The political reforms started in several Southern Mediterranean countries in 2011 provide enhanced opportunities to address in a new set-up the shared societal challenges along the shores of the Mediterranean Sea and the rest of Europe. The Joined Communication by the EU External Action Service and the European Commission „ A partnership for democracy and shared prosperity with the Southern Mediterranean“ identifies the weaknesses of economic system a highly unequal distribution of wealth and below need job creation as one of source of the unrest in particular of the youth. In consequence „Promoting inclusive economic development“ shall be one of major cooperation areas between the EU and countries of the Southern Mediterranean with the objective to accelerate job creation, growth prospects and wider participation in the wealth created.
Enhancing the innovation performance of local enterprises and industries, encouraging innovative entrepreneurship and providing better opportunities for business cooperation between European and local companies are important means to achieve those objectives.
For the EU budget 2012 the European Parliament made available an additional €2.0mio for targeted activities that enhance the support to innovative entrepreneurs in Morocco, Tunisia, Egypt and Lebanon. This shall be achieved by providing local actors opportunities to take up proven European tools for better innovation support and connect themselves to specialised European networks of support practitioners like clusters, consulting
services for better management of intellectual property rights and innovation processes