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International Issues

Bilateral cooperation

The EU developed bilateral cooperation with Eastern partner countries mainly through the Partnership and Co-operation Agreements (PCA) and through sub-committees on environment whilst regional cooperation takes place under the Eastern Partnership. However, some of the countries already entered a new level of cooperation with the EU by negotiating the Association Agreements with the EU which include timetables for implementation of key parts of the environment acquis. Five countries (Armenia Azerbaijan, Georgia, Republic of Moldova and Ukraine) have entered into negotiations. Three countries – Ukraine, Georgia and the Republic of Moldova – signed the Association Agreements including Deep and Comprehensive Trade Agreements. The Agreements are a strong basis for converging environmental legislation with the EU.

The environment sections of the Action Plans negotiated to date with Armenia, Azerbaijan, Georgia, Moldova define a set of jointly agreed priorities for action ranging from environmental governance and issue-specific activities to international and regional cooperation on environment issues.

Progress reports towards implementing the Action Plans also contribute to monitor the implementation of the objectives that the EU has agreed with these countries.

Belarus is covered by the European Neighbourhood Policy but, in view of the political situation, no action plan is yet in place, assistance is granted via Country Strategy Paper 2014-2020.



Single support Framework

Environment priorities in the Action plan/Association Agenda



  • Social inclusion
  • Environment (biodiversity, waste, awareness)
  • Local/ regional economic Development
  • Complementary support to civil society and capacity building



  • Public Administration Reform
  • Agriculture and Rural Development
  • Police reform and border management
  • Others: Capacity development and institution building and Civil Society support
  • Take steps to ensure that conditions for good environmental governance are set and start implementing them
  • Take active action for prevention of deterioration of the environment, protection of human health, and achievement of rational use of natural resources, in line with the commitments of the Johannesburg Summit


  • Public Administration Reform
  • Agriculture and Rural Development (environment included regarding sustainable land management and agriculture, waste management, resilience)
  • Justice sector reform
  • Horizontal allocation



  • Private Sector Development
  • Public Administration Reform
  • Justice Sector reform
  • Education and Skills Development
  • Capacity building and civil society
  • Encourage further economic development, enhance poverty reduction efforts and social cohesion, thereby contributing to the long term objective of sustainable development, including the protection of the environment;


  • Regional and Rural development – environment included
  • Justice sector reform
  • Education and Skills development
  • Capacity building and civil society
  • Support balanced and sustained economic development, with a particular focus on diversification of economic activities, development of rural areas, poverty reduction and social/territorial cohesion; promote sustainable development including the protection of the environment


For the moment there is no Single Support Framework for Ukraine.

  • Implementation by Ukraine of primary objectives (strategy) of the State Environmental Policy for the period till 2020 and the National Environment Action Plan for 2011-2015 in order to be able to take measures to implement the EU budgetary support programme;
  • Promoting sustainable development and greening of the economy;
  • Further development and implementation of Ukrainian environmental legislation, strategies and 19 plans, in particular on environmental impact assessment, strategic environmental assessment, access to environmental information, and public participation;


International organisations

International Financial Institutions are active in funding environmental actions in the eastern neighborhood.


The Environment for Europe (EfE) process was launched nearly 25 years ago following the collapse of the Soviet Union and socialist systems in Central and Eastern Europe. The process operates under the UNECE umbrella. The process focuses on helping countries of Eastern Europe, Caucasus and Central Asia and of South-Eastern Europe to improve their environmental standards.


The EIB can finance investment projects in Armenia, Azerbaijan, Georgia, Moldova, Russia and Ukraine to support the European Neighbourhood Policy, in particular the Eastern Partnership launched in 2009 and the Strategic Partnership between the EU and the Russian Federation (which includes the EU Russia Partnership for Modernisation launched in 2010). The EIB has significantly stepped up its lending activity in the region during the last four years to reach a record level of EUR 1.8bn in 2013.

Global Environment Facility (GEF)