Commission européenne - Communiqué de presse
EU-Algeria: A new stage of more intense cooperation
Brussels (19th March) – The European support for the reforms and strengthening of the bilateral cooperation will be the main topics of the visit of Commissioner for Enlargement and European Neighbourhood Policy Štefan Füle to Algeria on 19th-20th March. "Since my last visit in May 2011, the relations between Algeria and the EU made important progress," he said before leaving Brussels. "Algeria started the process of reforms, which the EU is ready to support, our political dialogue became more intensive and recently Algeria decided to participate in the European Neighbourhood Policy." Mr Füle added. He also stressed that the EU was following the ongoing reform process in Algeria very closely: "Reform efforts are crucial for Algeria to respond effectively to the legitimate aspirations of its population, in particular the youth. I welcome the steps taken to improve women´s representation in political life and to allow more political parties to take part in the upcoming elections. I also hope that the authorities will address the concerns raised by the civil society on the recent laws on freedoms of association and expression," Commissioner Füle said.
During his talks with Algerian counterparts he will explain the support which the EU is ready to provide for the reform efforts based on the principles of the reviewed European Neighbourhood Policy, including the principle "more for more". He will also sign the EU-Algeria Cooperation Agreement on Science and Technology to improve cooperation in science, technology and innovation in areas of mutual interest. This will be the third visit of Commissioner Füle to the country since he took office. During his stay in Algiers he is expected to meet with the Prime Minister, the Foreign Minister and several other members of government. He will meet representatives of the civil society, too, underlining the high importance the EU attaches to discussions also with non-governmental stakeholders, incuding civil society organisations, the private sector and trade unions.
Algeria announced its willingness to start exploratory negotiations for the elaboration of an Action Plan in the context of the European Neighbourhood Policy in December 2011and the government recently invited the EU to observe the legislatives elections on 10 May. Following the positive decision by HR/VP Ashton, this will be the first time EU observers will be present during elections in the country.
The EU and Algeria are linked by an Association Agreement signed in 2002 and in force since 2005. The 6th EU-Algeria Association Council took place on 19-20 June 2011 during which both sides acknowledged progress made in bilateral relations since 2010 and expressed willingness to reinforce cooperation. A 7th session of the EU-Algeria Association Council is foreseen in the second half of 2012.