EU assistance takes the form of Annual Action Programmes (AAPs) under the European Neighbourhood and Partnership Instrument (ENPI). Other funding sources are thematic assistance programmes, for example, on human rights or civil society.
EU-Azerbaijan cooperation has evolved over time. Until the early 2000s, the EU’s support largely focused on humanitarian aid, food security and social protection. Political stabilisation in Azerbaijan prompted a shift in the EU’s assistance to the country towards support for democratic and economic transition.
Cooperation programmes 2007-13
The strategic framework for EU cooperation with Azerbaijan is set out in the Country Strategy Paper, 2007-2013. The priorities for cooperation with Azerbaijan and level of EU funding are detailed in the respective National Indicative Programmes (NIPs) 2007-10 and 2011-13
The three priorities for the period 2007-13 are:
- Democratic development and good governance (this includes reforms of the public administration, public finance and justice).
- Socio-economic reforms, poverty reduction and sustainable development (including rural and regional development, trade)
- Implementation of the Partnership and Cooperation Agreement and ENP Action Plan (including institution building, energy security, mobility and security)
The bilateral programmes 2007-13 largely concentrate on reform of the energy and justice sectors, agriculture and rural development. Support to capacity development of national institutions via programmes like twinning or comprehensive institution building is another priority.
Azerbaijan also benefits from EU regional programmesmainly in the energy and transport sectors (INOGATE and TRACECA programmes), as well as interregional programmes in the area of higher education (Erasmus Mundus, Tempus programmes) and investment promotion (Neighbourhood Investment Facility).
Azerbaijan can also access funds under thematic programmes, notably the European Instrument for Democracy and Human Rights (EIDHR), Instrument for Stability, Non-State Actors and Local Authorities in Development (NSA/LA), Migration and Asylum and Investing in People.
EU support to Azerbaijan’s civil society - already the biggest among donors - is on the rise.EU thematic programmes (EIDHR and NSA/LA)assist civil society, human rights defenders and vulnerable groups. Since 2011, civil society organisations also benefit from the Neighbourhood Civil Society Facility.
- Total budget allocated for 2007-10: €68 million (NIP 2007-10)
- Total budget allocated for 2011-13: €76 million (NIP 2011-13)
For more, see the website of the Delegation of the EU to Azerbaijan: http://eeas.europa.eu/delegations/azerbaijan/index_en.htm
More information about the Eastern Partnership: www.ec.europa.eu/europeaid/easternpartnership