The Union of the Comoros belongs to the least developed countries in the world facing not only various development challenges but also specific vulnerabilities of a small islands nation
The Union of the Comoros is a multiparty presidential democracy. Parliamentary elections were held at the beginning of 2015, the next presidential elections are due in February and April 2016. Comoros' obstacles to a better economic development are manifold: insufficient agricultural resources, an under-diversified economy, budgetary problems, lacking infrastructure and a huge unemployment rate among the younger generation. Remittances of the diaspora mainly living in France represent one quarter of the annual budget. Its public institutions are still fragile after decades of political instability.
Thus, the country’s three main challenges are:
Since the 1st European Development Fund (EDF) in 1958, the main areas of cooperation between the European Union and the Comoros have involved infrastructure and communications, the development of agriculture and fishing, micro-projects and support of the social sectors.
Political dialogue with the government takes place on a regular basis. For the first time in July 2015 structured and comprehensive political dialogues in the framework of Article 8 (Cotonou Agreement) were held in Moroni which involved various ministries and institutions.
The 10th EDF (2008-2013) of a volume of €60.4 million focussed on transport infrastructure and education and was channelled mainly through a project approach. In addition operations in a 'non-focal' sector supported the elections 2011.
Under the 11th EDF, the EU is supporting the Comoros’ development strategy defined in the 'Stratégie de Croissance Accélérée et de Développement Durable' (SCA2D). For the first time it has aligned its programme with the French bilateral development programme on governance and private sector in order to create synergies and use the donor support in the most efficient manner. With an envelope of €68 million, the EU is concentrating its assistance on three priority areas for 2015-20: