The EU-Egypt Partnership Priorities 2017-2020. The foreign policy goals of the European Union with Egypt


Term Paper, 2019

8 Pages, Grade: 13/20


Excerpt

Contents

Introduction

I. EU-Egypt Partnership Priorities 2017-2020
a. Sustainable economy and social development
b. Foreign policy
c. Enhancing stability

II. Current advancement of the EU-Egypt Partnership Priorities
a. Sustainable economy and social development
b. Foreign policy
c. Enhancing stability

Conclusion

References

Introduction

The European Neighborhood Policy (ENP) represents the framework for EU’s strategy towards its neighbors in Eastern Europe, the Middle East, and Northern Africa. It was launched in 2004, undergoing revisions in 2011 and 2015. Its aim is to support the ENP member countries based on, inter alia, the principles of partnership and common interests.1 The ENP is financed by the European Neighborhood Instrument (ENI) with a budget of EUR 15.4 billion for the period 2014-2020. The support primarily focuses on the promotion of human rights, the sustainability of democracy, social and economic development, mobility of people, and regional integration.2

I. EU-Egypt Partnership Priorities 2017-2020

EU support to Egypt mainly includes the country’s Annual Action Program, which is funded each year by the ENI. The ENI also provides Egypt with EU funds through the Neighborhood Investment Facility (NIF). Moreover, Egypt benefits from ENI regional and neighborhood cooperation programs.3 The general cooperation framework for the EU-Egypt relations is laid out in the Association Agreement of 2001, which came into force in 2004 and forms the legal basis in light of the most recent 2015 revision of the ENP.4 In July 2017 the EU-Egypt Association Council adopted the multiannual framework of Partnership Priorities (PPs) with Egypt. It was additionally strengthened through the EU-Egypt Action Plan of 2007, which itself accounted for the development of bilateral relations and gave the basis for more cooperation.5 Following the adoption, the EU implemented the Single Support Framework (SSF), which, based on the PPs for 2017­2020, defines the common challenges that Egypt and the EU face.6 The PPs for Egypt aspire to cover these challenges, as well as to boost joint interests and guarantee stability in the Mediterranean in the long term.7 These priorities were and are inspired by the ENP’s goals of strengthening democracy, supporting the rule of law, and respecting human rights in the ENP countries.8 Moreover, with the SSF, they envision the reinforcement of Egypt’s “Sustainable Development Strategy - Vision-2030”9, which itself aims to achieve a balanced and competitive economy, social integration and sustainable development in Egypt.10

Under the ENI, EU’s 2017-2020 Partnership Priorities in Egypt focus on three main sectors.

a. Sustainable economy and social development

This precedence is in line with Egypt’s “Sustainable Development Strategy - Vision-2030”. First, a focus is laid on the economic modernization and entrepreneurship. The EU is fixated on achieving long-term financial sustainability in Egypt through establishing an environment that is fit for inclusive growth and job creation.11 “Social development and social protection, especially when it comes to young people and women, are key towards sustainable growth and stability in Egypt and in the region.”12 Economic sustainability is envisioned to be achieved through, inter alia, enhanced business climate and reinforced role of the private sector. Egypt’s efforts for a public administration reform are also supported by the EU. The growth of small and medium enterprises plays a central role for EU-Egypt cooperation. Furthermore, the EU is working on supporting the Suez Canal Development Project, which is a big part of the Egyptian development strategy. Advancing digital technologies and increasing cooperation in higher education activities such as Erasmus+ are common interests for both the EU and Egypt. Second, as trade partners, the EU is committed to strengthening its trade and investment relations with Egypt13, as trade is the core pillar to bilateral relations.14 Third, the EU will support Egypt in the sphere of social development and justice through protection of marginalized groups during economic reforms, also aiming to modernize education and health systems. Fourth, the EU calls for cooperation in the diversification of energy sources. The EU will back Egypt’s efforts to better its energy strategy and reduce greenhouse gas emissions. The offshore discovery of gas fields in Egypt created the opportunity for more predictable energy generation. Climate change is also a part of the sustainable development vision. In line with the Paris Agreement on climate change, the EU will endorse Egypt’s Intended Nationality Determined Contributions.15

