The European Union and Egypt on Tuesday (11 October) signed a €129 million package of financial aid to boost socio-economic development in Egypt. The deal was signed by Johannes Hahn, Commissioner for European Neighborhood Policy and Enlargement Negotiations on behalf of the EU and Dr. Sahar Nasr, Egyptian Minister of International Cooperation, on behalf of Egypt.
The aid package consists of six financing agreements that focus on improving the quality of life in the country by promoting inclusive economic growth, improving the living conditions in more deprived areas of Cairo and boosting citizen rights, such as gender equality. The package will also focus on the development of renewable energy and agricultural drainage as well as on the institutional support to the on-going reforms in the energy and water sectors.
At the signing ceremony in Cairo, Commissioner Hahn said that “This package of financial assistance clearly underscores the European Union’s strong support to the Egyptian people. It will boost socio-economic development and improve the living conditions of Egyptian citizens. In addition, it foresees measures in favor of strengthening the role of the civil society.”
The EU, which has had diplomatic ties with Egypt since 1966, seeks to develop a strong relationship to the country given its geographical proximity. Brussels generally aims to support Egypt’s domestic and political reforms and the relationship emphasizes close cooperation in the areas of democracy, economic modernization, social reform, and migration issues. The mutual agenda is outlined in an Action Plan under the European Neighborhood Policy. Both sides are also bound by the legally binding treaty in the form of the Association Agreement, which came into effect in 2004.