On 22 March 2013, in Moscow, the Coordinators of the EU-Russia Energy Dialogue G.H. Oettinger (Member of the European Commission for Energy) and A.V. Novak (Minister of Energy of the Russian Federation) signed the "Roadmap EU-Russia Energy Cooperation until 2050".
Signing ceremony of the EU/Russia Roadmap for Energy Cooperation until 2050 by Alexander Novak, Russian Minister for Energy, seated, on the right, and Günther Oettinger, Member of the EC in charge of Energy, seated, on the left, in the presence of Dmitry Medvedev, standing, on the right, and José Manuel Barroso
Russia is the largest oil, gas, uranium and coal exporter to the EU. Likewise, the EU is by far the largest trade partner of the Russian Federation. Based on this mutual interdependency and common interest in the energy sector, the EU and Russia developed a close energy partnership and launched an EU-Russia Energy Dialogue in 2000.
The energy partnership within the EU-Russia Energy Dialogue aims at improving the investment opportunities in the energy sector to ensure continued energy production, to secure and expand transportation infrastructure as well as to reduce the environmental impact. Other important objectives are to encourage the opening up of energy markets, to facilitate the market penetration of more environmentally friendly technologies and energy resources, and to promote energy efficiency and energy savings on the way to a low-carbon economy.
Following the gas dispute from 2009, the EU and Russia consider it essential to further reinforce mutual confidence by establishing an Early Warning Mechanism. This instrument ensures rapid communication and aims to prevent further supply interruptions in the field of gas, oil or electricity.
Since 2008, the Russian Federation and the EU are also negotiating the New Agreement to replace the current Partnership and Cooperation Agreement (PCA). Both Parties agree that the energy sector, as a strategically important area of cooperation, will be one of the substantive elements of this New Agreement.
Partnership and Cooperation Agreement (PCA)
The EU-Russian official relations date back more than 20 years. The first major step towards a closer cooperation was the conclusion of the Partnership and Cooperation Agreement (PCA) in 1994. The PCA established a framework for the political dialogue between Russia and the EU and promotes trade, investment and harmonious relations. Both EU and Russian nationals can even claim certain individual rights under this agreement. The PCA serves also as the legal basis for the EU-Russia Energy Dialogue. It is to be replaced by the currently negotiated New Agreement.
The second milestone in EU-Russia relations was the definition of four common spaces at the EU-Russia St. Petersburg Summit in May 2003.The common spaces cover covers four main policy areas: the Common Economic Space, the Common Space of Freedom, Security and Justice, the Common Space of External Security and the Common Space of Research and Education, which also includes cultural aspects.
Another key instrument in the EU-Russia partnership are bilateral summits, which take place twice a year. At the summits, the EU is represented by the President of European Council, the President of European Commission and the High Representative of the Union for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy, while Russia is represented by the President and Ministers responsible for specific areas of cooperation with the European Union. Since the entry into force of the PCA on 1 December 1997 Russia and the EU have held a total of 27 summits.