UNESCO-European Union Partnership

The European Union has become one of the strategic partners of UNESCO

Both Organizations share the same values and work closely together to achieve their common goals. The thematic dialogue and the financial cooperation with the European Commission and EU Delegations at the country level develop in particular in the areas of mutual interest such as education, culture, science and technology, water and oceans, and freedom of expression. On 8 October 2012, UNESCO and the EU signed a Memorandum of Understanding with a view to enhancing the dialogue, strengthening cooperation and fostering an exchange of best practices.

The contributions received from the European Union in 2015 amounted to USD 22.4M, representing the 3rd funding source of the Organization.
In 2014, they represented USD 15.1 million. While the total voluntary contributions received at UNESCO are decreasing in 2015 of 9% compared to 2014, the contributions from the EU are increasing of approximatively 48%. The EU remains the largest single multilateral donor of Official Development Assistance (ODA) in the world and there is still great potential for strengthening the cooperation with UNESCO in the years to come.     

Details of on-going projects can be found at the UNESCO Tranparency Portal_list EU

Examples of agreements recently concluded (December 2015-March 2016):

  • Central African World Heritage Forest Initiative – CAWHFI II (EUR 5,000,000)
  • Building trust in media in South East Europe (EUR 1,650,000)
  • UNESCO cultural world heritage sites in Europe (EUR 1,666,667)
  • The Holocaust in Contemporary Education European Curricula, Textbooks and Pupils' Perceptions in Comparison (EUR 215,152)
  • Promoting the Contribution of World Heritage for Sustainable Development and Reinforcing Capacities for Protection and Conservation of Paleontological Sites in Ethiopia (EUR 400,000)
  • Skills and Technical Education Programme (STEP) in Malawi (EUR 9,000,000)

UNESCO is also participating as partner in various projects funded under the Horizon 2020 Programme of the Directorate General for Research and innovation, including:

  • FREEWAT - FREE and open source software tools for WATer resource management
  • AtlantOS - Optimizing and Enhancing the Integrated Atlantic Ocean Observing System
  • ECOPOTENTIAL - Improving future ecosystem benefits through earth observations
  • AQUACROSS - Knowledge, Assessment, and Management for AQUAtic Biodiversity and Ecosystem Services aCROSS EU policies
  • PERFORM - Participatory Engagement with Scientific and Technological Research through Performance