EU cooperation with international organisations and initiatives

EU cooperation with international organisations and initiatives

The Commission, on behalf of the EU, is part of the high-level global forum Clean Energy Ministerial (CEM) and Mission Innovation (MI).

The Energy Community aims to extend the EU's energy market to non-EU countries in the Balkans and the Black Sea region.

Energy is an important issue in both G7 and G20

The Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) (hyperlink to page) brings together six Arab countries

OPEC coordinates the oil policies of its 12 members.

The EU cooperates with a number of important international energy organisations and is part of several energy-related international initiatives.

Clean Energy Ministerial and Mission Innovation

The Commission, on behalf of the EU, is part of the high-level global forum Clean Energy Ministerial (CEM) and Mission Innovation (MI).

The Clean Energy Ministerial works to promote policies and programs that advance clean energy technology, to share lessons learned and best practices and encourage the transition to a global clean energy economy.

Energy Community

The Energy Community is an international organisation consisting of the EU, represented by the European Commission, Albania, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Georgia, the Republic of North Macedonia, Kosovo (in line with UNSCR 1244 and the ICJ Opinion on the Kosovo declaration of independence), Moldova, Montenegro, Serbia, and Ukraine. The Energy Community aims to integrate neighbouring countries into the EU's internal energy market.

G7 and G20

The EU as a whole is represented at meetings of both the Group of Seven (G7) and the Group of 20 Finance Ministers and Central Bank Governors (G20). Energy has become an increasingly important issue in both fora, which has led to a number of dedicated meetings of energy ministers.

Gulf Cooperation Council

The Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) (hyperlink to page) brings together six Arab countries – Bahrain, Kuwait, Oman, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, and the United Arab Emirates – to further political and economic integration amongst them. For example, the GCC launched a common market in 2008 and a patent office in 1992. All GCC countries are also producers of oil and gas, some of which is exported to the EU.

Organisation of Petroleum Exporting Countries

The Organisation of Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) coordinates the oil policies of its members.

The EU imports around 40% of its oil from OPEC members. In cooperating with OPEC, the EU aims to promote:

  • more stable and transparent international oil markets
  • an attractive investment climate
  • better market analysis and forecasts
  • improved technological and international cooperation
  • promotion of clean energy technologies and policies - clean energy transition

Energy Charter

The Energy Charter Conference is based on the Energy Charter Treaty of 1994. It focuses on for cross-border energy cooperation between 51 European and Central Asian countries, the EU and Euratom. Its aim is to help countries manage risks associated with trade and investment in energy. The Energy Charter focuses on the protection of investments, trade in energy, energy transit and dispute settlement.

The EU has signed the Decision on the Energy Charter Protocol on energy efficiency and related environmental aspects (98/181/EC, ECSC, Euratom)

In addition to the above Energy Charter Conference, the International Energy Charter promotes mutually beneficial energy cooperation among nations deriving from all continents for the sake of energy security and sustainability.

Energy Charter website

International Atomic Energy Agency

The International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) promotes the safe, secure, and peaceful use of nuclear energy around the world. The EU is a major contributor to the IAEA's work, both in terms of financing and technical expertise.

In 2013, the IAEA and the European Commission signed a Memorandum of Understanding on nuclear safety which includes working together through expert peer reviews, and the strengthening of emergency preparedness and response.

Nuclear safety and international cooperation

International Energy Agency

The International Energy Agency (IEA) was set up in the wake of the 1973-74 oil crisis to help member countries respond to major oil shocks. Since then, the IEA's work has expanded to cover overall energy security, economic development, and clean energy. Currently, the IEA consists of 30 member countries and the EU fully participates in its work through IEA Governing Board meetings, as well as in the work of IEA committees. The EU also participates in IEA technology collaboration platforms where countries and organisations work together on energy research and technology.

List of IEA Technology Collaboration Platforms

Eurostat works with the IEA and other international organisations in the Joint Organisations Data Initiative (JODI) – a global initiative to collect accurate and transparent oil and gas statistics.

The International Experimental Reactor (ITER)

In November 2006 the ITER Agreement setting up the ITER Organisation was signed by China, South Korea, the United States, India, Japan, Russia and the European Atomic Energy Community (Euratom).
The ITER Agreement led to the establishment of the International Experimental Reactor (ITER) - an experimental fusion reactor in the south of France aiming to demonstrate the feasibility of fusion as a viable source of energy. The ITER Organisation has the overall responsibility for the construction, operation, exploitation and de-activation of the ITER facilities. The Agreement binds each Party to make in-kind (components necessary for the construction of the ITER device) and in-cash contributions. For the construction phase, the EU (as Host Party) is responsible for approximately 45% of the contribution.

More on ITER

International Renewable Energy Agency

The International Renewable Energy Agency (IRENA) is an intergovernmental organisation that was founded in 2009 to support the widespread adoption and sustainable use of all forms of renewable energy. IRENA has almost 160 countries that are full Members with an additional 24 states that are in various stages of accession. The EU is one of the founding members of IRENA, and participates in the different activities of IRENA's work programme.
IRENA's activities include the publications and development of databases with the latest information, statistics, policies and cost data on renewable energy on its Resource Platform, platforms to support project development, global resource data, and the financing of renewable energy projects. IRENA also engages in regional initiatives to support renewable energy development, and works together with the EU to develop renewable energy deployment in South-East Europe. 

Renewable Energy Prospects for the European Union – study prepared by IRENA for the EU to assess its renewable prospects for 2030 (February 2018)