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European Neighbourhood Policy and Enlargement Negotiations (DG NEAR)

EU and Egypt

The European Union (EU) cooperates with Egypt in the framework of the European Neighbourhood Policy (ENP)  and its southern dimension, the “Renewed partnership with Southern Neighbourhood – A new Agenda for the Mediterranean”.

Relations between the EU and Egypt are based on the Association Agreement, which entered into force in June 2004. They have intensified over the past years to cover a wide spectrum of fields of intervention

The ninth meeting of the Association Council of the EU and Egypt  took place in Luxembourg on 19 June 2022 and adopted the new Partnership Priorities to guide the relationship for the period 2021-2027. In accordance with the new Partnership Priorities, the EU and Egypt will further deepen their dialogue and their cooperation around three overarching priorities: (i) Sustainable Modern Economy and Social Development; (ii) Partnering in Foreign Policy, and (iii) Enhancing Stability.

Bilateral cooperation

EU assistance to Egypt is funded mainly through the new Neighbourhood, Development and International Cooperation Instrument (NDICI) for the period 2021-2027. The instrument’s approach includes grant funding as well as blending grants with loans from European and International Financing Institutions. It replaces the European Neighbourhood Instrument (ENI) of 2014-2020.

The European Union’s cooperation framework with Egypt is the Multiannual Indicative Programme (MIP) for the period 2021-2027, based on the new Partnership Priorities, to support Egypt in the areas of:

  • green and sustainable development;
  • human development, economic resilience and prosperity building through green and digital transition; and
  • social cohesion, and the development of a modern and democratic state.

For the first period of the MIP 2021-2024, €240 million have been allocated for EU bilateral cooperation with Egypt.

Past support focussed on education, health, urban and rural development, employment creation, development of renewable energy and energy efficiency, water management and treatment, waste management, environment, governance and public administration reform corresponding with Egypt’s “Sustainable Development Strategy – Vision 2030”. Complementary support for the development of expertise in public administration and civil society organisations was also provided outside these priority sectors. For the period 2014-2020, the EU's bilateral assistance to Egypt under the ENI amounted to €756 million.

Under the EU External Investment Planand the blending mechanism of the Neighbourhood Investment Platform(NIP), Egypt has benefited from over €620 million in blending grants, which have leveraged approximately €7 billion since 2008, in concessional loans from European Financial Institutions combined with public and private sector financing. Investments supported the key sectors of renewable energy, energy efficiency, irrigation, water and wastewater management, transport, financial inclusion, support to Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises, urban development and technical vocational education and training. EU grants increased the concessional nature of loans from International Financial Institution and absorb political and economic risks. Under the new NDICI instrument, an increased accent on blending EU grants with loans from European and International Financing Institutions will allow partner counties to unlock substantial levels of concessional funding for investments. The new system of guarantees provided for under the NDICI will give access to additional funds from the crowding-in of both public and private investors.

On 9 February 2021, the European Commission adopted a Joint Communication on the renewed partnership with the Southern Neighbourhood, establishing a new Agenda for the Mediterranean to relaunch and reinforce the EU’s partnership with the region. It will guide EU policy and programming towards the country for the coming years. The Joint Communication is accompanied by an Economic and Investment Plan for the Southern Neighbours to ensure amongst others that the quality of life for people in the region improves and the economic recovery, including following the COVID-19 pandemic, leaves no one behind. The Plan includes 12 flagship initiatives to strengthen resilience, build prosperity and increase trade and investment to support competitiveness and inclusive growth. Relevant flagships for Egypt will include (1) support to the development of sustainable public transport infrastructure, (2) support to Egypt’s transition to a green economy, including support to universal access to affordable, reliable, and modern energy services, increasing the share of renewable energy and improving energy efficiency, (3) support to water sector including improvement of water efficiency and waste management. 


Regional cooperation

In addition to bilateral cooperation, Egypt benefited from ENI regional and Neighbourhood-wide cooperation programmes in sectors of the environment, sustainable development, renewable energy, energy efficiency and climate change, private sector development, including facilities to provide access to finance for SMEs and innovative start-ups, support to civil society and independent media, support for security cooperation in areas such as combatting organised crime and terrorism, migration and inter-regional cooperation.

Under the EU twinning tool, the Egyptian public administration partnered with European administrations for mutual learning and capacity building through sharing of EU best practices. Egypt benefited from six twinning projects in 2014-2020 in the sectors of finance, internal market and economic criteria, standardisation and certification, trade and industry and transport. Egypt also benefited from TAIEX (Technical Assistance and Information Exchange instrument) that supported public administration reforms with 90 bilateral events in 2016-2021.

Support in the field of migration - EUTF Africa

Other financing instruments

The EU has mobilised €21.8 million of humanitarian assistance for refugees and asylum seekers and the host communities in Egypt in 2014-2020.

Egypt participates to Erasmus+ which supports the modernisation of the higher education sector and promotes mobility and cooperation with EU higher education institutions. About 3,900 Egyptian students, professors and university staff travelled to Europe and 1,968 European counterparts travelled to Egypt between 2015 and 2020.

Egypt also benefits from additional EU thematic programmes and instruments:

Further information

Factsheets available to download

Key documents

For specific information (programme level), see below.