The EU is set to spend more than €1.43 billion (over $1.5 billion) to implement the 2021-2027 Joint European Strategy for Development Cooperation with Cambodia, which focuses on six priority areas.
According to a May 18 press statement by the Council for the Development of Cambodia (CDC), the priority areas are democratic accountability, democratic participation, human development, competitiveness in regional and global marketplaces, green development and cultural heritage.
“To implement this strategy, the EU identified a total budget of €1,432.63 million. It will focus on strengthening socio-economic recovery as well as crosscutting issues of human rights, inclusion, gender equality, women and youth empowerment, climate and environmental sustainability,” said the statement.
A meeting on the Joint European Strategy at CDC headquarters was co-chaired by Chhieng Yanara – secretary-general of the Cambodian Rehabilitation and Development Board of the CDC – and EU ambassador to Cambodia Carmen Moreno.
The meeting was attended by high-ranking officials from 29 ministries and institutions as well as ambassadors, diplomatic officials and heads of development cooperation agencies from 10 European partner countries.
Yanara said he welcomed the strategy, which will promote European policy coherence and ensure greater impacts from European partner cooperation in Cambodia.
He extended his thanks to the EU – and the Kingdom’s European partners – for their contribution to the development of Cambodia.
As an entry-point, the strategy will advance digitalisation and assist the government to ensure compatibility and sustainability of information and communications technology (ICT) solutions, which will align them to international norms and standards, particularly regarding data protection, the statement said.
Moreno said the strategy is important for the implementation of broader EU strategies in Cambodia, as well as its Indo-Pacific and Global Gateway Strategies.
“It will support the EU partners and Cambodia’s government, civil society and the private sector to enhance their connectivity in a sustainable way, with the highest social and environmental standards,” she was quoted as saying.
Speaking at the opening of the meeting, French ambassador Jacques Pellet said the new strategy aligned with the Cambodian government’s Rectangular Strategy Phase IV and with European partners’ global priorities, including promoting the green transition, enhanced multilateralism and the respect of a rule based global order.
“It will contribute to the implementation of Agenda 2030 and sustainable development goals and support Cambodia in its efforts to achieve higher connectivity with ASEAN, as well as improved regional and global integration”, he said.