Partnership Instrument

Partnership Instrument

The Partnership Instrument is the main innovative instrument in the external action package. It supports measures that respond in an effective and flexible manner to objectives arising from the Union's bilateral, regional or multilateral relationships with third countries and shall address challenges of global concern and ensure an adequate follow-up to decision taken at a multilateral level.


The Instruments overall objective is to advance and promote EU interest by supporting the external dimension of EU internal policies (e.g. competiveness, research and innovation, migration) and by addressing major global challenges (e.g. energy security, climate change and environment). The external projection of the "Europe 2020" Strategy represents a major strategic component of this Instrument.

The PI also addresses specific aspects of the EU's economic diplomacy with a view to improving access to third country markets by boosting trade, investment and business opportunities for European companies. It supports public diplomacy, people to people contacts, academic cooperation and outreach activities to promote the Union's values and interest.

With a different approach compared to established models of development co-operation to promote policy co-operation, the PI focusses in particular on countries for which the EU has a strategic interest in promoting links with. This includes countries which play an increasingly prominent role in global affairs, international economy and trade, multilateral fora and global governance and in addressing challenges of global concern or where the Union has other significant interest. The Instrument also underpins new relationships with countries which are graduating from bilateral development aid.

The PI allows the EU to develop and engage in an overarching political dialogue with key partner countries. Its global reach and flexibility are essential elements to enable the Union to respond to the fast changing nature of partner countries and to key policy global challenges.


A financial envelope for the PI of €954 765 000  is foreseen for the period 2014-2020.


  • The Practical Guide explains contracting procedures for EU external aid contracts financed by the EU general budget (Budget) and the 10th European Development Fund (EDF).

    Consult PRAG

  • E-learning course on the Practical Guide. Do you want to know more about EU external action procedures? See our self-learning distance course on contractual procedures.

    e-Learning PRAG

  • e-Calls PROSPECT is the electronic system developed by EuropeAid to facilitate the submission of applications for call for proposals.

    e-Calls PROSPECT

  • Potential Applicant Data Online Registration database contains information on organisations applying for European Commission grants in the field of external assistance.

    e-Calls PADOR

  • Delegated Cooperation, Cooperation with partner countries and with international organisations, Co-financing and Management Modes.

    Consult DEVCO-Companion