The ninth meeting of the EU-Egypt Association Council
Saturday، 18 June 2022 - 04:43 PM
The ninth meeting of the EU-Egypt Association Council will take place on Sunday 18-6-2022 in Luxembourg, and will be chaired by Josep Borerell, the High Representative for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy and Sameh Hassan Shoukry, the Minister of Foreign Affairs of Egypt.
The meeting is set to touch upon bilateral ties between Egypt and the EU and a number of political issues and points, EU sources told MENA.
The EU attaches great importance to its relationship with Egypt as a key partner and regional player and underlines the strategic nature and potential of the partnership.
The plenary session will be devoted to a discussion on the developments and prospects of the Association's agreement between the European Union and Egypt.
The EU-Egypt political dialogue will also touch on global and regional issues of shared interest.
Finally, the Association Council will endorse the new EU-Egypt partnership priorities document until 2027, which will guide the partnership between both parties.Egypt-EU Partnership
The meeting is co-chaired by Foreign Minister Sameh Shoukry and EU High Representative for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy Josep Borrell.
The Association Council will endorse the new EU-Egypt partnership priorities document until 2027, which will guide the partnership between both parties.
FM and EU deputy chief endorse EU-Egypt Partnership Priorities for 2021/2027
Minister of Foreign Affairs Sameh Shoukry and High Representative/Vice-President for EU Foreign Affairs and Security Policy Josep Borrell endorsed Sunday the EU-Egypt Partnership Priorities till 2027.
The document, which will guide the partnership between both parties in the near future, was approved during a meeting of the EU-Egypt Association Council, which kicked off earlier today in Luxembourg to review the state of EU-Egypt bilateral relations and discuss the developments and prospects of the Association Agreement between the European Union and Egypt.
The document provides a joint cooperation framework for the period between 2021 and 2027.
Foreign Minister Sameh Shoukry held a session of talks, on the second day of his visit to Luxembourg, with Luxembourg's Foreign and European Affairs Minister Jean Asselborn on means of boosting bilateral relations, in addition to a number of issues of mutual interest.
During the meeting, Foreign Minister Sameh Shoukry underlined the importance of economic cooperation between Egypt and Luxembourg, especially through boosting investments in light of promising opportunities in the Egyptian market.
Shoukry hailed the level of ongoing cooperation between Egypt and Luxembourg in various domains as well as exchanged visits between the two sides, topped by a visit by Luxembourg's foreign minister to Cairo last year as well as a visit by an Egyptian parliamentary team to Luxembourg in May.
He highlighted the importance of activating a political consultation mechanism between the foreign ministries of both sides for continued coordination between the two countries, especially with regard to issues of mutual concern.
Shoukry urged enhancing cooperation in the energy domain as Egypt seeks to become a regional energy hub, referring to the ambitious governmental plans in the field of green transition.
The two ministers tackled the importance of finalizing two agreements on double taxation ban and aviation services and agreed on holding continued consultations and furthering bilateral ties.
Egyptian Foreign Minister Sameh Shoukry held a series of meetings with a number of foreign ministers of EU countries to discuss climate issues as part of his current visit to Luxembourg.
The meetings discussed issues, given the fact that Egypt will play host to and chair COP27, slated in November in Sharm el Sheikh in addition to topics of mutual concern. These included the following:
- A meeting with French Foreign Affairs Minister Catherine Colonna, in which Shoukry discussed with her means to promote Egyptian-French relations and issues of mutual concern.
- A meeting with Dutch Minister of Foreign Affairs Wopke Hoekstra, in which Shoukry discussed with him cooperation between Egypt and The Netherlands as well as Egypt's preparations for hosting the UN climate conference, COP27, in the Red Sea resort city of Sharm El Sheikh in November.
- A meeting with Slovenian Foreign Minister Tanja Fajon, in which Shoukry discuss bilateral cooperation and issues of mutual concern, in addition to means of boosting consultations and coordination between the two countries.
- A meeting with Czech Foreign Minister Jan Lipavsky, in which Shoukry discussed with him ways of boosting bilateral relations on all fronts as well as issues of mutual concern.
- A meeting with Luxembourg's Minister of Environment, Climate and Sustainable Development Joelle Welfring to probe cooperation and coordination in climate issues.
- A meeting with Foreign Minister Gabrielius Landsbergis of Lithuania, in which Shoukry discussed a number of files of mutual concern and ways to foster bilateral relations.
