At the high level EU-Algeria Association Council taking place in Brussels, the EU and Algeria signed a €40m package to support Algeria diversify its economy and improve business climate through measures ranging from the development of renewable energy to modernization of public finances.
These measures will support Algeria's own economic reform programme. The package is signed on the day that Algeria becomes the first country in North Africa to adopt Partnership Priorities with the European Union to focus future cooperation on jointly identified areas of mutual interest.
Johannes Hahn, Commissioner for European Neighbourhood Policy and Enlargement Negotiations, said: “Algeria is a key partner of the EU in our neighbourhood. Today's EU package for Algeria will help Algeria diversify its economy contributing to the creation of new jobs and the modernisation of public finances. Our aim is to help Algeria meet its current economic challenges, and create stronger links with European businesses."
The package was signed by Federica Mogherini, High Representative of the Union for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy / Vice-President of the Commission and Johannes Hahn, representing the EU and Minister of Foreign Affairs Ramtane Lamamra, representing Algeria.
The EU package for Algeria will support in particular two of the priority areas agreed in the new Partnership Priorities – economic development and energy. The measures support the country's new economic approach focused on the diversification of its economy. It will also address the improvement of the business climate in Algeria. To this end, the EU will fund the development of renewable energy, promotion of energy efficiency, modernisation of the public financial management, and the implementation of the EU – Algeria Association Agreement.
The package comprises three specific programmes:
'Support programme for the development of renewable energy and promotion of energy efficiency in Algeria' (€10 million) will help set up an institutional and regulatory framework for the production of renewable energy and for the deployment of energy efficiency projects. In line with Algeria's efforts to diversify its economy, the programme will also help promote private investment (domestic and foreign) in renewable energy and energy efficiency projects.
'Reform of public finances' (€10 million) programme will help modernise the management of public finances, a central element of Algeria's proclaimed new growth model. The programme will support the introduction of an integrated financial information system across all departments of the Ministry of Finance. It will help build capacity in multi-annual budgetary programming and improve budgetary management and transparency.
'Support programme for the implementation of the Association Agreement' (€20 million) will continue to strength Algeria's legal and regulatory framework as well as its institutional capacities in key public policies, so that country can seize the opportunities offered by the Association Agreement, a cooperation and free trade agreement with the EU which entered into force in 2005.
Since 2011, the EU has provided Algeria with a total of €273.3 million of financial assistance. The European Neighbourhood Instrument (ENI) is the main financial instrument for funding EU cooperation with Algeria. In addition to the bilateral and regional ENI support, Algeria also benefits from thematic programmes and instruments, such as the European Instrument for Democracy and Human Rights (EIDHR) and the Civil Society Organisations-Local Authorities (CSO-LA) programme funded under the Development Cooperation Instrument (DCI).
In the 2014-2017 period, EU cooperation with Algeria focused on justice reform, strengthening of citizen participation in public life, labour market reform and employment, as well as diversification of the economy. For the years 2018-2020, the EU-Algeria cooperation will focus on the newly agreed partnership priorities:
– political dialogue, Governance, Rule of Law and the promotion of fundamental rights;
– cooperation, inclusive socio-economic development, trade and market access;
– energy partnership, climate change, environment and sustainable development;
– strategic dialogue and security;
– human dimension, migration and mobility.