EU announces extra €30 million for Lebanon
The EU has allocated an extra €30 million for Lebanon under its SPRING programme (Support for Partnership, Reform and Inclusive Growth), on top of this year's allocation of €62 million, the President of the European Commission Jose Manuel Barroso announced today.
Speaking after talks with visiting Lebanese Prime Minister Najib Mikati, Barroso said: "The message that we are sending is very clear: we stand by Lebanon. But as the Prime Minister very clearly said, the question is more than the economic or financial support. It is about reforms, it is also about technical assistance, it is also about sharing experience in many areas and I have committed the Commission and the European Union to work on these matters with our Lebanese partners."
Commissioner for Enlargement and European Neighbourhood Policy Štefan Füle said later that, "this top-up reflects the EU’s commitment to supporting Lebanon’s reforms in the field of institution-building, democracy, including civil society, good governance and human rights as well as inclusive economic growth."
"We have discussed Lebanon´s reform efforts and the EU´s assistance based on the more for more principle," Commissioner Füle said after his meeting with the Prime Minister.
"For the EU it is important that Lebanon advances with reforms since they bring benefits to the people in the country and also open doors for more support and assistance from the EU," he added.
Commissioner Füle and Prime Minister Mikati also discussed in detail the preparations of the ENP Action Plan with both sides close to finalising the list of priorities for joint cooperation.
"The list of priorities should be based on the pillars of the revised ENP policy as well as on the priorities that are important to Lebanon as defined in the economic and social reforms Action Plan. It should reflect our long-standing commitment to issues of importance for the stability and sustainable development of Lebanon which not only means supporting political reforms and promoting human rights but also promoting civil society as well as the political and social rights of vulnerable populations," Commissioner Füle stressed.
The Lebanese Prime Minister also met the President of the Council of the European Union Herman Van Rompuy, who said after the meeting: "Lebanon and the European Union have always been linked by a strong bond, and I am happy to see that with this visit our partnership is further developing."
(ENPI Info Centre