The European Union Delegation to Egypt

Egypt and the EU

03/09/2020 - 13:17
EU relations with Country

The European Union (EU) stands by the Egyptian people in their ongoing efforts to achieve democracy, respect for human rights, social justice, security and socio-economic development.

As Egypt is facing an increasingly complex economic, social, political and security environment, the EU is firmly committed to continue supporting Egypt in addressing current challenges.

The new European Neighbourhood Policy (ENP), as endorsed by the Council of the European Union in November 2015, fosters stabilisation, security and prosperity, in line with the Global Strategy for the EU's Foreign and Security Policy. In this context, the jointly agreed Partnership Priorities (2017-2020) aim to address common challenges facing the EU and Egypt, to promote joint interests and to guarantee long-term stability on both sides of the Mediterranean.

The Partnership Priorities are guided by a shared commitment to the universal values of democracy, the rule of law and the respect of human rights. They also aim to reinforce cooperation in support of Egypt's "Sustainable Development Strategy – Vision-2030". This partnership includes support to Egypt's sustainable economic and social development, good governance, the rule of law, human rights, migration, security, counterterrorism, and cooperation in foreign policy through intensified consultations on regional and international issues.

The EU and Egypt have been moving forward engaging on shared priorities under their Association Agreement which was signed in 2001 and entered into force in 2004. The Association Agreement provides the framework for regular political dialogue between the two partners and enhanced cooperation in a number of key sectors, ranging from trade and investment to energy and education, and also for sustained and substantial EU assistance.

The Association Agreement establishes a free-trade area with the elimination of tariffs on industrial products and significant concessions on agricultural products. In addition, an ambitious agreement on agriculture and processed agricultural and fisheries products entered into force on 1 June 2010. Moreover, the EU is the number one investor in Egypt. In recent years, roughly three quarters of FDI inflows originated in the EU.

The total amount of ongoing EU assistance to Egypt channelled through the bilateral envelope amounts to nearly €1.3 billion. All EU assistance to Egypt is provided in the form of grants. For the period 2014-2020, the new European Neighbourhood Instrument (ENI) is the main financial instrument for EU cooperation with Egypt.

Since 2004, the bilateral trade in goods has more than doubled (reaching €27.3 billion in 2016). The EU remains Egypt's most important export market (around 30 % of Egyptian exports). Egyptian exports to the EU amounted to €6.7 billion in 2016.

The Free Trade Area is a success but there is still untapped potential. Both sides should work on further trade facilitation, such as harmonisation of standards for industrial goods, so that Egypt can fully benefit from its duty free access to the EU market, diversify its exports to the EU and attract further European direct investments.

The cooperation between the European Union and Egypt in Science and Technology (S&T) is guided by the EC-Egypt Agreement for Scientific and Technological Cooperation, Road Map - signed in 2005 and entering into force in 2008. A key element of our cooperation is the development of closer scientific ties between Egypt and the European Research Area through increased Egyptian participation in Horizon 2020 (H2020), the on-going EU Framework Programme for Research and Technological Development.

Horizon 2020: The EU Framework Programme for Research and Innovation

Horizon 2020 is the largest multinational programme dedicated to research & innovation and it is "open to the world". This means that researchers, universities, research organisations, companies and non-governmental organisations from across the globe can apply to participate in the activities of the Work Programme carried out mainly through calls for proposals.

Under Horizon 2020, Egypt so far participated in 31 projects. These projects cover collaborative research actions in areas including food and sustainable agriculture, environment and water management as well as  Marie Skłodowska-Curie Actions and European Research Council (ERC) actions.

H2020 New WP 2018-2020

The calls of the Work Programme launched in October 2017 represent a major investment of €30 billion. These offer an extraordinary occasion for the scientific community and innovators in third countries to tap on the opportunities offered by Horizon 2020 working together with counterparts from the EU and beyond in areas of mutual interest.

