EU Relations with Niger

After a constitutional and political crisis followed by a military coup at the beginning of 2010, Niger led an exemplary democratic 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. However, consultations conducted under Article 96 of the Cotonou Agreement led to a partial suspension of the cooperation with the Union. Nevertheless, after constitutional order was restored in the country, full cooperation has resumed since June 2011. The next general elections are planned for the beginning of 2016.

Niger is a member of the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) and the West African Economic and Monetary Union (WAEMU), as well as other sub-regional organisations. This contributes towards strengthening the country’s economic integration into several sectors of activity.

Framework of the cooperation

Relations between the EU and Niger are based on the Cotonou Agreement and on the National Indicative Plan for the 2014-2020 period pdf - 2 MB [2 MB] . Several projects from the Country Strategy Document and the National Indicative Programme for the 2008-2013 period are currently being implemented.

Niger is one of the three focus countries in the EU's Sahel security & development strategy [81 KB], adopted by the European Union in 2011.

At the request of the Niger 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). Following a request from the Niger authorities in July 2014, the Mission has been extended until July 2016.

The EU and Niger maintain a regular and dynamic political dialogue which enables a broad range of issues to be dealt with, including regional, political (governance, security, migration, etc.), economic and trade issues concerning development and governance, including human rights, and also sectorial meetings relating to different aspect of our cooperation. 

Principal areas of cooperation

Under the framework of the 10th European Development Fund (EDF) for the 2008-2013 period, the total reserved for EU cooperation to Niger amounted to EUR 571.40 million. In addition to providing significant macroeconomic budgetary support, the cooperation enabled action to be taken in priority sectors (as defined under the reference period), such as governance, economic reforms, support for growth in rural areas, food security, and assistance with regional integration (including transport infrastructure).

The budgetary and institutional support currently underway (Good Governance and Development Contract) aims to help Niger in its efforts to eradicate poverty, promote sustainable and inclusive growth, as well as the development and consolidation of economic and democratic governance.

The National Indicative Plan 2014-2020, totalling an initial amount of EUR 596 million, was signed in Nairobi on 19 June 2014. The four priority sectors are part of the continuity of the priorities of the National Indicative Plan of the 10th EDF, such as:

  1. Food security and Resilience,
  2. State capacity-building to implement social policies (education, health, etc.),
  3. Security, governance and peace-building,
  4. Opening up of regions affected by insecurity and the risk of conflict.

As in the past, the NIP renews its support for civil society.

In addition to the National Indicative Plan, Niger also receives funding from regional instruments (National Indicative Plan for West Africa,  intra-ACP programmes) and different horizontal (Instrument contributing to Stability and Peace) and thematic instruments (such as, for example, the European Instrument for Democracy and Human Rights). As well as other different MDG “facilities”, food, water, etc.

Humanitarian Aid

The EU is a significant and long-term partner of Niger in the humanitarian sector. The EU has intervened massively, through various instruments, in order to help the government respond to the many humanitarian challenges it has had to face over the past years: food, nutrition and climatic crises, as well as an influx of refugees (coming from Libya, Mali and Nigeria). This support strengthens the link between emergency and development.

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