The European Union (EU) is represented in Lebanon by the EU Delegation, one of 139 EU Delegations around the world. The EU is composed of 28 individual Member States. The EU Delegation was established in Lebanon in 1979 as the Delegation of the European Commission, it represents the European Union as a whole, with the Head of Delegation or Ambassador accredited as its official representative.
The EU Delegation represents the EU in its dealings with political issues, trade, development, cooperation, etc. Consular protection of EU citizens is provided by individual Member States Embassies and their Consulates.
Through its engagement with political actors, civil society, the private sector, academics, the media and citizens, the EU Delegation raises awareness of EU issues and concerns, and promotes the importance of the EU-Lebanon partnership among the Lebanese authorities and the broader Lebanese public. At the political level, the EU supports an independent, sovereign, unified and stable Lebanon, and encourages Lebanon to fulfill its international obligations and to implement an ambitious agenda of political, economic and social reforms.

The EU Delegation promotes cooperation with and among EU Member States in Lebanon, supports the reform agenda of the Lebanese government, and ensures that the EU cooperation benefits those mostly in need.
The Association Agreement signed in 2002 and the European Neighbourhood Policy Action Plan constitute the main framework of current relations between the EU and Lebanon.
The EU, the Member States and the European Investment Bank currently execute a total budget of more than €2.2 billion of assistance to Lebanon, including approximately €1.3 billion of grants and €0.9 billion of loans.
The EU cooperation focuses mainly on promoting programmes which support political, economic and social reforms, local governance, demining and refugees. Efforts to reform key sectors such as security, justice, good governance, social protection, support to civil society, education, energy, environment, agriculture and fundamental rights are particularly encouraged since they all aim at supporting sustainable growth and at reducing regional disparities in Lebanon.

Lebanon's partnership with the European Union (EU) goes back to 1977. The Association Agreement signed in 2002 and the European Neighbourhood Policy Action Plan constitute the current framework of the relationship between the EU and Lebanon. This partnership is based on common values and interests and encompasses a regular political, security, economic and social dialogue, wide-ranging people-to-people contacts and substantial development and humanitarian assistance.

To achieve aid efficiency and increase Lebanon's ownership of its development agenda, the EU works mainly through national institutions. EU's bilateral assistance offers predictability: financial envelopes are defined for several years and allow for continuous support for development and reform, in accordance with the jointly defined Action Plan. Part of the assistance provided by the EU is also channelled through civil society organisations, and local and regional authorities.

EU assistance to Lebanon

Most of the EU assistance to Lebanon comes from the European Neighbourhood Instrument. In 2014, a Memorandum of Understanding was signed for the Single Support Framework setting the priorities and financial allocations for EU-Lebanon cooperation for 2014-2016. The indicative total allocation for Lebanon amounts to more than €130 million.

The focus of EU-Lebanon cooperation for 2014-2016 is on three areas: justice and security system reform; social cohesion, sustainable economic development and vulnerable groups; sustainable and transparent management of energy and natural resources; support for capacity building and for civil society.

With the vast increase in the number of people from Syria seeking refuge in Lebanon, the EU has provided additional funding of €546.2 million to the regular allocation to assist Lebanese vulnerable communities and refugees from Syria.

A wide range of opportunities

In addition to the above regular and exceptional funding, Lebanon benefits from other cooperation mechanisms, including:

  • The European Instrument for Democracy and Human Rights supporting civil society projects in the fields of democracy, respect for human rights and fundamental freedoms;
  • Erasmus + Programme promoting cooperation between higher education institutions;
  • The Neighbourhood Investment Facility promoting investments by European financial institutions, in particular in the transport, energy, and environment areas;
  • The Horizon 2020 Programme and the 7th Framework Programme funding technology and innovation research projects;
  • Thematic regional programmes promoting networks and integration in the Mediterranean, such as the Programme for Civil Society and Local Authorities.

The EU, the Member States and the European Investment Bank currently execute a total budget of more than €2.2 billion of assistance to Lebanon, including approximately €1.3 billion of grants and €0.9 billion of loans.