Political Relations with the EU
The EU supports Iraq's transition to democracy and its integration within the region and into the international community. In accordance with their mutual goal of enhancing relations, in May 2012 the EU and Iraq signed a Partnership and Cooperation Agreement [3 MB] . The Agreement establishes first-ever contractual relations between the EU and Iraq and provides a framework for advancing dialogue and cooperation on subjects including
The Agreement is under provisional application pending its ratification by all member states. Experts from both sides meet regularly in technical working groups to discuss cooperation in the fields of democracy and human rights, energy and trade-related issues. The overall direction of EU-Iraq relations is set out at the occasion of ministerial meetings. The most recent EU-Iraq ministerial dialogue was held in January 2014.
Trade Relations with the EU
There is substantial potential for bilateral trade between Iraq and the EU, and for Iraq to become a strategic energy partner. The EU is already Iraq's second largest trading partner after the US. Bilateral trade totalled €16.24 bn in 2014. EU exports to Iraq, consisting mainly of machinery and transport equipment, chemicals, food and live animals, amounted to €4.68 bn in that year. Imports were dominated by oil, representing 99.6% of the €11.56 bn total. Turkey surpasses the EU as the most important source of imports for Iraq.
Iraq requested WTO accession in September 2004. The EU supports Iraq's accession to the WTO and believes that a WTO membership will contribute to enhancing structural reform in the country as well as Iraq's reintegration into the multilateral trading system.
The EU sees closer trade ties with the country as an important part of its reconstruction and development. In the framework of the EU-Iraq Partnership and Cooperation Agreement [3 MB] developments in bilateral trade and investment are discussed regularly, most recently in January 2016.
Development cooperation and humanitarian assistance
The EU's development cooperation has supported democracy, good governance, human rights, economic growth and poverty reduction by strengthening capacity and institutions in the areas of criminal justice, basic services, elections and civil society organisations.
For 2014-2017, the EU has earmarked €78 million for
In 2015, the EU has provided €105.65M of humanitarian assistance [344 KB] to Iraqi internally displaced persons as well as Syrian refugees in Iraq. The support helps those populations who have been forced to leave their homes to flee the escalating conflict, with essential food, protection, health and water, sanitation and hygiene items. EU life-saving humanitarian assistance to Iraq puts special emphasis on hard-to-reach areas, particularly vulnerable and newly displaced populations.
EU Regional Strategy for Syria and Iraq as well as the ISIL/Da´esh Threat
In response to the conflicts in Syria and Iraq as well as the global Da´esh threat, the EU Regional Strategy was adopted by the Council on 16 March 2015. It confirms the EU´s commitment to lasting peace, stability and security in Syria, Iraq and the wider region. The overall objective of this strategy is to counter the threat posed by Da'esh and other terrorist groups to regional and international stability, while simultaneously alleviating the human suffering caused by the ongoing violence and displacement. It draws together the different strands of current and future EU action covering diplomatic and political measures, humanitarian assistance as well as stabilisation, counter-terrorism and peace-building interventions.
The strategy foresees a mix of diplomatic engagement, communication work and practical support measures. It comes along with an aid package of € 1 billion from the EU budget for the years 2015 and 2016, out of which € 100 million are foreseen for Iraq. The strategy underlines the importance of achieving synergy and complementarity between the action of the EU and its member states.
Trade statistics [140 KB]
Council Conclusions Iraq 2015 [34 KB]
EU Regional Strategy [592 KB]
NEWS - EbS SPECIAL
RETRANSMISSION Federica MOGHERINI visits Iraq - press conference