During the last Foreign Affairs Council held on 21 June, the representatives of the EU member states agreed on the need to increase support for Iraq, supporting the structural reforms that the country is pursuing, and monitoring the electoral process.

Iraq, security, economy, and EU support

From the two Gulf Wars to the growth of a jihadist-inspired organization that would soon become known globally as the Islamic State (or ISIS), Iraq has undergone a progressive crumbling of its political institutions and infrastructure over the years. physical.

Consequently, the security conditions and economic stability in the country are currently more than precarious, despite the reforms that the government has implemented since 2014. The presence of numerous armed rebel groups and the consequent inability of the state to fully exercise some basic functions, such as the collection of taxes in one's own territory, do not allow the consolidation of a condition of stability and growth to date.

It is for this reason that, since 2017, the European Union has launched a mission in Iraq in the context of the Common Security and Defense Policy, called EUAM Iraq (EU Advisory Mission in support of security sector reform in Iraq), in order to support the Government's ability to reconstitute a solid-state structure that can guarantee the safety of its citizens. The EU also represents, to date, one of the main support actors for the Iraqi response to the humanitarian crisis, through the implementation of protection programs, emergency health assistance for those who need it.

Resolutions of the Foreign Affairs Council

At the last meeting of the EU Foreign Affairs Council, held on 21 June, the Ministers of the member states agreed on the implementation of a European election observation mission in Iraq (EUEOM), in view of the next legislative elections in the country. This kind of mission represents one of the main channels for the promotion of democracy, human rights, and the rule of law at the global level.

This would be the second occasion in which an election observation mission is implemented in Iraq, after the elections of March 2010, during which a group of logistical and electoral experts operated in Baghdad, Erbil, and Basra, contributing through recommendations in the short term. medium and long term regarding the conduct of electoral operations.

The Council also established that the Cooperation Committee on the EU-Iraq Partnership and Cooperation Agreement will meet by the end of 2021. The agreement in question, which entered into force in 2018, establishes a partnership between the European Union, its Member States, and Iraq, in order to establish a solid relationship of political dialogue, promote trade and economic relations, as well as provide a basis for consolidated legal, social and cultural cooperation.

Iraq's unknown future

On 10 October this year, Iraq will have to go to the vote in the legislative elections. The more than 3,500 candidates presented by the 44 internal coalitions, as well as the high risk of fraud and the strict control that the independent commissions have been entrusted with in order to examine all the candidates, represent only some of the problems related to these elections.

In the broader context, the complications generated by the succession of events that have characterized the Iraqi territory over the last thirty years require a decisive and coherent effort in the implementation of measures for the consolidation of the security sector and for the economic revival of the state...

Despite the frequent inadequacy of military missions and operations (administered by the EU in the context of the Common Security and Defense Policy), the effectiveness demonstrated in the civilian missions of the Union could represent strength for the role that the 'EU tries to cover within this process.

However, it is likely that the use of measures for electoral monitoring and political dialogue will have to be accompanied by concrete and renewed economic support, assisted by the provision of the necessary equipment and training for the Iraqi authorities to ensure the safety of their citizens.


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