Today, in the margins of the Union for the Mediterranean (UfM) Regional Forum and the EU-Southern Neighbourhood Ministerial meeting, the European Commission signed an agreement with the European Investment Bank (EIB) for a €40 million EU grant to support a high-speed fibre-optic connection under the Mediterranean as part of the “MEDUSA” project supported by the EU’s Economic and Investment plan for the Southern Neighbourhood.
This EU grant contribution will increase and guarantee the connectivity via the submarine cable and direct terrestrial links, up to the national research and education centres of EU’s Southern Neighbourhood region.
EIB Vice-President RicardoMourinho Félix said: “Digital transformation and high-speed digital connectivity is crucial in a post-pandemic world. The €40 million grant agreement signed today with the European Commission will improve connectivity between the EU and our North African Partners, bringing next generation access networks to the region while fostering socio-economic benefits. By working together, we can accelerate our efforts in promoting more integration in the region and encourage sustainable development and economic growth, providing more opportunities for all.”
Commissioner for Neighbourhood and Enlargement Negotiations, OlivérVárhelyi, said: “The Commission and the EIB are teaming up to implement one of the flagships of our Economic and Investment Plan to boost digital connectivity in the Southern Neighbourhood. The €342 million MEDUSA project will directly connect, for the first time, the Northern and Southern shores of the Mediterranean Sea and the Southern countries among themselves via a high-capacity, multi-country, future-proof optical fibre submarine cable. Through this 7,100 km long cable, we will significantly upgrade the interconnectivity, stimulating innovation and research in the region, notably about 500 Universities, institutes of education and research centres and about 4,5 million students will benefit from increased connectivity. The MEDUSA project will inherently support the region’s economic and social development.”
The “MEDUSA” project consists of installing a state-of-the-art, high capacity optical-fiber submarine cable that connects five Mediterranean EU countries (Cyprus, France, Italy, Portugal, and Spain) with four countries from the EU’s Southern Neighbourhood (Algeria, Egypt, Morocco, and Tunisia). It will be 7,100 km long in total and will include around twelve landing points in nine EU and Southern Neighbourhood countries. A €40 million EU grant will secure direct high-speed connectivity in particular between the research and education communities and users in the North African countries and the EU via the landing station in Barcelona. The EIB is expected to provide the debt finance for the infrastructure with a contribution of up to €100 million in loans. The operation is still subject to the final approval of the EIB Governing Bodies.
This funding will also provide an alternative route for data traffic on the targeted EU routes andallow EU telecom operators to become essential partners in supporting socio-economic growth in the region. “MEDUSA” contributes to the EU’s Global Gateway and EIB Global. It is one of the flagship projects under the EU’s new Agenda for the Mediterranean adopted last year to boost digital connectivity in the EU’s Southern Neighbourhood.
EIB Global is the EIB Group’s specialised arm dedicated to increasing the impact of international partnerships and development finance. EIB Global is designed to foster strong, focused partnership within Team Europe, alongside fellow development finance institutions, and civil society. EIB Global brings the Group closer to local people, companies and institutions through our offices across the world.
The project consists of the design, manufacturing and deployment of a 7 100 km submarine cable system with 12 landing points located in four North African countries (Morocco, Algeria, Tunisia and Egypt) and five European countries (Portugal, Spain, France, Italy and Cyprus). The main purpose of the project is to provide state of the art, ultra-high capacity, resilient and cyber-secure digital connectivity to the targeted North African countries. The project will specifically include direct terr
Today at the Global Gateway Forum, the European Investment Bank signed the €40 million investment grant provided by the European Commission with GÉANT, coordinator of the European National Research and Education Network and AFR-IX, who will be executing the infrastructure project to bolster digital connectivity between North Africa and the European Union through the €342 “MEDUSA” Submarine Cable Project.
Today, the European Commission and the European Investment Bank (EIB) signed an ambitious Guarantee Agreement through which the European Commission will support up to €26.7 billion of EIB financial operations to enable crucial public investments in sectors like clean energy, digital and transport infrastructure, health and education over the next seven years, rolling out Global Gateway worldwide.
The EIB has today underlined its commitment to building economic resilience and supporting growth and job-creation in the EU Southern Neighbourhood. This was the key message of the Bank’s 18th edition of the EIB-Med conference “Improving Lives and Creating New Opportunities” held today in Amman in partnership with the Jordanian Ministry of Planning and International Cooperation and the European Union Delegation to Jordan.