Europe’s Financial Support to Ethiopia Raises Questions about Peace with Stability
By Miracle Lidetu
The European Union has granted Ethiopia a substantial financial package of 650 million Euros, aimed at supporting the economic integration and stability in the country. The support comes with strict pre-conditions that have sparked discussions about the country’s ongoing conflicts.
The announcement was made by European Union Commissioner for International Partnerships, Jutta Urpilainen during a press conference held on October 3, 2023 in the capital at Skylight Hotel, on Africa Avenue. European Union Commissioner for International Partnerships, Jutta Urpilainen, emphasized that the decision to suspend aid to Ethiopia was not taken lightly. She stated that the EU remains committed to supporting Ethiopia’s development and humanitarian needs, but cannot continue to provide aid in the current circumstances.
The EU’s financial aid, which is under the EU’s Multiannual Indicative Program that will run from 2024-2027, is not without conditions. The conflict in the Tigray region led to the suspension of direct budgetary support to the government, the Commissioner said, adding that the peace and political stability in the country are crucial factors in reaching this agreement.
“While peace and stability were priorities,” said Urpilainen, “the EU’s expectations extended beyond these aspects.”
“We are able to sign this meet and actually there are three priorities in that meet the first one if whole green agenda climate change biodiversity renewable energy as well as agriculture to agree food the second priority is human development the support to the population and I want to highlight the European union has never stopped our support to the population of Ethiopia even though we had suspended our budget to the government we have supported all the time the population of Ethiopia and then the third priority area is precisely this peace building governance development democratic development and of course we very much to supported the implementation of Pretoria peace agreement through the national dialogue as well as also accountability of the transitional justice.”
These conditions emphasize the importance of peace, political stability, and regional cooperation. The conflict in the Tigray region, which led to the suspension of previous budgetary support from the EU, highlights the significance of peace and stability in reaching this agreement.
The suspension of EU aid to Ethiopia is a significant blow to the country’s economy and development efforts. The EU’s support has been instrumental in funding various projects aimed at improving access to education, healthcare, and basic services for millions of Ethiopians. The suspension of this aid could lead to a further deterioration of living conditions for vulnerable populations, particularly those affected by conflict and displacement.
The Ethiopian government has expressed its dedication to economic integration and peace, but meeting the EU’s conditions remains a challenge. As Ethiopia strives to navigate ongoing conflicts and ensure peace and stability, the EU’s financial support is seen as a crucial milestone. However, the country’s pursuit of economic development and regional integration hangs in the balance as it works towards meeting the EU’s expectations.
During the press conference Ethiopia’s Finance Minister Ahmed Shide expressed his gratitude for the EU’s support.
“EU is a very important strategic partner of Ethiopia, which has been supporting Ethiopia development in various areas growth, effectiveness, social development joining multi donor development programs which has been supporting Ethiopia’s growth.”
The Commissioner, who visited Ethiopia for two days, arrived in the country for three purposes, highlighting the EU’s commitment to regional cooperation and strengthening bilateral ties between the two countries, according to a statement issued by the EU Delegation in Ethiopia.
European Union Commissioner for International Partnerships, Jutta Urpilainen, held a press conference in Addis Ababa at skylight, where she announced the financial support and outlined the reasons for her visit. Her presence in Ethiopia served three purposes, highlighting the EU’s commitment to regional cooperation, strengthening bilateral ties.
Ethiopian Finance Minister Ahmed Shide expressed his gratitude for the EU’s support during the press conference. He emphasized Ethiopia’s dedication to economic integration and peace in the region, acknowledging the significance of this financial assistance.
However, the EU’s financial aid is not without conditions. The conflict in the Tigray region led to the suspension of previous budgetary support from the EU. Commissioner Urpilainen emphasized that peace and political stability were crucial factors in reaching this agreement.
And also the commissioner stated that while peace and stability were a priority, the EU’s expectations extended beyond these aspects
Stay tuned for more updates on this developing story.