Delegation of the European Union to Mongolia

Mongolia and the EU

12/05/2016 - 14:59
EU relations with Country

This page gives an outline of the political, economic and trade relations between the European Union and Mongolia. Information about scientific cooperation is also provided.

Milestones of the EU-Mongolia relations

1989   Establishment of diplomatic relations between the European Community and Mongolia

1992   Trade and Cooperation Agreement signed in Luxembourg on 16 June (entered into force in March 1993)

Commissioner F. Andriessen pays an official visit to Mongolia.

Prime Minister of Mongolia Byambasuren Dash visits Brussels

1993   Trade and Cooperation Agreement enters into force. First meeting of the Joint Committee in Ulaanbaatar

Speaker of the Mongolian Parliament Bagabandi Natsag visits Brussels

1994   Mongolia becomes eligible for TACIS Programme (Technical Assistance to Community of Independent States and Mongolia)

1995   President of Mongolia Ochirbat Punsalmaa visits Brussels

1996   External Relations commissioner Hans Van den Broek visits Mongolia, first visit of a Commissioner

The European Commission approves the 1996 TACIS Democracy Programme in favour of the New Independent States (NIS) and Mongolia

2001    Mongolia's Prime Minister Enkhbayar Nambar visits Brussels

The European Commission adopts first Country Strategy Paper which outlines the priorities for EC cooperation with Mongolia 

The President of the Mongolian Parliament Tumur-Ochir Sanjbegz visits Brussels

2003   European Commission sponsors 5th International Conference of New or Restored Democracies in Ulaanbaatar

European Commissioner for Development and Humanitarian Aid, P. Nielson, visits Mongolia

2005   Mongolian Prime Minister Elbegdorj Tsakhia meets Commissioner Figel in Brussels

Mongolia enjoys duty-free access to the EU market for practically all of its products under the new General System of Preferences (GSP+)

2006 June 9th EC-Mongolia Joint Committee meeting and first-ever EU-Troika visit to Mongolia

First ever EU-Troika visit (EU Presidency, Commission and Council Secretariat) to Mongolia

The European Commission opens a Technical Office in Ulaanbaatar

2007   New Country Strategy Paper 2007-2013 finalised with a focus on rural development

2009   EU signs civil aviation agreement with Mongolia  

2013    HRVP Catherine Ashton first visit to Mongolia, signature the European Union's Partnership and Cooperation agreement with Mongolia

European Commissioner for Agriculture and Rural Development, Dacian Cioloș visits Mongolia

First visit of a President of the European Commission, Mr José Manuel Barroso, to Mongolia

2014   European Commissioner for Education, Culture, Multilingualism and Youth, Androulla Vassiliou, pays an official visit to Mongolia

2016   Vice-President of the European Commission Valdis Dombrovskis visits Mongolia in the framework of ASEM Finance Ministers' Meeting

President of the European Council Donald Tusk, President of the European Commission Jean-Claude Juncker, HRVP Federica Mogherini visit Mongolia in the framework of ASEM Summit

2017 EU-Mongolia Partnership and Cooperation Agreement enters in force

European Union Establishes a Delegation in Ulaanbaatar (November)

2018    First-ever resident EU Ambassador to Mongolia Traian Laurentiu Hristea presents credential to the President of Mongolia

2019 EU-Mongolia celebrate 30th anniversary of establishment of diplomatic relations

Political relations

Prior to the political reforms of 1990 relations between the EU and Mongolia were extremely limited.  Since that year, relations have developed fairly rapidly. The first EU mission visited Ulaanbaatar in October 1990 to open discussions on cooperation and the possibility of concluding a trade and cooperation agreement. In January 1991 Mongolia entered under the EU's GSP arrangement, and in February the same year a high-level Mongolian delegation visited Brussels.  The EU Delegate in Beijing was  accredited in Ulaanbaatar in  May  1991,  while  the Mongolian  ambassador  to  the  EU presented his credentials in November 1992. The dialogue between the European Community and Mongolia intensified during 1995, and included a visit to Brussels by President Ochirbat Punsalmaa.

On 1 November 2017, the Partnership and Cooperation Agreement (PCA) between the European Union and its Member States and Mongolia entered into force. Replacing the 1993 Agreement on trade and economic cooperation, the Partnership and Cooperation Agreement strengthens the existing relationship between the EU and its Member States and Mongolia, consolidates existing areas of cooperation and engagement, and deepens and diversifies relations further in areas of mutual interest. The entry into force of the PCA coincided with the establishment of the EU Delegation in Mongolia, for which implementing the Agreement will be a top priority. The Agreement provides the legal framework for expanding EU-Mongolia relations and covers issues such as political dialogue, trade, development assistance, cooperation in the field of agriculture and rural development, energy, climate change, research and innovation, education and culture.

