EU response to the Arab Spring
Brussels, 27 September 2011 - The European Commission has adopted four new decisions for its Neighbourhood. The programmes will include support for areas like democracy, growth, job creation, microfinance and higher education.
The SPRING programme (Support for Partnership, Reform and Inclusive Growth), adopted the 27th September 2011, directly responds to the events of the Arab Spring.
The main aim is to respond to the pressing socio-economic challenges that partner countries of the southern Mediterranean region are facing and to support them in their transition to democracy.
The total value of this initiative is €350 million to cover the years 2011 and 2012. It is expected that initial support in 2011 may go to Tunisia, Egypt, Jordan and Morocco.
"More for more" principle
Support provided through the SPRING programme will be based on an assessment of the country's progress in building democracy and applying the "more for more" principle.
"More for more" means that the more a country progresses in its democratic reforms and institutional building, the more support it can expect from the SPRING programme.
Tunisia after the Arab Spring
The second decision concerns a Special Measure designed to support poorer areas in Tunisia in the aftermath of the events of the Arab Spring.
€20 million has been allocated in order to foster employment in the country and to improve living conditions for inhabitants of urban areas in the most impoverished regions, as well as to improve access to microfinance.
Erasmus Mundus programme
The third of these decisions, adopted on 23 September 2011, is the Erasmus Mundus programme.
This will go towards achieving better understanding between the EU and neighbouring countries by creating possibilities for student and academic staff mobility (for example, the opportunity to study in universities in EU Member States).
The overall budget for this programme is €66 million.
Neighbourhood Civil Society Facility
The fourth decision, adopted on 20 September 2011, is the Neighbourhood Civil Society Facility.
It has been designed to strengthen the capacity of civil society to promote reform and increase public accountability in their countries.
The overall budget for this facility is €22 million.
- Press Release- 27 September 2011 - EU response to the Arab Spring: new package of support for North Africa and Middle East.
- European Neighbourhood Policy Communication "A new response to a changing Neighbourhood"
- European Neighbourhood Policy.
- The European Neighbourhood and Partnership Instrument (ENPI).