On 15 November 2011, the EU Delegation in Asmara received a letter from the Minister of National Development and National Authorizing Officer for EU Cooperation, H.E. Minister Giorgish Teklemichael, stating that the Government of the State of Eritrea intended to close all ongoing programmes under the 10th European Development Fund [a period that covers from 2008 – 2013].
The letter stated that the decision stemmed from the Government’s intention to fully review and finalize the country’s five-year National Development Plan before engaging in cooperation with the EU as a partner in the framework of the next European Development Fund cycle set to start in 2013.
The ongoing programmes that would thereby be cancelled include a programme in support of the agricultural sector (EUR 37 Million), a programme in support of the Community Courts (EUR 5 Million), a programme assisting the training of public servants (EUR 3.4 Million) and a programme for the rehabilitation of Asmara’s National Heritage (EUR 5 Million). A further available amount of EUR 68.3 Million would also not be contracted. [i.e. a total of EUR 119 million]
The EU Delegation naturally respects the decision of the Government of the State of Eritrea, and stands ready to continue dialogue with the Government in the framework of the country’s national development plan with the objective to agree on a joint strategy based on the principles enshrined in the EU-ACP Cotonou Agreement. The political dialogue between the EU and the Government will continue unimpeded.
The EU Delegation wishes to express its appreciation and thanks to all those in the Government, Delegation and among the public who have laboured hard and with dedication to develop and deliver the projects listed above, even though it will not now be possible to reap the full benefits for the people of Eritrea that were originally foreseen. It is to be hoped that new programmes in line with the National Development Plan will in due course bring such benefits to fruition.