Brussels, 3 April 2008
EU deepens ties with its neighbours and
supports their reforms
In the past year, the European Union has
substantially strengthened its relations with its neighbours and supported their
democratic and economic reform efforts through the European Neighbourhood Policy
(ENP). A policy paper adopted by the European Commission today takes stock of
the concrete progress made by partner countries in a great number of areas, from
political cooperation to trade, migration and visa facilitation, from energy,
transport, research and innovation to students' and youth
Commission also identifies areas where further efforts are required, and
encourages a targeted and differentiated deepening of relations with select
partners that have shown particular ambition and capacity. This process has
already started with Ukraine and the Commission now proposes to further
intensify cooperation with Israel, Moldova and Morocco. Individual country
reports for each country with an ENP Action Plan and a sectoral report accompany
“Our neighbourhood policy is a success story. We work closely with
our partners to help them advance their structural reforms and bring them closer
to our Union. Progress on the ground over the last year has been remarkable in
many countries and our relations with our neighbours to the South and to the
East are becoming more intense and fruitful by the day.” said Benita
Ferrero-Waldner, Commissioner for External Relations and European Neighbourhood
Policy. And she added: "This is a tailor-made partnership for reform,
to the benefit of our partners and citizens alike. Each country shapes its
relationship with us individually. In this vein, we are now considering to
specifically deepen our ties with four countries that have shown particular
progress and ambition."
Since the end of 2006 ...
Economic integration is progressing
- Negotiations were launched with Ukraine on a New Enhanced Agreement
including on a deep and comprehensive Free Trade Area.
- Egypt, Morocco and Tunisia started bilateral negotiations on
liberalisation of services and establishment. Israel will follow
- Autonomous trade preferences were offered to Moldova.
- Studies exploring the possibility of free trade agreements with
Georgia and Armenia will soon be
Mobility with certain countries has been
- Readmission and visa facilitation agreements with Ukraine and
Moldova are now in force.
- Moldova was chosen as the seat of the first joint EU visa application
centre as well as a pilot country with which to develop a “mobility
partnership”, to facilitate legal migration while combating illegal
Cooperation on justice and fight against organised
crime has increased
- To strengthen regional cooperation in the Mediterranean, training
schemes have been put for judges, prosecutors, lawyers and senior police
officers. Almost 1,000 professionals from the Mediterranean ENP partners have
already been trained.
- Ukraine started a reform of its legal and judicial system including
reform of company law and elimination of inconsistencies between different
legislative acts in order to ensure a more predictable and transparent business
Energy cooperation contributes to more energy
- The EU has signed Memoranda of Understanding on energy cooperation with
energy producer Azerbaijan and transit country Ukraine and
expects to conclude soon similar ones with key producers Algeria and
- Joint energy declarations were signed with Morocco and
- Several oil and gas pipelines and interconnections linking the EU,
candidate countries and ENP partners are being developed and will lead to
enhanced energy security for their citizens.
- An aviation agreement signed with Morocco is leading to gradual
opening of the market, an extensive alignment with EU legislation and increased
air traffic (by 17% in 2007). It reduces fares and improves choice for tourists,
while helping to build tourist industry and provide employment.
- Negotiations on a similar agreement were launched with Ukraine in
And more ...
- The ENP partners have the possibility to align their positions with the EU's
Common Foreign and Security Policy (CFSP) positions. Ukraine,
Moldova, Armenia, Azerbaijan and Georgia have chosen
to do so regularly and Morocco and Jordan have recently decided
- Partner countries have continued to prepare investment projects to promote
the implementation of the Kyoto Protocol on climate change. The Southern partner
countries have worked together to establish a list of 44 priority projects to
de-pollute the Mediterranean Sea.
- ENP partners can participate in Community programmes and agencies.
Israel is the first one to participate in the EU’s CIP -
Entrepreneurship and Innovation Programme.
- Israel (as an associated member), Egypt, Jordan and
Morocco, in particular, have been successful participants in the first
calls under 7th Framework Research Programme.
- The number of students from ENP partners who participated in the Erasmus
Mundus programme in 2007 has increased by over 40%. There was also a 4 times
increase in the number of young people from ENP countries in voluntary services
actions under the EU Youth in Action Programme.
- The EU assistance to ENP partners has increased considerably: €1.65
billion was committed in 2007. The annual cost to the EU budget amounts to just
over €3 per EU citizen.
Hundreds of experts from all over
the EU work on a daily basis with their counterparts in the partner countries,
to help them advance their reforms and to share with them EU
know-how and best practices in various areas.
Memos summarising the situation of each country are available at
Neighbourhood Policy - ARMENIA
Neighbourhood Policy - AZERBAIJAN
Neighbourhood Policy – EGYPT
Neighbourhood Policy – GEORGIA
Neighbourhood Policy – ISRAEL
Neighbourhood Policy – JORDAN
Neighbourhood Policy – LEBANON
Européenne de Voisinage – MAROC
Neighbourhood Policy - MOLDOVA
The occupied Palestinian territory :
Neighbourhood Policy – THE OCCUPIED PALESTINIAN TERRITORY
Européenne de Voisinage – TUNISIE
Neighbourhood Policy - UKRAINE
For more on the ENP
 Communication from the
Commission to the Parliament and the Council "Implementation of the European
Neighbourhood Policy in 2007", 3 April 2008.
Country reports for Armenia, Azerbaijan, Egypt, Georgia, Israel, Jordan,
Lebanon, Morocco, Moldova, the occupied Palestinian territory, Tunisia and
Ukraine and the sectoral report are available at http://ec.europa.eu/world/enp/documents_en.htm