President Mursi‘s first Europe trip since his election in June tightened relations to the EU member states.
In Brussels, Herman Van Rompuy, President of the European Council, and José Manuel Barroso, President of the European Commission, assured President Mursi of the EU’s undivided support of Egypt on its way to democracy.
Primarily this concerns financial assistance given that the country has to mend a gap in the state budget of more than $10 billion. The announced aid might amount to €500 million ($644 million) plus further 150 to 200 million aimed at funding an agreed economic recovery plan.
However, European concessions are bound to the decision of the International Monetary Fund (IMF) and whether it will grant a $4,8 billion loan to the country. The new pledges come on top of an already granted support programme worth € 449 million for combatting youth unemployment.
The European Union is unequivocal in its backup – friendship, good neighbourhood and partnership were terms being used to describe the relation between Egypt and the EU. The positive signs from Brussels aim to rebuilding investors‘ confidence after one and a half years of political and economic instability.