Brussels, 21 November 2013
EU boosts support to democratic reforms and development in the Southern Neighbourhood
Countries of the Southern neighbourhood will receive almost half a billion euro from the European Commission in support of their transition and reform efforts. The European Commission has adopted today an assistance package of €476 million to foster development and cooperation with a number of Southern neighbours. This assistance is provided through the European Neighbourhood and Partnership Instrument (ENPI) and represents nearly one third of the total €1.5 billion of funding foreseen this year for the region.
Commissioner for Enlargement and European Neighbourhood Policy Štefan Füle stated: "The new support for the countries in our Southern Neighbourhood will make a difference in key areas like education, for small and medium enterprises development and agriculture. This important funding constitutes a clear proof of our commitment to support partner countries’ efforts to stimulate sustainable economic development and improve the living standards of citizens. It is also a testimony of our continuing support to regional cooperation in the context of the Union for the Mediterranean, for which the Secretariat in Barcelona has a key role to play'.
The overall allocation approved today includes €150 million from the SPRING programme which provides additional funding to countries that have progressed towards democratic reforms in line with the 'more for more' principle of the European Neighbourhood Policy.
Beneficiaries of the new SPRING allocations are: Jordan (€21 million), Lebanon (€21 million), Libya (€5 million), Morocco (€48 million) and Tunisia (€55 million).
In addition, €314 million are allocated to cooperation programmes that will benefit citizens in five partner countries, in the fields of agriculture, environment, Small and Medium Enterprises (SMEs) development and economic recovery, education and protection of vulnerable people.
Finally, the Commission is allocating €12 million for regional cooperation programmes; mainly helping to ensure that young people’s voices and priorities are heard when authorities in the region prepare new legislation. Furthermore, cooperation with the Union for the Mediterranean will be enhanced in areas that have direct impact on the livelihoods of the citizens from the Southern Mediterranean.
For more on country specific allocation see background.
‘SPRING 2013’ programme
‘SPRING 2013’ has a value of €150 million and translates in concrete terms the EU's commitment to supporting southern Mediterranean countries in their efforts towards democratic and economic transition, in line with the 'More for more' principle. This means that the more a country progresses in the implementation of democratic and political reforms, the more support it can expect from the European Union, notably through increased financial assistance.
The programme will address partner countries’ specific needs and support home-grown reforms, because sustainable results can only be achieved where the drive for change comes from within.
Bilateral cooperation programmes
The newly-adopted bilateral programmes will support cooperation in five Southern Neighbourhood countries:
Regional cooperation programmes
The two programmes adopted in the framework of the regional cooperation include:
More details on all adopted programmes can be found in the press memos:
MEMO/13/1025 on Algeria
MEMO/13/1028 on Egypt
MEMO/13/1026 on Libya
MEMO/13/1029 on Morocco
MEMO/13/1031 on Tunisia
MEMO/13/1027 on the regional cooperation programmes
MEMO/13/1030 on the SPRING 2013 programme
For further information:
DG Development and Cooperation - EuropeAid website:
Commissioner Štefan Füle's website:
On support to the European Neighbourhood:
EU Neighbourhood Info Centre: