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Non-nuclear energy

Sustainable Energy Systems

Fission and radiation protection

Yelow - countries having signed a S&T agreement with the EU
Light Blue - countries without a S&T agreement, but covered in a bi-regional cooperation framework
International Cooperation in Energy Research

International Cooperation in the Energy Research Policy of the European Union is an important instrument not only for scientific and technological advances but also to address the global nature of the challenges, threats and opportunities related to energy security and climate change issues. The increasing importance of international cooperation in energy research contributes to achieving the objectives of the EU energy and climate change policies by supporting the development of a more diverse global portfolio of energy technologies to be deployed at world scale.
Within this context, the aim of International Cooperation in EU energy research is to:

  • Support European competitiveness through strategic partnerships with third countries in selected fields of science and technology
  • Address specific problems that third countries face or that have a global character, on the basis of mutual interest and mutual benefit
  • Use S&T cooperation to reinforce the Community’s external relations and other EU relevant policies

For this purpose, the EU strives for developing tailor-made approaches towards cooperation with

  • industrialised countries: United States, Japan, Canada, Australia, New Zealand, Republic of Korea
  • International Cooperation Partner Countries: Mediterranean Partner Countries, Western Balkans, Eastern European and Central Asian, African/Caribbean/Pacific, Asia, Latin America (please click here for a list of the countries).

By following tailored approaches the different characteristics and needs of third countries/regions - in terms of geopolitics as well as socio-economic, cultural and scientific factors - can be taken into account.

In the centre of all international cooperation activities is mutual concern and mutual benefit – in short: the creation of win-win situations. Concrete benefits of international cooperation are:

  • enhancing synergies between the different partners,
  • facilitating the development of clean technologies as a response to current energy-related problems
  • pooling financial resources, sharing risks and setting common standards for large or relatively risky R&D projects,
  • supporting a more diverse global portfolio of energy technologies and reducing the costs of key technologies,
  • networking to better coordinate energy research agendas,
  • supporting technology deployment in and technology transfer to developing/emerging countries.

Cooperation takes place in different forms and at different levels:

  • At bilateral level agreements for scientific and technological cooperation have been signed with our main partners. These agreements define the priorities and the modalities of cooperation. Their implementation is managed by a Joint Steering Committee that meets regularly. In addition, a number of specific energy-related agreements and joint declarations have been signed with several countries. On that basis, several concrete joint S&T activities are being developed and implemented.
  • The EU's most important funding instrument for research activities – the 7th Framework Programme (FP7) – is open to the participation of third countries. That means entities from non-EU countries or associated countries are allowed to participate in energy research projects funded by the EU. In addition, several “specific international cooperation actions” support – in the framework of FP7 – cooperation with targeted third countries on a particular topic.
  • In addition to the bilateral contacts the EU cooperates with certain countries in a bi-regional framework. This is the case for
    • Latin America and the Caribbean Countries,
    • Mediterranean Partner Countries (MPC),
    • Countries of the Black See Region (BSEC).
  •  At multilateral level the EU cooperates with third countries in the frame of numerous Implementing Agreements of the International Agency for Energy. Furthermore the European Commission is actively involved in a series of multilateral initiatives in the non-nuclear energy field, e.g. The International Partnership for the Hydrogen Economy (IPHE), The Carbon Sequestration Leadership Forum (CSLF).