Bureau of European and Eurasian Affairs
February 17, 2005
U.S.-EU Cooperation on Iraq
The United States and the European Union (EU) are committed to a federal, democratic, pluralistic, and unified Iraq. We cooperate closely on the full range of political, economic, development, and security issues affecting Iraq and deeply appreciate High Representative Solana's recent comment that there will be "more Europe" in Iraq in the months ahead.
The European Commission has been a constructive founding member of the "core group" of donors to Iraqi reconstruction efforts, participating actively in the Madrid and Tokyo conferences and subsequent donor meetings. The Commission provided 320 million euros of reconstruction assistance in 2003-2004 and pledged 200 million euros in 2005. The Commission announced the 2005 pledge the Friday before Iraqi elections to underscore its support for the democratic transition.
The European Commission and EU Member States have worked closely with the U.S. in coordinating support for the Iraqi Interim Government with reconstruction, election assistance, and Paris Club debt relief. EU leaders expressed support for the strong voter turnout in Iraq's elections and are committed to supporting the development of democratic institutions in Iraq.
Commission funds, channeled mainly through the World Bank/UN International Reconstruction Fund Facility for Iraq (IRRFI), are earmarked for essential services, jobs, training for energy and trade officials, and support for civil society organizations in Iraq.
Some EU Member States made significant bilateral pledges to Iraq's reconstruction in addition to their bilateral humanitarian efforts and share of the European Commission package (UK - $452 million, Italy - $235 million, and Spain - $220 million). EU Member States were among the Paris Club creditors who forgave 80 percent of Iraqi debt, totaling almost $32 billion in debt relief.
Individual EU member states, led by the UK, Italy, and Poland, are making important contributions to the multinational forces in Iraq.