The European Union is investing in the critical areas of waste management and rural development co-operation with Egypt, with total funding of €47 million, in order to improve socio-economic conditions for the Egyptian people.
The first project, the 'National Solid Waste Management Programme (NSWMP)', contains a comprehensive set of measures ranging from institutional reform and development of policy and legislation, to investment programming and implementation, professional capacity development, improving services and facilities and includes civil society participation.
The action aims to provide a significant contribution to the sustainable protection of the environment, to protect natural resources and to reduce health risks for the population of Egypt. The envisaged actions include construction and rehabilitation of solid waste management facilities such as recycling, composting plants, transfer stations, landfills, other solid waste infrastructure required for an integrated waste management system. The program will also support the closure and rehabilitation of existing uncontrolled dumpsites.
The EU will help tackling some of those issues by supporting concrete actions, investing a total of €20m out of the total project amounting to €51m. The other €31m will be provided by the KFW Bankengruppe, German Technical Cooperation (GIZ) and the Government of Egypt. The project is expected to begin in mid-2014.
The second project, the 'Joint EU Rural Development Programme', will contribute to the development of rural areas in three of the most vulnerable Governorates of the country (Matrouh, Minia and Fayoum). The programme is a multi-sector intervention in line with the ENPARD approach (European Neighbourhood Programme for Agriculture and Rural Development) and with a focus on the sustainable management of territorial resources. It will provide training for rural associations and other community-based organisations; promoting the sustainable management of local resources.
Agriculture remains the main economic activity in rural areas of Egypt. It accounts for 13.5% of total Gross Domestic Product (GDP) and for 18.3% of exports. It also employs more than 25% of the population and is the main source of income for about 55%. This programme will contribute to an expansion of the current national agricultural sector strategy into a more specific and comprehensive rural development strategy.
In addition, a programme component in the Matrouh governorate will provide support to the national Mine Action Plan. This component will support mine clearance activities, as well as assist land-mine victims and conduct awareness campaigns. In the longer term, it will also contribute to make land available for agricultural/other use.
The EU will provide €27m for the programme, out of the total project amounting to €36m, with €9m coming from the Italian Ministry of Foreign Affairs.
Under the general bilateral framework of the Association Agreement and the Action Plan with the Arab Republic of Egypt, the EU has developed its cooperation with Egypt throughout the period 2007-2013 by funding programmes and projects in many areas such as: health, education, economic development, trade, water, transport, science, research and innovation, information society; social, rural and regional development; human rights, justice and good governance; energy, environment and culture.
The European Neighbourhood and Partnership Instrument (ENPI) is the main financial mechanism of technical and financial cooperation with Egypt. The three main priorities of the current programming period are: (i) support to political reform and good governance, (ii) competitiveness and productivity of the economy and (iii) socio-economic sustainability of the development process.
The overall budget allocation for bilateral EU assistance to Egypt under the ENPI for 2011-2013 is €449.29m, and the total allocation to Egypt for 2007- 2013 is over €1 billion.
IP/13/1136: EU boosts support to democratic reforms and development in the Southern Neighbourhood
Kazakh president sets out five priorities for #Kazakhstan’s 'Third Stage of Modernization'
In his annual address to the nation, Nursultan Nazarbayev, the president of Kazakhstan, announced five main priorities as part of what he described as “Kazakhstan’s third stage of modernization”. The priorities are aimed at ensuring economic growth and supporting the country to become one of the top 30 most developed countries in the world by 2050.
The five priorities are: Acceleration of technological modernization of the economy, improved business environment, macroeconomic stability, improved quality of human capital and institutional reforms, including improved security and more action to tackle corruption.
President Nazarbayev said in his annual address: “I am setting the task of ensuring the implementation of the Third Modernisation of Kazakhstan. It is necessary to create a new model of economic growth that will ensure the country's global competitiveness.”
He added: “This modernization is not a plan to combat current global challenges, but a reliable bridge to the future, to meet the objectives of Kazakhstan 2050 Strategy. It will be carried out on the basis of the 100 Concrete Steps Plan of the Nation.”
The Head of State also instructed the Government to developa package of measures for the technological re-equipment of basic industries by 2025.
The annual address followed a special announcement given by the President last week, in which he set out bold plansto increase the powers of parliament. President Nazarbayev stated that these constitutional reforms are aimed at furthering the democratic development of Kazakhstan, as the Government will be accountable to parliament.
President Nursultan Nazarbayev has proposed a constitutional reform aimed at furthering the democratic development of Kazakhstan. During a special televised address to the nation on 25 January, the President announced a number of functions that would be transferred either to the Government or Parliament. Public discussions on the proposed constitutional reforms will take place for the next month, concluding on 26 February. After this, the reforms will be presented to Parliament.