Interreg NEXT MED’s first call for proposals, closed on May 30, 2024, saw a massive participation with a total of 631 projects submitted.

These project proposals represent a staggering €1.5 billion in total value and €1.3 billion in requested EU funds, exceeding the available budget of €103 million by more than twelvefold.

As far as country-specific insights are concerned, one notable result is that all 15 countries participating in Interreg NEXT MED are represented in the submitted projects, both at applicant and partner level.

Among the 3,930 organizations involved, 53% are coming from Partner Countries. Public sector actors were the most prominent participants, with Bodies governed by public law/Other public bodies (1,192), Regional/local public administrations (408), Ministries/other national public administrations (360 organizations) together accounting for over 1,900 organizations. NGOs/Non-profit organizations (1,077) were another major group. The participation of companies/private economic operators (507) was significant as well.

With respectively 107, 105 and 91 proposals submitted, ‘Education and Training’, ‘Growth and Competitiveness of SMEs’ and ‘Climate Change Adaptation’ emerged as the most popular topics among applicants, reflecting key Mediterranean challenges like skills gap, entrepreneurship development, and resilience building.

The Programme broke new ground by introducing ‘Youth‘ and ‘Governance‘ strands for the first time.

Interreg NEXT ‘Mediterranean Sea Basin’ (‘NEXT MED’) programme is the third generation of one of the largest cooperation initiatives funded by the European Union to enhance transnational cooperation in the Mediterranean area.

The Programme aims to contribute to smart, sustainable, fair development for all across the Mediterranean basin by supporting balanced, long-lasting, far-reaching cooperation and multilevel governance.