Brussels, 27 September 2011
EU response to the Arab Spring: the SPRING Programme
The Support to Partnership, Reform and Inclusive Growth – the SPRING Programme, adopted today - directly responds to the events of the Arab Spring. Initiatives supported by SPRING will focus specifically on two of the renewed EU policies in the region. 1.
The main aim is to respond to the pressing socio-economic challenges that partner countries of the southern Mediterranean region are facing and to support them in their transition to democracy.
Support provided through the SPRING programme will be tailored to the needs of each country, based on an assessment of the country's progress in building democracy and applying the 'more for more' principle. 'More for more' means that the more a country progresses in its democratic reforms and institutional building, the more support it can expect from the SPRING programme.
Initiatives supported through the SPRING programme will complement already- ongoing activities in partner countries, supported at EU level or bilaterally by EU Member States, as well as by other donors.
Initiatives will be identified by EU Delegations working closely with partner governments, EU Member States and international stakeholders.
All Southern Neighbourhood partners' countries will benefit from the programme. Depending on conditions in each individual country, it is expected that initial support in 2011 may go to Tunisia, Egypt, Jordan and Morocco.
Depending on the rhythm of reform in each country, concrete results are expected in the field of human rights and fundamental freedoms, democratic governance, freedom of association, expression and assembly and free press and media. Improvements in public administration, rule of law and fight against corruption –– are also anticipated.
Sustainable and inclusive growth and economic development
Results are expected in a number of areas including a better regulatory framework for business, increased numbers of Small and Medium Enterprises (SMEs); as well as a reduction in internal social and economic disparities.
Amount : €350 million
€65 million will be committed in 2011
€285 million will be committed in 2012 (subject to the approval of the Budgetary Authority)
Budget Source: European Neighbourhood and Partnership Instrument (ENPI)
Duration: 2011 - 2012