What will the EU's priorities be in West Africa?

The European Union is set to allocate about €6.4 billion or 20 percent of its development cooperation budget of €31.5 billion to West African countries.

However, we learned that specific allocations and bilateral priority areas are still being hashed out.

EU Development Commissioner Andris Piebalgs met on Wednesday in Brussels with ministers from 14 West African nations, including Niger, one of the top recipients of EU aid in 2012. Final decisions have yet to be taken, although general priorities seem to point towards energy, infrastructure development and addressing food security in the region.

In the past few months, Piebalgs announced the bloc’s support for South and Central America, as well as the Caribbean region, and the budgets for Central Africa and Asia are expected to be announced this November and January next year, respectively.

All allocations remain subject to approval by the European Parliament and European Council, which have yet to finalize the bloc’s 2014-2020 budget under the 11th European Development Fund.

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