The head of the European Union (EU) Delegation to Egypt ambassador, Ivan Surkoš stressed on the strategic relations between the EU and Egypt, expressing his gratitude over the extensive and very productive bilateral work between both sides.
“The EU-Egypt partnership priorities are guided by a shared commitment to the universal values of democracy, the rule of law, and respect for human rights,” added the ambassador on Wednesday on the occasion of celebrating the European day, he added, “the EU-Egypt Association Council was held in July last year, in which we adopted our partnership priorities for the years 2017-2020 with the aim of addressing common challenges, promoting joint interests, and guaranteeing long-term stability.”
The ambassador noted that the priorities cover three main areas, which are Egypt’s sustainable modern economy and social development, foreign policy, and enhancing stability.
Surkoš highlighted the benefits of cooperation between the EU and Egypt, stating that the EU has maintained its position as the leading foreign investor and trade partner of Egypt.
“Since I assumed my position as the representative of the EU to Egypt, I visited many of the projects we fund around the country. I can proudly say that I witnessed first-hand the positive impact of our cooperation; from local farmers benefiting from an EU-funded project to enhance the packaging and storing of their products for exporting, to families who are supported so that they send their sons and daughters to schools, to entrepreneurs who find the tools and space to flourish,” said the ambassador.
Currently, the total EU aid commitments to Egypt amount to over €1.3bn in grants. Around 40% of the EU’s current aid portfolio targets the field of economic and social development including employment creation, 54% infrastructure (mainly related to renewable energy, water, and sanitation/waste management) and environment, and 6% dedicated to supporting improving governance, human rights, justice and public administration, mentioned the ambassador.
“Europeans and Egyptians are expecting a lot from their leaders and from us. I am confident that through our strategic partnership and open discussions on various issues, including human rights, we will be able to stand up for the aspirations of our people,” Surkoš said.