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Eritrea-European Union Partnership: 20 years of EU presence in Eritrea

A message from His Excellency,
Dr Giorgis Teklemichael
Minister for National Development

The 30-year-long war of liberation (1961-1991), and again that of 1998-2000, have left Eritrea with about 100 000 of its young people killed, with tens of thousands of its people disabled and with a significant part of the population which has left the country altogether.

The social and economic infrastructure was almost completely destroyed, but the Eritrean people — including those of the diaspora — are determined to consolidate their hard-won independence and are marching on the road of sustainable development and to ensure social justice.

Eritrea, however, has important development partners whose commitment is steady and expanding, and one such partner is the European Union (EU) — a partner from the very first years of independence. The EU partnership for development is covering more and more areas of cooperation, such as cultural, social, economic and political dialogue, and it is very effective. The impact on the daily life of the people is significant and has been reflected in the achievement of certain millennium development goal (MDG) targets, as evidenced during a meeting in the margins of the United Nations General Assembly in September 2014.

The Ministry of National Development expresses its appreciation to the EU delegation and is confident of further cooperation.


A message from His Excellency,
Ambassador Christian R. Manahl,
Head of the Delegation of the European Union to Eritrea

Eritrea is a country with a complex and turbulent history, with a determined, creative and resilient people, proud of its achievements and enjoying a rare social harmony among its diverse communities. But it is also a country still struggling to overcome the legacy of a long and devastating liberation war and of the disruptive border conflict with Ethiopia, which has not only caused immense human suffering in both countries but has also required the economic and commercial reorientation of Eritrea.

The relationship which the EU has developed with Eritrea since the country’s independence tries to look beyond the stereotypes and to work towards common long-term interests, based on mutual understanding and in a spirit of partnership. The European Union strives to contribute to Eritrea’s social and economic development, to help its people face the challenges of drought and desertification and to support the government’s decision to shift from costly and polluting hydrocarbon-based electricity production to renewable sources of energy sources such as solar, wind and geothermal, which is in line with the EU’s global climate change policy. The EU has also consistently advocated for peaceful and mutually beneficial neighbourly relations based on international law in the entire Horn of Africa.

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