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European Neighbourhood Policy and Enlargement Negotiations (DG NEAR)

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 EU – Azerbaijan
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The 2nd Ministerial Meeting of the EU-Azerbaijan Green Energy Advisory Council took place in Baku last Friday, co-chaired by Commissioner for Energy Kadri Simson. The meeting was an important moment for strengthening our partnership in the field of renewable energy…

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EU – Azerbaijan Relations

The EU cooperates with Azerbaijan in the framework of the European Neighbourhood Policy and its eastern regional dimension, the Eastern Partnership. The European Union’s bilateral relations with Azerbaijan are based on the EU-Azerbaijan Partnership and Cooperation Agreement in force since 1999. In February 2017, the EU and Azerbaijan began negotiations on a new framework agreement with Azerbaijan designed to give new impetus to political dialogue and mutually beneficial cooperation. Partnership priorities were also endorsed on 28 September 2018 by the Cooperation Council. They set the joint policy priorities that will guide and enhance our partnership over the coming years. Azerbaijan is an important energy partner for the EU and plays a pivotal role in bringing Caspian energy resources to the EU market.

EU – Azerbaijan Cooperation

EU assistance to Azerbaijan aims at improving the quality of life of citizens from Azerbaijan in a tangible and visible manner, by supporting the policy objectives outlined in the Partnership Priorities. EU support is funded through the European Neighbourhood Instrument (ENI) for the period 2014-2020. It replaces the European Neighbourhood and Partnership Instrument (ENPI) of 2007-2013. Other funding sources are the thematic programmes, focused on human rights and civil society. More information on specific programmes is available below.

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EU4Azerbaijan - Overview EU-funded Projects


Key facts and figures

Stronger Economy

  • The EU is Azerbaijan’s first trading partner and biggest export and import market. It is also Azerbaijan’s largest foreign investor, both in the oil and non-oil sector.
  • The EU-Azerbaijan Partnership and Cooperation Agreement enables gradual approximation of Azerbaijan’s legislation and procedures with EU and international trade-related laws and standards.
  • In Azerbaijan, the EU assists companies with funding, training, and export support to new markets through the EU4Business initiative. The EU supports the government in improving the country’s business and investment climate.
  • The EU also supports Azerbaijan’s economic diversification agenda notably through support to education and regional development

Stronger Governance

  • Azerbaijan actively cooperates with the EU via Twinning. Over the past 10 years, 26 ministries and public institutions in Azerbaijan have taken part in 46 Twinning projects and as a result have benefited from EU technical know-how and from the practical experience of EU civil servants. This has contributed to developing and improving legislation in line with EU standards.
  • Justice sector reform is one of the priority sectors for EU assistance to Azerbaijan, the goal being to support alternative dispute resolution, help fight corruption, and provide legal aid and better access to justice for citizens and businesses.
  • The EU continues to stress the importance of defending human rights and ensuring civil society and freedom of media, expression, and assembly in Azerbaijan. The EU sees this as an essential part of EU-Azerbaijan relations and sustainable development of the country.

Stronger Connectivity

  • Azerbaijan is an important energy partner for the EU, currently supplying around 5% of the EU’s gas demand.
  • Azerbaijan brings Caspian gas resources to the EU market through the Southern Gas Corridor.
  • In 2016, the EU launched a new regional programme, EU4Energy, which supports Eastern Partnership countries, including Azerbaijan, in achieving their energy policy objectives and improving their energy efficiency.
  • Azerbaijan benefits from its favourable location at the crossroads of transport connections linking North and South, and East and West. It has invested in important infrastructure projects such as the Port of Baku and the Baku-Tbilisi-Kars railway. The EU provides capacity-building support, for instance to the Port of Baku and its free-trade zone.

Stronger Society

  • The EU-Azerbaijan Visa Facilitation and Readmission Agreements entered into force in 2014, making it easier and cheaper for citizens of Azerbaijan, in particular frequent travellers, to acquire short-term visas that allow them to travel throughout most EU countries. In addition, for example. visas for Erasmus+ students are cost-free.
  • Erasmus+ gave almost 900 students and academic staff from Azerbaijan the opportunity to study or teach in EU countries between 2015 and 2017.
  • Over 1,800 young people and youth workers from Azerbaijan have been involved in joint exchanges, volunteering, and capacity-building projects.
  • The EU continues to support Civil Society in Azerbaijan despite the difficulties that organisations face in the process of registration or receiving foreign grants. The EU remains the largest foreign donor supporting civil society in Azerbaijan.

Further information

Factsheets available to download

Key documents

For specific information (programme level), see below.