In addition to this general opening, in this Work Programme, international cooperation in research and innovation has been strengthened through the inclusion of a list of 30 flagship initiatives with specific countries in areas of mutual benefit worth over €1billion. The EU published on 27 October two  roadmaps which target cooperation with Egypt as part of broader targeted geographic areas:

  1. The Roadmap for EU-Southern Neighbourhood Science and Technology  cooperation
  2. The Roadmap for EU-African Union  partnership Science and Technology  cooperation

For more information, please check the Memo on the new Work Programme, a presentation highlighting International Cooperation(link is external) and the list of flagships(link is external).

More on EU- Egypt research and innovation cooperation:;pg=egypt

If you are interested to apply, consult the Horizon 2020 participant portal.

H2020 – How to participate  Arabic version:

Mobility Partnership - Marie Skłodowska-Curie Actions


In October 2017,  EU and Egypt made a step forward towards strengthening their research and innovation cooperation. The two sides signed an agreement for scientific and technological cooperation setting out the terms and conditions for Egypt's participation in the Partnership for Research and Innovation in the Mediterranean Area (PRIMA). PRIMA will develop much-needed solutions for a more sustainable management of water and agro-food systems. The partnership currently consists of 19 participating countries: Algeria, Croatia, Cyprus, Egypt, France, Germany, Greece, Israel, Italy, Jordan, Lebanon, Luxembourg, Malta, Morocco, Portugal, Slovenia, Spain, Tunisia and Turkey. As the initiative is evolving over time, more participants, from both EU and non-EU countries, are expected to follow.The partnership will be financed through a combination of funding from participating countries (currently €274 million), and a €220 million contribution from the EU through Horizon 2020, its research and innovation funding programme (2014 – 2020).

For further information on PRIMA

Egypt STI cooperation with EU Member States  and More

For further information, contact us


Joint Programming is the joint planning of development cooperation by EU development partners working in a partner country. It is a policy tool contributing to a stronger Europe and bringing together resources and capacities. Now, more than ever, the European Union, the Member States and other like-minded governments need to join forces, programme their development aid together and, eventually, develop a strategic and coordinated response to key challenges such as migration and climate change. Working closely together will enhance the EU's ability to decisively contribute to the partner country's national development plan and to support our partners in the implementation of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development and the Addis Ababa Action Agenda. More information on how Joint Programming progresses in each partner country:


In line with the Foreign Affairs Council Conclusions of May 2012, calling for the EU and its Member States to join efforts to reduce aid fragmentation, an initiative to foster joint EU aid programming in Egypt was launched in 2012. However, the mid-2013 events and subsequent period of political and institutional transition put on hold the exercise and affected the programming and delivery of most EU donors' cooperation. International aid agendas also needed to be adjusted to the new context.

Joint programming in Egypt was relaunched in 2015, based on an indicative roadmap, and has been closely aligned to the country's national development strategy, the "Sustainable Development Strategy: Egypt Vision 2030(link is external)", as well as the government's subsequent implementation plans. It is being carried out in two steps, namely: (i) drafting a Joint Analysis of Egypt's political, social, economic and planning context, and (ii) drafting a Joint Response, with provisions on the division of labour, the synchronisation of programming cycles and identification of indicative financial allocations.

The Joint EU Analysis of Egypt's Political, Social, Economic and Planning was concluded in September 2016. A Joint EU Response was approved in December 2017. Together, the Joint Analysis and the Joint Response constitute a new Joint EU Programming Strategy for Development Cooperation in Egypt to be launched in 2018.

Joint EU Programming reflects the importance of Egypt as a key partner of the EU and its Member States to promote stability and sustainable development in the Southern Neighbourhood region. Accordingly, the strategic aim of the EU's relationship with Egypt is to promote the joint interests of fostering peace and prosperity, and to guarantee long-term stability on both sides of the Mediterranean. The EU pursues this aim through a well-calibrated engagement that combines dialogue and support to the political, economic and social reforms and will be guided by jointly established Partnership Priorities. Additionally, as set out in the Association Agreement, a shared commitment to the universal values of democracy, the rule of law and the respect for human rights remains the cornerstone of the EU-Egypt partnership. Other key EU objectives include the sustainable use of natural resources, the protection of the environment, climate change prevention and adaptation, as well as migration management.