European Union External Action

Egypt and the EU

After the endorsement of a new Constitution in January 2014, presidential elections in May 2014 and parliamentary elections concluded in December 2015, the convening of the Egyptian Parliament in January 2016 was an important step in the country's political transition. Temporarily on hold in the wake of the January 2011 revolution, the institutional dialogue meetings foreseen by the 2004 Association Agreement  have resumed.

The EU-Egypt Association Agreement provides the framework for regular political dialogue between the two partners and enhanced cooperation in a number of key sectors, ranging from trade and investment to energy and education, and also for sustained and substantial EU assistance to Egypt's reform efforts.

The new European Neighbourhood Policy (ENP), as endorsed by the Council of the European Union in December 2015, focuses on the stabilisation of the partner countries as its main political priority. To put the revised ENP into practice, the EU and Egypt have engaged in a joint definition of the priorities for their partnership in the years ahead. These priorities will reflect shared interests.

The Association Agreement establishes a free-trade area with the elimination of tariffs on industrial products and significant concessions on agricultural products. In addition, an ambitious agreement on agriculture and processed agricultural and fisheries products entered into force on 1 June 2010. Moreover, the EU is the number one investor in Egypt. In recent years, roughly three quarters of FDI inflows originated in the EU. A very significant part of all FDI pledged at the Egypt Economic Development Conference in March 2015 came from the EU.

The total amount of ongoing EU assistance to Egypt channelled through the bilateral envelope amounts to nearly €1.1 billion. All EU assistance to Egypt is provided in the form of grants. For the period 2014-2020, the new European Neighbourhood Instrument (ENI)  is the main financial instrument for EU cooperation with Egypt.

Since 2004, the bilateral trade in goods has more than doubled (reaching €27.7 billion in 2015). The EU remains Egypt's most important export market (29.4 % of Egyptian exports). Egyptian exports to the EU amounted to €7.2 billion in 2015.

The Free Trade Area is a success but there is still untapped potential. An important area with great potential for both sides is harmonisation of standards for industrial goods, so that Egypt can fully use the potential of its duty free access to the EU market, diversify its exports to the EU and attract further European direct investments.

A key element of our cooperation is the development of closer scientific ties between Egypt and the European Research Area through increased Egyptian participation in Horizon 2020, the on-going EU Framework Programme for Research and Technological Development. The cooperation between the European Union and Egypt in Science and Technology (S&T) is guided by the EC-Egypt Agreement for Scientific and Technological Cooperation, Road Map - signed in 2005 .

Horizon 2020: The EU Framework Programme for Research and Innovation

Horizon 2020 is the biggest EU Research and Innovation programme ever with nearly €80 billion of funding available over 7 years (2014 to 2020). It is also the most open research and innovation programme in the world, Open for collaboration with third country partners like Egypt.

Mobility Partnership - Marie Skłodowska-Curie Actions

In addition to Horizon 2020, other financial assistance for the support EC-Egypt S&T cooperation is provided by the European Neighbourhood and Partnership Instrument (ENPI).


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