The EU and Algeria agreed on five new areas of partnership, which will be in the focus of their relations until 2020. Algeria is the first country to specify areas of mutual interest under the revised EU Neighbourhood policy.
The sectors, which include security, migration, energy, human rights, rule of law and access to the EU market, will be paving the way to the enhanced cooperation with the African country in the future.
This is the first document of such level of ambition with a North African country”,
EU top diplomat Federica Mogherini after the meeting of the 10th Association Council with Algeria in Brussels
Europe and Algeria pledged to strengthen political dialogue. EU intends to support reforms in governance, participatory democracy, promotion of human rights, enhanced role of women in the society, modernising judicial and administrative systems and encouraging civil society.
Socio-economic relations, trade and access to the EU market will be promoted by stepping up trade and investment in building manufacturing facilities, supporting private initiatives and improving financial management and public spending. The EU will programme financial assistance for engaging young people in education and will help them find jobs.
Energy and the environment have been marked as new areas of cooperation. During the association council meeting EU already signed a 10 million EUR agreement to diversify the Algerian economy by investing in renewable energy promotion of energy efficiency. Algeria is the third-largest gas supplier to Europe and EU wishes to invest in training and transfer of technology as well as in finding more investment for the Algerian gas and electricity production.
Algeria is EU’s major hope in stabilising neighbouring Libya, as well as Mali and the whole Sahel region. Security of borders and engaging in active diplomacy are the activities envisioned under the security chapter of the Partnership Priorities Agreement. Combating terrorism, organised crime, drug traffic and radicalisation were also put on the bilateral relations agenda.
EU and Algeria will cooperate in curbing migratory flows to Europe and will start managing migration and prevent illegal trafficking of people. Being one of the countries without readmission agreement with the EU, Algeria agreed to start dialog with the European states in order to better organise issuing of visas to immigrants who are to be returned to their home countries.
Algeria expects stronger engagement from the EU
“We wanted to ensure that the Association Agreement will further contribute to the development of Algeria”, said the foreign minister Ramtane Lamamra, adding there has been a “structural asymmetry” in the agreement over the past 10 years.
“If we should have it (the AA) in the future, it should be to the benefit of the Algerian economy”, he added, underlining that his country already undertook number of reforms including to develop market economy and develop democracy, including by changing its Constitution.
He stressed that Algeria expects more commitment from the European side in terms of financial assistance especially through the neighbouring policy, referring to Egypt and Libya.
We expect considerable contributions, at the same level as those which EU granted to other countries of a similar size”,
According to Johannes Hahn, EU Commissioner for European Neighbourhood Policy & Enlargement Negotiations:
The EU wants to be part of Algeria reforming and diversifying its economy with a view of directing investments and private sector prosper”.
Already during the Association Council meeting the EU and Algeria signed the first package of EU assistance of 40 million EUR for modernising renewable energy and for assisting he public finances of the African country. 10 million EUR will go for building an integrated financial information system and for multi-annual budgetary programming. The European Commission stated the package will support in particular two of the priority areas agreed in the new Partnership Priorities – economic development and energy.
The EU announced it will deploy electoral observation mission for the general elections in Algeria on 4 May upon request of the government.
The EU and Algeria have signed an Association Agreement in 2002, which entered into force in 2005. Since 2011, the EU has provided Algeria with a total of €273.3 million of financial assistance. The European Neighbourhood Instrument is the main financial instrument but EU channels money also through thematic programmes and instruments, such as the European Instrument for Democracy and Human Rights (EIDHR) and the Civil Society Organisations-Local Authorities (CSO-LA) programme funded under the Development Cooperation Instrument (DCI).
EU-Algeria Partnership Priorities
EU adopts €40 mill support package for Algeria – Press release
Video remarks of Federica Mogherini
Video remarks of Ramtane Lamamra
Video remarks Johannes Hanh
EU-Algeria relations- facts and figures