Community Research and Development Information Service - CORDIS

Framework programme


Programme funding

EUR 15 million

Official Journal Reference

L7 of 1999-01-13

Legislative Reference

1999/23/EC of 1998-12-14
To promote international cooperation in the energy sector; to provide assistance to third countries with the definition, formulation and implementation of energy policy; and to promote industrial cooperation between the Community and third countries in the energy sector.


The Synergy programme has been set up as a means to establish a specific legal instrument for the Community's international cooperation activities in the field of energy policy. It has been established within the multinannual framework programme for actions in the energy sector (1998-2002) adopted by Decision 1999/21/EC, Euratom.


The Synergy programme will implement the following actions within the Community's energy objectives ¿ security of supply, competitiveness and protection of the environment:

- Activities relating to all three objectives:

. advising third countries on energy policy;
. encouraging energy efficiency in third countries;
. developing local and, in particular, renewable energy sources;
. encouraging regional energy integration;
. promoting consistency in the implementation of community programmes in specific regions (e.g. the Black Sea, the Caspian Sea, the Mediterranean, the Baltic Sea and the Persian Gulf regions).

- Competitiveness:

. supporting the development of cooperation designed to strengthen the presence of European players on key markets in the energy sector, in particular Asia and Latin America;

. advising third countries on organization of the energy sector;
. supporting liberalization and opening-up of the energy sector, helping third countries to draw up energy policies in this new situation, in particular in conformity with the Energy Charter Treaty;
. favouring greater investment by European undertakings in the energy sector in third countries;
- Security of supply:

. conducting dialogue with energy-producing and exporting countries; Persian Gulf, Caspian Sea, Russia, producer countries in America, Asia and Africa;
. encouraging dialogue between the European Community and the countries which have signed the Energy Charter Treaty, in particular with the transit and energy-producing transit countries, by helping to implement the provisions of the Energy Charter Treaty;
. participation in, and support for, the work of international bodies in this sector: ministerial and producer/consumer conferences, International Energy Agency;
. providing support in creating a favourable environment for investment in third countries in the production and transit of energy, in conformity with international law, particularly the Energy Charter Treaty and the disciplines agreed within the WTO.
- Protection of the environment:

. training decision-makers and staff in the energy industry in third countries in environmental awareness;
. disseminating the Community's experience and information on energy and the environment;
. encouraging use of clean technology, in particular for the combustion of coal in major consumers such as China, taking the implications for energy policy into account;
. strengthening and supporting efforts to have environmental aspects taken into account in third countries' energy policy and planning;
. encouraging and helping third countries to plan and implement national energy supply and use policies in keeping with each different environmental situation.

The synergy programme will also implement actions in line with its objectives and ensure closer coordination of international cooperation activities in the field of energy policy being conducted elsewhere in the Community:

- Role and priorities:

In international relations in the energy field, the Synergy programme will:
. promote energy cooperation vis-à-vis third countries;
. aim at having its objectives taken into account in the external cooperation activities carried out by other Community programmes;
. facilitate the emergence of energy projects financed by other Community cooperation instruments.

- Geographical priority areas:

The Synergy programme will concentrate on the geographical priorities in the Community's external relations and help achieve certain of those priorities.

The areas given priority by the Synergy programme are:
. central and Eastern Europe;
. new Independent States (NIS);
. Mediterranean third countries;
. Latin America: emphasis will be placed on Mercosur, Chile, Mexico or Venezuela;
. Asia: China, India and the ASEAN countries;
. Africa.


The Commission will implement operations in accordance with an action plan, which will include a list of the main projects to be financed. It will be assisted by a Committee. Community contributions will usually take the form of grants.

Service contracts will be awarded by restricted invitations to tender. Negotiated contracts may be awarded for operations involving an amount of less than 50,000 Euro. Supply contracts ¿ where necessary to supplement service contracts and within the scope of the programme's objectives ¿ can be awarded by means of open invitation to tender.

Participation in invitations to tender and contracts will be open to all natural and legal persons in the Member States and in the beneficiary States. In the case of co-financing, the participation of enterprises from the third countries concerned in invitations to tender and contracts may be authorised by the Commission on a case-by-case basis.
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