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International Cooperation

South Africa

EU-South Africa relations have flourished since 1994, and both sides entered into a Strategic Partnership in May 2007. The partnership establishes an overarching structure for existing cooperation forums. The enhanced political dialogue (including twice-annual Ministerial troikas and regular summit meetings) will allow for cooperation on issues ranging from climate change to employment, human rights to energy.

Cooperation in research between the EU and South Africa is based on the 'Agreement on scientific and technological cooperation between the European Community and the Republic of South Africa' signed in 1997. Under this agreement cooperation may cover all the activities of research, technological development and demonstration included in the" Cooperation" Specific Programme of FP7.

Bilateral cooperation

South Africa belongs to the International Cooperation Partnership Country list, which means entities from South Africa can participate in the framework programme and receive EC funding.

Exchanges between South African and European Commission officials took place in 2009 to determine the areas and modalities which present the best prospects for bilateral cooperation in energy research.

Multilateral cooperation

The EU and South Africa work together in the Carbon Sequestration Leadership Forum (CSLF). The objective of the CSLF is:

  • to streamline co-operation aiming at developing improved cost-effective technologies for separating carbon dioxide from flue stream gases.
  • to store carbon dioxide safely for the long term. and
  • to make these technologies broadly applicable internationally for reducing global greenhouse gas emissions.
The CSLF is currently comprised of 22 members (21 countries plus the European Commission).

Research projects

Under the Energy Theme of the current research funding programme (FP7, 2007-2013) so far no projects with participants from South Africa receive funding.


Between 2002 and 2006 (FP6) three projects including three South African participants were funded under the research area 'Sustainable Energy Systems' (Topic 6.1.).

For more information please click on the project acronym

Project Acronym / Title Project total cost (Million EUR) Project EC contribution (Million EUR) Organisation name
Non-thermal production of pure hydrogen from biomass
14.2 9.9 University of the Witwatersrand
CO2 Geological Storage: Research into Monitoring and Verification Technology
15.5 8.3 Council for Scientific and Industrial Research
Cultural Influences on Renewable Energy Acceptance and Tools for the devel-opment of communication strategies to promotE ACCEPTANCE among key actor groups
2.0 1.3 University of Cape Town.


Between 1998 and 2002 (FP5) three energy research projects including four South African participants were funded.

For more information please click on the project acronym

Project Acronym / Title Project total cost (Million EUR) Project EC contribution (Million EUR) Organisation name
Preparatory Action For Renewable RAPS In the Former Transkei
0.1 0.1 Water Systems Research Group, University of the Witwatersrand
Novel Modelled Analogue Data for more Efficient Exploitation of Deepwater Hydrocarbon Reservoirs
3.2 1.6 University of Stellenbosch
Establishment and Operation of an OPET Associate in the Southern African Development Community (SADC) region.
0.3 0.2 Minerals and Energy Policy Centre