With its European Neighbourhood Policy (ENP), the EU is seeking to reinforce relations with neighbouring countries to the east and south in order to promote prosperity, stability and security at its borders.
The ENP was launched in 2004 to promote closer relations with the countries adjacent to the EU. Prosperity, stability and security in these areas are in the mutual interest of the EU and its neighbours.
At present, 16 partners are addressed by the ENP: Algeria, Armenia, Azerbaijan, Belarus, Egypt, Georgia, Israel, Jordan, Lebanon, Libya, the Republic of Moldova, Morocco, the occupied Palestinian territory, Syria, Tunisia and Ukraine.
The ENP provides the EU with the means to deepen bilateral relations with these countries. The policy is based upon a mutual commitment to common values: democracy and human rights, rule of law, good governance, market economy principles and sustainable development.
But the ENP also takes relations beyond standard cooperation or trade agreements to offer political association and deeper economic integration, increased mobility and increased people-to-people contacts.
Countries wishing to deepen their relationship with the EU agree joint bilateral action plans to this effect. These set out an agenda of political and economic reforms for a period of three to five years. To date, 12 action plans have been agreed (some of these are already ’second generation‘), with the ENP yet to be fully ‘activated’ for Algeria, Belarus, Libya and Syria.