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The EU cooperates with Azerbaijan in the framework of the European Neighbourhood Policy and its eastern regional dimension, the Eastern Partnership. The key goal is to bring Azerbaijan closer to the EU.
The European Neighbourhood Instrument is the key EU financial instrument dedicated to the Neighbourhood for the period 2014-2020. It replaces the European Neighbourhood and Partnership Instrument (ENPI) of 2007-2013. Other funding sources are the EU thematic programmes, focused on human rights and civil society.
EU assistance to Azerbaijan takes mainly the form of country Action Programmes funded every year under the ENI. Azerbaijan benefits also from regional and multi-country Action Programmes funded under the ENI.
Bilateral cooperation with Azerbaijan contributes to the objectives of the Eastern Partnership.
The strategic framework, key results and indicative financial allocations for the EU’s bilateral cooperation with Azerbaijan in 2014-2017 are set out in the Single Support Framework . The three priority sectors are:
- Regional and rural development
- Justice sector reform
- Education and skills development
Complementary support for the modernisation of public institutions and for civil society can be provided within and outside the priority sectors. Engagement with civil society is a prominent feature of EU cooperation in Azerbaijan.
In 2014-2017, ENI bilateral assistance to Azerbaijan may range between a minimum of €77 million and a maximum of €94 million. These figures are indicative: final allocations will depend on the country's needs and commitment to reforms. In 2014, the EU committed €21 million under the ENI for education and civil society. See Annual Action Programme 2014.
Ongoing programmes (under the ENPI) concentrate on reforms in justice, agriculture, rural and regional development. Support for public institutions and promotion of EU best practices are important elements of ongoing and future cooperation across all sectors. Civil society initiatives are supported with the Neighbourhood Civil Society Facility. In 2007-2013, the EU committed €143.5 million for bilateral assistance to Azerbaijan under the ENPI.
Find out more about budget support programmes in Azerbaijan here.
Azerbaijan participates also in regional programmes funded under the ENPI/ENI (mainly in energy, transport, border management), in the Eastern Partnership Flagship Initiatives, in cross-border cooperation and in initiatives open to all Neighbour countries: Erasmus+, TAIEX, SIGMA, and the Neighbourhood Investment Facility (NIF).
In addition to the ENI, Azerbaijan is eligible for funding under the EU thematic programmes: the European Instrument for Democracy and Human Rights, Instrument contributing to Stability and Peace, Civil Society Organisations and Local Authorities, Human Development and Migration & Asylum.