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The Development of Euromed; our (hi)story


Euromed, with its full name Euro-Mediterranean Networks, has been created in 1995 by a small group of European consultants and academics based in Brussels, with a personal interest and involvement in the soon to be launched process of partnership between the European Union and the countries of the Mediterranean Bassin (for more information on the "Barcelona Process, please click here). Subsequently, the EC decided to use the same acronym (Euromed)  for its own partnership system. Since then, various organisation and initiatives have taken on the name Euromed.
 
 
Euromed has, from its foundation on, defined itself as an "ethical consulting company". It's ambition was to create networks of partnerships among individual experts, NGOs, academic institutions and specialised companies between the European Union and Mediterranean countries, to qualify for the provision of political advisory and technical assistance services to the various initiatives, projects and development programmes financed by the European Commission.  It should be noted that the newly established MEDA programme of the EC had commited from 1995 to 2003, a total of  € 5,458 million in co-operation programmes, projects and other supporting activities. 
 
 
The inefficient communication channels, lack of information, combined with the complexity of tendering processes for the EC Service Contracts related to these projects, hindered most relevant sources of expertise within the civil society to be involved in many of these projects. On the other hand, the EU institutions were obliged to use the services of the well-established traditional consultancy companies, who were often the only ones participating in the public tenders.  Euromed's raison d'etre was to overcome the obstacles between the real sources of expertice in civil society and the EU instituions, by playing the role of a catalayst and interface.
 
 
The founders of Euromed were also strongly convinced, that it would not only be possible to combine "profitability" with an "ethical approach", but that this was an imperative. .  
 
 
During the initial years, the  company focused its scope of activities to areas such as Human Rights, Gender equality, Civil Society Development and Conflict Prevention. However, soon the sectors of activities and expertise were enlarged,  in line with the expertise provided by newly joining collaborators and networking partners, to other related areas such as fight against organised crime, right of children, police and justice system reform, border crossing management and customs administration reform.
 
 
In 1999, the company decided to modify its sectorial approach, and adopt a strategy more in line with the Development Aid strategy of the major funding agencies, which were more and more in favor of integrated development strategies , resulting in programmes and project with various components, emphasising the link between good governance issues and socio-economic development .  This has brought Euromed to establish partnerships with insitutions working in economic and social development sectors, and has parallely extended its scope of collaborators and experts accordingly. A  special attention was given to expertise in the field of  SME Development policies, Regional Development policies, New Technologies and Cluster Development.
 
 
Although the name of the company still refers to its intial focus on the Mediterranean Region, Euromed has implemented development projects, managed programmes and provided political advisory services in countries on all continents, from Guatemala  to South Africa, from Chili to Solomon Islands.  We have however decided to keep the original name "Euromed", in respect to the history of the company, as well as the importance that we give to the  development of an institutionalised partnership structure between the European Union and the Mediterranean Countries.
 
 
Having themselves worked with consulting companies and governmental agencies in the past, the founding partners of Euromed wanted to proove that "there was another way" to do business with the funding agencies and international donors, making profit, and follow an ethical approach, respectful of the development goals and human dignity, and keep the spirit that thousands of volunteers working in non-profit organisations around the world show every day.
Today, Euromed, with its more then 40 collaborators, more then 80 projects implemented around the world, and a turnover of 4 Mio EUR , is the proof that , "there is another way,"