On 29 May 2018, the EU Ambassador to Mongolia H.E. Traian Laurentiu Hristea presented the credential to the President of Mongolia H.E. Battulga Khaltmaa.

On 12-13 November 2019, Commissioner Neven Mimica, responsible for International Cooperation and Development, paid an official visit to Mongolia, where he met political leaders of Mongolia, including President Battulga Khaltmaa, Minister of Foreign Affairs Tsogtbaatar Damdin, Minister of Finance Khurelbaatar Chimed and Minister of Labour and Social Protection Chinzorig Sodnom. The inauguration ceremony of the EU Delegation premises took place during his visit.

In 2019, the EU and Mongolia celebrated the 30th anniversary of establishment of diplomatic relations. On this occasion, the Delegation of the European Union to Mongolia hosted the EU day Mongolia on May 26 at the Sukhbaatar square. Present at the event which was organized for the first time, were the Ambassador of the European Union to Mongolia Traian Laurentiu Hristea, Ambassadors and diplomats of 15 EU member states to Mongolia, Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs B.Battsetseg and Governor of the capital city and Mayor of Ulaanbaatar S.Amarsaikhan. The event provided the public with an opportunity to get to know the EU member states through their tradition and culture, receive detailed information and advice on studying and travelling in the countries and getting Schengen visa, visit a trade fair of EU countries' entities, as well as to enjoy the countries’ cuisine and art performances. Moreover, during the event, information was given on over 20 EU-funded projects being implemented in Mongolia.

Framework Agreement on Partnership and Cooperation between the European Union and its Member States, of the one part, and Mongolia, of the other part, 2012:

Factsheet on the EU-Mongolia Framework Agreement on Partnership and Cooperation:

Summary of the Treaty:

Ratification details:

European Parliament non-legislative resolution of 15 February 2017 on the draft Council decision on the conclusion of the Framework Agreement on Partnership and Cooperation between the European Union and its Member States, of the one part, and Mongolia, of the other part :

In 2018 total trade between the EU and Mongolia was € 524 million; € 75 million of imports, € 449 million of exports. The EU is Mongolia’s 3rd import partner after China and Russia (€ 488 million), a second export market (€ 214 million) and ranks 3rd total trade partner. 

Mongolia is a beneficiary of the EU Generalised Scheme of Preferences (GSP+), which unilaterally supports developing   countries   to   achieve   sustainable development   through   trade.   Trade preferences   promote   universal   values   of   human   rights,   core   labour   standards, environmental protection and good governance. The  value  of  EU  imports  from  Mongolia  using  GSP+  has  remained  relatively  steady,  at around 16.5 mio USD in 2018, or around 23% of total imports. GSP+ utilization rates, on the other hand, are steadily increasing at are currently above 90%.  EU imports from Mongolia under GSP+ remain concentrated on articles of apparel and textiles (87% of total EU imports from Mongolia using GSP+).  Mongolia's utilisation rate of trade preferences under GSP+ stands at around 84%, leaving some room for improvement.

For information on Mongolia: EU report on GSP+ for 2018-2019

For information on EU-Mongolia Trade in goods: statistics

For information on EU trade related issues:

For more information on GSP+ related issues:

For more information on the International Labour Organisation project:

Mongolia and the EBRD:

Development assistance is an important pillar of  EU-Mongolia relations. It supports the Mongolian government and Mongolia's civil society, with the ultimate objective of eradicating poverty while enhancing sustainable development, including the pursuit of the Sustainable Development Goals.

Bilateral relations between the European Union and Mongolia, including development co-operation, started in 1996 with the EC-Mongolia Cooperation Agreement of 1996. Since then, development cooperation has always increased through the successive support:

  • 2002- 2006 TACIS National Indicative Programme for Mongolia – EUR 15 million
  • 2007 – 2013 DCI Country Strategy Paper – EUR 29 million
  • 2014 – 2020 Multi Indicative Programme – EUR 65 million.

The Multi Indicative Programme 2014 – 2020 

With this ongoing Programme, the EU aims to assist Mongolia towards further stabilising its democratic system and promoting sustainable development and economic diversification in order for the country to fulfil its ambition of becoming a middle income country (MIC) by 2021 while successively adapting to relevant European norms and standards. In the light of the mineral wealth of the country and its economic overdependence on the mining sector, the EU focuses its assistance on 2 focal sectors:

Focal Area 1: Improved governance of revenues for inclusive and sustainable growth;

Focal Area 2: Support for better employment opportunities, by creating skilled jobs and decent work outside the mining sector.

