Navigation path

Algeria: remarks at the press conference

Algeria: remarks at the press conference

"This is my third visit  to Algeria and it reflects  the agreement  between the Foreign Minister  and I that the more intensive interactions  we have,  the better our relations  will be . I am glad to be here for the third time on such a special day  for Algerian history (anniversary of the Evian agreements). Since my previous visit last May, Algeria engaged in some important reforms. I am fully aware that these reforms reflect the political willingness, at the highest level, to undertake necessary changes for the benefit of the Algerian  people . I also know that these reforms are not always an easy step to take. However, I remain convinced that they are crucial for Algeria and I wish to express the EU´s full support for this process.

The reform process needs to respond to the legitimate aspirations of the Algerian people. It is also very important  to implement recent reforms in a way that allows them to constitute a real step towards more democracy   and more respect for fundamental freedoms. We hope to see concrete progress on  the  freedom of expression and association. With the goal  of  supporting  the reforms and creating  incentives for the process to carry on,  I was glad to inform the Minister about the additional resources assigned for Algeria from the Spring program.

When it comes to the bilateral area, our relations entered a more intensive period. Let me mention just some of the positive developments:
- we were discussing European Neighbourhood Policy and how to move forward the preparations for the Action Plan.
- another important element was the invitation  extended to the EU, for the very first time, by the Algerian authorities to observe the May elections. This is a mark of trust towards the EU and I appreciate this important development in our relations.
- last week, the HR/VP Ms. Ashton decided to deploy an EU Election observation mission. We are  now  preparing this mission.
- today we signed the   EU-Algeria Agreement on Scientific and Technological Cooperation. 

This demonstrates our potential for deepening our relations. I hope that the Action plan will  enable  us to define more concrete measures and projects to strengthen our overall cooperation.

There is a lot to achieve in our relations and let me stress that in our dialogue the EU is attaching a very high importance to discussions with the civil society, too, including representatives from the private sector. I will shortly meet several representatives of NGOs, but also economic and social stakeholders. 

Finally I'd like to underline the importance which we attach – based on our own experience - to regional integration. We are convinced that this will  create new opportunities for people. I have noted with great interest regional efforts to enhance stability and prosperity, and  efforts to improve relations among Maghreb countries. The Commission is ready to consider concrete projects that can support this ambition."

Last update: 20/03/2012 |  Top