Brussels, 25 May 2011
A new and ambitious European Neighbourhood Policy
A number of important principles underpin the new European Neighbourhood Policy:
1. To support progress towards “deep democracy”
A functioning democracy, respect for human rights and the rule of law are fundamental pillars of the EU partnership with its neighbours. There is no set model or a ready-made recipe for political reform. While reforms take place differently from one country to another, several elements are common to building deep and sustainable democracy and require a strong and lasting commitment on the part of governments. They include:
Reform based on these elements will not only strengthen democracy but help to create the conditions for sustainable and inclusive economic growth, stimulating trade and investment. They are the main benchmarks against which the EU will assess progress and adapt levels of support.
It is increasingly important to complement EU engagement at a state level with much closer contact with non-governmental organisations and build a partnership with societies. Civil societies organisations are key actors in promoting democratic and market-oriented reforms based on shared values, and a thriving civil society is a barrier against authoritarianism. It also helps citizens to play their crucial role in providing policy inputs and holding governments to account.
With the entry into force of the Lisbon Treaty and the creation of a High Representative for Foreign and Security Policy and of the European External Action Service, political and security co-operation between the EU and its immediate neighbours can shift to a higher gear in a number of areas.
2. To support sustainable economic and social development
Most partner countries have weak and poorly diversified economies that remain vulnerable to external economic shocks. The immediate objectives is to promote sustainable economic growth and job creation and improving social protection. Trade is a powerful instrument to stimulate economic growth and support economic recovery. It is therefore essential that we establish with each of them mutually beneficial and ambitious trade arrangements matching their needs and their economic capacities. Finally, sector co-operation provides the opportunities to advance economic integration with the EU internal market.
Mobility and people-to-people contacts are fundamental to promoting mutual understanding and economic development. Labour mobility is an area where the EU and its neighbours can complement each other. The EU’s workforce is ageing and labour shortages will develop in specific areas.
The ENP aims to develop a mutually beneficial approach where economic development in partner countries and in the EU, well-managed legal migration, capacity-building on border management, asylum and effective law-enforcement co-operation go hand in hand. This approach is in line with the three pillars of the EU Global Approach and the recently adopted Communication on migration: The promotion and respect of migrants' rights are also an integral part of the approach.
3. To build effective regional partnerships within the ENP
To strengthen the Eastern Partnership
To build the Partnership for Democracy and Shared Prosperity in the Southern Mediterranean
4. A simplified and coherent policy and programming framework
A simplified and coherent policy and programme framework
Bilateral relations between the EU and each of its neighbours have become stronger in recent years. Close and intensive dialogue has developed not only on general political matters but on all specific areas of our co-operation. These very close relationships and a higher level of commitment call for much stronger political steering of our dialogue and co-operation.
While ENP Action Plans remain the framework for our general cooperation, the EU will suggest to partners that they focus on a limited number of short and medium-term priorities, incorporating more precise benchmarks and a clearer sequencing of actions. The EU will adapt the priorities for its financial assistance accordingly.
Implementing the new approach of the neighbourhood policy requires additional resources of up to €1242 million until 2013. Financial support will be provided to further reinforce the partnership with people across the region, support sustainable and inclusive growth, cover the additional needs stemming from the democratic transformation of partner countries, and fund the new initiatives stemming from this review, notably in the areas of partnership with societies, rural and regional development.
The documents available include:
Sectoral report: http://ec.europa.eu/world/enp/documents_en.htm
For more on the ENP: http://ec.europa.eu/world/enp/index_en.htm