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The Delegation represents the European Union in Iraq and, as a diplomatic mission, works closely with the 13 Member State Embassies that are represented in Baghdad as well as their Missions in Erbil, Kurdistan Region. It ensures the tasks of the EU Presidency both in Baghdad and Erbil. The Delegation is the permanent and principal interlocutor of the EU vis-à-vis local authorities, the international community and all other stakeholders for all matters related to EU external action. Acting in close cooperation with all EU Member State diplomatic missions, the Delegation strives to ensure the unity, consistency and effectiveness of EU external action in Iraq. It ensures the follow-up of bilateral relations in the political, economic, trade, energy and development areas.
The Delegation is essential to the promotion of EU interests and values in Iraq, and is in the front line in delivering EU external relations policy and action, ranging from common foreign and security policy through trade and cooperation to education and cultural relations.
The Delegation deals with the broad political and economic agenda between the EU and Iraq, and in particular plays a role in the implementation of the Partnership and Cooperation Agreement with Iraq. It interacts with the Federal Government, the Kurdistan Regional Government, Governorates and local authorities, the Council of Representatives in Baghdad but also with the media, civil society, NGOs and reports on developments in Iraq.
Its work also includes the implementation of projects under different development and humanitarian programmes concerning Iraq. The Delegation manages a development cooperation portfolio of over 200 M EUR in Iraq from its Amman-based Development cooperation Section. The European Commission's humanitarian office ECHO opened in August 2014 in Erbil and implements an Iraq-wide 2014 humanitarian assistance programme worth in excess of 135 Million EUR for 2014/2015 for the benefit of some 3.2 million internally displaced Iraqis and 250,000 Syrian refugees forced to flee their homes as a consequence of the Islamic State terrorist group insurgency.
Political analysis and reporting is one of the most important tasks of the Delegation with reporting seen under the broad perspective which goes beyond classic foreign and security policy issues and encompasses analysis and tasks to ensure coherence and consistency of all aspects of EU external action. For such priorities to be delivered, the Delegation presents Démarches, official positions, carries out outreach activities including on external aspects of internal EU policies. To accompany the process, the Delegation has set up 8 local EU coordination working groups in Baghdad and in Erbil which meet regularly with a view to develop with Member States common approaches and analysis in delivering a common EU messaging in Iraq.
In the field of public diplomacy, the Delegation plays a crucial role in communicating EU values, policies and results of development cooperation to host country stakeholders and is committed to enhance EU's visibility in Iraq, also through cultural diplomacy initiatives.
Today I presented credentials to H.E. President Fouad Masum as Ambassador of the European Union to the Republic of Iraq. I am proud of this appointment by Federica Mogherini, High Representative of the European Union for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy/Vice-President of the European Commission, and feel honoured to represent the EU at such an important moment in the relations with Iraq. The fight against Da'esh is reaching a successful conclusion, showing how effective the combination of international support and the determination of the Government and the people of Iraq can be. Nevertheless, many challenges remain. These have to be addressed to prevent any relapse into conflict and to satisfy the legitimate aspiration of all Iraqis to political freedom, sustainable development and a fair share of the national wealth.
The EU remains committed to Iraq's unity, territorial integrity, sovereignty and long term stability in accordance with the provisions of Iraq´s Constitution. The Constitution encompasses mechanisms to answer the political aspirations of Kurds and should be the basis for a broad national dialogue to respond to those demands.
Our security depends on the stability and prosperity of our neighbours and Iraq remains a cornerstone for the security of the region. Our partnership with Iraq is also a long term investment in building a new cooperative security architecture in the Middle East. The entry into force of the EU-Iraq Partnership and Cooperation Agreement in the immediate future will provide us with an additional effective framework to develop our relations in many different dimensions.
The EU is one of the main international donors to support the stabilisation process in the areas retaken from Da´esh with additional 60,4 million euros announced last week. In 2017, we will assist Iraq with additional 211 million euros of humanitarian, resilience and longer-term development assistance. An important aspect of our contribution is demining work, which is the sector led by the EU within the Global Coalition to counter Da´esh. The deployment of a CSDP mission has been announced yesterday at the Foreign Affairs Council, with a view to supporting civilian security sector reform and the National Security Strategy of the Government of Iraq. HR/VP Federica Mogherini has also offered her personal engagement for the reconstruction process, notably as co-host of the Conference to take place in Kuwait next January.
Finally I would like to convey the best wishes of all the European institutions and officials to the Government and the people of Iraq.