Energy Cooperation with the Southern Neighbourhood
Cooperation in the field of energy plays an important role for the sustainable economic and social development of an increasingly integrated Euro-Mediterranean region. The Commission works to facilitate the deployment of modern technologies by the EU’s partner countries in the southern neighbourhood and to achieve an interconnected energy market. It supports a series of programmes to achieve these objectives.
The Euro-Mediterranean Partnership (EUROMED) provides the framework for cooperation and support in this field.
The EU's Mediterranean partner countries include Algeria, Egypt, Israel, Jordan, Lebanon, Libya, Morocco, Palestine, Syria and Tunisia.
The Regional Indicative Programme (2011-13) adopted in the context of this partnership identifies the following priority areas for energy cooperation between the two regions:
- creating an integrated and interconnected Euro-Mediterranean energy market;
- facilitating the development and deployment of clean technologies by the Mediterranean partner countries, namely by providing support for research and development activities in this field;
- reaching overall 20% targets for energy efficiency and renewables by 2020.
The Commission supports numerous programmes and projects contributing to these objectives and provides targeted funding to trigger results.
Neighbourhood Investment Facility
Launched in 2008, the Neighbourhood Investment Facility (NIF) is an innovative financing mechanism which provides funding for the investment needs of the neighbouring region for infrastructure in a number of sectors, including energy.
It aims to pool grant resources from the EU budget and the EU Member States, using them to leverage loans from European finance institutions as well as contributions from partner countries.
It has helped to make a considerable difference in the field of energy: the bulk of support in 2011 was provided for infrastructure projects with a total of €112.3 million approved, with the sectors of transport and energy together receiving the largest share (69%).
Since June 2008, the NIF has approved 12 projects in Southern Mediterranean countries representing a total investment of over €5 billion.
Mediterranean Solar Plan
The Mediterranean Solar Plan (MSP) is one of the major tangible initiatives of the Union for Mediterranean endorsed both at the Summit in Paris on 13-14 July 2008 and at the UfM Foreign Affairs Ministerial in Marseilles on 3-4 November 2008. MSP has two main objectives:
- developing 20 GW of new renewable energy production capacities;
- achieving significant energy savings around the Mediterranean by 2020.
The Commission supports the objectives of the MSP through capacity-building projects (e.g. the technical assistance project 'Paving the way for the MSP ' which started in 2010 , etc) as well as through financial support from the European Investment Bank’s Facility for Euro-Mediterranean Investment and Partnership (FEMIP) and the Neighbourhood Investment Facility.
More information on the Mediterranean Solar Plan
The MSP complements a number of interconnecting energy projects implemented in the Mediterranean region, funded under the European Neighbourhood and Partnership Instrument (ENPI).
Energy Regulators cooperation
A project to support the cooperation between the Euro-Mediterranean energy regulators (MEDREG) was launched to facilitate information exchanges between EU and partner countries’ regulators, assist these countries in establishing and empowering independent energy regulators and develop the technical capacities of their staff.
Following a successful first phase covering the 2008-09 period, the MEDREG II project has an overall budget of €1 119 200 for the 2010-12 period.
Energy efficiency in construction
Launched in 2005, the Euro-Mediterranean project encouraging energy efficiency in the construction sector (MED-ENEC) project was launched to raise public awareness and involve civil society in climate-oriented building techniques, energy efficiency and renewable energy use in buildings.
The project focuses on strengthening business services, supporting markets and building institutional capacities and favourable institutional structures.
The project received a budget of €5 million for the 2009-13 period.