Oct 07

EU response to the Arab Spring: 350 million euros to face socio-economic challenge and democratic transition

The European Union has earmarked €350 million over the period 2011-2012 for its new SPRING Programme (Support to Partnership, Reform and Inclusive Growth), in response to the events of the Arab Spring. Initiatives supported by SPRING are aiming to respond to the pressing socio-economic challenges faced by partners in the region and to support them in their transition to democracy.

Support provided through the SPRING programme will be tailored to the needs of each country, based on an assessment of the country's progress in building democracy and applying the ‘more for more’ principle – the more a country progresses in its democratic reforms and institutional building, the more support it can expect from the SPRING programme.

SPRING programme will complement ongoing activities in partner countries, supported at EU level or bilaterally by EU Member States, as well as by other donors. Initiatives will be identified by EU Delegations working closely with partner governments, EU Member States and international stakeholders.

All Southern Neighbourhood partners' countries will benefit from the programme. Depending on conditions in each individual country, it is expected that initial support in 2011 may go to Tunisia, Egypt, Jordan and Morocco.

Democratic Transition

Depending on the rhythm of reform in each country, concrete results are expected in the field of human rights and fundamental freedoms, democratic governance, freedom of association, expression and assembly and free press and media. Improvements in public administration, rule of law and fight against corruption – are also anticipated.

Sustainable and inclusive growth and economic development

Results are expected in a number of areas including a better regulatory framework for business, increased numbers of Small and Medium Enterprises (SMEs); as well as a reduction in internal social and economic disparities.

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Dr. James Scott
Project manager
Ph: (+358) 50366 0653
Project information
Project duration: 01.03.2011-28.02.2015
Lead partner: University of Eastern Finland
Total budget: 3 386 700 €
EU contribution: 2 644 090 €