Following a constitutional and political crisis with a military coup in early 2010, Niger subsequently restored democracy in an exemplary transition process, culminating in local, parliamentary and presidential elections in the first half of 2011. The European Union has played a vital role in supporting, funding and monitoring this process. Though the EU had partially suspended cooperation with Niger (following consultations under Article 96 of the Cotonou Agreement), it resumed full cooperation in June 2011, after constitutional order was restored.
The main objective for development cooperation between Niger and the EU is the fight against poverty. Other important issues are:
• governance (including decentralisation, justice, public finances and the role of women)
• migration (Niger is an important transit country)
Under the 10th European Development Fund (EDF), the EU has a budget of €483 million for grants to Niger from 2008-13. The funds will provide major macroeconomic budget support. Other priority areas for EDF-funded cooperation are:
• governance (including security)
• economic reforms
• promoting growth in rural areas
• food security
• support for regional integration (including transport infrastructure).
Niger is one of the three focus countries in the EU's Sahel security & development strategy [81 KB] , adopted 2011. At the request of the Nigerien Government, the EU decided on 16 July 2012 to deploy a civilian mission to support Niger's internal security forces in their fight against terrorism and organised crime (EUCAP SAHEL Niger). This mission comes under the EU's common security and defence policy (CSDP).