GÉANT partners up with Union for the Mediterranean (UfM) to support the digital economy in the Mediterranean
25 January 2016 | Cambridge, UK
GÉANT has recently been given official recognition by the Union for the Mediterranean (UfM) of its role in R&E networking and invited to use its expertise to help UfM implement its digital economy agenda in the Southern Mediterranean.
GÉANT’s role was confirmed in Barcelona last December at the first meeting of UfM’s new Digital Economy Working Group (DEWoG) set up to implement recommendations of the 2014 UfM Summit of Digital Economy Ministers to accelerate the development of the digital economy for Euro-Mediterranean citizens, consumers and businesses. As well as regulatory and commercial initiatives, the importance of high-speed connectivity for all Southern Mediterranean countries with GÉANT was expressly recognised and this is to be built upon through DEWoG’s activities.
Ministerial Meeting on Digital Economy on 30 September 2014 in Brussels
Along with officials of the 43 UfM member states and of the European Commission, DEWoG also comprises ‘promoters’, i.e. experts to act as champions for aspects of the digital economy implementation. GÉANT has now been formally granted the status for R&E promotion activities; this clearly reflects GÉANT’s active support of the development of R&E networks in the Southern Mediterranean since 2004 through the EUMEDCONNECT project and now also through AfricaConnect2, as well as the confidence that the organisation’s expertise and relationships in the region will prove beneficial to achieve the overall DEWoG goals.
David West, GÉANT’s project manager for this activity welcomed UfM’s recognition: “This is a great endorsement of GÉANT’s work in the region. The agreed priorities for our involvement in DEWoG’s work plan are to connect all Southern Mediterranean countries to GÉANT, secure additional EU funding for Eastern Mediterranean countries beyond 2016 and to promote the use of GÉANT connectivity to the user communities in the region. These efforts are very complementary to GÉANT’s core activities and it is hoped that UFM’s endorsement will bring additional political support to achieving them.”
The UfM is an intergovernmental institution bringing together the 28 EU member states, the European Commission and 15 Southern Mediterranean countries to promote cooperation in the Euro-Mediterranean region.