Brussels, 8 September 2014
The Commission sets out cooperation priorities for the Eastern and the Southern Neighbourhood for coming years
Following consultation with partner countries, EU member States and the European Parliament, the European Commission has taken decisions providing important EU funding to the partners in the EU Neighbourhood in the coming years. This package includes programming documents for Algeria, Armenia, Azerbaïjan, Belarus, Jordan, Lebanon, Libya, Morocco and Tunisia, as well as for regional cooperation in both the Eastern and Southern neighbourhood and for European Neighbourhood-Wide programmes. The total amount of these programmes is over €5,5 billion.
Catherine Ashton said: "Our relationship with the countries in our Neighbourhood has always been one of my priorities. We have strong links with these countries and an important role to play in helping them deal with the political and economic challenges they face. We are committed to accompany them on their path to peace, democracy and socio-economic development."
Štefan Füle, European Commissioner for Enlargement and Neighbourhood Policy, said: "Ambition and commitment to reforms will guide the massive EU funding for our Neighbours for the coming years. Priorities for support have been established through close dialogue with our partners, involving all the relevant stakeholders, in the spirit of ownership and partnership. The funding will help them address key challenges their societies are facing".
Following the adoption of programming documents for Georgia and Moldova in June 2014, in July the EU Commission adopted a package of bilateral and multi-country programming documents that will chart EU support to the partners for the coming years. These funds will come from the European Neighbourhood Instrument (ENI) that will provide the bulk of EU assistance to partners over coming years.
Programming is done only for the first years of the Multi-annual Financial Framework period (MFF 2014-2020) to allow adaptation of EU support to evolving situation in each country/region. In the spirit of differentiation, the timeframes of the programming documents differ and take into account the specificity of the country situation and/or programmes concerned.
The programming priorities have been developed in close cooperation with the national authorities of partner countries, civil society and other relevant stakeholders, and in coordination with EU Member States. They are also fully coherent with existing agreed documents setting policy priorities between the EU and the partner countries, such as Action plans and other jointly agreed documents. They were also subject of a Strategic Dialogue on programming with the European Parliament.
In accordance with the aid effectiveness principles, programming documents for bilateral cooperation present in general three priority sectors. Each sector of concentration will encompass sector-related capacity development and institution building activities, including technical cooperation, to support in particular approximation to EU legislation and technical standards.
In addition, a specific financial envelope in bilateral programming documents will allow notably for complementary support for capacity development and Civil Society. In principle, support to civil society will be also mainstreamed throughout all three sectors of intervention, with the ultimate goal of ensuring effective and inclusive policies at the national level. Efforts will be made to support civil society capacities and engagement, in the development, implementation and monitoring of national public policies supported by the EU, including through participation in policy dialogue.
The programming documents for Egypt and Cross-border Cooperation are expected to be adopted in fall 2014. Based on the programming documents, relevant implementation measures will be adopted and launched.
The European Neighbourhood Instrument (ENI)
The new European Neighbourhood Instrument with a budget of €15.4 billion for the period 2014-2020 will provide the bulk of funding to the 16 partner countries1 covered by the European Neighbourhood Policy (ENP). Building on the achievements of the previous European Neighbourhood and Partnership Instrument (ENPI), the ENI will support strengthening of relations with Neighbourhood countries and bring tangible benefits to both the EU and its partners. It will provide support through bilateral, multi-country and Cross Border Co-operation (CBC) programmes as well as through "Umbrella programmes" that will represent the key mechanism for applying an incentive-based approach.
A. Bilateral programming documents
Depending on the evolution of the political and security situation in Libya, the content of the priority sectors could however be readjusted to meet the needs of the Libyan population and institutions.
Further support to the Action Plan and Civil Society (indicative 20%)
B. Multicountry programming documents
For more information
Algeria, Armenia, Azerbaijan, Belarus, Egypt, Georgia, Israel, Jordan, Lebanon, Libya, the Republic of Moldova, Morocco, Palestine, Syria, Tunisia and Ukraine. ENI support may also be used for the purpose of enabling the Russian Federation to participate in cross-border cooperation, in regional cooperation with Union participation and in relevant multi-country programmes.