EU endorses macro-financial assistance programmes for enlargement and neighbourhood partners

The European Commission on Tuesday agreed memoranda of understanding (MoU) on macro-financial assistance (MFA) programmes with eight partners, including Jordan.

 

The agreements are part of the €3 billion MFA package for ten enlargement and neighbourhood partners, aimed to help them limit the economic fallout of the coronavirus pandemic, according to a press release.

 

The ongoing and swift implementation of these programmes is an important demonstration of the EU’s solidarity with these countries at a time of “unprecedented crisis,” it said.

 

Memoranda of understanding have already been agreed with Albania, Georgia, Jordan, Kosovo, Moldova, Montenegro, North Macedonia and Ukraine, it said.

 

The documents have also been formally signed with four of them: Kosovo, Moldova, North Macedonia and Ukraine, it said, adding that negotiations of the MoUs with the remaining two countries – Bosnia and Herzegovina, and Tunisia – are underway.

 

Valdis Dombrovskis, Executive Vice-President for an Economy that works for people, said: “Supporting our neighbours is essential during this time of crisis to keep the entire region stable.”

 

“As part of the EU’s global response to the coronavirus pandemic, we are working to help our neighbouring countries to cushion the worst of its economic impact. These ‘crisis MFA programs’ will be provided on favourable terms on the basis of signed Memorandums of Understanding outlining concrete reform commitments. It will help the neighbouring countries to cover their external financing needs in 2020-21, given the difficulties in tackling the economic impact of the pandemic,” he said.

 

Paolo Gentiloni, Commissioner for Economy, said: “The COVID-19 pandemic knows no borders and its unprecedented economic and social impacts affect countries around the world. Our enlargement and neighbourhood partners are severely affected, and as a Union we have the financial strength to help them limit the economic fallout of the pandemic. The Commission, on behalf of the EU, is working with ten partner countries to support their efforts and implement effective economic policies at a time of unprecedented crisis. Agreement has already been reached with eight partners in a demonstration of the EU’s solidarity.”

 

The MoUs provide for the policy actions to which the beneficiaries commit in order to receive the second tranche of assistance. Agreeing and signing the MoUs is an important step towards the first disbursement under the programmes, which is conditional on fulfilling the political pre-conditions, including the respect of democratic principles, human rights and the rule of law. Beneficiary countries should also benefit from an IMF financial assistance programme, the statement said.

 

For Jordan, the policy actions for its €700 million MFA programmes are more comprehensive, as they cover two MFA operations. They cover public finance management, utilities, social and labour market policy, and governance, according to the statement.

 

Source: Jordan News Agency

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