The European Union Delegation to Lebanon on 22 May showcased its support to Lebanon's Aviation security at Beirut international airport and announced an additional 3.5 million EUR program in support of Airport Security as part of the European Union's pledge at the Rome III conference last year.
The Minister of Interior Raya Haffar al Hassan, the EU Ambassador to Lebanon Christina Lassen, as well as EU Member State representatives, Foreign Embassies and UN agencies attended the event and toured the airport, viewing the equipment provided by the EU project.
As Beirut's Rafik Hariri international airport is the main entry and exit point for goods and passengers to Lebanon, its infrastructure is becoming more and more important as the volume of passengers and goods passing through this airport have dramatically increased in recent years. At the same time challenges and threats to civil aviation have also increased, especially in the context of persisting regional tensions.
Safety for all passengers and personnel is the European Union's priority upon which it provides support to Rafik Hariri International Airport, especially that the airport has become an important hub in the Middle East. Hence aviation security is a shared priority by both the Lebanese government and the EU, not the least to prevent and deal with terrorist attacks. Ambassador Lassen underlined that at the European Union, "together with our implementing partner ICMPD, we have been working closely with all security agencies, including the Lebanese Armed Forces, the Internal Security Forces, General Security, and Customs to ensure that Lebanese and all other passengers using this airport remain safe when taking off or arriving in Beirut."
The European Union with its support to an integrated border management in Lebanon assists the different security agencies in securing and controlling its borders to increasing the security of its citizens, promote regional stability and facilitate trade, development and human contact. The European Union is investing to expand training and security infrastructure and will provide by the end of the year airport security specific high-tech equipment such as state-of-the art bomb disposal devices and explosive detection dogs.
In 2018 the EU has announced a 50 million EUR package to support the Lebanese security sector, as part of its longstanding commitment to stability and security in Lebanon. The Package includes 46.6 million EUR for promoting the rule of law, enhancing security and countering terrorism until 2020 and 3.5 million EUR in support of airport security.
Integrated Border Management in Lebanon is funded by the European Union with a budget of EUR 14 million allocated over 6 years. It works with five Lebanese security agencies (Lebanese Armed Forces, Internal Security Forces, General Security, Lebanese Civil Defence and Lebanese Customs Administration), to establish effective, efficient and coordinated border management.
The European Union and Lebanon had adopted Partnership Priorities for the period 2016-2020, which set up a renewed framework for political engagement and enhanced cooperation. The Partnership Priorities include security and countering terrorism, governance and the rule of law, fostering growth and job opportunities, and migration and mobility. They were agreed in the context of the revised European Neighbourhood Policy and the EU's Global Strategy for Foreign and Security Policy.