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The European Development Partners and the Palestinian Authority marked yesterday the launch of the European Joint Strategy in support of Palestine ''2017-2020 – Towards a democratic and accountable Palestinian State''. The launching event was attended by the Palestinian Prime Minister Rami Hamdallah, the EU Representative Ralph Tarraf, European Heads of Mission, and representatives of Palestinian ministries and civil society organizations.
The European Joint Strategy provides a framework for European Development Partners to support their Palestinian partners, including the Palestinian Authority and UNRWA, in a more coordinated way. With the strategy, European Development Partners can work more effectively together to improve the lives of the five million Palestinians in the West Bank and Gaza and the five million Palestine Refugees. The goal of the joint strategy is to strengthen institutions so that they can exercise effective governance in a future State of Palestine, address challenges in water and land development and support the private sector to achieve sustainable economic developments.
With this Strategy, European partners are speaking with one voice and are united in their vision and in their determination to put that vision into effect.
This Strategy will allow European Development Partners to improve their cooperation with the Palestinian counterparts, for better delivery of tangible benefits to the lives of Palestinians.
"The EU and its Member States are the most important donor and are present in every aspect of life in Palestine. Today we have taken an important step to bring our individual efforts together and to create more unity in our support to education, access to water and economic development in Palestine." said the EU Representative Ralph Tarraf." The European Joint Strategy presents a counterpart to the Palestinian National Policy Agenda. Within this framework, we are committed to support in building the future Palestinian state”, he added.
At the event, the Palestinian Authority and the European Development Partners also launched an ambitious Results-Oriented Framework, to better measure progress towards common development objectives and priorities.
Despite the very specific situation of Palestine – an overcrowded, fragmented and highly politicised context – the Office of the European Union Representative (EUREP) and Member States (EU MS) have worked towards an EU Joint Programming (EU JP) in Palestine since 2011. An EU/MS Division of Labour and an EU JP Roadmap were developed in respectively 2011 and 2012, and have been regularly updated since then. In October 2013, two like-minded countries (Norway and Switzerland) joined the process and joint work.
EU JP has been understood by European development partners in Palestine in its two dimensions: aid effectiveness (how to improve the efficiency and effectiveness of the considerable EU/MS financial effort in Palestine) and political dimension (affirm and defend the shared vision of European actors in Palestine and ensure the convergence between the development work and the political objectives of the EU).
Since the end of 2015, European development partners have been working on developing the first-ever European Joint Strategy, which is closely aligned to the new Palestinian National Policy Agenda (NPA) 2017-2022 and in line with the Sustainable Development Goals. This Strategy is locally-owned and is the result of extensive meetings and discussions amongst the European development partners, Palestinian ministries, civil society organisations, the business community, the United Nations (UN) family and many other key actors.
The aim of the strategy is to maximise aid coordination and aid effectiveness amongst EU Development Partners and reinforce our ability to address through development funding our political objectives.
For further information on EU Joint Programming:
The Office of the European Union Representative
Shadi Othman (02 5415 867, 0599 673 958); Inas Abu Shirbi (02 541 5 859, 0599 673 957)