From this MIP, a new project "Support to Employment Creation in Mongolia" (SECiM, EUR 8.2 million) has  already been mobilised and is under implementation with the Ministry of Labour and Social Protection and the Ministry of Food, Agriculture and Light Industry.

Multi Indicative Programme 2014-2020 for EU Development assistance:

Other funding sources

There other budget lines and programmes which complete the national bilateral assistance:

  • The EU supports the regional integration of Mongolia and its trade facilitation with an additional EUR 4.5 million (TRAM), through the regional Envelope (Asia);
  • A support through the Asian Investment Facility (AIF) is offered for facilitating the Access to Finance for Small and Medium Enterprises (SMEs), with a grant of EUR 9.7 million to the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD), which will provide loans to local commercial banks and SMEs amounting up to EUR 100 million.

Engagement with the civil society besides bilateral cooperation

Other EU budget lines fund 9 other projects directed to the Civil Society Organisations for a total amount of EUR 7.9 million. It concerns the following thematic budget lines:

  • European Initiative for Democracy and Human Rights (EIDHR);
  • Support to Civil Society Organizations and Local Authorities (CSO-LA);
  • Sustainable production and Consumption practices, through the programme called SWITCH-Asia.

For more detailed information: 



Research and innovation collaboration forms an integral part of the EU-Mongolia partnership. European and Mongolian scientists have already worked together on a number of issues of common interest and mutual benefit through previous European Framework Programmes. Mongolian institutions and individuals have been in the past and continue to be in the future eligible to participate in numerous EU programmes in higher education and research.

Europe as Mongolia's excellent partner

Europe is a key partner in science, technology and innovation. The European Union (EU) is one of the leading regions of the world in Research, Innovation and Science. The EU is today the main knowledge production centre worldwide, accounting for almost a third of the world’s science and technology production. At the same time, the European Union is responsible for 24% of world expenditure on research, 32% of high impact publications and 32% of patent applications, while representing only 7% of the world population.

HORIZON 2020 – The EU's Funding Programme for Research and Innovation

Horizon 2020, the EU's framework programme for research and innovation will run from 2014 to 2020 with a budget of nearly EUR 80 billion. Horizon 2020 – which is fully open to international cooperation – is the biggest EU research and innovation programme ever. It will lead to more breakthroughs, discoveries and world-firsts by taking great ideas from the lab to the market. Horizon 2020 is based on 3 pillars: Excellent Science, Industrial Leadership and Societal Challenges. It offers funding for collaborative research, individual researcher mobility and training, research infrastructures and many more.

How can Mongolian participants apply?

Horizon 2020 is fully open to Mongolian participation in all fields and areas. This programme is open to participation of universities and research institutes, companies, and other institutions.

  • Mongolian participation is encouraged in ALL Calls for Proposals of Horizon 2020.
  • The best Mongolian teams and individual researchers can connect with Europe’s excellence in research and innovation.
  • Mongolia can gain access to Europe's knowledge, access to data, access to infrastructures and access to world-leading scientific networks.

Mongolian Researchers, enterprises and institutions are strongly encouraged to team up with their European partners to make best use of Europe’s excellent opportunities in research and innovation. Mongolian research and innovation stakeholders are invited to either become partners in collaborative research projects or to apply to fellowship grants and mobility schemes provided by the European Research Council and Marie-Sklodowska-Curie Actions.

Overall, the new international cooperation strategy of Horizon 2020 focuses on research in areas of common interest and mutual benefit.

How to apply?

The first Work Programmes 2016/2017 and 173 Calls for Proposals HORIZON 2020 are expected to be published or even have been already launched. Researchers and innovators from Mongolia are fully eligible to participate in any research projects with EU partners and to receive funding from Horizon 2020.

Find a suitable Call for Proposals

Find project partners -  on CORDIS or using National Contact Point in Mongolia (Mongolian Academy of Sciences (link is external))

  • Create an account on the Participant Portal and register your organisation
  • Prepare your project proposal, when appropriate with your partners
  • Submit your project proposal to the European Commission
  • Evaluation by external independent experts
  • Signature of the Grant Agreement

National Contact Point

The National Contact Point for Horizon 2020 was set up in the Mongolian Academy of Sciences in March 2014. The National Contact Point is a national structure established to give personalised support on the spot and in applicants' language. This would help Mongolian applicants to success in their applications, increasing the number of joint projects.

Erasmus +

Erasmus+ is the European Union programme for education, training, youth and sport for the period 2014-2020. Erasmus+ funds academic mobility and cooperation projects that involve partners from "Programme Countries" and "Partner Countries" throughout the world. More information here:


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