to see examples
in this country
European Commission assistance to Azerbaijan mainly takes the form of Annual Action Programmes under the European Neighbourhood and Partnership Instrument (ENPI). Other funding sourches are the thematic assistance programmes, concentrating for example on human rights or civil society.
The Commission’s priorities for assistance to Azerbaijan centre on promoting good governance and developing a prosperous market economy. Concentrating on these issues should also help to reduce poverty in the country.
EU assistance programmes
As in other ENPI-funded countries, the Commission supports the Republic of Azerbaijan in its attempts to consolidate democracy and develop its economy. The country’s National Coordination Unit (NCU) acts as a hub for EU assistance, organising relations between different ministries, the European Commission and other donors.
The NCU also works towards implementing the measures set out in the Partnership and Co-operation Agreement (PCA) and Action Plan, which are the principal strategic documents for EU-Azerbaijan co-operation.
The Partnership and Cooperation Agreement between the EU and Azerbaijan entered into force on 1 July 1999, its main objective being the promotion of Azerbaijan’s transition to a fully fledged democracy and market economy.
This Partnership was reinforced with the European Neighbourhood Policy which has extended the instruments of institutional Twinning and TAIEX to Azerbaijan in order to accelerate the process of administrative reform and facilitate the design and implementation of public policies in this country.
Supporting economic development
Azerbaijan’s regions are characterised by poor infrastructure, a high level of unemployment and tough social conditions. EU-funded projects aim to reduce poverty and promote more balanced economic growth and development in the regions through the expansion of the non-oil sector and by supporting state programmes for economic development.
Driving social improvements, protecting the environment
Reforming Azerbaijan’s social protection systems has been the objective of a Union-backed programme (now completed) which targets the poorest and most vulnerable groups in society. The aim was to help the government to develop and implement efficient social assistance policies.
The EU has also put a lot of effort into reforming the child welfare system, which has remained unchanged since Azerbaijan was part of the Soviet Union.
The EU supported the fight against drug abuse by funding the South Caucasus Anti-Drug Programme.
The "Reproductive Health Initiative for Youth in the South Caucasus" targets young people aged 15-24, providing sexual and reproductive health (SRH) information and services.
The EU also contributes to the protection of the environment in the Kura river basin.
Supporting the energy sector
The EU funds an Energy Reform Support Programme (ERSP) which will assist Azerbaijan in implementing agreed priorities. Building on the State Programme for the Development of the Fuel and Energy Sector in Azerbaijan (2005-2015), the Government of Azerbaijan under the ERSP will review the national energy strategy in order to develop an overall, coherent, integrated and transparent energy strategy that covers the supply, transportation, transit and use of all energy resources, the further reforms to be undertaken, identifying the infrastructure rehabilitation requirements and the new infrastructure needs, while specifying more in detail policies and legislative and institutional reforms to promote energy efficiency, energy savings and the greater use of renewable energy sources.
It should help to reinforce the energy security of the country through the identification of measures and projects, and should also have a significant impact on the reduction of poverty by spreading the benefits of its oil-based wealth through renewable energy generation and by rendering energy consumption more cost efficient.
Commission assistance also aims to strengthen regional co-operation on energy through the implementation of the Memorandum of Understanding on an energy partnership in coordination with the so-called Baku Process (or Baku Initiative).
The EU finances a number of projects under the EIDHR supporting for example civil society, independent media as well as free and fair elections.
Funding has also been provided for the participation of Azerbaijan in the TEMPUS Programme for co-operation in higher education. The EC also supports Azerbaijan’s involvement in the Erasmus Mundus External Co-operation Window for the mobility of students and academic staff.
More details about the EU relations with Azerbaijan are available on the website of the Delegation of the European Union to Azerbaijan. The and the Commission’s European External Action Service devise the EU's co-operation strategy in Azerbaijan.