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Southern neighborhood to get half a billion euro from Europe

Staff writer ▼ | November 22, 2013
Countries of the Southern neighborhood will receive almost half a billion euro from the European Commission in support of their transition and reform efforts.
EurosCountries of the Southern neighborhood will receive almost half a billion euro from the European Commission in support of their transition and reform efforts.

The European Commission has adopted an assistance package of 476 million euros to foster development and cooperation with a number of Southern neighbors. This assistance is provided through the European Neighborhood and Partnership Instrument (ENPI) and represents nearly one third of the total 1.5 billion of funding foreseen this year for the region.

The overall allocation approved today includes 150 million euros from the SPRING programme which provides additional funding to countries that have progressed towards democratic reforms in line with the 'more for more' principle of the European Neighbourhood Policy.

Beneficiaries of the new SPRING allocations are: Jordan (21 million), Lebanon (21 million), Libya (5 million), Morocco (48 million) and Tunisia (55 million).

In addition, 314 million euros are allocated to cooperation programmes that will benefit citizens in five partner countries, in the fields of agriculture, environment, Small and Medium Enterprises (SMEs) development and economic recovery, education and protection of vulnerable people.

Finally, the Commission is allocating 12 million euros for regional cooperation programmes; mainly helping to ensure that young people’s voices and priorities are heard when authorities in the region prepare new legislation. Furthermore, cooperation with the Union for the Mediterranean will be enhanced in areas that have direct impact on the livelihoods of the citizens from the Southern Mediterranean.

SPRING 2013 has a value of 150 million euros and translates in concrete terms the EU's commitment to supporting southern Mediterranean countries in their efforts towards democratic and economic transition, in line with the 'More for more' principle.

This means that the more a country progresses in the implementation of democratic and political reforms, the more support it can expect from the European Union, notably through increased financial assistance.

The newly-adopted bilateral programmes will support cooperation in five Southern Neighbourhood countries.

Algeria: 10 million euros will support rural development and agriculture (Neighbourhood Programme for Agriculture and Rural Development (ENPARD) approach), through the involvement of local public and private actors, thus stimulating economic activities in some less developed areas (provinces of A?n-Témouchent, Laghouat, Sétif and Tlemcen).

Egypt: The EU will support improving Egyptian people’s daily lives through better waste management and rural development. 27 million euros will contribute to the sustainable protection of the environment and natural resources and to the reduction of health risks for the population. Additionally, 20 million euros will support rural development in areas in three of the most vulnerable Governorates (Matrouh, Minia and Fayoum).

Libya: Economic development and protection of vulnerable people will be targeted through a 15 million euros assistance package. It includes a programme (10 million) on development of micro, small and medium-sized enterprises (MSME), enabling them to create employment and livelihoods, with particular focus to women and young people.

Another 5 million euros programme will aim on the one hand to improve the living conditions of detainees and on the other hand to provide vulnerable people including internally displaced people with psychosocial rehabilitation and socio-economic integration.

Morocco: 87 million euros will support the Moroccan government in development of socio-economic reforms and legislation for a gradual integration of the Moroccan economy to the European Single Market.

About 90 million euros will support the reform efforts in the education sector with a view to ensuring equitable access to basic education throughout the Moroccan territory. The programme will more specifically promote access to schools for children from more impoverished families and for girls.

Tunisia: Since 2011, the EU has continuously supported and accompanied socio-economic development in the country. The newly adopted 65 million euros economic recovery programme will keep the focus on this priority area of cooperation with the aim to reduce socio-economic inequalities.

The two programmes adopted in the framework of the regional cooperation include:

One youth project (8 million) which respond to the demands of young people in the Southern Mediterranean by offering training and skills to youth organisations from the region; encouraging and helping them to take part in the decision making process and play a watchdog role in society.

The 2013 contribution (4.12 million) to the Secretariat of the Union for the Mediterranean, co-funded by the Member States of the Union for the Mediterranean, that will support on-going and new specific actions in the areas of transport and urban development, energy, environment and water, higher education and research, social and civil affairs, business development.