EU pro­vides €365.5 mil­lion to sup­port South­ern Mediter­ranean coun­tries

The Malta Business Weekly - - NEWS -

This Tues­day, the EU pro­vided €365.5 mil­lion to pro­mote pri­vate sec­tor de­vel­op­ment, demo­cratic re­forms and bet­ter liv­ing con­di­tions in South­ern Mediter­ranean part­ner coun­tries namely Al­ge­ria, Jor­dan, Le­banon, Morocco.

Jo­hannes Hahn, Com­mis­sioner for Euro­pean Neigh­bour­hood Pol­icy and En­large­ment Ne­go­ti­a­tions, com­mented: “To­day’s new EU as­sis­tance pack­age will di­rectly ben­e­fit cit­i­zens in part­ner coun­tries by cre­at­ing jobs, stim­u­lat­ing growth and im­prov­ing liv­ing stan­dards, in­clud­ing among the most vul­ner­a­ble. This EU sup­port is cru­cial given the var­i­ous chal­lenges our South­ern Mediter­ranean part­ners are cur­rently fac­ing".

Out of this pack­age, €237 mil­lion will sup­port pri­vate sec­tor de­vel­op­ment in all four coun­tries. This in­cludes im­prov­ing the global busi­ness en­vi­ron­ment and pro­mot­ing eco­nomic di­ver­si­fi­ca­tion. The fund­ing will also as­sist part­ner coun­tries in cre­at­ing job op­por­tu­ni­ties, con­duct­ing vocational train­ing re­forms and boost­ing mi­cro, small and medium-sized en­ter­prises.

€100 mil­lion will con­trib­ute to im­prov­ing cit­i­zens’ liv­ing con­di­tions, in­clud­ing through poverty re­duc­tion ini­tia­tives and bet­ter ac­cess to ba­sic health ser­vices. More­over, it will ad­dress ef­fects of cli­mate change through the de­vel­op­ment of re­new­able en­ergy and en­ergy ef­fi­ciency ac­tions.

The re­main­ing €28.5 mil­lion will sup­port demo­cratic re­forms in Al­ge­ria, Le­banon and Morocco. It will no­tably tar­get the pro­mo­tion and strength­en­ing of civil so­ci­ety, cit­i­zens’ par­tic­i­pa­tion in pub­lic lo­cal life and sup­port ju­di­ciary and pen­i­ten­tiary sys­tem re­forms.

In ef­fect, th­ese newly-adopted pro­grammes will ben­e­fit the fol­low­ing South­ern Mediter­ranean coun­tries as fol­lows:

Al­ge­ria will get €25 mil­lion to en­hance the global busi­ness en­vi­ron­ment of pri­vate com­pa­nies, no­tably in the in­dus­trial sec­tor. This fund­ing will also im­prove cit­i­zen's par­tic­i­pa­tion, in par­tic­u­lar young peo­ple and women, in lo­cal gov­er­nance ac­tiv­i­ties.

Jor­dan on the other hand will ben­e­fit from sup­port pro­grammes to­talling €135 mil­lion to tar­get re­new­able en­ergy and en­ergy ef­fi­ciency re­forms, thus con­tribut­ing to poverty re­duc­tion and fight against cli­mate change. Fur­ther­more th­ese ac­tions will fos­ter job cre­ation through sup­port to the pri­vate sec­tor – a key el­e­ment for the coun­try’s sta­bil­ity at times of mul­ti­ple chal­lenges.

Through €25 mil­lion as­sis­tance, the EU will sup­port Le­banon's ef­fort to make mi­cro, small and medium-sized en­ter­prises more com­pet­i­tive. It will also aim at im­prov­ing the ca­pac­ity of civil so­ci­ety or­gan­i­sa­tions to mon­i­tor and pro­mote re­forms and pub­lic ac­count­abil­ity. This sup­port will also pro­vide tech­ni­cal as­sis­tance to the gov­ern­ment in tack­ling cur­rent chal­lenges, in­clud­ing the Syr­ian refugees’ cri­sis.

And as re­gards Morocco, sup­port worth €180.5 mil­lion will boost the coun­try’s com­pet­i­tive­ness and in­crease eco­nomic growth through di­ver­si­fi­ca­tion and vocational train­ing re­forms. It will also as­sist the coun­try in its demo­cratic re­forms of the ju­di­ciary and pen­i­ten­tiary sys­tems. This fund­ing will fur­ther ben­e­fit the cit­i­zens through re­forms al­low­ing for fair ac­cess to bet­ter qual­ity ba­sic health ser­vices.

EU bi­lat­eral and re­gional co­op­er­a­tion with the South­ern Neigh­bour­hood takes place in the frame­work of the Euro­pean Neigh­bour­hood Pol­icy (ENP) and in­cludes the fol­low­ing ten part­ner coun­tries: Al­ge­ria, Egypt, Is­rael, Jor­dan, Le­banon, Libya, Morocco, Pales­tine*, Syria and Tu­nisia.

Co­op­er­a­tion cov­ers a wide range of sec­tors; in­clud­ing demo­cratic de­vel­op­ment, rule of law and good gov­er­nance; eco­nomic de­vel­op­ment; so­cial sec­tors and so­cial pro­tec­tion; hu­man de­vel­op­ment and mi­gra­tion.

In ad­di­tion the EU re­viewed and ad­justed co­op­er­a­tion pro­grammes to en­sure that they re­sponded to the im­me­di­ate chal­lenges in the re­gion. This in­cluded an in-depth re­view of the EU bi­lat­eral co­op­er­a­tion with the dif­fer­ent South­ern Neigh­bour­hood part­ner coun­tries but also mo­bi­liz­ing sub­stan­tial financial resources (over €4.2 bil­lion dur­ing 20112013 un­der the ENPI alone) to sup­port the coun­tries un­der­go­ing tran­si­tion. The SPRING (Sup­port to Part­ner­ship, Re­form and In­clu­sive Growth) pro­gramme was launched to op­er­a­tional­ize the newly cre­ated in­cen­tive-based ap­proach, mak­ing ad­di­tional funds (€540 mil­lion for 2011-2013) avail­able to part­ner coun­tries mak­ing progress in democ­racy-re­lated ar­eas and re­spect for hu­man rights. Fi­nally, a financial fa­cil­ity was launched to sup­port civil so­ci­ety or­gan­i­sa­tions ac­tive in part­ner coun­tries.

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from Malta

© PressReader. All rights reserved.