Political & economic relations

The European Union enjoys longstanding relations with Yemen, which date back to 1997 when the first official cooperation agreement was signed. This relationship has kept growing ever since. For the overall framework governing the EU – Yemen partnership please click here.

The EU Delegation is as part of the G10 diplomatic group (Permanent 5 of the UNSC, the GCC and the EU Delegation) that are the sponsors and guardians of the GCC initiative signed in November 2011. The GCC initiative initiated a two-year transitional process that is foreseen to end in February 2014 with fair, transparent and competitive elections.

Supporting the peaceful transitional process is a key political priority for the EU. 
The EU hopes that the step-by-step approach of the GCC initiative will allow the Yemenis themselves to re-build their nation and their State on civil and democratic principles accepted by all. The main goal of this process is to respond to the legitimate demands of the Yemenis, who want the establishment of a democratic, modern and civil State that will respect and protect the rights of its citizens.

Since October 2012, Bettina Muscheidt has been the EU Head of Delegation to the Republic of Yemen. She represents the EU in areas such as political, trade, and development cooperation. Consular protection of EU citizens is provided by individual EU Member States' Embassies and their Consulates. The seven EU Member States represented in Sana’a are: Bulgaria, France, Germany, Italy, the Netherlands, Spain and the United Kingdom.

The EU Delegation reaches out to all Yemeni groups as a neutral partner supporting the political process and not the specific parties. The EU Delegation maintains close relations with the Government of Yemen, civil society, and political actors. It works very closely with the EU Member States and other international actors in Yemen to promote close cooperation and coordination.

Development cooperation is at the heart of the EU's partnership with Yemen. The current EU support amounts to around €60 million per year. In addition, the EU's humanitarian office, ECHO, allocated €40 million  in humanitarian aid in 2012. Thus overall EU support to Yemen reached €100 million, in addition to support provided by EU member states.

The EU is a lead donor in sectors such as food security, state-building, public health, and humanitarian aid. The EU's support focuses on improving good governance and reducing poverty by stimulating economic growth and developing human capital in order to increase the delivery of basic social services, social protection and job creation. The EU is also an important donor for civil society.