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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.