News

Commissioner welcomes reform process in Algeria

The EU fully supports Algeria’s reform process, Commissioner for Enlargement and European Neighbourhood Policy Štefan Füle has told a press conference in Algiers, saying relations between the EU and Algeria had entered a new more intensive period.
 
"Since my previous visit last May, Algeria engaged in some important reforms,” he said after talks with the Algerian Foreign Minister. “I am fully aware that these reforms reflect the political willingness, at the highest level, to undertake necessary changes for the benefit of the Algerian people. I also know that these reforms are not always an easy step to take. However, I remain convinced that they are crucial for Algeria and I wish to express the EU´s full support for this process.”
 
The Commissioner stressed that the reform process had to respond to the legitimate aspirations of the Algerian people. “It is also very important to implement recent reforms in a way that allows them to constitute a real step towards more democracy and more respect for fundamental freedoms,” he said, adding that the EU hoped to see concrete progress on freedom of expression and association.
 
Füle added that he had informed the Minister of additional resources assigned for Algeria from the Spring programme, aiming to support the reforms and creating incentives for the process to carry on.
 
Commissioner Füle said bilateral relations had “entered a more intensive period”, highlighting a number of positive developments:

  • Discussions about the European Neighbourhood Policy and how to move forward preparations for an EU-Algeria Action Plan.

  • The invitation extended to the EU, for the first time, by the Algerian authorities to observe the May elections. “This is a mark of trust towards the EU and I appreciate this important development in our relations.”
Last week, EU High Representative Catherine Ashton decided to deploy an EU Election observation mission, which is now being prepared.
  • The signature today of an EU-Algeria Agreement on Scientific and Technological Cooperation. 


“This demonstrates our potential for deepening our relations. I hope that the Action plan will enable us to define more concrete measures and projects to strengthen our overall cooperation,” Füle said.
 
He added that the EU attached very high importance to discussions with civil society, too, including representatives from the private sector. The Commissioner was later due to meet representatives of NGOs, as well as economic and social stakeholders. 


 
Commissioner Füle also underlined the importance attached by the EU to regional integration. “We are convinced that this will create new opportunities for people. I have noted with great interest regional efforts to enhance stability and prosperity, and efforts to improve relations among Maghreb countries. The Commission is ready to consider concrete projects that can support this ambition.” (ENPI Info Centre)
 
Read more
 
Press release
 
ENPI Info Centre – EU-Algeria: A new stage of more intense cooperation (19-03-12)
 
ENPI Info Centre webpage – Algeria
 
EU Delegation – Algeria
 
The EU Response to the Arab Spring – resource centre
 
ENPI Info Centre interview – The EU and the Arab Spring: helping a new generation build a new society

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