These actions will support the European Union's strategic objectives in external relations through enhancing partnerships with third countries worldwide on issues of significance such as climate change, sustainability, the international digital agenda and civil aviation.
The new package of projects includes an ambitious flagship programme framed within the external dimension of the EU's Digital Single Market Strategy (€8 million), aiming to strengthen cooperation with key partners on personal data protection, trust and security in cyberspace, cross border access to electronic evidence and ICT standardisation. The greening of economies, sustainable environmental practices and the fight against climate change will be promoted through several targeted initiatives such as reducing black carbon emissions in the Arctic (€1.5 million), supporting the countries of the Gulf Cooperation Council (€3 million) to diversify their economies away from a nearly-exclusive reliance on hydrocarbon extraction, furthering Carbon Capture & Storage (€1 million) technology in China as a means to reduce CO2 emissions from coal fired power plants. These actions will contribute to the implementation of the first-ever universal, legally binding climate agreement, signed in Paris in December 2015 and having entered into force on 4 November 2016 following the recent ratification by the European Union.
Furthermore, the Partnership Instrument will boost the European Union's cooperation with China through new initiatives designed to promote greener environmental policies and legislation (€3 million) based on the EU's best practice and to fight illegal wildlife trafficking.
Striving to promote the European standards on aviation and to reduce the impact on environment and climate change caused by air transport, the PI will continue fostering political, economic and environmental partnerships in the domain of civil aviation. Building upon the ongoing cooperation with China and India launched in 2014 and 2015, the PI will now extend its action to Latin America (€7 million) and to South East Asia (€7.5 million).
Finally, €1.2 Million will be devoted to reinforce policy dialogues with the EU's strategic partners and beyond on a wide range of policy areas, including democratic governance, consumer protection, climate change, environmental protection and economic growth and sustainability. This will increase our ability to define and implement common approaches and responses to global challenges.
The Partnership Instrument funds projects that enable the European Union to take part in shaping global change and promote its fundamental values. It is one of several instruments included in the EU's budget for 2014-2020 allocated for the financing of the EU's External Action. Through the PI, the EU cooperates with partners around the world to address global challenges and find joint solutions to issues of mutual interest. The PI funds activities that carry forward the EU's priorities, translating political commitments into concrete measures. This programme builds upon the previous annual action plans adopted by the Commission. The overall contribution in support of the EU's strategic interests in the last 2.5 years amounts to over €315 million.
The partner countries for PI-funded projects with a digital market focus include Brazil, China, India, Japan, the Republic of Korea, and the United States. Increased cooperation and further initiatives in the area of civil aviation will happen at a region level with South America and South East Asia, as well as bilaterally with Argentina, Brazil, Chile, Colombia and Mexico, Brunei, Cambodia, Indonesia, Laos, Malaysia, Myanmar, Philippines, Singapore, Thailand and Vietnam.