Neighbourhood - Southern

Joint Programming: State of play - the European group has produced a small number of joint sectoral analyses.


Historical account:

The EU Delegation to Lebanon (EUD) as well as EU Member States (EUMS) have, since 2015, taken first steps to start the Joint Programming process. A joint analysis workshop was held on the 25th of November 2015 in Beirut, which was an opportunity for EUMS and EUD to analyse the operating environment, in order to jointly identify a more effective and politically feasible cooperation strategy. The workshop identified 4 broad sectors of intervention (Security, Institutional Support, Basic Services and Private Sector Development) as well as the likely political, security and economic scenarios for the medium-term. Participants also discussed how EUD and EUMS should operate in ensuring that future interventions are targeted effectively and in a conflict-sensitive manner.

On the basis of these discussions, a Roadmap outlining the next steps for the Joint Programming process was developed. The Roadmap was endorsed in February 2016 by Heads of Mission in Beirut. A number of activities were identified such as a mapping of programming cycles, a sector analysis, an ODA and fragmentation analysis together with the analysis of lessons learned. In addition other actions were identified such as the need to coordinate and engage EUMS, draft the joint strategy document and hold consultations with relevant partners. In line with the timeline indicated in the roadmap, information about EUMS's programming cycles was collected. The EUD and EUMS initiated discussions on the sectoral analyses to be carried out jointly in order to assess feasible donor support in the sectors identified during the workshop. It was agreed to collect available sectoral analysis; additionally the EUD invited EUMS to express their interest in leading one of the sectoral needs assessments, in order to pave the road for a structured division of labour in Lebanon, cornerstone of the Joint Programming.

Internal Challenges

  1. Lack of a National Development Strategy: Although the 2-year Lebanon Crisis Response Plan makes a link between humanitarian and development approach, its implementation remains anchored on a crisis approach with an emphasis on provision of basic services in response to the Syria Crisis rather than long-term Institutional Capacity Building. Only few sectoral strategies exist at national level, the majority of which are underpinned by long delays in the approval process and short-term approaches.
  2. Weak national coordination mechanisms: The above is mirrored by a lack of national development strategy coordination mechanisms. Although a few working groups co-hosted by the government do function, most remain geared towards the coordination of the response to the Syria crisis and very few (mainly Health, Agriculture and Education) indicate a satisfactory level of ownership.
  3. Unstable political environment: The mandate of the former President of the Republic expired on 25 May 2014 and was followed by a two and a half year vacancy until Michel Aoun was elected by the Parliament on 31st October 2016; the protracted failure to re-elect deepened the political paralysis affecting the work of national institutions. The mandate of Parliament was extended until June 2017. A Sunni Muslim leader and businessman, Saad Hariri was nominated to form a government by President Aoun in November 2016. The unstable political environment led to slow progress in all areas, the lack of decision making, and challenges in setting policy priorities.

International community level challenges

  1. Crisis approach: Prior to 2011, a number of EUMS had already or were in the process of phasing out their support to Lebanon (due to its middle-income status). When the Syrian crisis started, donors returned with humanitarian and long-term support to increase the resilience of Lebanese structures. Allocation of funds prioritises crisis response through short-term planning of interventions rather than long-term development. The above ultimately raises the delicate question-how to integrate this support in the Joint Programming exercise-that is rather a long-term strategy document - in order to promote complementarity and avoid overlapping.
  2. Ongoing bilateral programming exercises: The EUD has started the drafting of its new Single Support Framework for the period 2017-2020, which outlines areas for EU assistance and builds on the priorities identified in the Partnership Priorities. Few EUMS have been defining the directions of their own multi-annual programming cycles, which are not necessarily aligned in terms of starting date and period of implementation
  3. Parallel planning exercises: In Lebanon, Joint Programming was introduced in parallel with the review of the European Neighbourhood Partnership. Concerns over possible duplication resulting from the multiple parallel processes (The EU-Lebanon Partnership Priorities and the EU-Lebanon Compact (2016-2020)), potential cross-fertilization brought about by the different processes should be explored as the processes move forward.


Status of Joint Programming

  • Joint Analysis / Status: Draft

Missions & Meetings

Country Notes


About Lebanon


Neighbourhood - Southern

Country Classification

Income Status
Upper-Middle Income

Active in Joint Programming


Tracking Summary

EU MIPS Period
Updated on 15/03/2022