The European Commission will provide €1.7 million in funding for a new project called Tex-Med Clusters, whose objective is to enhance the competitiveness of the textile industry in the Mediterranean countries. The project will run for two years. Through the scheme, small and medium-sized companies in the European textile sector will be encouraged to establish links and work on joint projects, so as to persuade clothing brands to work with them rather than with competitors in Asia. Eight European countries have signed up to take part in the program. Together these countries will provide €300,000, taking the program's overall funding to €2 million.