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European Commission Technical Assistance Office for the West Bank & Gaza Strip
19 June 2008
Building the Future Palestinian State: EU to Help Improve Palestinian Institutions through PEGASE
Palestinian Prime Minister Salam Fayyad and European Commission Representative in Jerusalem John Kjaer today signed a financing agreement for €14 million (over 73 million NIS) under the European Union's PEGASE mechanism, through which the EU is helping to build the institutions of a future Palestinian State.
The €14 million will help to finance improvements in key areas outlined in the Palestinian Reform and Development Plan. European Commission Representative John Kjaer today said "the Palestinian Authority has underlined in its Reform and Development Plan for 2008-10 that better institutions are critical for economic recovery, democratic development and for building the foundations for a future Palestinian state. This is important in terms of enhancing the day-to-day quality of life for Palestinian people. The PRDP proposes an extensive and far-reaching institution building agenda and the European Union supports this".
The funding, which is being channelled through the EU's new PEGASE mechanism, will be used to enhance performance in three core areas:
Enhancing governance, supporting the judiciary and strengthening the rule of law
The new programme will help to improve the capacity and effectiveness of the PA in public sector financial management, security, justice, economic and service delivery. This will be achieved primarily through sustained improvements in the rule of law, progress in basic public administration and civil service reform.
Improving the quality of social services, through reforming education and social safety net systems:
The Ministry of Education and Higher Education has defined and recently adopted an ambitious new strategy for teacher education. The programme will support the Ministry's efforts to improve the quality of education by focussing on the upgrading of professional development for teachers as well as their initial training. Further technical assistance will help to enhance the PA's management and planning capacity in this sector. In the social protection sector, technical support will be provided to the Ministry of Social Affairs in order to scale up and implement cash assistance programmes in a more targeted and cost effective manner.
Support to institutions involved in trade and enterprise promotion and facilitation:
The programme will help to support the recovery of the Palestinian economy after years of crisis and to prepare key institutions to successfully adapt to the present and future economic context. In a modern economy strong regulatory institutions are needed to provide the environment in which businesses can succeed. The European Union is committed to providing support to institutions such as the Palestinian Customs Service, the Palestine Standards Institute and the Ministry of National Economy.