On February 7, 2020, The Government of Liberia and the European Union met for the Eighth (8th) edition of the EU-Liberia Political Dialogue, held under Article 8 of the Cotonou Partnership Agreement between the EU and ACP countries. The dialogue was co-chaired by the Acting Minister of Foreign Affairs, Hon. Henry B. Fahnbulleh, and the Head of the EU Delegation to Liberia, Ambassador Hélène Cavé.
For almost four hours, both parties addressed a number of issues of mutual interest, including the state of the economy; an enabling business and investment climate for private sector development, broad-based economic growth and job creation; good governance, accountability and transparency; human rights, focusing on the fight against sexual and gender-based violence and female genital mutilation (SGBV/FGM) as well as prison conditions; the fight against illegal, unreported and unregulated (IUU) fishing; electoral reform and preparation of 2020 Senatorial elections; implementation of the recommendations of the Truth and Reconciliation Commission (TRC); post-Cotonou negotiations; Brexit; and an update by Liberian authorities on preventive measures taken with regard to the Coronavirus
Ambassadors and representatives of seven EU Member States (Denmark, France, Germany, Ireland, Sweden, Spain and The Netherlands) participated in the dialogue. Ministers and senior officials from the Ministries of Finance and Development Planning, Commerce and Industry, Justice, Gender and Health, as well as Heads of several Liberian bodies, including the Anti-Corruption, Governance, Auditing, Investment and Election Commissions, took part in the dialogue, which was also attended by the Liberian Ambassador to the EU.
The Acting Minister of Foreign Affairs, Hon. Henry B. Fahnbulleh, thanked the EU for its long-standing commitment and support to Liberia. He stressed the importance of the Political Dialogue as a platform to regularly address issues of common interest and concern, and also to examine and take stock of the progress made on those issues.
The Head of the EU Delegation to Liberia, Ambassador Hélène Cavé, emphasized that the EU will remain a committed and reliable partner of Liberia.
During the dialogue, the Liberian Minister of Finance and Development Planning, Hon. Samuel D. Tweah Jr., and Ambassador Hélène Cavé signed a Financing Agreement for a EU Technical Cooperation Facility/Support to the National Authorizing Officer (NAO) and Aid Management and Coordination Unit (AMCU) at the Ministry of Finance and Development Planning, in charge of assisting current and future EU-Liberia development cooperation and reinforcing the aid coordination system, amounting to 3.5 Million Euros.
Two other important EU-funded programmes to be implemented in Liberia will be signed very soon, on Rural Electrification, prioritizing the South-Eastern region (42 Million Euros), and on Technical and Vocational Education and Training (TVET) (12 Million Euros).
At the end of the meeting, both parties reaffirmed their support to holding regular Political Dialogues and following-up on their conclusions. They agreed that the next (9th) EU-Liberia Political Dialogue would take place in the second half of June 2020 and be focused on human rights and social issues.