The European Union has not channeled budget support to Egypt since 2012, and this is likely to continue in 2014 unless the new government — now to be led by former military commander Abdul Fattah al-Sisi — meets the bloc’s outstanding conditions.
The bloc currently has several programs in place in Egypt focused on the sectors of education, energy, health, transport and water. All of these “continue in principle” but without funding unless “pre-set conditions pertaining to each budget support operation are met,” said Peter Stano, spokesperson to European Commissioner for Enlargement and European Neighborhood Policy Štefan Füle. Some of those conditions: Egypt must demonstrate some level of macroeconomic stability, show budget transparency and oversight, and put in place a “relevant and credible” public finance management reform program.
Egypt has not yet fully met these conditions, with the EU refusing to resume budget support to the country. The donor, which channeled 1 billion euros in bilateral aid to the country from 2007 to 2013, said “no new budget support operations have been agreed since 2011 nor are foreseen in 2014.” And Stano clarified that the presidential elections has nothing to do with the resumption of budget support or preparation of future budget support programs to the country.
This year, the bloc has three social and infrastructure projects planned in the areas of education and child protection, water or wastewater management, and access to natural gas. Total budget for these projects are still being discussed, but none of them will be provided in the form of budget support, Stano said.
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