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The Partnership Instrument, advancing the EU's core interests

Through the Partnership Instrument (PI), the EU cooperates with partners around the world to advance the Union’s strategic interests and tackle global challenges. The PI will fund activities that carry EU agendas with partner countries forward, translating political commitments into concrete measures.

The PI is one of the funding instruments that enable the EU to take part in shaping global change and promote its core values. It is one of several instruments included in the EU's budget for 2014-2020 as a means of financing the Union's external action.

Projecting EU interests abroad

The PI will finance activities in a number of areas of key interest to the Union. This funding will support the external dimension of EU internal policies – in areas such as competitiveness, research and innovation, as well as migration – and help to address major global challenges such as energy security, climate change and environmental protection. As one of its main orientations, it will contribute to the external projection of the Europe 2020 Strategy.

The PI will also deal with specific aspects of the EU's economic diplomacy with a view to improving access to third-country markets by boosting trade, investment and business opportunities for European companies. It will encourage public diplomacy, people-to-people contacts, academic and think tank cooperation and outreach activities.

Widening the scope of the EU's cooperation

The EU's interaction with many countries around the world focuses on development cooperation. The PI will offer a different approach to established models of development cooperation by promoting policy cooperation with countries of strategic interest to the EU. In particular, it will allow the EU to establish a wider political dialogue with emerging partners. It will also support the EU's relations with countries that are no longer eligible for bilateral development aid.

Facts and figures

The European Parliament and the Council adopted the PI Regulationpdf on 11 March 2014.

The PI is the EU's first instrument specifically designed to promote the Union's strategic interests worldwide by reinforcing its external strategies, policies and actions.

It has four main objectives:

  • Offering policy support and responding to global challenges
  • Projecting the international dimension of Europe 2020
  • Enhancing market access and boosting trade, investment and business opportunities for EU companies
  • Promoting public diplomacy and academic cooperation.

The PI's budget for 2014-2020 amounts to EUR 954.8 million. It can fund activities in any non-EU country, with an emphasis on partner countries of strategic interest to the EU.