b. Foreign policy

Both the EU and Egypt are in favor of increasing cooperation in their foreign policy at bilateral, national and international levels.16 The EU faces difficulties in containing Islamism as the religion cannot be sufficiently influenced by traditional foreign policy instrument. Through the ENP the EU has tried to export its values onto Egypt, among other Islamic countries, and failed. During the Arab uprising of 2011 Egypt’s authoritarian regime was overthrown by the Muslim Brotherhood, and the EU had to finally acknowledge the Islamic element in its Egyptian foreign policies.17 EU’s objectives through the PPs are, first, addressing the topic of stabilizing the common neighborhood. The EU intends to deepen cooperation through the League of Arab States, whose headquarters are located in Egypt, with the aim of building peace and resolving political and economic challenges. Second, the EU and Egypt foresee cooperating in humanitarian assistance and crisis management.18 It is in EU’s vital interest to counter the feeling of alienation and face the multifarious challenges of the Muslim community in Egypt, among other Muslim countries.19

c. Enhancing stability

Creating a democratic state that benefits everyone equality is top priority on EU’s agenda. First, to achieve this, the EU will promote human rights and fundamental freedoms, and help Egypt translate these rights into laws.20 A public sector reform is envisioned in order to strengthen the capacity of state and law enforcement institutions and to grow the Parliament’s constitutional powers. The EU and Egypt will further cooperate in modernizing the justice sector and tackling corruption. Second, security is a shared objective. In line with the persisting threat of terrorism and extremism, the EU plans to address the root causes and counter radicalization in collaboration with Egypt. A further aim is the prevention of trans-national organized crime.21 Third, a focus is laid on migratory flows’ management. The EU will support Egypt in its attempts to strengthen its migration governance, prevent illegal migration, and protects migrants’ rights, according to international standards. The EU hopes for the mobility of persons to contribute to Egypt’s development through skills and knowledge, and thus create sustainable bridges between the country and EU’s high-skilled labor force.22. As Egypt’s neighbor Libya faces this major problem as well, the EU recognizes irregular migration is a borderless issue.23

II. Current advancement of the EU-Egypt Partnership Priorities

To support the execution of the PPs, the Association Agreement subcommittees held three meetings in line with the three thematic clusters, in the span of four to eight months after the adoption.24 Now it will be examined to what extent the EU has been able to obtain its Egyptian Partnership Priorities up to December 2018.

a. Sustainable economy and social development

Egypt has been implementing an economic reform plan since mid-2016 in order to introduce more macroeconomic stability and reestablish competitiveness. In 2018, previous inflation declined after the reinforcement of social protection measures. The following recovery was noticed: inter alia, GDP growth expansion from 4,2% to 5,3% and unemployment dropping from 11,3% to 9,9% for fiscal years 2016/2017 and 2017/2018. Net international reserves reached a record of USD 44.1 billion in May 2018, double prior to exchange rate flotation 2016. The country fell short of the primary deficit targets.25 In regard to entrepreneurship and small and medium sized enterprises, the EU started international taxation and financial inclusion projects. End-2017 the EU and Egypt signed an International Agreement for Egypt's PRIMA26 with the goal of research and innovation support for water availability, among others. Through this agreement, to-date 36 Egyptian organizations have been involved and 105 Egyptian researchers have benefited from education. Egypt is now also part of the GSO BLUEMED working group, that is involved in marine and maritime research.27

In regard to trade and investment, in 2017 EU-Egypt trade reached a record EUR 27.9 billion, EUR 16.1 more when the Association Agreement came into force.

[...]


1 See Keukeleire S., Delreux T. The Foreign Policy of the European Union, 2014. P. 250.

2 See European Commission, European Neighbourhood Instrument. https://ec.europa.eu/regional_policy/en/policy/what/glossary/e/european-neighbourhood-investment (02.05.2019)

3 See European Commission, European Neighbourhood Policy and Enlargement Negotiations. https://ec.europa.eu/neighbourhood-enlargement/neighbourhood/countries/egypt_en (02.05.2019)

4 See Association between the European Union and Egypt. Note from General Secretariat of the Council to Delegations. Subject: EU-Egypt Partnership Priorities 2017-2020. Brussels, 16 June 2017. P.1.

