Legal documentation

Country Strategy Paper 2007-2013 (European Union - Lebanon)

By Delegation of the European Union to the Republic of Lebanon - | - last updated :

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This country strategy paper (CSP) drawn up as part of the European Neighbourhood Partnership Instrument (ENPI) provides a framework in which EC assistance will be made available to Lebanon over the period 2007-2013. It sets out EU co-operation objectives, policy response and priority fields of co-operation based on a thorough assessment of the partner country’s policy agenda and political and socio-economic situation. The National Indicative Programme (NIP) attached to the strategy presents the EU response in more detail, highlighting programme objectives, expected results and modalities in the priority fields of co-operation.

It forms an integral part of the European Neighbourhood Policy (Regulation (EC) No 1638/2006 adopted on the 24th October 2006) – an approach developed in the context of the EU’s 2004 enlargement with the aim of avoiding the emergence of new dividing lines between the enlarged EU and its neighbours. The EU wants to offer to all its neighbours an intensified political dialogue and a deeper economic relationship, based on shared values and a common interest in tackling common problems.

This CSP aims at supporting Lebanon’s own programme of democratic, social and economic reforms and assist it in the reconstruction process after the 2006 military conflict. The level of ambition of the EU-Lebanon relationship under the Neighbourhood Policy will depend on the degree of Lebanon’s commitment to common values as well as its capacity to implement jointly agreed priorities. The government of Lebanon has been consulted during the preparation of this NIP. The priorities as described in the CSP and NIP should reflect the reform agenda being under preparation by the government of Lebanon for the International reconstruction conference (scheduled to take place in January 2007).

Lebanon and the European Community first established contractual relations in 1977 by signing a Co-operation Agreement, which entered into force in November 1978. Lebanon is also a long-standing partner in the Euro-Mediterranean Partnership inaugurated at the 1995 Barcelona Conference. The EU-Lebanon Association Agreement was signed in June 2002 and entered into force on 1 April 2006, opening the way to fully incorporating Lebanon into the European Neighbourhood Policy.

Following the assassination of former Prime Minister Hariri in February 2005, and the subsequent withdrawal of Syria after 29 years of presence, parliamentary elections were held in May/June 2005. In a Ministerial Declaration of July 2005 the Government outlined a broad agenda of political, social and economic reforms and undertook to prepare a multi-annual programme with more detailed, concrete reform measures. This process was halted by the 2006 military conflict. Yet the challenge for the Government is to set up and begin implementing a national agenda of priorities and objectives through appropriate programmes. These objectives should be met through a process led by the Lebanese and reflected in Lebanon’s own reform programme and supported, where necessary, by the international community, including the European Union. The European Neighbourhood Policy offers through its strategic documents – namely the Action Plan and its practical translation into a Lebanon Country Strategy Paper and a National Indicative Plan - a tool to accompany Lebanon in its reform process.

Negotiations with Lebanon on an ENP Action Plan were concluded in May 2006, just before the start of hostilities. The Action Plan is a political document that is at the heart of ENP EU-Lebanon bilateral relations. It provides a general overview of strategic objectives for a timeframe of five years.

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Country Strategy Paper 2007-2013 (Source : European Union)