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The European Commission has issued a call for proposals for projects to be launched next year under the EU's Synergy programme for international cooperation with third countries in the energy sector. 1999 grants will be available for cooperation projects for preparing, drafting and implementing energy policy in areas of mutual interest, in addition to promotional actions for industrial cooperation between the Community and non-member countries, in the energy sector. Priority will be given to cross-border cooperation, energy policy advice and training, energy analysis and forecasting. The funding of projects submitted in response to this call for tenders is dependent on the Synergy programme being formally extended for the year 1999.

Proposals for projects, which may receive EU funding of up to 50% of the eligible costs (or not more than ECU 200,000), may be submitted for work in the following fields:

* energy policy advice and training,

* energy analysis and forecasting,

* reinforcement of dialogue in terms of energy policy and information sharing, particularly through the organisation of conferences and seminars,

* cross-border regional cooperation support,

* improvement of industrial energy cooperation structures.

Proposed projects must aim to meet at least one of the three main EU energy policy objectives, namely, security of supply, improved competitiveness and support for European firms trying to settle in non-member countries, and environmental protection and improvement, notably through reduction of greenhouse gas emissions.

It should be noted that neither energy-related investment and infrastructure financing at any stage, nor research, demonstration, development or innovative technology dissemination projects are eligible for Synergy grants. Generally speaking, any action which can obtain or has obtained financing from another Community instrument, such as the Joule-Thermie programme or PHARE and TACIS, is not admissible.

Anxious to avoid duplication with other Community programmes in operation in each country, the Commission has set out priorities under the Synergy programme per geographical region as follows:

* Central and East European countries

- cooperation in terms of reinforcing energy policy with a view to preparing for accession to the European Union,

- relations between energy policies and environmental protection,

- regional energy cooperation, particularly for interconnections.

* New Independent States

- promotional actions for industrial cooperation,

- reinforcement policies for energy efficiency.

* India and China

- energy policy promotion,

- reinforcement of energy efficiency.

* Rest of Asia

- support for the market-penetration efforts of European energy industries,

- promotion of regional integration.

* Latin America

- participation of European enterprises in liberalising the energy market,

- relations between energy policies and environmental protection.

* African, Caribbean and Pacific states

- implementation of national energy policies contributing to sustainable development,

- reinforcement of local structures for cooperation in energy masters.

* Mediterranean Basin

- development of energy networks,

- industrial cooperation in the energy sector,

- relations between energy policies and environmental protection.

The projects must be mutually beneficial for the European Union and the non-member countries, the Commission stresses. It will be giving priority to projects bringing together several partners from several Member States and one or several partners from non-member countries. Financial assistance may be requested for projects involving a proposer from an EU Member State and/or a proposer from a non-EU country. Tenderers may include specialised international and regional organisations, national energy ministries or commissions, companies, regulatory or privatisation bodies, financial institutions, energy and/or environmental agencies, local authorities, non-govern mental organisations, etc.

*Applications must be sent in to the European Commission by October 30, 1998. An official form may be obtained from:

Yolanda Lok, European Commission, Directorate-General for Energy-XVII, Directorate A/Unit A4, Avenue de Tervueren 226-236 (TERV 8/2), B-1150 Brussels, Belgium.

Tel: (+32) 2/296 34 04

Fax: (+32) 2/295 98 16


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Publication:Europe Energy
Article Type:Article
Geographic Code:4EU
Date:Sep 15, 1998
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