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Review of SYNERGY programme 1994-1996

The European Commission has adopted a report reviewing the activities of the SYNERGY programme for international cooperation in the field of energy, during the period 1994 to 1996.

During this period over 200 projects were financed. These have been addressed at developing coo...
The European Commission has adopted a report reviewing the activities of the SYNERGY programme for international cooperation in the field of energy, during the period 1994 to 1996.

During this period over 200 projects were financed. These have been addressed at developing cooperation with third countries, with the aim of building capacity in the field of energy policy, including through transfer of know-how and expertise, as well as creating an efficient dialogue which would favour further industrial cooperation. Projects have involved both individual third countries and groups of countries in cross-border projects. The main regions for cooperation are Asia, the Central and Eastern European countries, the Commonwealth of Independent States, Latin America and the Mediterranean countries.

SYNERGY operated on an annual basis, under the management of the Commission, until recently. However, the Council adopted a Decision on 14 April 1997 which will bring the programme under a different legal regime, in which the Member States will be more involved. This arrangement is likely to be changed again, once the proposed framework energy programme is adopted. At this stage, SYNERGY will probably become the international cooperation component of this programme.

The importance of SYNERGY is underlined by the dependence on external energy supplies of the EU countries. Currently, external sources make up about 50% of primary energy supplies, with this forecast to increase to 75% by 2015. The need to ensure security of supply is one of the major objectives laid out in the recent White Paper on an energy policy for the EU, and cooperative activities are an essential element in the strategy to maintain security of supply.

Since SYNERGY started in 1989, almost half of the programme's budget has supported projects in Central and Eastern Europe and the Commonwealth of Independent States. This work has aimed at assisting in the restructuring of the energy sector in those countries, and is a major part of the pre-accession strategy for the Central and Eastern European countries.

The programme has also supported a variety of projects in China and the ASEAN countries. Since the Barcelona Declaration in 1995 on Euro-Mediterranean cooperation, SYNERGY has devoted increasing support to projects involving the Mediterranean partner countries. SYNERGY has also supported a number of projects in Latin America, and is working to increase cooperation between the EU and Latin America.

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