Tag Archives: Johannes Hahn

EU €1.5 billion investments in Lebanon

The European Union has always been on the side of Lebanon and the Lebanese people. A strong and resilient Lebanon is in our collective interest, in the interest of the entire region. Lebanon is a mirror of the whole Middle East, of its diversity, complexity and beauty. With this new package, the European Union reconfirms its support to the Lebanese economy, for the benefit of the Lebanese people, and encourages the Government of Lebanon to pursue the path of structural reforms it has started to undertake.” Said High Representative for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy/Vice-President of the European Commission Federica Mogherini.

The European Union has announced a package of up to €150 million to support the revitalisation of the Lebanese economy as part of its longstanding commitment to the economic development of Lebanon.

This support could generate up to €1.5 billion loans for Lebanon until 2020, on condition that the country’s financial institutions identify and propose projects that are bankable and adopt relevant reforms. This package includes up to €50 million in grants funding that could be mobilised in each of the coming three years (2018-2020) to provide technical assistance and ensure a sufficient level of concessionality of loans.


Commissioner for Enlargement Negotiations and Neighbourhood policy Johannes Hahn added: “The EU contribution is a signal of our support for the Government of Lebanon, whose tasks include now taking forward a road map of structural reforms to boost economic development in the country for the benefit of all.   We will support and accompany this effort.  Through the External Investment Plan, the EU is ready to extend up to €150 million in grants that could be used to generate up to €1.5 billion of concessional lending for investment in Lebanon over the next three years provided relevant projects are put forward and the necessary reforms are adopted”.

The package was announced today at the CEDRE conference in Paris, an international donor meeting in support of Lebanon’s economy. This will be made available in the framework of the European External Investment Plan (EIP), a comprehensive and ambitious EU plan which encourages investment in our partner countries for the promotion of inclusive growth, job creation and sustainable development.

EU-Egypt: reinforced partnership

“We recognise the significant socio-economic challenges Egypt is facing. The EU is fully committed to supporting Egypt’s efforts to reform its economy to achieve sustainable and inclusive growth, and to tackle key socio-economic challenges, such as the high population growth and the impact of economic reforms on the most vulnerable.” Said Commissioner Johannes Hahn for the European Neighbourhood Policy and Enlargement Negotiations.

The EU adopted a multiannual framework defining the priorities for the financial and technical cooperation with Egypt for the period 2017-2020, with a special focus on youth and women. Commissioner Hahn, currently in Cairo, signed a Memorandum of Understanding on the EU Single Support Framework with the Egyptian authorities.

Commissioner Hahn also signed two financial agreements supporting the sectors of health, environment and transport as well as a €60 million programme to support Egypt in addressing migration challenges. High Representative/Vice-President Federica Mogherini said: “With the new EU-Egypt Partnership Priorities, we are focussing on the future of the Egyptian people. We believe that social development and social protection, especially when it comes to young people and women, are key towards sustainable growth and stability in Egypt and in the region. That is why we put it them at the basis of our partnership”.

EU4Business: more digital economies and innovation

“The Business Forum today is a great opportunity to discuss challenges of modernising economies and societies in the Eastern Partnership. Small businesses have a key role to play and the EU actively works with partner countries and international financial institutions to ensure the right business environment. Through the EU4Business initiative in particular, the EU is providing increasing support for them to grow, export, innovate and adapt to a digital economy.” Said The Commissioner for European Neighbourhood Policy and Enlargement Negotiations, Johannes Hahn.

The 4th Eastern Partnership (EaP) Business Forum took place in Tallinn on 26-27 October 2017, under the Estonian Presidency of the Council of the European Union. More than 500 business leaders, government officials, policy makers from the European Union and from Armenia, Azerbaijan, Belarus, Georgia, the Republic of Moldova and Ukraine come together to debate on the ‘Digital Economy: Innovative Platform for Transparent Borderless Business’.

The forum will serve as a platform for participants to discuss how to redefine governance processes and create a basis for transparent economies. Discussions will also focus on cross-border trade, logistics, e-commerce and financing for international business.

After the Association Agreements entered into full force, the business exchanges between the EU and Georgia, the Republic of Moldova and Ukraine have substantially intensified. Moreover, businessmen from these three countries can now travel to Europe visa free to explore new market opportunities and develop business partnerships. The agreements are also beneficial to the EU Member States, exports to the EaP countries have increased from €16.3 billion in 2004 up to €33.1 billion in 2014.

Under the EU4Business initiative, the EU provides access to finance, supports exports to new markets and offers know-how for growth to small businesses in all six partner countries, in Armenia, Azerbaijan, Belarus, Georgia, the Republic of Moldova and Ukraine. Since 2009 the EU has supported 100,000 enterprises and helped create more than 10,000 new jobs in the region.

