Programs in Progress




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Duration: 29-09-2016 to 31-08-2019

"Reinforcement of Mediterranean olive oil sector competitiveness through development and application of innovative production and quality control methodologies related to olive oil health protecting properties"

The main objective of ARISTOIL is the reinforcement of Mediterranean olive oil sector competitiveness through development and application of innovative production and quality control methodologies leading to olive oil with enhanced health protecting properties (as recognized by EU 432/2012 regulation). The development of a Mediterranean Cluster for olive oil producers and businesses combined with specialised training, development of innovative methods for identifying the phenolic ingredients of the oil as well as oil producers' support by special product certification is the mixture which will lead to the project's objective.


Alternative tourist strategies to enhance the local sustainable development of tourism by promoting Mediterranean Identity.


Sustainable InterRegional cOastal & Cruise maritime tourism though COoperation and joint planning.

With 40 billion economic impact and 6 mil. passengers, cruise tourism plays a key role in Europe and especially in the MED, being the top cruise market and amidst strong socio-economic pressures. As cruise tourism grows, the challenge for the Mediterranean is to exploit its full potential in a (environmentally, socially & economically) sustainable way. Addressing this challenge is hindered by three factors:1) existing knowledge is insufficient & data gaps still exist;2) coastal regions struggle to fully capture benefits generated by cruise tourism; 3) coordination of strategies and policies at regional & transnational level is limited.

SIROCCO has the ambition of tackling those problems by providing:

1. An integrated view of the current state of Mediterranean cruise tourism (as a whole and per segment) and its impacts (environmental, economic, societal)

2. A foresight of Mediterranean cruise tourism for the following decades

3. Evidence-based, transferable recommendations on developing sustainable & responsible Cruise Value Chains in the MED

4. Coordinated strategies & policies at regional and transnational level regarding the development of a sustainable and responsible cruise maritime/coastal tourism.

As cruise tourism is transnational in its service offering, its benefits rely on transnational synergies and any negative impacts cannot be confined within one Member State, SIROCCO employs a transnational approach, reflected both in its content and its partnership.


A Roadmap for Integrating Corporate Social Responsibility into EU Member States and Business Practises.

Competitiveness of SMEs is high in the agenda of the European Commission (EC). Due to economic crisis there is a widespread expectation that businesses should be more accountable to the society. The EC issued the Directive 2014/95/EU, where companies concerned are required to disclose in their management report, information on policies, risks and outcomes as regards environmental, social and employee aspects, respect for human rights, anticorruption and bribery issues, and diversity in their board of directors; In other words, to integrate in their business models the CSR (Corporate Social Responsibility) principles.

Although, the new directive applies only to a limited number of large EU companies it leaves out the Small and Medium sized enterprises (SMEs) that are the predominant form of enterprise in EU and a key to achieving the goals of growth and jobs strategy. Studies have shown that CSR is viewed as a vital concept that businesses of all types and size need to understand and address. Also, there is a positive relationship between SMEs and CSR and their competitiveness. Our common challenge is to help member states to apply the new directive and new measures in their Operational Programmes in order SMEs to increase their competitiveness and sustainability.

The overall objective of the project is to help EU member states to apply CSR as a holistic management approach to SMEs. In this way, SMEs will increase their competitiveness. The main outputs of the project will help countries involved in the project to exchange experience, best practices and create a road map for integrating CSR into national and regional legislations and Programmes and as well to create national/regional actions plans. Moreover, an important output of the project will be the policy recommendations for the revision of the Directive 2014/95/EU to create precedents for future policy developments on CSR and corporate accountability not only for large companies but as well for SMEs.

Smart Rural EntrepreneurshipSmartRural

The development of a freely accessible electronic bank of knowledge tool to support entrepreneurship (SmartRural business development guide, “Business welcome” policy recommendations report, etc), the development of an e-services Web Portal (networking services, GIS for Rural Business Zones, etc) and the provision of support services for the development of business activities (in startups and existing businesses), are some of the project deliverables.

The eight (8) project partners from five Balkan countries (Greece, Bulgaria, Cyprus, Albania and FYROM) are the following:

  • Regional Development Agency of Western Macedonia S.A. – ANKO (Greece)
  • Regional Union of Municipalities of Central Macedonia (Greece)
  • Aristotle University of Thessaloniki – School of Economics (Greece)
  • Bulgaria Economic Forum (Bulgaria)
  • Local Economic Development Agency – Razlog (Bulgaria)
  • Larnaca and Framagusta Districts Development Agency – ANETEL (Cyprus)
  • Municipality of Dropull (Albania)
  • Center for Development of Pelagonija Region (F.Y.R.O.M)

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