EU support is channelled in two main ways in Azerbaijan: directly to Azerbaijani Government Institutions through the European Neighbourhood Partnership Instrument, and to Civil Society Organisations through dedicated Horizontal Thematic Programmes.
The EU promotes closer political and economic integration with its neighbours, including Azerbaijan, through the European Neighbourhood and Partnership Instrument (ENPI). For the period 2007-2013 Azerbaijan received over 140 million AZN through this instrument. These funds were used primarily through working with the Government through three modalities.
The first of these is Sector Budget Support, which is a direct transfer of EU grant funds to the Treasury of Azerbaijan against the achievement of pre-agreed results in sector reform. To date there have been Budget Support programmes in Renewable Energy, Justice, Agriculture and Regional Development in Azerbaijan. You can find out more about the Budget Support instrument here.
In addition, assistance was provided through the Twinning Instrument, which provides capacity building through the transfer of know-how directly from EU Member State institutions to Azerbaijani Institutions through a peer to peer approach. It takes place through the secondment of a Member State civil servant to a corresponding Government administration for up to two years. This has proved to be very successful in assisting Government institutions to approximate to EU best practices and standards. To date 28 Twinning projects have taken place in Azerbaijan. You can find out more about the Twinning instrument here.
Finally, the EU also provided thematic and regional programmes, such INOGATE in the sector of energy, TRACECA in the sector of transport, or TEMPUS and ERASMUS MUNDUS in the sector of education, Youth in action for the youth. You can find out more about these projects here.
In addition to working with the Government, the EU also provides direct support to Civil Society Organisation. Currently the European Union is the largest foreign donor supporting civil society in Azerbaijan, with over 59 projects funded for a total EU contribution of over 30 million AZN between 2007 and 2013.
Funding is provided primarily through the Non-State Actors (NSA) and European Instrument for Democracy and Human Rights (EIDHR) instruments which focus on women empowerment, equality and non-discrimination, media freedom and pluralism, free and fair elections, poverty reduction and social inclusion of vulnerable populations. The EU recognizes the important role of civil society in participatory policy development, advocacy for vulnerable groups, service delivery, and promotion of transparency and accountability.
You can find out more about the EIDHR instrument here, and the NSA instrument here.
For an overview of selected projects which illustrate EU funding to civil society in 2007-2013, please see the brochure "EU support to civil society in Azerbaijan 2007-2013".