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).

 

For further information, contact us at: delegation-egypt-innovation@eeas.europa.eu

 

Joint Programming is the joint planning of development cooperation by EU development partners working in a partner country. It is a policy tool contributing to a stronger Europe and bringing together resources and capacities. Now, more than ever, the European Union, the Member States and other like-minded governments need to join forces, programme their development aid together and, eventually, develop a strategic and coordinated response to key challenges such as migration and climate change. Working closely together will enhance the EU's ability to decisively contribute to the partner country's national development plan and to support our partners in the implementation of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development and the Addis Ababa Action Agenda. More information on how Joint Programming progresses in each partner country: capacity4dev.eu

Contacts:

In line with the Foreign Affairs Council Conclusions of May 2012, calling for the EU and its Member States to join efforts to reduce aid fragmentation, an initiative to foster joint EU aid programming in Egypt was launched in 2012. However, the mid-2013 events and subsequent period of political and institutional transition put on hold the exercise and affected the programming and delivery of most EU donors' cooperation. International aid agendas also needed to be adjusted to the new context.

Joint programming in Egypt was relaunched in 2015, based on an indicative roadmap, and has been closely aligned to the country's national development strategy, the "Sustainable Development Strategy: Egypt Vision 2030", as well as the government's subsequent implementation plans. It is being carried out in two steps, namely: (i) drafting a Joint Analysis of Egypt's political, social, economic and planning context, and (ii) drafting a Joint Response, with provisions on the division of labour, the synchronisation of programming cycles and identification of indicative financial allocations.

The Joint EU Analysis of Egypt's Political, Social, Economic and Planning was concluded in September 2016. The drafting of a Joint EU Response will take place during 2017.  Once formally approved by EU Member States and institutions, the Joint Analysis and the Joint Response are expected to constitute a new Joint EU Programming Strategy for Development Cooperation in Egypt.

The EU and its Member States see Egypt as a key partner to promote stability and sustainable development in the Southern Neighbourhood region. Accordingly, the strategic aim of the EU's relationship with Egypt is to promote the joint interests of fostering peace and prosperity, and to guarantee long-term stability on both sides of the Mediterranean.

The EU pursues this aim through a well-calibrated engagement that combines dialogue and support to the political, economic and social reforms and will be guided by jointly established Partnership Priorities. Additionally, as set out in the Association Agreement, a shared commitment to the universal values of democracy, the rule of law and the respect for human rights remains the cornerstone of the EU-Egypt partnership. Other key EU objectives include the sustainable use of natural resources, the protection of the environment, climate change prevention and adaptation, as well as migration management.

Taking into account the challenging local environment and experiences in other countries where the process of EU Joint Programming has already been more advanced, a Joint Programming Strategy for Egypt endorsed by EU Development Partners is foreseen to be approved by 2018. 

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