The Eastern Partnership is an initiative to help Armenia, Azerbaijan, Belarus, Georgia, Moldova, and Ukraine increase economic, political, and cultural links with the EU. It includes interconnectivity (energy and transport), energy efficiency, environment and climate change in two out of five thematic cluster priorities. The new Economic and Investment plan for the Eastern Partnership will mobilise a total of €2.3 billion from the EU budget in grants, blending and guarantees, to support the post-pandemic recovery and to sustainably transform the economies of the Eastern partners.
The objective of cooperation in the energy field is to support partner countries on their way towards a low-carbon economy and to increase economic and political resilience by increasing security of energy supply. The work is guided by a set of post-2020 Eastern Partnership priorities and is carried out in the multi-sectoral Eastern Partnership panel on energy, environment and climate change, as well as in specific networking groups on renewable energy, renewable gases and regulatory issues.
Eastern Partnership meetings
Meetings have been organised in the framework of the Eastern Partnership since 2010. Meeting information and reports are listed in chronological order on this page.
The second phase of theregional EU4Energy programme aims to foster the low carbon and clean energy transition in the six Eastern partner countries. The implementing partners are:
- the Council of European Energy Regulators
- the International Energy Agency
- the Energy Community secretariat
In addition, on 24 November 2016 the EU and Ukraine signed a new memorandum of understanding on a strategic energy partnership, updating their 2005 memorandum of understanding on energy. The objective of the new memorandum is to achieve a full integration of the EU and Ukraine energy markets. In the past years, the EU and Ukraine have intensified their cooperation in the energy field in order to advance the reform of Ukraine's energy sector and its gradual decarbonisation, and to complete the market design in line with EU rules and practices with reference to the five pillars of the EU's energy union. To help advance on this process, a high-level working group on electricity and gas market integration was set up in 2021.
Following the Russian military aggression against Ukraine, the electricity grids of Ukraine (and Moldova) were successfully synchronised with the Continental European Grid on 16 March 2022 under emergency synchronisation mode. This historic milestone for the EU-Ukraine relationship will help Ukraine to keep its electricity system stable under the current extremely difficult circumstances. Full integration into the EU electricity market will also be enabled once required technical and regulatory steps are completed.
The Commission strongly condemns the Russian Federation military aggression against Ukraine, which compromises the safe operation of critical energy infrastructure as well as the safety of nuclear installations devoted to peaceful purposes. The Commission is actively working on ensuring that Ukraine can maintain stable electricity and gas supply despite the war, including ensuring the reverse flows of gas to the country and the delivery of energy supplies (fuels and equipment) that are most urgently needed.
Ukraine has been a member of the Energy Community since February 2011. With the support of the Commission, the Energy Community has established the Ukraine Energy Support Fund to enable donations from EU countries, International Financial Organisations and other sovereign governments to provide emergency support to Ukraine in the energy sector.
Ukraine remains a key transit country for EU energy imports from Russia. The current gas transit contract foresees 40 billion cubic metres of natural gas flows per year from 2021 to 2024, although this will have to be reassessed in light of latest EU plans to gradually phase out energy dependence from Russia after the start of the military aggression against Ukraine.
The Republic of Moldova is highly dependent on fossil fuel and electricity imports. Only around 20% of its energy demand is met by domestic sources. All natural gas consumption is met through imports, mainly from Russia via Ukraine. The Republic of Moldova is a member of the Energy Community since 2010.
EU-Republic of Moldova energy relations are based on the Association Agreement in force since 1 July 2016. In October 2021, as an imminent response to the energy crisis, increased energy security and a better functioning energy market were identified as key cooperation priorities at the first meeting of EU-Republic of Moldova High-Level Dialogue on Energy. The second dialogue, which was held in June 2022, built on the already strong cooperation and partnership between the EU and Moldova on energy matters, and set the pace for further work on energy security and connectivity, energy market reforms and technical and financial assistance to mitigate the impact of high energy prices on vulnerable consumers.
The EU has helped the Republic of Moldova through immediate technical assistance, expertise in the energy sector and concrete financial support, and has provided further support to the Energy Community secretariat with the opening of a regional office in Chisinau in April 2022 as part of the EU4Energy Initiative.
In the aftermath of Russia’s invasion of Ukraine in February 2022, the electricity grids of Ukraine and Moldova were synchronised with the Continental European Grid in March 2022 to help keep their electricity systems stable. Besides this synchronisation, the EU keeps working actively to ensure that the Republic of Moldova can maintain stable electricity and gas supplies to help speed up its energy independence. Moldova can also be part of the newly established EU Energy Platform, which aims to coordinate measures to secure energy supplies at affordable prices.
In the framework of the Eastern Partnership Summit on 15 December 2021, the EU made available EUR 60 million budget support programme following the adoption of a National Energy Crisis Action Plan (NECAP). Through the Service for Foreign Policy Instruments (FPI), the EU also provided EUR 15 million grant to support those most affected by the crisis and help the Moldovan government’s capacity in energy reform. In the context of the second EU-Republic of Moldova High Level Energy Dialogue held in June 2022, a loan project worth €300 million to be provided by the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development will allow Moldova to purchase gas for emergency purposes and storage ahead of next winter.
The energy efficiency project in the Republic of Moldova is another example of the EU contributions to the region. The project is implemented under the umbrella of the Economic and Investment Plan for the Eastern Partnership and contributes an important deliverable for the Eastern Partnership Summit.
The EU and Azerbaijan have a long-standing and consolidated energy partnership that started in 2006 with the first Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) on a Strategic Partnership in the Field of Energy. As they pursue their energy transitions and the objectives of the Paris Agreement, both sides intend to deepen their long-term partnership in the areas of renewable energy and energy efficiency. Strengthening the existing cooperation between the EU and Azerbaijan significantly contributes to the diversification of the EU's energy supply.
On 18 July, the EU and Azerbaijan signed a new Memorandum of Understanding on a Strategic Partnership in the Field of Energy that will allow for enhanced cooperation on their energy partnership. The new MoU will support doubling the capacity of the Southern Gas Corridor up to at least 20 billion cubic metres annually as of 2027 in line with the REPowerEU plan. Building on the stability and predictability of gas supplies provided via the Southern Gas Corridor, the expansion of the project will continue ensuring attractive and stable conditions for natural gas supplies to the EU, reflecting the long-term nature of the energy partnership between the EU and Azerbaijan.
The EU and Azerbaijan also intend to accelerate the development and deployment of renewable energy generation and transmission capacity, and recognise that the collective responsibility is to make the natural gas supply chain as efficient, environment and climate-friendly as possible, including via the minimization of methane emissions.
- Eastern Partnership: 20 Deliverables for 2020 + Bringing tangible results for citizens
- Factsheet on future priorities under the Eastern Partnership