EU and Egypt Finalize €1 Billion Migration Assistance Deal

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The European Union and Egypt concluded a landmark agreement on Saturday, securing up to €1 billion in macro-financial assistance aimed at bolstering Egypt’s economy and addressing irregular migration concerns. The deal was formalized during the EU-Egypt Investment Conference in Cairo, attended by Egyptian President Abdel Fattah el-Sisi and European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen.

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Von der Leyen emphasized the significance of the partnership, stating, “One hundred days ago, we opened a new era in the relations between Egypt and the European Union, with our strategic and comprehensive partnership. Today, we deliver.” The €1 billion aid package is intended to stimulate reforms beneficial to the private sector, fostering economic stability and competitiveness in Egypt.

Critics, however, including human-rights groups, have voiced concerns over the EU-Egypt partnership, labeling it as another instance of “cash for migrant control” deals. Despite this, the agreement marks the initiation of the first of two macro-financial assistance operations totaling up to €5 billion, reinforcing Egypt’s economic resilience and promoting sustainable development.

Additionally, the EU committed €30 million towards a Green Sustainable Industry program and signed financing agreements totaling €36 million for bilateral cooperation initiatives. Another €60 million support package under the Food and Resilience Facility was dedicated to enhancing grain storage capabilities in Egypt, highlighting the multifaceted approach of EU-Egypt collaboration.

President Sisi affirmed Egypt’s commitment to regional stability and economic cooperation, underscoring the country’s role as a reliable partner in addressing shared challenges. The longer-term operation of up to €4 billion in macro-financial assistance is anticipated to gain approval from the European Parliament and Council later this year, further cementing EU-Egypt economic ties.

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