To facilitate coordination, optimize the flow of information, and to push forward the energy and development agenda within the EU, the EU Energy Initiative (EUEI) was established as an informal coordination mechanism between the EU and the EU MS. The EUEI was launched at the 2002 UN World Summit for Sustainable Development in Johannesburg as a joint commitment of the EU MSs and the EU to promote the role of energy in development and poverty alleviation.
Designed as a catalyst for action and main informal European coordination mechanism, the EUEI has become the most important forum for increasing and maintaining European political and financial commitment to energy and development, for collectively preparing decisions on important specific instruments and actions, as well for promoting the political dialogue on energy with developing countries.
The EUEI consists of three main bodies:
- The EUEI Secretariat hosted by the EC within EC DG DEVCO (Department of Climate and Energy);
- The EUEI Advisory Group (EUEI AG) consisting of representatives of DG DEVCO and the representatives of the EU Member States (MS);
- The EUEI Partnership and Dialogue Facility (EUEI PDF) as an executive organ to support the EUEI achieving its objectives.
- Improve the coordination of the European contribution in the field of energy and development cooperation and to encourage the coherence and synergy of energy-related activities between the EC, EU MSs, partner countries and other international organisations;
- Stimulate the allocation of new resources (capital, technology, human resources) from the private sector, financial institutions, civil society and end-users to invest in energy infrastructure;
- Improve international visibility of the European contribution to energy and development.
With a view to achieving the EUEI’s objectives, the three core activities of the EUEI are:
- Stimulating policy dialogue
- Providing institutional support and technical assistance
- Facilitating the creation of innovative financial instruments
Activities implemented under the EUEI are driven by the needs and priorities of the developing partner countries. The EU is taking the EUEI forward through open dialogue with partner country governments at country level through its EU Delegations and Member State country offices. The situation varies from one country to another, but an important first step is working with developing partner countries to integrate energy as a general component into EU development programmes.
Another example of policy dialogue facilitated by the EUEI, through its Partnership Dialogue Facility, is that of the Africa-EU Energy Partnership .
Institutional Support, Technical Assistance and Networking
Another key area of activity of the EUEI is the provision of institutional support and technical assistance as well as enhancing networking – all with the aim of improving the beneficiary countries’ capacities to implement their energy choices. The EUEI enables the EU and its developing country partners to work together in partnership with the private sector, financial institutions and civil society to improve the energy situation in the partner countries. Partner country ownership of these activities is a key feature. Local participation by end-users, communities, businesses and other stakeholders is encouraged at the planning and implementation stages.
Innovative financial instruments & donor coordination
The EUEI facilitates the development of innovative financial instruments and mechanisms for investments in clean technologies in the context of public-private partnerships. The EUEI also facilitates better coordination within the EU and with other international organizations and providers of finance in order to stimulate the allocation of new resources (capital, technology, human resources) from the private sector, financial institutions, civil society and end-users.
EUEI Advisory Group (AG)
The EUEI Advisory Group (AG) consists of representatives from the EU Member States and the European Commission. It steers the overall consultation and implementation processes of the EUEI. The EUEI AG meets regularly (approximately three times per year). The work of the EUEI Advisory Group includes:
- Review of ongoing and planned energy development initiatives and actions at EC and Member States’ levels;
- Identification of new opportunities for energy development funding and partnerships at the EU and International level;
- Identification of gaps in EU energy development coordination;
- Seeking complementarity between the EUEI and other international initiatives and programmes and to improve networking.
The EUEI Secretariat has been established within the European Commission’s Directorate for Development and Cooperation (EuropeAid) and is coordinating the activities of the EUEI.
The EUEI Secretariat has the following tasks:
- To facilitate and stimulate co-operation and synergy between EU donors and partner countries and regions;
- To communicate with other donors and initiatives;
- To participate in international fora;
- To monitor and report on activities;
- To provide a promotional and communication role through the EUEI website and other promotional tools;
- To provide a point of contact for the Initiative.
The EUEI Partnership and Dialogue Facility (EUEI PDF)
The EUEI PDF supports the EUEI Secretariat in performing its various roles in coordinating, facilitating and increasing the visibility of the European contribution to development cooperation in the field of energy. The EUEI PDF was founded in 2004 and is currently funded by the governments of Austria, Finland, Germany, Italy, the Netherlands and Sweden. It is hosted by the Deutsche Gesellschaft für Internationale Zusammenarbeit (GIZ).
During the last decade energy access, renewable energy and energy efficiency have become top priorities in international development cooperation. The consensus on the crucial role of energy in poverty eradication has recently been confirmed and strengthened by the adoption of the UN Sustainable Development Goal SDG7 as part of the 2030 UN Development Agenda that calls for universal access to affordable, reliable, sustainable and modern energy.
Partly due to the efforts of the EUEI to mainstream energy into European development cooperation since its inception in 2002 some thirty ACP partner countries have now chosen energy as a focal sector for their bilateral cooperation under the 11th European Development Fund (EDF). The EUEI has also been instrumental in the establishment of multilateral energy partnerships, most notably the Africa-EU Energy Partnership (AEEP) within the framework of the Joint Africa EU Strategy (JAES).
Over the last decade the European Union (EU) has become the leading donor in the field of energy and development cooperation . The European Commission (EC) has also assumed a leading role in the UN Secretary-General’s initiative – Sustainable Energy for All (SE4All), contributing substantially to its targets on universal access to energy, renewable energy and energy efficiency. At present, the EC has allocated a total amount of over € 3 billion to future actions on energy and development. The EU Member States (MSs) are also major bilateral donors in sustainable energy, both to bilateral as well as different multi-lateral initiatives (UN, World Bank, etc).