EU support for Iraq

News and Press Release
Originally published
The EU working with Iraq

The European Union is committed to a secure, stable, unified, prosperous and democratic Iraq that will make a positive contribution to the stability of the region. It supports the country in its efforts towards economic, social and political reconstruction in the framework of the implementation of UN Security Council Resolution 1546 of 8 June 2004.

The EU, together with the United States, will be co-hosting an international conference with Iraq at foreign minister level in Brussels on 22 June 2005 following a request from the new Iraqi Transitional Government (ITG). More than 80 countries and international organisations are expected to attend. The aim of the conference is to provide a forum for the new ITG to present its priorities, vision and strategies for the transition period leading up to the next round of elections towards the end of the year. It is also an opportunity to mobilise international support for the ITG and its institutions. The conference will be structured around three themes outlined in the UN Security Council Resolution 1546: political process; economic challenges and reconstruction; public order and rule of law.

The EU's contribution so far...

The EU has been involved in almost all aspects of the effort to bring stability, democracy and prosperity to Iraq.

Military and police: A number of EU Member States are participating in the Multi-National Force in Iraq. Some are conducting police and security personnel training operations outside Iraq.

Coordination and outreach: The EU has worked with the other international actors in mobilising additional contributions to reconstruction and in coordinating international efforts to support Iraq. The EU hosted the first donors' conference in Madrid in October 2003 and promoted the establishment of the International Reconstruction Facility for Iraq (IRFFI) which has been crucial in generating international contributions for reconstruction of the country.

Funds pledged and delivered: At the Madrid Conference the EU collectively pledged €1.2 billion. The European Community (EC) pledge amounted to €200 million for 2003-2004 for reconstruction and €100 million for humanitarian needs. It has since then deployed €320 million with a view to restoring key public services, boosting employment and reducing poverty as well as strengthening governance, civil society and human rights. EC reconstruction assistance for 2003-2004 has primarily been channelled via the IRFFI, the multi-donor trust fund managed by the UN and the World Bank.

Medium-term strategy: The EU adopted a medium-term strategy for Iraq put forward by EU High Representative Solana and the European Commission in June 2004, based on the European Commission's communication "The European Union and Iraq - a Framework for Engagement".

Building ties with the new Iraq: The EU has developed good relations with the Iraqi authorities, demonstrated by the participation of interim Prime Minister Allawi at the European Council in November 2004. On this occasion Member States endorsed a package of support including measures ranging from the perspective of an EU-Iraq agreement to continued reconstruction assistance.

Trade and cooperation: The EU supports Iraq's candidacy for WTO membership as part of the process of integrating Iraq into the region and the international community. As our political dialogue develops, a Trade and Co-operation Agreement could be the framework of future EUIraq relations.

Electoral support: The European Commission worked closely with the UN and the Iraqi Independent Electoral Commission in the preparations for the January 2005 parliamentary elections and provided a specific package of support for an amount of €31.5 million.

Supporting the UN in Iraq: As part of the EU's commitment to underline the UN's central role in the long-term reconstruction and stabilisation of Iraq, the EU is providing funding for the UN Protection Force.

... and in the pipeline

Assistance programme for 2005: (1) The European Commission adopted a new Assistance Programme for Iraq for 2005 in March with a budget of €200 million, supporting the following needs:

Provision of essential services and jobs (€130million): The funds, also to be channelled through the IRFFI, will continue supporting activities to restore and strengthen delivery of education and health services, increasing employment opportunities, and developing administrative capacity in the Iraqi administration. This support will be important in helping the new government meet the needs and expectations of the Iraqi population.

Capacity-building in energy and trade (€15million): The EU will offer its genuine expertise and know-how to public and private actors in form of bilateral technical assistance in key sectors for growth such as energy, trade and investment with the aim to increase the capacity of Iraqi institutions.

Support for the political process (€10million): Funds have been earmarked to continue supporting the political process, the development of civil society and respect of human rights. In this area, the EU stands ready to assist and provide experts, for example, to:

- The Constitutional process, in co-operation with the UN;

- Future elections, including a possible EU observation mission on the ground if invited by the Iraqi government and if security circumstances permit;

- In addition €45million have been set aside allowing for a flexible response to changing circumstances on the ground and responding to the needs identified by the newly elected Iraqi government.

- Primary focus will be on strengthening the Iraqi institutions.

Rule-of-Law: The EU is preparing an integrated rule-of-law mission focusing on training of Iraqi judges, prosecutors, police and penitentiary officers: see box below.

EU Rule-of-Law Mission for Iraq

The EU Council has decided on 21 February 2005 to launch an integrated rule-of-law mission for Iraq - "EUJUST LEX". Following a formal invitation from the Iraqi Transitional Government, the Mission will be operational by 1 July 2005, for a period of 12 months. EUJUST LEX lies within the scope of the European Security and Defence Policy (ESDP).

The Mission will consist of integrated training in the fields of management and criminal investigation, to be given to a representative group of senior officials and executive staff, mainly from the judiciary, the police and the penitentiary.

Objective: training of up to 520 judges, investigating magistrates, senior police and penitentiary officers in 13 senior management courses and of up to 250 investigating magistrates and senior police in 7 management of investigation courses. Total: up to 770 persons to be trained over a period of a year.

Training will be carried out on the basis of a common curriculum in the EU or in the region and the Mission has established a liaison office in Baghdad. Depending on developments in the security conditions in Iraq and on the availability of appropriate infrastructure, the EU Council will be called upon to examine the

The EU will continue promoting Iraq's integration in the region and the establishment of closer ties with neighbouring countries.

The EU also stands ready to give support and provide expertise, if required, in the following areas:

- assist with the drafting of the new Constitution, in cooperation with the UN;

- look at how best to support future elections, including a possible EU observation mission on the ground if security circumstances permit.

For more information:

EU-Iraq relations website:

EU-Iraq humanitarian aid website:


(1) Full text of the programme is available at