Situated in southern Africa and bordering the Indian Ocean, Mozambique has a population of 26 million and a land area of around 800,000 km², roughly equal to the combined area of Italy and Spain.
Elections and political situation
After the signing of Agreement on the Cessation of Hostilities between the Government and Renamo in September 2014, Mozambique held its fifth general elections on 15 October 2014. President Filipe Nyusi (ruling Frelimo party) won the presidential election with 57% of the polls against 36% for the Renamo leader Afonso Dhlakama and 6% for the MDM President Daviz Simango. Frelimo also won the legislative election (144 MPs against 89 for Renamo and 17 for MDM).
The EU deployed an independent Election Observation Mission (EU EOM) of 110 observers from 19 EU member states, Canada, Norway and Switzerland, across the country to assess the whole electoral process against international obligations.
The independent EU EOM published a detailed final report on the elections with findings and recommendations for future electoral processes on 17 February 2015. The EU Delegation will continue to promote sustainable Electoral by supporting country's efforts to improve Electoral law and to implement recommendations that have been singled out in various reports.
As regards the economic and social areas, the discovery of vast gas deposits off-shore and prospects for extensive coal mining should continue to contribute to an increasing flow of foreign investment, expand national revenues and boost the economy. The possibility of Mozambique becoming a middle income country by the end of the next decade is realistic, while the country's structural dependence on donors is expected to continue decreasing.
Moreover, Mozambique's current development model continues to be dependent on “mega projects”, which, alone, will not easily address all of the fundamental shortages in terms of infrastructure, energy, human resources and the financial system. In this regard the weakness of Mozambican SMEs and the slow development of the agriculture sector should also be addressed as a matter of priority as they require the definition and implementation of long term policies.
The above mentioned political, economic and social challenges remain important references for EU-Mozambique relations.
Together with Member States, the EU contributes approximately two thirds of the country's international aid, estimated at some 20% of the national budget.
Mozambique is part of the EU-ACP Cotonou Agreement. The initial allocation for Mozambique under the 11th EDF (European Development Fund) National Indicative Programme (NIP for 2015-2020), signed in November 2015 by Commissioner Mimica and Vice-MFA Nyeleti Mondlane in Brussels, amounts to €734m in grants, and will focus on good governance and rural development.
On a regional level, Mozambique should, in the longer term, be one of the largest beneficiaries of the regional integration in the Southern African Development Community (SADC). The country's geographical location is a considerable strength: a large volume of SADC goods transits through Mozambique, along corridors linking Mozambique's ports with neighbouring landlocked countries as well as parts of South Africa.
An Economic Partnership Agreement (EPA) was recently signed by the EU and the SADC region, offering Mozambique duty-free and quota-free access to the EU market.
The legal framework of the relations between EU and Mozambique relations is provided by the Cotonou Agreement, signed in June 2000 between the ACP countries and the EU, covering a period of 20 years (2000-2020), with a revision foreseen every five years.
The Cotonou Agreement has at its core five interconnected guiding aims: 1) to enhance the political dialogue dimension between ACP and EU by developing peace-building policies, conflict prevention and resolution strategies, supporting good governance, and tackling corruption; 2) to promote a participatory approach and involve non-governmental actors in the implementation of the Agreement; 3) to reduce poverty; 4) to reinforce economic and trade relationships, in particular regional integration and partnership agreements between EU and ACP regions; and 5) to improve financial co-operation.
The partnership is centred on the objective of reducing and eventually eradicating poverty,
EU-Mozambique relations are structured in four main dialogues:
The EU holds regular political dialogue session with the Government of Mozambique, under Article 8 of the Cotonou Partnership Agreement. These provide a good opportunity for frank and informal discussions on a broad range of issues concerning the political, social and economic situation in the EU, in Mozambique, and areas of common interest. Besides these formal sessions, the EU has a permanent dialogue with the authorities of Mozambique, but also with the various political parties represented in Parliament and with representatives of the civil society.
The EU political dialogue in the strict sense is enhanced by the scale of the EU's financial and technical development cooperation in Mozambique. Specific coordination on EU matters is conducted on an ad hoc basis, such as sharing of information, via EDF Committee, annual reviews and programming.
Interaction with other donors, including EU member states, is intensive and comprehensive in Mozambique. The DPG (Development Partners Group) meets once a month at Heads of Mission level, chaired by the UNDP and World Bank, dealing with matters of common interest to the donor community. Furthermore there is the G19 coordination mechanism, offering a platform for consultation and coordination between the Government and those donors that provide General Budget Support, the Program Aid Partners (PAPs).
Dialogue with the NAO
Relations with the NAO are frank and result-oriented and help ensuring good management and development of cooperation programs.
Exchanges with the NAO both at technical and political levels continued to be regular, in particular due to the preparation process of the Annual Action Plans of the 11 EDF National Indicative Program, the operational reviews and the ongoing 10th EDF NIP implementation and the PALOP-Timor Leste programming and coordination.
Dialogue with the Civil Society
As the ACP-EU Partnership Agreement (the Cotonou Agreement) emphasizes the importance of non-state actors in the development process, the Commission has been working towards increasing dialogue with civil society and local authorities in Mozambique. (include a link to the page on Civil Society Dialogue)
Besides the Cotonou Partnership Agreement that regulates the relations between Mozambique and the EU, other agreements have been signed. For more information on Cotonou agreement, please refer to the chapter Legal framework under Political and economic relations.
In June 2009 the Government of Mozambique signed Interim Economic Partnership Agreement. For more information on that agreement, please refer to section Trade.