Countries of the "Southern Neighbourhood" will receive almost half a billion euros from the European Commission in support of their transition and reform efforts. The European Commission today adopted an assistance package worth €476 million to foster development and cooperation with a number of Southern neighbours.
This assistance is provided through the European Neighbourhood and Partnership Instrument (ENPI) and represents nearly one third of the total €1.5 billion of funding foreseen this year for the region.
Announcing the news, Commissioner for Enlargement and European Neighbourhood Policy Štefan Füle said the new support would make a difference in key areas like education, for small and medium enterprises development and agriculture.
“This important funding constitutes a clear proof of our commitment to support partner countries’ efforts to stimulate sustainable economic development and improve the living standards of citizens. It is also a testimony of our continuing support to regional cooperation in the context of the Union for the Mediterranean, for which the Secretariat in Barcelona has a key role to play.”
The overall allocation approved today includes €150 million from the SPRING programme (Support for Partnership, Reforms and Inclusive Growth), 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 are allocated to cooperation programmes that will benefit citizens in five partner countries, Algeria, Egypt, Libya, Morocco and Tunisia, 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 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.
(Source: EU Neighbourhood Info)