On 8 December 2020, Josep Borrell, High Representative/Vice President of the European Commission made the following remarks:
Between April 2018 and August 2020, the EU and Algeria demonstrated their commitment to their bilateral relationship and to their cooperation in all the priority areas of their partnership.
That is the conclusion of the report on the state of EU-Algeria relations published today by the European Commission and the European External Action Service,
High Representative/Vice President Josep Borrell expressed ‘a firm intention to step up relations and make the most of the opportunities offered by the EU-Algeria partnership. We are already doing a lot together, but we can do even more, bilaterally and for the region. The EU’s stability and prosperity cannot be guaranteed if our neighbours are not themselves stable and prosperous. Algeria is particularly important not just because of its size and its role in the region and throughout Africa but because of the ties that bind us. The EU’s objective is to maintain a mutually beneficial partnership.’
For his part, Commissioner for Neighbourhood and Enlargement Olivér Várhelyi had this to say: ‘The EU is standing shoulder to shoulder with Algeria at what is a difficult time for all of us. It responded immediately to Algeria’s request for help in fighting the Covid-19 pandemic by approving a programme to supply medical equipment (EUR 43 million) along with generous social and economic assistance (EUR 32 million, EUR 10 million of it for tourism and youth projects and EUR 22 million for the blue economy).’
The joint report takes stock of developments in bilateral relations between the EU and Algeria between April 2018 and August 2020, addressing the areas of mutual interest identified by the Partnership Priorities: (i) governance and fundamental rights; (ii) socio-economic development and trade; (iii) energy, environment and sustainable development; (iv) strategic and security dialogue; (v) the human dimension, migration and mobility; and, lastly, financial cooperation. The report focuses on the main developments and Algeria’s reforms. Tangible progress has been made in numerous areas ranging from economic diversification, agriculture and fisheries to energy, higher education, civil protection and regional security and combating terrorism, in a bilateral or regional framework.
In 2019 Algeria experienced significant political developments owing to an unprecedented peaceful grassroots protest movement (‘Hirak’) and the presidential elections of 12 December 2019, which resulted in the election of Abdelmadjid Tebboune to the presidency. A constitutional review initiated by President Tebboune took place in 2020.
Algeria, like the EU, has been hit hard by the Covid-19 pandemic in 2020. Mitigating the pandemic’s impact on health, welfare and the economy and strengthening cooperation in pursuit of economic recovery will continue to figure among the priorities in the future.
Through this report, the European Union confirms its readiness to provide its backing for the process of political and economic reform planned by the Algerian authorities in order to meet their people’s legitimate aspirations.
The partnership between the EU and Algeria is based on an Association Agreement, which came into force in 2005. Adopted in March 2017 as part of the renewed European Neighbourhood Policy, the new partnership priorities identify the common areas of cooperation and guide the dialogue between the EU and its Member States and Algeria until the end of 2020. For the period 2018-2020, bilateral assistance between the EU and Algeria amounts to EUR 125 million.
Source : Report on the state of EU-Algeria relations 2018–2020 (europa.eu)
Photo Credit : https://pixabay.com/photos/signpost-algeria-150-km-road-250808/