Mongolia is a vast, landlocked and sparsely populated country (3.38 million inhabitants in 2022) characterised by unique ecosystems and cultures. With half of its population living in rural areas, the unprecedented impacts of climate change are endangering the nomadic herders' lifestyle.
Agricultural production accounts for around 12% of its GDP, which relies heavily on mining industries. Mongolia currently depends on coal and its industry is very energy intensive. But it has the potential for greening its economy and expanding renewable energy capacity.
The country is an emerging democracy, situated between Russia and China. It is a Lower Middle-Income Country and it needs to introduce sustainable development to its population and diversify its economy, which is dominated by the export of raw materials, primarily to China.
As a democratic country, Mongolia is a key partner for stability and security in a region where democracy is rare. The EU’s political support and development cooperation partnership contribute to increasing the country’s resilience in a complex geopolitical environment. The EU shares an interest with Mongolia in promoting the country’s green and socioeconomic development through sustainable diversification of its economy. The partnership with Mongolia can build on the close alignment between the country's developmental vision and the EU and its Member States’ priorities, following a Team Europe approach where possible.
Thus the EU’s Multiannual Indicative Programme for Mongolia for 2021-2027 is built around two priority areas
- green sustainable development
- democratic and economic development
A Partnership and Cooperation Agreement entered into force on 1 November 2017 guided by the 2030 Agenda and the Sustainable Development Goals, the Paris Agreement on climate change, the Global Strategy for the EU’s Foreign and Security Policy and the European Consensus on Development.
The Multiannual Indicative Programme (MIP) for Mongolia amounts to €31 million until 2024, when a mid-term review will take place.
Priority area 1: Green sustainable development
Forestry and agriculture are two intricately linked sectors. Mongolia’s agricultural production is dominated by nomadic herding and accounts for about 20% of GDP. Forest and other wooded land cover almost 11% of Mongolia’s national territory, but the contribution of forestry to GDP is only 0.3%, indicating the enormous undervaluation of the sector. The potential of this sector’s indirect contribution to green employment is important, as it could generate more than 80,000 jobs.
This priority will promote sustainable agriculture and ensure that natural resources are effectively and sustainably managed. In particular, the MIP supports transitioning to a greener, digital and diversified economy based on a sustainable and resilient ecosystem, and agricultural management, production and value chains, by strengthening regulatory and policy frameworks towards climate change adaptation.
Priority area 2: Democratic and economic development
Since the 1990s, the Mongolian judiciary has undergone a comprehensive change process change. However political influence has severely affected the independence and impartiality of the judiciary. As reported by the Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe, problems of corruption, political influence, lack of judicial independence and of public trust persist.
This priority will contribute to good governance, increase transparency and promote the rule of law and human rights in Mongolia. This includes improving the effectiveness and accountability of public service delivery, strengthening the management of public finances, fighting corruption, reinforcing the justice system. This MIP will also enhance the operating environment for civil society, social dialogue and people’s participation, as well as promoting and protecting human rights.
The goals are aligned with the priorities set by Mongolia’s Vision 2050 long-term policy document and the mutually agreed action points following the 2020 EU-Mongolia Joint Committee.
Team Europe Initiative: Sustainable natural resource management and value chain development
To promote sustainable and green economic growth in Mongolia, the EU, its Member States and European development finance institutions are jointly designing a 'Team Europe Initiative' on sustainable nature resource management and value chain development in Mongolia. It focuses on
- greening existing agriculture and forestry value chains and developing new value chains, strengthening and promoting their sustainable export and trade potential
- sustainable forest management, restoration and protection of forests
Cooperation with civil society will be guided by the 2021-2025 EU Roadmap for Engagement with Civil Society in Mongolia and the priority areas of the 2021-2027 MIP. The EU and its Member States will support civil society organisations (CSOs) to implement projects through calls for proposals and direct grants.