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EU-Algeria: first ever election observation mission

"EU-Algeria relations are by now strong and mature enough to enable us to embrace the whole spectrum of issues between us," Commissioner for Enlargement and European Neighbourhood Policy Štefan Füle said at the end of his two-day visit to Algeria. During his stay, he signed two documents, which mark a new phase in the intensification of bilateral cooperation – a Memorandum of Understanding on Election Observation and the EU-Algeria Agreement on Scientific and Technological Cooperation.
 
"I am happy that discussions during my visit have helped moving our relations forward," Commissioner Füle said on Tuesday after two days of talks with the Prime Minister, the Foreign Minister, Interior Minister, Finance Minister, the President of the Economic and Social Council and with a number of representatives of the civil society.
 
The Commissioner, on his third visit to Algeria, expressed his satisfaction at the friendly, constructive and open exchanges he had with his counterparts. "We are encouraged by the government's approach to reforms,” he said. “The reform process should not be confined to an isolated timeframe but should be an ongoing, constant process aimed at strenghtening democracy and fundamental freedoms as well as delivering on legitimate aspirations of people."
 
In this respect he stressed the significance of the Memorandum of Understanding on election observation which creates the conditions for the EU to send the first ever election observation mission to Algeria: "This is another clear sign that we move steadily towards more concrete cooperation. We have no doubts about the importance of these elections, the first ones based on a number of reform steps undertaken in response to last year’s events, which will make the parliament more representative responding also in this way to people’s aspirations," Füle said.
 
The Commissioner welcomed the authorities' continued support for cooperation between the EU and Algerian civil society, in full transparency, adding that he hoped the new law on association would not hamper this cooperation. He underlined that civil society representatives harboured concerns about the new law: "This law should contribute to the strengthening of the role that civil society plays in the reform process and not the opposite."

 
In the area of bilateral cooperation Commissioner Füle discussed with ministers, the preparations of the Action Plan, in order to identify areas and priorities of future joint activities with Algeria in the framework of the European Neighbourhood  Policy . A first draft of the action plan will be prepared in coming weeks.
 
Commissioner Füle also held two separate meetings with dozens of representatives of the civil society. "Successful reforms are only those which are inclusive, when they involve all stakeholders - authorities, civil society, private sector, trade unions. We wish to see civil society play an appropriate role in Algeria's participation in our neighbourhood policy," Commissioner Füle said. (ENPI Info Centre)
 
Read more
 
Press release
 
ENPI Info Centre – Commissioner welcomes reform process in Algeria (20-03-12)
 
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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