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EU and Lebanon adopt partnership priorities and a compact

Federica Mogherini, High Representative for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy and Gebran Bassil, Minister of Foreign Affairs of Lebanon (c)

Federica Mogherini, High Representative for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy and Gebran Bassil, Minister of Foreign Affairs of Lebanon (c)

In the framework to strengthen political engagement and a enhanced cooperation.

These measures were agreed in the context of the revised European neighbourhood policy and the EU’s global strategy for foreign and security policy. The compact includes the mutual commitments through which the EU and Lebanon will fulfil the pledges they made at the London conference on supporting Syria and the region in February 2016. The objective is to improve the living conditions both of refugees temporarily staying in Lebanon and of vulnerable host communities. The EU-Lebanon compact foresees an EU allocation of a minimum of € 400 million in 2016-2017, in addition to the bilateral assistance of more than €80 million for those two years.  It outlines specific mutual commitments to address the impact of the Syrian crisis and aims to turn the situation into an opportunity to improve the socio-economic prospects, security, stability and resilience of the whole Lebanon. In turn Lebanon commits to ease the temporary stay of Syrian refugees, in particular regarding their residency status. The country currently hosts at least 1.1 million Syrians. Lebanon is the country hosting the highest number of displaced persons and refugees both per capita and per square kilometre in the region. And the partnership priorities mainly cover the following issues of security and countering terrorism, gouvernance and the rule of law, fostering growth and job opportunities, migration and mobility.

Mr Rami Mortada, Head of the Lebanese Mission to the European Union in Brussels.

Mr Rami Mortada, Head of the Lebanese Mission to the European Union in Brussels.

According to Mr Rami Mortada, Head of the Lebanese Mission to the European Union, this is a new dynamic launched at the London Conference (February 2016) to support host countries through development assistance beyond humanitarian aid for refugees. The agreement also frames the global relationship that will link Lebanon to the European Union for the period 2016-2020 beyond the issue of Syrian refugees and the text adopted highlights Lebanon’s paramount role in its region and its close partnership with the EU. On the issue of refugees, the text reflects a common position between Lebanon and the EU that the only conceivable solution for Syrian refugees in Lebanon is to return to Syria in the context of the political solution, included during the transition period. Lebanon has been actively engaged with the EU after the London Conference in order to agree on the different topics of the European intervention in Lebanon.

Olivier Bulto
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