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European Neighbourhood Policy
In the Energy Sector

Update: July 2015

Index of this Page:
EU Neighbourhood Policy Framework Read
Eastern Partnership. Read

Ukraine. Read

EU-Russian Dialogue. Read
Union for the Mediterranean. Read
Some General Comments Read

International Cooperation is a key tool to face energy issues such as climate change, protection of the environment, and fluctuation of resources prices.
The EU aims to create a competitive Energy Union in order to provide steady prices, security of supply for the citizens and to become the world leader in renewable energy.
In order to achieve these targets, the European Union has partnered with many countries outside the EU.

EU Neighbourhood Policy (ENP) Framework
The European Neighbourhood Policy addresses the EU’s neighbours to the east: Belarus, Ukraine, and Moldova; the Southern Caucasus countries: Georgia, Armenia, and Azerbaijan; as well as all the countries on the southern and eastern shores of the Mediterranean: Morocco, Algeria, Tunisia, Libya, Egypt, Israel, Jordan, Lebanon, Syria, as well as the Palestinian Authority. A major tool for this cooperation is action plans that are made with each of the neighbours. The action plans include chapters on energy, including topics as energy markets, eEnergy policy converging towards EU energy policy objectives, energy networks (gas, electricity), fossil fuel exploration and exploitation, energy efficiency and renewable energy, nuclear safety standards and radioactive waste management.

The European Neighbourhood Policy does not cover countries that are candidates for EU membership (i.e., Bulgaria, Romania, Turkey or Croatia), nor the other Western Balkan states which are potential candidates, including Albania.

Eastern Partnership
In 2010, the EU established the energy flagship initiative with its eastern partner countries: Armenia, Azerbaijan, Belarus, Republic of Moldova and Ukraine. The main aims of this partnership are to promote renewable energy, improve energy efficiency and facilitate gas and electricity trade between these countries through the modernization of infrastructures. For the period 2010 - 2014, the budget allocated to the energy flagship initiative is 165,5 million euros. The initiative has the support of the Eastern Partnership Multilateral Platform on Energy Security (Platform 3), which addresses diversification of electricity, gas and oil interconnections, as well as energy efficiency and renewable energy.

Some of the results achieved so far by the initiative are:
- Support to the adoption of oil and gas standards by Partner Countries.
- Elaboration of high quality and reliable energy statistics in Georgia.
- Training workshops for banks and energy industries to finance sustainable energy projects.
- Support to the establishment of the Energy Efficiency Department in Azerbaijan.

Over 50% of Russian gas supplies to the EU go through pipelines in Ukraine making this country a key transit in EU and Russia partnership.

Background: EU-Ukraine Cooperation
Until 2008 the EU-Ukraine energy cooperation focused on nuclear energy and fossil fuels. If the cooperation is going to contribute to improving the environmental situation in Ukraine as well as its energy independence and employment, the focus must change such that energy efficiency and renewable energy receive top priority. The EU-Ukraine energy cooperation has an unusually large budget in the EU neighborhood program, with a maximum in 2007 of 87 million Euro. It is important to focus on deriving the greatest possible benefit of it. Since 2014, the EU - Ukraine energy cooperation has no longer an allocated budget. It has been merged to the Eastern partnership project trough the energy flagship initiative.


EU-Russia Energy Dialogue
The European Union represents one of the most important energy market for Russia with the export of oil, gas, uranium, and coal.
The EU-Russia Energy Dialogue provides the overall structure for energy cooperation between the EU and Russia dealing with supply security, price stability, promote energy efficiency.
However, this relationship has been weakened by the different political crisis. Russia declared to end the gas transit deal with Ukraine by 2020, following its decision to move its south stream project to a Turkish stream to diversify its gas market towards the East.

Gas Advisory Council
The Gas Advisory Council of the Energy Dialogue established in 2011 is composed of representatives from various EU and Russian actors in the Energy Market. It establishes a long-term cooperation energy strategy through, development of infrastructure. Since the recent crisis between Russia and the EU, the meetings, that were usually organized every quarter year, between the parties has stopped since 2013.

Early warning mechanism
Following a gas dispute between Russia and Ukraine in 2009, the EU and Russia established an Early Warning Mechanism. This instrument aims to ensure a rapid communication to deal with supply interruptions in gas, oil, or electricity with minimum repercussion.

Union for the Mediterranean
Established in 2008, the Union for the Mediterranean promotes economic integration and cooperation through a Mediterranean energy market amongst the 41 countries in the region, including all EU countries.

Some General Comments:
Lebanon, Egypt and Jordan and Syria are involved in the Arab natural gas pipeline as well as the Euro-Mashrek cooperation.
· Tunisia, Morocco, and Algeria are taking steps to realize the progressive integration of their internal electric and gas markets to the EU internal markets.
· Ukraine and the EU have intensified relations and are more ambitious than EU’s relations with most of the other ENP countries.
· Armenia, Azerbaijan and Georgia are not so advanced in the process of convergence towards the principles of EU internal markets as they have first to fight bribery and meet basic security and safety energy requirements.

To read more on the European Neighbourhood Policy:

To read more on the European International Cooperation:

Read INFORSE-Europe’s overview of the elements related energy of the action plans agreed in 2004 and 2005 ( 115 kB)

Return to EU Policy Page