INOGATE is an international energy co-operation programme between the European Union (EU), Turkey and countries of the NIS, with the exceptions of the Baltic States and the Russian Federation. Formally it describes itself as supporting "international cooperation between the European Union, the littoral states of the Black & Caspian Seas and their neighbouring countries". It is assisted, via the EU's EuropeAid programme, by a secretariat based in Kiev, Ukraine, with a regional office in Tbilisi, Georgia and as of November 2012, also in Tashkent, Uzbekistan.
INOGATE originated in 1995 as an EU support mechanism dealing with INterstate Oil and GAs Transportation to Europe (whence it derived its name as an acronym). It was particularly concerned initially with oil and gas pipelines running from and through Eastern Europe and the Caucasus to the EU. In 2001, a formal 'Umbrella Agreement' was signed by twenty one countries in Kiev, to cooperate on pipeline development and enhancement - at that time the priorities were the Druzhba pipeline and extension of the Odessa-Brody pipeline. Following conferences in Baku, Azerbaijan in 2004 and in Astana, Kazakhstan, INOGATE has since evolved into a broader energy partnership between the EU and countries of the former Soviet Union, (excluding the Russian Federation and the Baltic States, but including Turkey), and concentrating on four key topics:
- enhancing energy security
- convergence of member state energy markets on the basis of EU internal energy market principles
- supporting sustainable energy development
- attracting investment for energy projects of common and regional interest.
The programme has been described as aiming to 'promote European investment in Caspian Sea and Central Asia states in return for their energy cooperation with the EU member states'. Another commentator has opined that 'Inogate, ... will help the region diversify supply sources and prevent Russian firms from carving out dominant downstream positions'. It has been compared to American initiatives to establish a significant energy presence in the region.
Since 2007, the INOGATE programme has been financed by the European Neighborhood and Partnership Instrument (ENPI).
Partner countries 
The INOGATE partner countries are:
Turkey is an INOGATE Partner Country and is, therefore, regularly invited to attend INOGATE meetings but it is not a beneficiary country. The INOGATE programme is a joint initiative of three directorates of the European Commission: the Directorate-General for Transport & Energy; the Directorate-General for External Relations; and the EuropeAid Cooperation Office.
The Baku Initiative and the Astana Declaration 
The Baku Initiative resulted from a policy dialogue on energy cooperation between the European Union and the INOGATE partner countries. The initiative was announced on 13 November 2004 at the Energy Ministerial Conference in Baku. A second Ministerial Conference was held in Astana on 30 November 2006 which confirmed the broader remit of the INOGATE programme to cover a range of energy issues in the Partner Countries and their cooperation in these issues with the EU.
One objective of the Baku Initiative is to enhance integration of the energy markets of participating countries with the EU energy market, so as to create transparent energy markets, capable of attracting investment and enhancing security of energy supply. (Other aspects of the Initiative were concerned with transport issues: see main article). The partner countries agreed objectives to harmonise legal and technical standards so as to create a functioning integrated energy market in accordance with EU and international legal and regulatory frameworks; to increase the safety and security of energy supplies by extending and modernising existing infrastructure, substituting outdated power generation infrastructures with environmentally friendly systems; the development of new infrastructures and implementation of modern monitoring systems; improvement of energy supply and demand management through the integration of efficient and sustainable energy systems; and promotion of the financing of commercially and environmentally viable energy projects of common interest. A 'road-map' towards achievement of these and allied objectives was adopted at the Astana Ministerial Conference.
Structure and activities 
The coordinating body of the Baku Initiative is the INOGATE Technical Secretariat, which is located in Kiev. From 2011/12, the Secretariat is to be expanded to include direct provision of technical assistance to member countries.
The Baku Initiative is implemented through the four working groups, each of which contains members from all partner countries:
- Harmonisation of Legal, Regulatory and Institutional framework for market liberalisation
- Enhancing Safety and Security of Energy Transportation Networks
- Sustainable development
- Investment Attraction and Project Facilitation
A number of specific projects, financed by the ENPI, are associated with the INOGATE programme, and are listed at the INOGATE webportal. As at February 2009, these projects included initiatives to improve safety and security of oil and gas transit structures, to develop coordinated national energy policies in Central Asia, and to support market integration and sustainable energy initiatives in partner countries.
INOGATE has been closely involved with the development of the Eastern European Regional Centre for Hydrocarbon Metrology in Boyarka, Ukraine, which 'provides state-of-the-art calibration services for gas transfer within the region and to other countries'. This should form an important element in the development of a regional energy market operating to Western European standards.
The INOGATE programme has an ongoing schedule of conferences and publications. Its webportal contains regularly updated information and news on energy developments in partner countries and relevant EU initiatives and policies.
See also 
- INOGATE web site
- Website of EC Delegation in Central Asia
- International Energy Agency (2006), p. 208
- Baghat (2005), p. 23
- Berenyi, (2003), p. 1
- Talus (2011), p. 29
- Democratic Belarus website, 'Service Contract Forecast for Development of INOGATE Technical Secretariat', consulted 29 July 2011
- Today.AZ website, 'European Commission assesses contract for integrated Inogate technical secretariat at 17 million euro', consulted 29 July 2011
- ADE (2010), p. 71
- see Boyarka informative brochure
- ENPI-Info Web site of the EU Neighbourhood Partnership Initiative
- Democratic Belarus website
- Today.AZ website, Azerbaijan
- ADE, Evaluation of the European Commission’s Cooperation with Ukraine, 2010. Downloadable from OECD website in PDF format. Consulted 4.8.2011.
- Baghat, Gadat G., 'EU seeks energy security in stronger supplier ties', in Oil and Gas Journal, vol. 103, issue 38, 10 October 2005, pp. 22–26
- Berenyi, Ivan, 'The Battle for market share', in Petroleum Economist, September 2003, p. 1
- Boyarka Metrology Centre Brochure, downloadable as PDF (consulted 4.11.2011).
- IEA (2006). Ukraine Energy Policy Review, 2006 (PDF). OECD. p. 208. ISBN 978-90-411-3407-3.
- Talus, Kim (2011). Vertical Natural Gas Transportation Capacity, Upstream Commodity Contracts and EU Competition Law. Kluwer Law International. p. 29. ISBN 978-90-411-3407-3.
- INOGATE web site
- Baku Initiative European Commission DG Transport and Energy
- Ministerial Declaration on Enhanced energy co-operation between the EU, the Littoral States of the Black and Caspian Seas and their neighbouring countries, 30 November 2006, Astana