EU agrees MoU with 8 partners in support for COVID-19 fight

Wednesday, 2020-08-12 11:23:01
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A nurse takes blood from a journalist for COVID-19 testing in the “Mother Thereza” hospital in Skopje, North Macedonia on July 22. (Photo: EPA-EFE)
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The European Union (EU) has agreed Memoranda of Understanding (MoU) with eight non-EU partners to help their businesses limit the economic fallout of the coronavirus pandemic, the European Commission said on Tuesday (August 11).

As of Tuesday, MoU have already been agreed with Albania, Georgia, Jordan, Kosovo, Moldova, Montenegro, North Macedonia and Ukraine, the Commission said in a press release. Four of them, namely Kosovo, Moldova, North Macedonia and Ukraine, have formally signed the documents.

The money for each partner is linked to specific actions, such as strengthening public finance and the resilience of the financial sector, improving governance and fighting corruption, enhancing social protection and addressing youth unemployment.

The Commission said the agreements were part of a package worth EUR3 billion (US$3.52 billion), which is available to ten enlargement and neighborhood partners. Negotiations of MoU with the remaining two partners, Bosnia and Herzegovina (BiH) and Tunisia are underway.

"Supporting our neighbors is essential during this time of crisis to keep the entire region stable," said Valdis Dombrovskis, the Commission's executive vice president.

On April 22, when the EU member states were still fighting with the epidemic peaks, the Commission adopted a proposal for a EUR3 billion macro-financial assistance package to the ten partners. The funds will be made available in the form of loans on highly favorable terms to help the partners cover their immediate, urgent financing needs.