On Monday 25 February the kick-off meeting with the WestMED Italian National Hub was held in Rome, at the premises of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs. Hosted by the WestMED National Coordinators for Italy, notably the Department of Cohesion within the Italian Presidency of Ministers and the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, the meeting gathered about 40 organisations amongst Regional Authorities, National Ministries and other relevant stakeholders for the Blue Economy in Italy.
The kick-off meeting was aimed to introduce the WestMed Assistance Mechanism (WMAM), its goals, functions and role, so to initiate a dialogue for the identification of the national priorities for strategic projects to be supported by the initiative. After an overview of the activities implemented, the project ideas identified in Algiers, as well as the many areas currently being « work in progress », the National Hub shared a calendar of possible events identified as a basis for the national Road-Show, and discussed the next steps foreseen for the governance of the initiative at national level.
Stakeholders involved expressed their appreciation of the work done so far, and those involved in the Algiers Stakeholders Conference confirmed the relevance of the initiative as a platform to share concrete project ideas. The Managing Authority for the ENI CBC Programme also expressed gratitude for the support given in expanding the partner countries as part of the Algiers Stakeholders Workshop. In exchange with participants, a series of follow-up actions have been identified, including the set-up of possible thematic groups charged with providing strategic advice to the National hub. Further activities will be published on the Linked-in page and the Italian section of the WMAM website