Eastern Partnership Connect
With the Eastern Partnership the EU offers its partners in the Eastern Neighbourhood concrete, far-reaching support for democratic reform, sustainable development and overall stability. It recognises the importance of e-Infrastructures in bridging the digital divide and bringing its partners closer to the EU.
Launched in July 2015, the Eastern Partnership Connect (EaPConnect) project aims to:
- establish and operate a high-capacity broadband internet network for research and education (R&E) across six EaP partner countries in the EU’s Eastern Neighbourhood: Armenia, Azerbaijan, Belarus, Georgia, Moldova and Ukraine;
- integrate the national research and education networks (NRENs) in the region into the pan-European GÉANT network; decrease the digital divide;
- facilitate participation of local scientists, students and academics in global R&E collaborations;
- deploy eduroam and stimulate integration towards GÉANT services.
By interconnecting the R&E communities across the region and with their European counterparts, EaPConnect will create a gateway for talented individuals in the EaP countries to be truly global players.
The European Commission’s Directorate-General for Neighbourhood and Enlargements Negotiations (DG NEAR) is contributing 95% (€13m) towards the cost of the EaPConnect project; the remaining 5% will be co-funded by the six beneficiary countries.
The project was officially inaugurated at the 1st Eastern Partnership Ministerial Meeting on the Digital Economy and is expected to have a duration of five years.
Why connect the EaP to Europe? Why does this project want to enable researchers and students in places far apart can work together and exchange data?
- Because this will provide the younger generation with opportunities that will allow them to learn and grow, find jobs and build a future for themselves and their families.
- Because connected scientists will attract entrepreneurs and investors who will help drive not only local economies but also the European economy forward in a wider Single Digital Market.
- Because this is the best chance to solve the challenges that we all face as a species: experts in disaster prevention, climate change or life sciences in the Eastern Partnership may have the missing clue to solving major issues that impact us all.