HRH the Grand Duke Henri of Luxembourg received Foreign Minister Sameh Shoukry, within the framework of strengthening and deepening the friendship and cooperation relations between Egypt and Luxembourg.
During the meeting, Shoukry applauded the fruitful cooperation between Egypt and Luxembourg, voicing an interest in pushing this cooperation forward at the political, economic, and cultural levels, especially by the exchange of high-level visits between the ministers and senior officials concerned.
Shoukry also briefed Grand Duke Henri of Luxembourg on the ongoing efforts exerted by Egypt to mobilize international support to ensure the success of the upcoming global climate summit (COP27) Egypt will host in Sharm El Sheikh in November.
He said Egypt is looking forward to promoting Luxembourg's investments in Egypt, especially in clean energy projects, Hafez pointed out.
Shoukry, further, reviewed with the royal a raft of issues of mutual concern, including the war in Ukraine and how it impacts the current food security crisis and the Palestinian issue.
The minister reaffirmed to the grand duke the constants of Egypt's position on the Grand Ethiopian Renaissance Dam (GERD) problem.
The Joint Press Release of the ninth meeting of the EU-Egypt Association Council
The ninth meeting of the the EU-Egypt Association Council that took place in Luxembourg confirmed the robust and multifaceted partnership between the two parties, the European Commission and Egyptian Foreign Ministry said in a joint press statement.
The Association Council adopted new Partnership Priorities to guide the relationship until 2027, in line with the new EU Agenda for the Mediterranean and its Economic and Investment Plan and Egypt’s Sustainable Development Strategy, Egypt Vision 2030.
Guided by the Partnership Priorities, the EU and Egypt will further deepen their dialogue and their cooperation around three overarching priorities: (i) Sustainable Modern Economy and Social Development; (ii) Partnering in Foreign Policy, and (iii) Enhancing Stability.
Both parties confirmed the great importance they attach to their relationship and underlined the strategic nature and potential of the partnership.
The EU communicated that the Multi-Annual Indicative Program (MIP) 2021-2027 has also been approved. Under this MIP, the first tranche of €240 M will be made available for the period 2021-2024 to support Egypt in the areas of green and sustainable development; human development, economic resilience and prosperity building through green and digital transition; and social cohesion, modern and democratic state in accordance with the priorities identified in the Partnership Priorities.
This will allow the EU and Egypt to cooperate closely on long-term sustainable socio-economic recovery and accelerate the transition to a green and circular economy. The MIP will also support the implementation of the flagship initiatives of the Economic and Investment Plan of the New Agenda for the Mediterranean.
According to the statement, "the EU and Egypt are important trading partners. The two sides will work together to enhance bilateral trade relations, investments, and Egypt’s further integration into regional and global value chains.
"The EU and Egypt will work together to enhance the competitiveness of the economy and support the development of the private sector, in both urban and rural settings. Particular attention will be paid to the promotion of women's empowerment and the role of women and youth in society and the economy. Employment opportunities will be enhanced through continued support to the education system.
"Cooperation will also focus on the improvement in the delivery of basic health services by modernizing the health care systems."
Both sides reaffirmed their commitment to work together on climate change mitigation and adaptation, including the sustainable management of resources, with particular emphasis on the management of water, the development of sustainable agriculture, and expanding public transport networks.
The diversification of energy sources and the green energy transition, including the expansion of renewable energy and energy efficiency actions will be a central element in these efforts. Both sides also indicated their intention to work on other crucial areas such as biodiversity conservation, combating desertification and land degradation, and disaster risk reduction. The EU signaled its support for the work of the Egyptian COP27 Presidency to ensure the success of the COP including an outcome that will deliver greater global ambition.
The EU and Egypt confirmed the importance of cooperation in research and innovation in sectors such as energy, water, agro-food, and health as well as in advancing digital technologies.
The statement stated that "Egypt and the EU remain committed to promoting democracy, fundamental freedoms and human rights, gender equality, and equal opportunities as constitutional rights of all their citizens, in line with their international obligations. In this regard, both sides agreed to deepen their political dialogue on human rights. The EU and Egypt agree that civil society and the private sector are important and potent contributors to the implementation of their partnership priorities and can support the sustainable development process underway in Egypt.
"Combating terrorism and violent extremism conducive to terrorism represents a common goal of the EU and Egypt enshrined in the Partnership Priorities."
