European Commission approves Italy-Malta programme 2014-20

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European Commission approves Italy-Malta programme 2014-20The Co-operation Programme of the Italy-Malta programme 2014-2020 has been approved by the European Commission, giving the opportunity to Malta and Sicily to continue building on the experiences gained through projects embarked upon during the 2007-2013 programming period.

The Italy-Malta 2014-2020 Programme is one of the Cross Border Cooperation Programmes managed by the Funds and Programmes Division within the Ministry for European Affairs and Implementation of the Electoral Manifesto.

The Division monitors projects undertaken on local ground by Maltese partners, who together with Sicilian counterparts, are awarded grants to implement projects in Malta. It is worth noting that a partnership under this programme can only be eligible if it involves at least one Sicilian and one Maltese partner.

On the basis of a socio-economic analysis carried out in both territories involved and taking into account the principle of "thematic concentration," the Italia-Malta programme 2014-2020 shall contribute to a smart, sustainable and inclusive growth at cross-border level, through the following priority axis:

• Priority axis 1: Strengthening research, technological development and innovation – aiding specialisation in R&I sectors – the financial allocation corresponding to 30%;

• Priority axis 2: Promoting competitiveness in the cross-border area – fostering the competitiveness of micro, small and medium sized enterprises – the financial allocation corresponding to 17%;

• Priority Axis 3: Protecting the environment and fostering an efficient use of resources – promoting actions to mitigate climate change effects and the natural and anthropic risks of the area – the financial allocation corresponding to 46%.

This objective will take into consideration the potentialities and the challenges of the main sectors of interest of the area linked to environmental protection, land and sea safety, cultural heritage, to the quality of life and to citizens' health.

The Italy-Malta programme 2014-2020 will pay particular attention to the development of regional innovation strategies and smart specialisation strategies of both territories affecting key sectors mentioned above.

The overall programme budget is €51,708,438, with an ERDF co-financing contribution of €43,952,171. Beneficiaries can include SMEs and micro enterprises (even in partnership), newly established enterprises, clusters/districts, Universities, Regional and national research institutions, public administrations, higher education schools (technical high schools), public and private research centres, scientific parks, category associations. Categories of eligible beneficiaries can change from one call to another, from one axis to another.

During the 2007-2013 programming period, 52 Maltese beneficiaries including Government Ministries, NGOs, entities and Local Councils took part in an aggregate of 25 projects, thus benefiting from an amount of approximately €10 million through their respective projects.

The amount of funds, which Malta can benefit from under this programme, depend on the positive and concrete response from Maltese potential beneficiaries when the first call, and any other following calls, are officially launched. The first call is expected to be published by the end of December and will cover all three axis.

For further details on the current and the new 2014-2020 programme, please contact the FPD on fpd.meaim@gov.mt

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