EU waste €1billion in Egypt? Sort of …

An article in the FT today, details how the EU spending watchdog has declared that EU aid to Egypt has done little to achieve its stated aims of improving democracy and human rights.

The assessment appears to be pretty damning, claiming that Brussels was unable to track about 60% of the aid money transferred to the Egyptian govt, raising concern about fraud and mismanagement.

However, what’s interesting about the report, and the fall out, is that it fails to take into account political context whilst also failing to recognise the ambiguous nature of democracy promotion. The EU can do a lot better, but maybe the report misses the point and is being overly stringent on how it wants demonstrable effects … Nevertheless it is safe to say that this money would have been better spent through direct and visible partnerships with civil society in the region rather than through the ENP partnership with the Egyptian government.

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