EU - Afghanistan
Event date: 17/08/2021
The European Union (EU) has a long-term commitment to support the people of Afghanistan. The recent takeover of the country by the Taliban has resulted in international community requests for the orderly departure of foreign nationals and Afghans who wish to leave the country, plus guarantees for Afghan women and girls.
Since 2002, the EU has provided more than €4 billion in development aid to Afghanistan making the country the largest beneficiary of EU development assistance in the world. The EU’s relationship with Afghanistan was guided by the 2017 EU Strategy for Afghanistan, aimed at strengthening the country’s institutions and economy.
The 2017 Cooperation Agreement provided the basis for developing a mutually beneficial relationship in several areas such as human rights, the rule of law, health, rural development, education, science and technology, and the fight against terrorism, organised crime and narcotics.
Reacting to rapid developments on the ground in Afghanistan where the Taliban took over the country following the withdrawal of US and NATO troops, MEPs deplored “the recent political, military and moral calamity in the country and expressed deep concern about the situation.“ They also pushed to tackle the humanitarian crisis. In its September resolution the European Parliament called also for special visa programme for Afghan women seeking protection.
MEPs acknowledged that operational engagement with the Taliban’s government is needed for logistical and humanitarian matters, in order to provide humanitarian assistance to civilians in need and safe passage for foreign nationals and Afghans willing to leave the country. However, these contacts should remain strictly limited to those purposes.