The 2015 ENP package "Implementation of the European Neighbourhood Policy in 2014" consists of a joint Communication and a set of country specific and regional reports. The report on Lebanon underlines key developments and reform efforts in 2014 and makes recommendations for the year to come.
Lebanon continued to exercise a high degree of resilience against the challenges and threats that resulted from the turbulences in the region. The fourth year of the conflict in Syria challenged Lebanon's stability and increased pressure on Lebanon's institutions, the country's economic activities, its social balance and infrastructures. By the end of 2014, Lebanon hosted almost 1.2 million refugees from Syria and Iraq, making it the country with the highest number of refugees per capita in the world.
Lebanon's security situation remained highly volatile and escalated in August 2014 when extremist groups spreading from Syria started to attack the security forces. Lebanon’s security agencies have shown commitment and determination in maintaining the stability and security of Lebanon with joint efforts.
Lebanon's institutions were put under pressure in 2014. Failure to elect a new President since May, affected the functioning of the government, as well as parliament. The legislative elections due in November 2014 were postponed (for a second time). The re-extension of parliament's mandate denied the right to Lebanese citizens to vote and choose their political leadership. The functioning of the legislature was restricted and the effectiveness of the executive body was limited.
Lebanon achieved progress on human rights and fundamental freedoms, in particular regarding the protection of women and children's rights.
Weakened institutions did not allow for the adoption and implementation of strategic policy choices in economic and social areas. Issues such as high unemployment, growing poverty, the widening gap in public finances, coupled with shrinking energy and water supply, remained.
Lebanon applied a successful security policy, maintained internal stability and provided ongoing economic resilience, against significant odds. The most significant achievement can be considered to be that stability and the unity of the country have been maintained.
On the basis of the Country Progress Report, several actions are recommended to Lebanon for the coming year, amongst others:
- continuing to preserve peace and stability, promoting moderation and dialogue, defusing tensions and ensure internal security;
- promoting counter-radicalisation measures;
- enhancing the national response to the Syrian refugee crisis;
- restoring the functioning of Lebanon’s institutions in line with Lebanon’s constitutional framework; most importantly, electing a new President and holding legislative elections in the shortest possible timeframe;
- taking measures to alleviate the burden of the deteriorating economic and social situation on the Lebanese population.
Please find the whole list of recommendations in the Country Progress Report here:
I. EU financial support:
In 2014, EU funding through the European Neighbourhood Instrument (ENI) amounted to €67 million and supported: Protection and sustainable development of maritime resources (€19 million); Upgrading solid waste management capacities (€21 million); Building national stability (€12 million), and Provision of waste water services for vulnerable populations (€15 million). In addition, the EU provided €79.1 million to Lebanon as a contribution to help the country cope with the consequences of the Syrian crisis. This special assistance, that includes a financial contribution from The Netherlands (€2.75 million), focuses on the most vulnerable population, including hosting communities. It aims at providing access to social services including education, health and basic infrastructure.
The indicative bilateral financial allocation under the ENI for the period 2014-2016 will be in the range of €130 - €159 million, focusing on justice and security system reform; social cohesion, promoting economic development, protecting vulnerable groups; as well as energy and natural resources.
In addition to ENI, Lebanon also benefitted in 2014 from other EU support such as the thematic programme for Civil Society and Local Authorities (€1.4 million), the Instrument contributing to Peace and Stability (€25 million) and the European Instrument for Democracy and Human Rights (€0.6 million).
Further information on financial cooperation can be found in Section IV of the Statistical Annex and on the Website of DG Neighbourhood and Enlargement Negotiations:
II. Further sources of information:
- Joint Communication on the implementation of the ENP in 2014
- Progress report for Lebanon with the full list of recommendations
- EU-Lebanon ENP Action Plan 2013-2015
- The European Neighbourhood Policy in general:
b.) European Commission
- Website of Ms Federica Mogherini, HR/VP
- Website of Mr Johannes Hahn, Member of the European Commission for European Neighbourhood Policy and Enlargement Negotiations