Paris, 18 February 2016. The International Energy Agency (IEA) and the Union for the Mediterranean (UfM) signed on 17 February a memorandum of understanding (MoU) setting out the outlines of closer cooperation between the two organisations on projects of mutual interest in the energy field.
“This memorandum of understanding is in line with the IEA’s objective of expanding bilateral energy programmes both with individual partner countries and inter-governmental organisations such as the UfM. Together, we will identify the challenges and opportunities that I am certain can best be addressed through joint action and collective responsibility,” IEA Executive Director Fatih Birol said.
UfM Secretary General Fathallah Sijilmassi stated that “fostering regional cooperation in the field of energy is paramount to effectively advance regional integration, stability and human development. The MoU with IEA represents a clear opportunity to develop synergies and implement joint actions that can contribute to these common goals”.
The two parties share similar goals and have together identified a number of potential areas of cooperation. These include, but are not limited to, joint projects involving research and technical assistance; collaboration on joint publications; data sharing; training and capacity building; regional cooperation on energy efficiency and renewable energies as well as the exchange of expertise between the two parties in areas such as climate change, the water-energy-food nexus and regional energy market integration.
In order to give a new political impulse to regional cooperation on energy, the 43 UfM Member States decided in May 2015 to establish three high level UfM Energy Platforms on Gas, Regional Electricity Market (REM) and Renewable Energy and Energy Efficiency (REEE).
The MoU is valid for five years and may be extended for subsequent additional periods of three years.
About the IEA
Founded in 1974, the International Energy Agency was initially designed to help countries co-ordinate a collective response to major disruptions in the supply of oil. While this remains a key aspect of its work, the IEA has evolved and expanded. It is at the heart of global dialogue on energy, providing authoritative statistics and analysis. The IEA examines the full spectrum of energy issues and advocates policies that will enhance the reliability, affordability and sustainability of energy in its 29 member countries and beyond
About the UfM
The Union for the Mediterranean (UfM) is an intergovernmental organisation bringing together 43 countries: 28 EU member states and 15 Southern and Eastern Mediterranean countries. It provides a platform for political dialogue, coordination, and regional cooperation.
The Secretariat of the Union for the Mediterranean, established in Barcelona in 2010, focuses on enhancing regional cooperation and integration through the implementation of regional cooperation projects and initiatives. During 2015 the Secretariat has developed and accelerated the implementation of new regional projects that are key socio-economic and strategic drivers: 37 regional labelled projects worth around €5 billion in areas including inclusive growth, youth employability, women’s empowerment, promotion of student mobility, integrated urban development and sustainable development. The Secretariat works in close collaboration with government agencies and an active network of Euro-Mediterranean partners to assist project promoters throughout the entire project cycle, from technical assistance to project implementation, as well as financial planning and fundraising.