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The European Commission has adopted the Annual Action Programme 2017 (AAP 2017) of the Partnership Instrument, approving 19 new projects totalling more than €87 million.
These projects will increase the impact of the European Union and help to achieve our objectives across a number of policy areas, in particular in climate action and clean energy, as well as migration management and trade.
Energy, climate change and sustainable urbanisation
The European Union has recently reiterated its full commitment to implementing the 2015 Paris Agreement on climate action, and therefore to the promotion of secure, affordable, climate-friendly and sustainable energy sources. This is not only something that the European Union is looking to achieve in our Member States, but is also a priority for us beyond our borders. At the core of this year's Partnership Instrument is a focus on sustainable energy, access to clean energy, energy efficiency and the transition towards low carbon economies. Such a transition continues to boost economic growth and to create jobs in Europe, therefore showing how international climate and energy policy and sustainable economic development can be mutually reinforcing. As a global leader in the field of climate action, the European Union will work with key partners to implement the Paris agreement and to address climate change, and under the AAP 2017 will implement projects in China (€3.5 million), India (€3.85 million) and Argentina (€4.5 million).
Biodiversity and green diplomacy
Environmental degradation has the potential to cause and exacerbate conflict. In line with the EU Global Strategy, the European Union is therefore investing to enhance environmental resilience in its partner countries. The AAP 2017 will focus on protecting biodiversity in Asia and Latin America and on strengthening the EU's voice and position in multilateral fora (G7, G20) as an interlocutor that can shape environmental rules in accordance with EU standards.
Responsible business and decent work
The Partnership Instrument will underpin the work of the European Union in fighting inequality, promoting responsible business and championing decent work opportunities, notably for women and young people. With a particular focus on Latin America and working with the Community of Latin American and Caribbean States (CELAC), the AAP 2017 supports actions that seek to promote adherence to international standards on the environment and working conditions, as well as actions that promote the economic empowerment of women.
Migration management and mobility
The Partnership Instrument contributes to the European Union's efforts to address migration as a global challenge, in line with the EU's Global Approach to Migration and Mobility (GAMM), which is the overarching framework of the EU's external migration and asylum policy. Following previous years' actions in China and Brazil, in 2017 the Partnership Instrument will support policy dialogue and cooperation on migration and mobility with India with a €3 million project, building on the EU-India Common Agenda on Migration and Mobility.
Transparency and accountability of EU trade agreements
The increased participation of civil society in trade policy-making processes would help to make sure that the implementation of trade agreements takes place with enhanced transparency and accountability. The European Union is fully committed to these objectives and is looking to develop ways of ensuring that international best practice in this respect becomes the norm in Europe. As part of this process, the Partnership Instrument is dedicating €3 million in 2017 to support the genuine engagement of civil society, from both Europe and partner countries, in the implementation of EU Trade Agreements, therefore promoting and defending internationally-agreed standards and values.
Raising the profile of the EU through public and cultural diplomacy
Engagement with a wide variety of State and non-State actors is essential if the European Union is to promote its core values and to explain its purpose and potential. Public and cultural diplomacy actions under the AAP 2017 will build on a number of initiatives in this area over the past years, aiming to foster trust among stakeholders and to reinforce the EU's soft power through people-to-people engagement. Among some of the actions foreseen under the €12.4 million allocation are to facilitate the organisation of European Film Festivals across the world and enhance the engagement with the community of Alumni of several European programmes in third countries. The EU will also co-fund, with the United States, the Schuman-Fulbright Scholarships Programme (€ 1.05 million), which deepens research on EU-US relations.