With more than EUR 300bn being invested in public utilities infrastructure in the southern and eastern Mediterranean by 2030 (for water management, urban services and energy in particular), the Mediterranean partner countries will have to rapidly develop their ability to mobilise the private sector and make themselves more attractive for foreign direct investment (FDI). Which is why FEMIP, the EIB’s dedicated financial arm  for the socioeconomic development of the nine Mediterranean countries (1), has launched an ambitious programme of technical assistance to encourage the use of public-private partnership contracts in the Mediterranean.

The first stage of this programme takes place in Paris on 10 February, when an expert-level seminar is to be held at OECD headquarters on the outlook for PPPs in the Mediterranean region. This seminar will be used to finalise a study on the legal and financial framework for PPPs in the FEMIP countries (2).

A multiannual PPP assistance programme

The PPP programme launched by FEMIP will extend over the period 2011-2013 and comprise a number of deliverables:

  • First, the study to be published at the end of May 2011. This provides a regional analysis of experience with PPPs, together with an examination of the legal, administrative or financial obstacles to the use of such instruments in each of the nine FEMIP countries. The study also proposes a number of recommendations on how public policy should develop in this area. The full text of the study and documents from the Paris seminar will be available on the EIB website (www.eib.org/ftf/).
  • Second, the study will be followed by an evaluation of the potential offered by PPPs in the partner countries concerned. For each of those countries, FEMIP will make operational recommendations and provide assistance with implementing PPP policies in one or more priority sectors agreed with the countries concerned.
  • Third, FEMIP will put in place, in the four countries selected, the terms of reference for further technical assistance for defining and managing a market-based solution for a number of pilot projects involving priority investment operations under the national or sectoral PPP policies identified in the previous phase.

It should be noted that since the study includes a detailed examination of the PPP environment in each of the nine partner countries, the EIB could consider putting in place, in consultation with the other development financing institutions in the Mediterranean, specific technical assistance relating to one or more of the study’s conclusions for those of the five countries not covered by the full programme of assistance for PPPs.

Conferences to disseminate good practice

In order to increase the dissemination of knowledge and practice with regard to partnership contracts, FEMIP will be organising – in addition to the 10 February expert-level seminar in Paris – a number of events:

  • a “FEMIP Conference” on PPPs, to be held on 30 May 2011 in Casablanca, which will enable conclusions to be drawn from the regional study and pilot schemes and projects to be launched for the four countries that will be receiving priority support;
  • a series of workshops, to be held between June 2011 and May 2012, involving discussions with the public authorities and PPP practitioners in each of the partner countries. The purpose of these workshops will be to narrow down the choices for the introduction of national or sectoral policies and to define the type of technical assistance that FEMIP will be able to provide for pilot schemes or projects.

Note to editors:

FEMIP is the EIB’s Facility for Euro-Mediterranean Investment and Partnership. It brings together all the instruments made available by the European Investment Bank (EIB) in the Mediterranean partner countries. It has been operating since October 2002 and is today the key player in the economic and financial partnership between Europe and the Mediterranean, with more than EUR 12.5bn to support investment in the nine Mediterranean partner countries (for further information, consult: www.eib.org/femip).

The EIB is closely following the aspirations expressed by the people of Tunisia and Egypt and remains convinced, now more than ever, of the relevance of its remit. In order to put down permanent roots in society, democracy must be based on economic growth and a development policy that is able to provide everyone with better future prospects. Together with the European Commission and in cooperation with all the other financing institutions, the EIB stands ready to help the Mediterranean partner countries achieve their economic and social priorities.

(1) Morocco, Algeria, Tunisia, Egypt, Israel, Jordan, Palestinian Territories, Syria, Lebanon.
(2) Study carried out by Pinsent Masons, Mazars and Salans on the financing of the FEMIP Trust Fund. This Fund is financed by contributions from 15 Member States and the European Commission (further information is available on the EIB website: www.eib.org/ftf/).