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Monday, 30 October 2017

Egypt lands EUR 600 mn in funding for EU, but no “Turkey-style” refugee agreement

Egypt signed three MoUs with the European Commission yesterday worth a combined EUR 600 mn, an Investment Ministry statement says. Under a EUR 432-528 mn agreement running from 2017-2022, Egypt will receive support for its economic reform agenda, for renewable energy and for social development projects. (This includes a EUR 38 mn grant from the EU and EUR 360 mn from the EBRD and EIB for sanitation projects in rural areas). Under the second MoU, Egypt will receive EUR 8 mn from the Commission, as well as EUR 237.7 mn from the EIB, to develop the Alexandria tramway.

Still no ‘Turkey-style’ migration agreement: The third and final MoU covered the stemming of illegal migration to Europe, for which Egypt will receive a EUR 60 mn grant. Although a step forward, the agreement lacks the depth and structure of the EU’s pact with Turkey on refugee management and assistance, despite calls from European Officials, including German Chancellor Angela Merkel, who had said that a Turkey-style agreement with Egypt could help Europe “deal with the root causes of migration.” Egypt had also signed an MoU with Germany back in August on handling refugee flow.

The agreements were inked during EU Regional Policy Commissioner Johannes Hahn’s stop in Cairo yesterday.

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