The EU remains committed to Iraq, as the country’s economic recovery and the consolidation of its democracy are key to promote stability not only in Iraq, but also in the wider region and in Europe.
Iraq has experienced decades of conflict and wars that have challenged the domestic security and development landscape.
Distrust in state institutions leading to mass protests, poor service delivery in education and other basic service sectors, a lack of jobs and continued displacement remain key drivers of conflict and a threat to Iraq’s social cohesion. This context requires the EU to take a comprehensive, tailor-made long-term approach in its partnership the country, using a range of diplomatic and development cooperation tools.
Following the improving security conditions since the territorial defeat of Da’esh in Iraq, EU action has shifted from post-crisis recovery support (special measures) to long-term development programming (through a Multi-annual Indicative Programme). The overall objective is to consolidate the country’s fragile political and economic stability, for example, by targeting the integration of displaced populations into national systems.
Iraq has faced significant social and governance problems in the aftermath of decades of conflict, thus the Multiannual Indicative Programme for 2021-2027 reflects its major social needs. There are 3 priority areas for EU cooperation with Iraq
- green job creation and economic diversification
- human development and social contact
- digital participatory governance and democracy
A number of cross-cutting issues have been taken into account in addressing these priorities such as the very large numbers of displaced Iraqi citizens and Syrian refugees, the need to take a rights-based and conflict-sensitive approach, and the need to specifically address youth and gender issues.
Green job creation and economic diversification
Actions under this priority area include support for decent jobs for youth, private sector development, and the promotion of economic governance and green recovery.
Human development and the social contract
This priority area includes actions to improve inclusive education and TVET (technical and vocational education and training) especially for reintegrating displaced populations in Iraq; and inclusive shock-resilient social protection, which aims to address growing social exclusion and equity gaps.
Digital participatory governance and democracy
Actions in this area will focus on promoting transparent digitalised institutions and participatory governance, mainly e-government. The second line of action will support migration governance and durable solutions to the migration crisis.
Support measures and Team Europe Initiatives
The Team Europe Initiative, 'TAEUFIQ: TeAm EUrope For IraQ' (Taeufiq is a transliteration of the Arabic word for success) aims for increased diversified, sustainable and inclusive economic growth. This should lead to improved livelihoods and decent employment (more and better jobs) in Iraq. Germany, France, Italy and the Netherlands are the core partners of this initiative. TAEUFIQ is open to additional EU Member States to join.
Funding for the 3 priority areas and support measures totals €114 million for the period until 2024, when a mid-term review will take place.
€49 million (43%) goes to Priority 1, €50 million (44%) goes to Priority 2, €10 million (9%) goes to Priority 3, while a further €5 million (4%) is budgeted for support measures.