Both sides welcomed their upcoming co-chairmanship of the Global Counter-Terrorism Forum (GCTF) starting in March 2023 and reiterated their commitment to addressing the root causes of terrorism with full respect for human rights and fundamental freedoms, to successfully counter and prevent radicalization and foster socio-economic development. "The EU and Egypt remain committed to cooperating in fighting violent extremism conducive to terrorism and any form of discrimination, including Islamophobia, racism, and xenophobia."
The EU and Egypt underlined the importance of adopting a comprehensive approach to migration governance which entails creating regular migration pathways, tackling the root causes of irregular migration, combating migrant smuggling and trafficking in persons, and ensuring dignified and sustainable return and reintegration. The EU and Egypt are committed to the protection of the rights of migrants and refugees.
On regional and global matters, the EU and Egypt underlined that peace, security, and a multilateral, rules-based order lie at the heart of their longstanding partnership.
"Recalling United Nations General Assembly resolutions ES-11/1 and ES-11/2 on Ukraine, which they both voted in favor of, they reaffirm their shared principles in line with the UN Charter of respect for international law, territorial integrity, and national sovereignty, and the need to refrain from the use of force, respect international humanitarian law and solve conflicts by peaceful means as the basis for international cooperation.
"They condemned all violations of international humanitarian law and violations and abuses of human rights in conflict areas and called for strict respect for international humanitarian law."
The EU and Egypt expressed concern about the impact of the war on increased food insecurity globally, as well as on global supply chains and energy and commodity price hikes. The EU will support Egypt’s efforts to enhance its cereal production and storage facilities with €100 million from the regional “Food and Resilience Facility” to provide partial assistance to meet the consequences of rising prices of food and commodities.
According to the joint statement, "Given the strategic orientation of the partnership, the EU and Egypt are committed to reinforcing cooperation in foreign policy at the bilateral, regional, and international organizations levels, notably in the UN and multilateral fora, including the Union for the Mediterranean, the League of Arab States (LAS) and the African Union. In this context, the EU and Egypt exchanged views inter alia on the Middle East Peace Process, Libya, Syria, the Horn of Africa, and the Grand Ethiopian Renaissance Dam.
"The EU recognizes the pivotal role played by Egypt in supporting peace and security in the Middle East and Africa. The EU and Egypt reiterated that the only path to a just, lasting, and comprehensive resolution of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict is the two-state solution that ends the occupation and leads to the establishment, of an independent, contiguous, sovereign, and a viable Palestinian state, on the lines of 4 June 1967, with East Jerusalem as its capital, living side by side with Israel in peace, in accordance with international law and UN Security Council resolutions.
"They warned of the danger inherent in the absence of a political horizon to end the conflict and emphasized the necessity of relaunching serious and meaningful negotiations to achieve the two-state solution and restore confidence in the Middle East peace process. They condemned the construction and expansion of settlements, confiscation of land, and forced evictions of Palestinians from their homes, as illegal measures under international law, that undermine the viability of the two-state solution and the prospects for peace.
"The EU also welcomes the efforts exerted by Egypt toward becoming an energy hub in the region with a focus on renewable energy, ongoing cooperation in the framework of the EMGF, and the implementation of mutually beneficial energy projects, including interconnection projects between Egypt and the EU.
"In light of the significance of the Nile as the only source of water resources and livelihood for Egypt in the context of its unique water scarcity, the EU and Egypt welcomed the UN Security Council Presidential Statement on the Grand Ethiopian Renaissance Dam (GERD) issued on 15 September 2021 regarding reaching a mutually acceptable and binding agreement on the filling and operations of the GERD.
"Reaching such an agreement as soon as possible is a top priority for the EU and Egypt to protect Egypt’s water security and promote peace and stability in the wider region."The EU stands ready to support African Union-led talks and to play a more active role, if useful and desirable to all parties, by putting forward its rich experience in the management of shared water resources in line with international law. With political will and support from the international community, this dispute could be turned into an opportunity for many people. Millions of people who live in the Nile Basin stand to benefit from an agreement on the GERD which would create predictability, and open the door for foreign investments in energy, food security, and water security."
The meeting was co-chaired by Josep Borrell, High Representative of the Union for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy / Vice-President of the Commission, and by Egyptian Foreign Minister Sameh Shoukry in the presence of Commissioner of European Neighborhood Policy and Enlargement Negotiations Oliver Varhelyi, as well as the EU Member State Foreign Ministers Ioannis Kasoulides from Cyprus and Nikos Dendias from Greece and Secretary of State for European Affairs from Romania Daniela Grigore Gîtman.