In a set of annual reports adopted on 25 March 2015, the European Commission and the High Representative of the European Union for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy assessed the implementation of the European Neighbourhood Policy (ENP) with the 16 partner countries in East Europe and the southern Mediterranean and made recommendations for the year ahead.
The reports show the development of the partner countries in 2014 in terms of democratic transition, human rights and fundamental freedoms, their economic development and the countries' cooperation with the EU in sectorial areas such as migration and mobility, energy and transport. This year, the reports will also assist the EU in evaluating its approach towards the region as a whole and be useful for the ENP review process launched on 4 March.
Speaking on the occasion of adoption of the European Neighbourhood Package, High Representative of the Union for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy/ Vice-President of the European Commission Federica Mogherini said:
"2014 was a year of major challenges: armed conflicts in Ukraine, atrocities and human rights violations by terrorist groups in the Middle East and in North Africa, and the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. Increased irregular migration and trafficking of human beings to Europe have been one of the direct consequences of the crises. These developments have been a test for the European Neighbourhood Policy. In this crucial time, the EU is determined to step up its engagement with our partners across the region on political, economic and security cooperation".
EU Commissioner for European Neighbourhood Policy and Enlargement Negotiations, Johannes Hahn, underlined the importance of the Neighbourhood Policy for the Union, and the ongoing review of the Neighbourhood Policy:
"The political assessments and economic evaluations, and the conclusions drawn in the 2014 ENP reports published today will assist the European Union in evaluating its approach towards the region as a whole. We are currently consulting widely on the way ahead for this policy with a view to developing more effective ways of working with these key partners for the benefit of the EU and our neighbours themselves".
High Representative for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy/Vice-President of the Commission Federica Mogherini and Commissioner for European Neighbourhood Policy and Enlargement Negotiations Johannes Hahn launched on the 4th of March a consultation on the future of the European Neighbourhood Policy (ENP). The ENP was last reviewed in 2011. Given the significant developments in the neighbourhood since then, it is now essential to undertake a fundamental review of the principles on which the policy is based as well as its scope and how its instruments should be used.
The public consultation process will last untill the end of June 2015.
Details about the consultation on the future of its relations with neighbouring countries can be found here
Through its European Neighbourhood Policy (ENP), the EU works with its southern and eastern neighbours to achieve the closest possible political association and the greatest possible degree of economic integration. This goal builds on common interests and on values — democracy, the rule of law, respect for human rights, and social cohesion. The ENP is a key part of the European Union's foreign policy.
Partner countries agree with the EU an ENP action plan or an Association Agenda demonstrating their commitment to democracy, human rights, rule of law, good governance, market economy principles and sustainable development. The EU supports the achievement of these objectives.
The EU also supports the civil society which plays an important role in bringing about deep and sustainable democracy in partner countries.
The ENP is a jointly owned initiative and its implementation requires action on both sides, by the neighbours and by the EU. The ENP benefits from greater coherence thanks to the creation of the European External Action Service which supports the High Representative of the Union for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy and Vice-President of the European Commission Federica Mogherini and the involvement of the Commissioner specifically dealing with European Neighborhood Policy and Enlargement Negotiations European Neighbourhood Policy, Johannes Hahn.
Of the 16 ENP countries:
12 are currently are already fully participating as partners in the ENP, having agreed on ENP action plans:
The ENP action plans (or Association Agendas for Eastern partner countries)
The action plans build on existing legal agreements with the EU – partnership & cooperation agreements (PCAs) or association agreements (AAs). Implementation is monitored through committees set up by these agreements. Once a year, the European External Action Service and the European Commission publish ENP progress reports assessing the progress made towards the objectives of the Action Plans and the Association Agendas.
The European External Action Service and the European Commission publish yearly ENP progress reports. The next reports are planned to be published on 25 March 2015.
At the last review of its European Neighbourhood Policy in 2010-11, the EU introduced the more-for-more principle: the EU will develop stronger partnerships and offer greater incentives to countries that make more progress towards democratic reform – free and fair elections, freedom of expression, of assembly and of association, judicial independence, fight against corruption and democratic control over the armed forces.
The ENP is chiefly a bilateral policy between the EU and each partner country. But it is complemented by regional and multilateral cooperation initiatives:
While the underlying principles and objectives of the ENP apply to all partners, the EU’s relationship with each one of its partners is unique, and the instruments of the ENP are tailored to serve each of those relationships. The ENP provides the EU with a toolbox of instruments that allows it to adapt and differentiate its policy, in line with the different developments, ambitions and needs of its partners.
High Representative for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy/Vice-President of the Commission Federica Mogherini and Commissioner for European Neighbourhood Policy and Enlargement Negotiations Johannes Hahn are launching today a consultation on the future of the European Neighbourhood Policy(ENP)