The European Union and Lebanon are strategic partners cooperating closely on joint challenges. The close political relations between the EU and Lebanon are guided by an Association Agreement which has been in force since April 2006. The partnership is based on common values and interests, regular political, security, economic and social dialogue, wide-ranging people-to-people contacts, and substantial development and humanitarian assistance. The EU-Lebanon Agreement promotes human rights, political dialogue, free movement of goods, and economic, social and cultural cooperation.
In 2016, the EU and Lebanon adopted partnership priorities leading up to 2020, as well as a compact addressing the impact of the Syrian crisis on Lebanon. The partnership priorities set up a renewed framework for political engagement and enhanced cooperation. They were agreed in the context of the revised European neighbourhood policy and the EU's global strategy for foreign and security policy. The Partnership priorities focus on security and countering terrorism, governance and the rule of law, fostering growth and job opportunities, and migration and mobility. The EU Partnership Priorities and Compact are a solid framework for further strategic development of EU-Lebanon cooperation.
European support for democracy and the rule of law in Lebanon takes various forms. The EU promotes the development of independent, effective and accountable public institutions, particularly the justice system and penitentiary administration. Furthermore, the EU supports Lebanese civil society as a vital partner for political decision-making. The European institutions maintain regular dialogue with CSOs, which are well placed to know the population's real needs in terms of human rights, good governance and development.
The EU is supporting Lebanon's economic vision in the follow-up to the 2018 CEDRE Conference. The objective is to support Lebanon in implementing the necessary economic and structural reforms to allow for the implementation of the Government's Capital Investment Plan and to find sustainable, transparent solutions to relieve both the state budget and citizens as well as to encourage international investors and donors.
Lebanon's stability remains of paramount importance to the European Union. Political dialogue between the EU and Lebanon promotes cooperation aimed at establishing peace, stability and security in the country. The EU cooperates with all Lebanese security agencies with the goal of promoting national cohesion and the role of the State as sole legitimate security provider.