EU and Russia have engaged in technical and financial cooperation since 1991. Initially, the EU provided technical assistance to Russia in a great variety of spheres under the TACIS programme (1991-2006). During this period several successful projects were implemented and programmes such as Tempus (in the field of higher education cooperation) and Cross border Cooperation were launched.
The nature of EU-Russia cooperation changed following the end of TACIS. For already nearly a decade, available EU-funding for cooperation with Russia has been largely channelled to support ongoing policy dialogues in the framework of EU-Russia common spaces and the partnership for modernisation. Cooperation in the field of higher education and academic exchanges, cross border cooperation and northern dimension has also continued, parallel to this.
The EU is also providing support to civil society in Russia via the European Instrument for Democracy and Human Rights (EIDHR) and Civil Society Organisations (CSO) and also supports policy dialogues via the Partnership instrument.