The European Union: European Neighbourhood Policy

Sunday, 8 January 2023 - 11:00 am (CET/MEZ) Berlin | Author/Destination:
Category/Kategorie: General, Editorial, EU blog post series, European Union
Reading Time:  7 minutes

Flag_of_Europe The European Neighbourhood Policy (ENP) is a foreign relations instrument of the European Union (EU) which seeks to tie those countries to the east and south of the European territory of the EU to the Union. These countries, primarily developing countries, include some who seek to one day become either a member state of the European Union, or more closely integrated with the European Union. The ENP does not apply to neighbours of the EU’s outermost regions, specifically France‘s territories in South America, but only to those countries close to EU member states’ territories in mainland Europe.

The countries covered are Algeria, Morocco, Egypt, Israel, Jordan, Lebanon, Libya, Palestine, Syria, Tunisia in the South; and Armenia, Azerbaijan, Belarus, Georgia, Moldova, Ukraine in the East. Russia has a special status with the EU-Russia Common Spaces instead of ENP participation. The EU offers financial assistance to countries within the European Neighbourhood, so long as they meet the strict conditions of government reform, economic reform and other issues surrounding positive transformation. This process is normally underpinned by an Action Plan agreed by Brussels and the target country. The ENP does not cover countries in the current EU enlargement agenda, the European Free Trade Association or the western European microstates.

The EU typically concludes Association Agreements in exchange for commitments to political, economic, trade, or human rights reform in a country. In exchange, the country may be offered tariff-free access to some or all EU markets (notably industrial goods or agricultural products) and financial or technical assistance.

Eastern Partnership © Kolja21/cc-by-sa-3.0

Eastern Partnership © Kolja21/cc-by-sa-3.0

The European Union’s European Neighbourhood Policy aims at bringing Europe and its neighbours closer. It was conceived after the 2004 enlargement of the European Union with 10 new member countries, in order to avoid creating new borders in Europe. It is also designed to prevent the emergence of new dividing lines between the enlarged EU and its neighbours. The vision is that of a ring of countries, drawn into further integration, but without necessarily becoming full members of the European Union. The policy was first outlined by the European Commission in March 2003. On 25 May 2011, the European Commission launched what it described as a new and ambitious European Neighbourhood Policy, backed by more than €1.2 billion in new funding, bringing the total to almost €7 billion. The main priorities and directions of a revitalised ENP strategy are set out in the Joint Communication by the European Commission and the High Representative for Foreign Affairs, titled “A new response to a changing Neighbourhood”. It seeks to strengthen individual and regional relationships between the EU and countries in its neighbourhood through a “more funds for more reform” approach – making more additional funds available, but with more mutual accountability. In the South, the first comprehensive policy for the region was the Euro-Mediterranean Partnership (or Barcelona Process) a wide framework of political, economic and social relations between member states of the EU and countries of the Southern Mediterranean. It was initiated on 27–28 November 1995 through a conference of Ministers of Foreign Affairs, held in Barcelona. Besides the 27 member states of the European Union, the remaining “Mediterranean Partners” are all other Mediterranean countries including Libya (which had ‘observer status’ from 1999 to 2012). In the East, the Eastern Partnership (EaP) is a policy initiative launched at the Prague Summit in May 2009 that aims to bring the six Eastern European neighbours (Armenia, Azerbaijan, Belarus, Georgia, Moldova and Ukraine) closer to the EU. It represents the Eastern dimension of the ENP and strengthens bilateral relations between the EU and its partners. These states, with the exception of Belarus, also participate in the Euronest Parliamentary Assembly. In March 2015, the European Commission launched a review of the principles on which the policy is based as well as its scope and how its instruments should be used. The consultation follows four priorities: differentiation; focus; flexibility; ownership and visibility. A Communication setting out proposals for the future direction of the ENP will follow in autumn.

Union for the Mediterranean © Kolja21/cc-by-sa-3.0

Union for the Mediterranean © Kolja21/cc-by-sa-3.0

Giving incentives and rewarding best performers, as well as offering funds in a faster and more flexible manner, were the two main principles underlying the European Neighbourhood Instrument (ENI) that came into force in 2014 and was merged in 2021 into Global Europe. It has a budget of €15.4 billion and provides the bulk of funding through a number of programmes and replaced The earlier European Neighbourhood and Partnership Instrument (ENPI). This cooperation instrument continues to be managed by Directorate-General for Development and Cooperation and EuropeAid, which turns decisions taken on a political level into actions on the ground. The ENPI funding approved for the 2007–2013 period was €11.2 billion. Kazakhstan’s Foreign Ministry has expressed interest in the ENP and some MEPs have also discussed Kazakhstan’s inclusion in the ENP. The EU Neighbourhood Info Centre was launched in January 2009 by the European Commission to make more known the relationship between the EU and its Neighbours.

Read more on europa.eu – The European Neighbourhood Policy and Wikipedia European Neighbourhood Policy (Smart Traveler App by U.S. Department of State - Weather report by weather.com - Global Passport Power Rank - Travel Risk Map - Democracy Index - GDP according to IMF, UN, and World Bank - Global Competitiveness Report - Corruption Perceptions Index - Press Freedom Index - World Justice Project - Rule of Law Index - UN Human Development Index - Global Peace Index - Travel & Tourism Competitiveness Index). Photos by Wikimedia Commons. If you have a suggestion, critique, review or comment to this blog entry, we are looking forward to receive your e-mail at comment@wingsch.net. Please name the headline of the blog post to which your e-mail refers to in the subject line.




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