In the margins of the event an agreement is signed between the EU and the European Investment Bank (EIB). This new project, part of EU4Business, will allow EIB to provide its first local currency loans in Ukraine. Three more EU backed guarantee agreements will be signed by EIB and European Investment Fund (EIF) with local banks to respond to the urgent needs of Georgian, Moldovan and Ukrainian businesses.

The External Investment Plan, presented at the Business Forum on the 27 October, is another EU instrument for increasing economic growth and stability. Its innovative guarantee will make it easier to invest in key sectors of the economy in the Eastern Partnership countries. In the margins of the event, 150 business will participate in the B2B session, expected to establish new joint ventures and business partnerships.

The EaP Business Forum is held every two years as a side event to the Eastern Partnership Summit, which this year will take place on November 24 in Brussels.

Launch of the EU External Investment Plan

 “Our External Investment Plan marks a new approach for eradicating poverty and achieving inclusive sustainable development. By leveraging in particular private finance, our contribution of €4.1 billion will leverage up to €44 billion of investments which otherwise would not happen. Now it is up to all key players of the private sector in Europe and in our partner countries to join us in creating sustainable growth and decent jobs for the benefit of all.”  Said Commissioner for International Cooperation and Development Neven Mimica.

Following the adoption by the European Parliament and the Council, the European Commission immediately starts the implementation of its ambitious External Investment Plan (EIP) to boost investments in Africa and the EU Neighbourhood. The EIP will address some of the obstacles to growth in our partner countries and of the root causes of irregular migration. Moving ahead with the EIP’s rapid implementation, the first Strategic Board of the European Fund for Sustainable Development (EFSD), the heart piece of the EIP, meets today in Brussels. High Representative/Vice-President Federica Mogherini said: “Less than 10 per cent of Foreign Direct Investment in Africa goes to fragile regions – those that need it the most. We want our External Investment Plan to become a powerful engine of more inclusive and sustainable growth, to create green energy, to bring new opportunities to entrepreneurs, also in the European Union, to young people, to empower women. This is the plan Africa needs, this is what our African partners are asking for, this is European partnership at its best.” Commissioner for European Neighbourhood Policy and Enlargement Negotiations Johannes Hahn said: “Europe is confronted with many challenges at its borders and beyond, challenges that will surely grow in the future, as demographic pressures, mobility and effects of climate change increase and regional conflicts are ongoing. It is in Europe’s own interest that we all work to ensure sustainable and balanced economic growth in our partner countries. Involving the private sector and securing the most conducive environment for it to thrive will support these efforts. By triggering sustainable growth in our partner countries around Europe and in Africa, we are also offering new trade and investment opportunities for EU enterprises and investors.”

EU-Eastern Partnership: cooperation on energy efficiency

The EU will continue to support partner countries in their efforts to become more energy efficient as a top priority, for the benefit of citizens across the region. Developing and implementing cost-effective energy efficiency policy is key for improving energy security, competitiveness, boosting economic growth, creating jobs – and it contributes to preventing climate change. We are focused on delivering concrete results, with a clear programme for cooperation until 2020 and beyond.” Said Johannes Hahn, Commissioner for European Neighbourhood Policy and Enlargement Negotiations.

Ministers of Foreign Affairs and Ministers in charge of energy efficiency from Armenia, Azerbaijan, Belarus, Georgia, Republic of Moldova and Ukraine met on 10 July in Chisinau with Commissioner Hahn, Dominique Ristori, the European Commission’s Director General for Energy, and Jean-Christophe Belliard, Deputy Secretary General of the European External Action Service. Hosted by the Republic of Moldova, the dialogue included a foreign affairs session and a sectoral cooperation one on energy efficiency issues.

The Foreign Ministers exchanged views on the common challenges and best practice solutions, both in terms of foreign policy for the region and for advancing the necessary reforms for an increased state and societal resilience. In preparation for the upcoming Eastern Partnership Summit taking place on 24 November in Brussels, Commissioner Hahn, Deputy Secretary General Belliard and Foreign Ministers agreed on the need for concrete deliverables of high impact for the citizens, including the extension of the core TEN-T network to the partner countries, further steps on digital area and cheaper access to broadband internet, facilitating lending for SMEs in local currency, bolstering intraregional trade and a youth package.

On energy efficiency, Commissioner Hahn and Director General Ristori with the respective Ministers examined prospects for translating this priority into policy and investment opportunities. Following the example of Georgia and Ukraine, where joint missions of EU and IFIs identified key areas for short-term regulatory and institutional changes, other interested partner countries may benefit of this initiative. The EU, in close coordination with the partner governments and with the international financial institutions, would continue providing funds for energy efficiency projects and investments for companies, citizens and the public sector.