The Integrated Mediterranean Programmes were established in response to a 1981 memorandum from the newly-elected Socialist government of Greece, which had joined the Community at the beginning of that year on terms negotiated by the previous centre-right government. Basically, the memorandum expressed dissatisfaction with Greece’s terms of accession and asserted that the country’s special problems needed special help. A commitment to address Greece’s complaints was given by the European Council in March 1984, converging with growing fears in the Mediterranean regions of France and Italy about the competitive implications of the impending enlargement of the Community to include Spain and Portugal. The following year the Council of Ministers established the IMPs for seven years (1986-92), in order to help ‘the southern regions of the present Community’ – defined as the whole of Greece, parts of southern France and most of southern Italy – ‘to adjust under the best conditions possible to the new situation created by enlargement’. The IMPs were financed by a contribution from the structural funds, a special line in the annual Budget and a loan facility from the European Investment Bank (EIB). They were not renewed, but Greece, Portugal and Spain were able to benefit from the new Cohesion Fund from 1993 onwards.
Copyright: Anthony Teasdale, 2012
Citation: The Penguin Companion to European Union (2012), additional website entry