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  • Friday, 26 January 2024

Q&A: Everything you want to know about cooperation between the Arab Republic of Egypt and the European side within the framework of the “Team Europe” initiative?

● The Team Europe initiative was launched in 2021 to coordinate and mobilize European efforts to confront the pandemic before it turns into a European platform to mobilize resources for developing and emerging countries.

● Relations between Egypt and the European Union have developed significantly since the launch of the Team Europe initiative.

● Many cooperation strategies with European countries and banks have been launched since 2020.

● The relationship with the European side is based on integration and joint work to meet development requirements in Egypt.

In conjunction with the convening of the 10th Egypt-EU 10th Association Council, the Ministry of International Cooperation reviews the most prominent pillars of partnership between the Arab Republic of Egypt and the European side, within the framework of the “Team Europe” initiative, which defines the form of cooperation and joint work between the two sides since its launch in 2020, in light of the historical relations between Egypt and the European Union, and their impact on development efforts.

What is the Team Europe Initiative?

The European Union launched the Team Europe initiative during the year 2020, with the aim of coordinating and mobilizing European efforts to confront the COVID-19 pandemic, before turning to the European Union’s new tool and approach to mobilize financial resources and development funds from European countries and institutions, to support the implementation of the economic and investment plan for the southern neighboring countries, including Egypt from 2021 to 2027.

The Team Europe initiative includes many multilateral and bilateral partners, including the European Investment Bank (EIB), the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD), the German International Cooperation Agency, the French Development Agency (AFD), the German Construction Bank, the Italian Development Agency, and the Spanish Agency for International Cooperation, the European Union, Germany, France, Italy, Spain, the Netherlands, Sweden, and others.

What does the initiative aim to achieve?

The Team Europe initiative works to address priority challenges that hinder development in specific countries or regions, especially developing and emerging countries, by coordinating and combining the efforts of European institutions and countries to create an effective development impact, by gathering efforts, resources and expertise, to maximize the impact of the external work of European countries.

What are the tools through which Team Europe works to promote development in neighboring countries?

In 2021, the European Commission launched the Neighborhood, Development and International Cooperation Instrument (NDICI) until 2027, which aims to provide the largest share of financing outside the European Union, within the European Union’s long-term budget programme. This instrument allows for the promotion of public and private investment around the world through The European Fund for Sustainable Development (EFSD+), through guarantees, grants through a combination of EU grants and commercial financing, as well as technical assistance to improve the quality of projects and implement reforms, and other tools to support the development of partner countries.

How did the Team Europe initiative affect the relationship between Egypt and the European Union?

Through the Team Europe initiative, cooperation was strengthened between Egypt and the European Union regarding confronting the COVID-19 pandemic by mobilizing financing efforts and technical support to provide the necessary resources to limit the spread of the epidemic. Also, within the framework of the Team Europe initiative, development cooperation strategies were formulated between the Arab Republic of Egypt, countries and banks. Various European initiatives over the past four years, in light of national development priorities, Egypt’s Vision 2030, presidential initiatives, and the Egyptian government’s work program “Egypt Takes Off,” within a framework of integration and joint work that meets and achieves development priorities in Egypt.

What are the most prominent strategies that have been reached with European partners since the launch of the Team Europe initiative?

Since 2020, and in light of the cooperation program between the Arab Republic of Egypt and the European Union 2021-2027, the Ministry of International Cooperation, in coordination with national authorities, has updated and prepared future strategies with multilateral and bilateral European development partners, in implementation of presidential mandates to maximize the impact of development cooperation programs, among the strategies approved are the new country strategy of the EBRD from 2022 to 2027, the country strategy for cooperation with the AFD until 2025, and the cooperation strategy with the EIB 2021-2027, as well as About the cooperation programs and framework agreements implemented with many European countries to enhance development efforts in various sectors.

What about future cooperation between Egypt and the European Union in light of the Team Europe initiative?

Through coordination with the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and various national entities, the Ministry of International Cooperation works to implement presidential directives regarding the continuous review of international cooperation frameworks to meet national priorities, and to maximize the benefit from international partnerships and development cooperation programs, which are implemented within a framework of partnership and integration with various multi-development partners.

The bilateral cooperation program is currently being implemented between Egypt and the European Union for the period from 2021-2027, to support development efforts in Egypt in various fields, especially social protection and rural development, supporting climate action and promoting the transition to a green economy and renewable energy. The NWFE program is also a major pillar of cooperation with the European Union.

What are the priorities of this cooperation?

These priorities are set in accordance with the national strategies and vision adopted by the state regarding the implementation of the 2030 SDGs and are summarized in 3 main priorities, under which there are sub-factors. The first priority is green and sustainable development, under which several factors fall; supporting climate action and

enhancing energy resilience and climate-neutrality, supporting integrated management of water and natural resources and promoting sustainable food systems, promoting sustainable growth and climate-resilient investments.

The second priority is human development, economic resilience and prosperity through green and digital transformation and falls under enhancing resilience social and economic growth to achieve comprehensive growth and create decent job opportunities, and support the human-centered digital transformation in Egypt to promote sustainable, connected and inclusive economies, improve people’s quality of life, and provide opportunities for human development.

The third priority is social cohesion and the modern state and democracy, which fall under promoting and protecting the values of democracy and the rights of human and fundamental freedoms, accelerating efforts to achieve gender equality and empowering women and girls, and contributing to a dignified and healthy life, through access to basic services and social integration.

It is worth noting that, during the activities of the Engagement Council between Egypt and the European Union, Al-Mashat presented a recent report entitled “A Shared Development Vision for Progress and Prosperity,” which included a presentation of Egyptian-European partnerships over a period of 4 years.

Al-Mashat explained that in confirmation of these relations, international partnerships with the Team Europe initiative, through development financing, amounted to about $12.8 billion for the government and private sectors over 4 years, with $7.3 billion for the government sector and $5.5 billion for the private sector, which resulted in attracting investments from European companies in priority sectors, adding that these funds were directed to priority sectors throughout the country, led by sustainable infrastructure, renewable energy and electricity, food security, health and education, sustainable transport, water and sanitation networks, and small and medium enterprises, environment, solid waste management, women’s empowerment, and other programs.

To Read the Ministry of International Cooperation’s report on the partnership with Team Europe: