programming work started in July 2021 and led by the General Directorate of European Affairs , in its capacity as program management authority.
“From the Canary Islands we have made an enormous effort to define all aspects of the program, especially with third countries and, specifically, with those that are joining it for the first time, for which I congratulate the General Management team for the work done,” he said in a note sent by his department.
Precisely, the new Interreg-MAC reinforces its foreign dimension by adding four African countries (Gambia, Ghana, Costa de Martín, São Tomé and Príncipe) to the three that had been acting as traditional partners (Cape Verde, Mauritania and Senegal).
The priorities of the program for the period 21-27 will focus on the areas of applied research and support for SMEs in their innovation processes; ecological transition, risk management, fight against climate change, promotion of renewable energies and valorization and protection of natural heritage; improvement of program governance and institutional training and support for mobility management.
Rodríguez underlined the “absolute relevance” of these priorities, especially since the green and blue economy and tourism will be crosscutting priorities of the program.
In the same way, another novelty is that in the new period the coordination between the European partners and the African partners will be strengthened through new formulas for the identification of fundable projects that respond to joint challenges of the space that are aligned with the priorities established in the programming documents, both for the ERDF and for the new ‘Global Europe’ instrument.
In this regard, the vice president pointed out that “all of this will allow the MAC, in addition to contributing to the economic and social development of the cooperation space as a whole, to continue being an essential instrument for the Canary Islands’ foreign action and to strengthen its relations with the partner African countries, consistent with the European Commission’s wish that this program be the main instrument made available to the ORs of Macaronesia to promote their regional integration”.