5 See European Commission, European Neighbourhood Policy and Enlargement Negotiations. https://ec.europa.eu/neighbourhood-enlargement/neighbourhood/countries/egypt_en (02.05.2019)

6 See EEAS, EU and Egypt cooperation: towards a stronger partnership. https://eeas.europa.eu/delegations/egypt/34859/eu- and-egypt-cooperation-towards-stronger-partnership_en (02.05.2019)

7 See Association between the European Union and Egypt. Note from General Secretariat of the Council to Delegations. Subject: EU-Egypt Partnership Priorities 2017-2020. Brussels, 16 June 2017. P. 1.

8 See Keukeleire S., Delreux T. The Foreign Policy of the European Union, 2014. P. 251.

9 See Association between the European Union and Egypt. Note from General Secretariat of the Council to Delegations. Subject: EU-Egypt Partnership Priorities 2017-2020. Brussels, 16 June 2017. P. 1.

10 See Sustainable Development Strategy - Egypt Vision-2030. P. 10.

11 See Association between the European Union and Egypt. Note from General Secretariat of the Council to Delegations. Subject: EU-Egypt Partnership Priorities 2017-2020. Brussels, 16 June 2017. P.2.

12 High Representative/Vice-President Federica Mogherini, July 2017. https://eeas.europa.eu/delegations/egypt/34859/eu-and- egypt-cooperation-towards-stronger-partnership_en.J02.05.2019)

13 See Association between the European Union and Egypt. Note from General Secretariat of the Council to Delegations. Subject: EU-Egypt Partnership Priorities 2017-2020. Brussels, 16 June 2017. P.2-5.

14 Piket Vincent on 'EU bilateral relations with the Maghreb countries'. Conference at EEAS. 26.03.2019.

15 See Association between the European Union and Egypt. Note from General Secretariat of the Council to Delegations. Subject: EU-Egypt Partnership Priorities 2017-2020. Brussels, 16 June 2017. P.2-5.

16 See ibid. P.5-6.

17 See Keukeleire S., Delreux T. The Foreign Policy of the European Union, 2014. P. 296.

18 See Association between the European Union and Egypt. Note from General Secretariat of the Council to Delegations. Subject: EU-Egypt Partnership Priorities 2017-2020. Brussels, 16 June 2017. P.6.

19 See Keukeleire S., Delreux T. The Foreign Policy of the European Union, 2014. P. 298.

20 See Association between the European Union and Egypt. Note from General Secretariat of the Council to Delegations. Subject: EU-Egypt Partnership Priorities 2017-2020. Brussels, 16 June 2017. P.6.

21 See Association between the European Union and Egypt. Note from General Secretariat of the Council to Delegations. Subject: EU-Egypt Partnership Priorities 2017-2020. Brussels, 16 June 2017. P.7.

22 See ibid. P.8.

23 Piket Vincent on 'EU bilateral relations with the Maghreb countries'. Conference at EEAS. 26.03.2019.

24 See European Commission, Joint Staff Working Document. Report on EU-Egypt relations in the framework of the revised ENP (2017-2018). Brussels, 5.12.2018. P.1.

25 See ibid. P.2-3.

26 Participation in the Partnership for Research and Innovation in the Mediterranean Area

27 See European Commission, Joint Staff Working Document. P.4.

Excerpt out of 8 pages

Details

Title
The EU-Egypt Partnership Priorities 2017-2020. The foreign policy goals of the European Union with Egypt
College
University of Louvain
Grade
13/20
Author
Year
2019
Pages
8
Catalog Number
V508326
ISBN (eBook)
9783346078520
Language
English
Tags
european union, external action, foreign policy, egypt, objectives, eu, eu foreign policy, egypt foreign policy
Quote paper
Sophia Milusheva (Author), 2019, The EU-Egypt Partnership Priorities 2017-2020. The foreign policy goals of the European Union with Egypt, Munich, GRIN Verlag, https://www.grin.com/document/508326

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