The EU maintains diplomatic relations with nearly all countries in the world. It has strategic partnerships with key international players, is deeply engaged with emerging powers around the globe, and has signed bilateral Association Agreements with a number of states in its vicinity. Abroad, the Union is represented by a number of EU Delegations, which have a similar function to those of an embassy.
The German Agency for International Cooperation or (GIZ) is an international enterprise owned by the German Federal Government, operating in many fields across more than 130 countries. As a federal enterprise, they support the German Government in achieving its objectives in the field of international cooperation for sustainable development. GIZ offers demand-driven, tailor-made and effective services for sustainable development.
The Joint Research Center (JRC) of the European Commission (EC) established in 1998 an expert group to develop and implement advance methods for the evaluation of forest fire danger and mapping vulnerable areas in Europe. In 2000, the European Forest Fire Information System (EFFIS) became operational.
The Humanitarian Aid department of the European Commission (ECHO) was established in 1992 and works in the area of emergency assistance and relief to the victims of natural disasters or armed conflict outside the European Union. ECHO concentrates its efforts on the funding of humanitarian aid.
The Joint Research Centre (JRC) is a research based policy support organisation and an integral part of the European Commission. The JRC is providing the scientific advice and technical know-how to support a wide range of EU policies. Our status as a Commission service, which guarantees our independence from private or national interests, is crucial for pursuing our mission. The mission of the JRC is to provide customer-driven scientific and technical support for the conception, development, implementation and monitoring of EU policies.