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FAO and EU Partnership

About the partnership

The partnership between the European Union (EU) and FAO is solid and growing fast. Collaboration covers in particular the following areas:

Policy dialogue

Policy dialogue

As a centre of excellence in normative work, FAO has a comparative advantage in facilitating international agreements in the areas of agriculture and food.

In the case of the  International Plant Protection Convention (IPPC), which aims to prevent the spread of plant pests, the EU helps developing countries participate in its standard setting process.

FAO also offers a neutral forum to develop policies relating to agriculture and rural development, for instance through the IGAD Livestock Policy Initiative.

This initiative, funded with € 6 million by the EU, aims to strengthen the livestock sector in the IGAD region with a view to improving food security and reducing poverty.

Information and knowledge exchange

Information and knowledge exchange

Under its mandate to generate, mobilize and disseminate knowledge relevant to sound stewardship in agriculture, forestry and fisheries, FAO works as a global hub for knowledge management.

Through its partnership with the EU, FAO has been able to establish the Food Security Information for Action Programme (FSIAP) that aims to build the food security policy-making capacity of 20 countries in Africa, the Middle East, the Caucasus and Central and Southeast Asia.

Field cooperation

Field cooperation

With EU assistance, FAO provides field-level delivery of the knowledge, skills and capabilities required to meet global challenges of food safety and agriculture.

FAO is currently carrying out well over 160 EU-funded projects in Africa, Asia, Europe, the Middle-East and Latin-America:

In 2009, the EU joined FAO in its efforts to turn the tide of growing hunger in the world by boosting agricultural production with massive support for global food security through its ‘Food Facility’.


Increased collaboration confirms that the EU acknowledges FAO as a crucial partner in its mission to alleviate rural poverty and hunger, and that it recognises the key role of agriculture development.
The European Union became a member of FAO in 1991. Since 1993 the two institutions are engaged in technical cooperation. 

The Commission is divided into several departments and services. The departments are known as Directorate-Generals (DGs). FAO works with the following EC Directorates-General:

Priority areas

The EU and FAO foster nutrition, global food security and safety and help promote sustainable rural development and natural resources management.

Areas of cooperation covered by the partnership

Areas of cooperation covered by the partnership

  • Food security

Achieving food security for all is at the heart of FAO's efforts and a pillar of the EU’s  sustainable growth and development approach, to make sure that people have regular access to enough high-quality food to lead active, healthy lives.

  • Sustainable rural development

In order to tackle poverty in rural areas, home to 70 percent of the world's hungry people, FAO and the EU acknowledge the crucial importance of developing rural economies and, first and foremost, their backbone agriculture.

  • Nutrition

FAO and the EU promote agriculture to enhance nutrition outcomes. A framework for Joint Action has been designed and will guide future advocacy, research and capacity-building efforts of the FAO-EU strategic partnership. The EU provided crucial technical and financial support to the Second International Conference on Nutrition in November 2014.

  • Resilience

Natural disasters can destroy lives and wipe out years of development in a matter of hours or even seconds. FAO and the EU are working together towards increasing the resilience of people and their livelihoods to these threats and crises.

  •  Gender

Rural women have less access than men to productive resources, services and opportunities, such as land, livestock, financial services and education. Numerous studies underscore the social costs of rural women's lack of education and assets, linking it directly to high rates of undernutrition, infant mortality and - in some countries - HIV/AIDS infection.

  • Food safety and quality

Avian flu and foot-and-mouth disease have heightened public awareness of food safety issues. Food safety is as important for consumers as it is for producers. FAO and EU approach it through the whole food chain, fostering international trade while safeguarding quality.

  • Climate change

Climate change has reminded the world of the extreme vulnerability of its natural resources. FAO and EU seek to contribute to the sustainable management of our land and our water resources and to stimulate agricultural biodiversity, including through climate-smart agriculture approaches.

  • Statistical cooperation and information exchange

Reliable and comprehensive data are essential for shaping sound policies. The EU and FAO share an interest in agricultural statistics, with a special emphasis on developing countries.