Brussels, 6 December 2012
At an Association Council meeting with Algeria, the EU decided to continue its support for administrative reform, good governance and economic diversification
The seventh meeting of the EU-Algeria Association Council took place in Brussels today. The European Commission was represented by Mr Štefan Füle, Commissioner for Enlargement and the European Neighbourhood Policy.
At the meeting, Commissioner Füle declared: ‘I am delighted to have the opportunity to engage in dialogue on various topics of mutual interest. Our bilateral relations have steadily increased in intensity in recent years. I attach particular importance to helping step up the reform process in Algeria, particularly as regards the extension of fundamental freedoms. The two cooperation programmes which the Commission adopted today demonstrate the EU’s commitment to remaining a reliable partner and also its willingness to share with Algeria its instruments and experience of transition towards a strong democracy, an inclusive and sustainable economy and a State which meets the aspirations of its people.’
The Association Council meeting provided us with the opportunity to broach subjects of common interest and to take stock of the negotiations on the first Action Plan to be launched under the European Neighbourhood Policy.
At the meeting, the European Commission adopted two financial assistance programmes for Algeria. The first, with a budget of EUR 15 million, is intended to promote diversification of the Algerian economy, and will support the sustainable development of the fishing and aquaculture sector. The second, with a budget of EUR 30 million, will support the full implementation of the Association Agreement and help strengthen good governance in public administration.
The EU-Algeria Association Agreement came into force in September 2005. It constitutes the legal framework for relations between the parties in the political, economic, trade, social and cultural domains.
In December 2011, Algeria confirmed its desire to sign up to the European Neighbourhood Policy and to conclude an action plan with the EU. This action plan is currently under preparation.
The National Indicative Programme for Algeria for the period 2011-2013, which details all of the measures funded by the EU in the country, has been allocated a total budget of EUR 172 million through the European Neighbourhood and Partnership Instrument. The two new programmes agreed by the Commission form an integral part of the National Indicative Programme.
The support programme for the sustainable development of the fisheries and aquaculture sector complements the programme which is already under way in support of economic diversification in the agricultural, agri-food and tourism sectors (DIVECO I, which got off the ground in 2009 with a budget allocation of EUR 20 million).
Phase 3 of the support programme for the implementation of the Association Agreement is primarily intended to finance institutional twinning arrangements between the Algerian authorities and the authorities of the EU Member States, along with technical assistance. The first phase of the programme, with a EUR 10 million budget, was implemented from 2008 to 2012 and focused mainly on the economic and trade components of the Association Agreement. The second phase, with a EUR 29 million budget, started in March 2011 and will run for four years. This programme extends cooperation to new sectors, including agriculture, justice, civil aviation and the management of public finances.
In the light of the success of the programme to date and the growing interest shown in it by the Algerian authorities, the European Union has decided to grant an additional EUR 30 million with a view to continuing implementation of the institutional twinning arrangements for a further four years. The sectors to be targeted will be chosen by common agreement and will underpin the objectives of the Association Agreement as well as those to be jointly defined under the action plan currently under negotiation.
For more information
Website of the Development and Cooperation DG - EuropeAid:
European Neighbourhood Policy:
Anca Paduraru (+32 2 296 64 30)
Peter Stano (+32 2 295 74 84)