The EU is moving steadily towards enhancement of its relationship with Iraq and is committed to a long term, mutually beneficial relationship.
A major step forward is the EU-Iraq Partnership and Cooperation Agreement, which will be the overarching framework constituting the legal basis for cooperation. The Agreement is expected to be signed in the first half of 2011.
The Memorandum of Understanding between the Government of Iraq and the EU on Strategic Partnership in Energy [2 MB] of 18 January 2010, reflects strategic EU policy guidelines aiming at diversifying energy supply to the EU. The first official meeting of the Joint Working Group established by the Memorandum of Understanding took place on 4 May 2011. The European Commission's Director General for Energy P. Lowe and Iraqi Deputy Oil Minister A. al Shamma co-chaired the meeting. Both sides discussed the state of developments in the Iraqi energy sector, in particular with regards to the electricity and natural gas sectors, and the potential for concrete mutually beneficial joint actions, including possible EU assistance. The Working Group will meet regularly.
The EU continues to provide financial support to Iraq, amounting to almost one billion Euro since 2003, this includes both reconstruction and humanitarian assistance.
Now the EU is moving to medium-term planning through the first ever Joint Strategy Paper for Iraq for the years 2011-2013 [906 KB] + Annex [111 KB] , adopted in November 2010. The general focus of EU support is on helping Iraq to better use its own resources, through capacity building activities in the areas of good governance; socio-economic recovery through education and strengthening institutional capacity; water management and agriculture.
The EU has been one of the largest donors in the support of the Iraqi political and electoral process with over €94 m since 2004, including deployment of an Electoral Assessment Team for the general elections on 7 March 2010. Another focal sector of EU assistance is rule of law (€40 million in 2007-2009). The EU has also watched with concern the situation of refugees from Iraq and internally displaced persons within Iraq. So far total support to the refugee crisis has amounted to more than €188 million.