Eastern Partnership

European Neighbourhood Policy (ENP)

08/02/2021 - 16:25
Policy - Activity

The European Union's European Neighbourhood Policy (ENP) was launched in 2004 to support and foster stability, security and prosperity in the EU`s neighbourhood. The Review of the ENP in 2015 brought a change to the cooperation framework and proposed ways to build more effective partnerships in the Neighbourhood.

The ENP builds on common interests with partner countries of the East and South, as well as on a shared commitment to work together on key priority areas. In addition to the promotion of democracy, rule of law, respect for human rights and social cohesion, the revised ENP sets three joint priorities for cooperation better suited to the challenges of our time and adapted to the region’s evolution: (1) economic development for stabilisation; (2) security and; (3) migration and mobility.

The main principles of the revised ENP are: a differentiated - or tailored - approach to partner countries; flexibility; joint ownership; greater involvement of EU member states and shared responsibility. It aims to deepen engagement with civil society and social partners and offers partner countries greater access to the EU's market and regulatory framework, standards and internal agencies and programmes.

 

Bilateral, regional and multilateral dimension

The ENP provides the framework for relations between the EU and each Neighbourhood partner. There are sixteen ENP partners: AlgeriaArmeniaAzerbaijanBelarusEgyptGeorgiaIsraelJordanLebanonLibyaRepublic of MoldovaMoroccoSyriaPalestine[1]TunisiaUkraine.

ENP regional and multilateral cooperation initiatives include:

While the principles and objectives of the ENP remain valid, the strategic interests of both the EU and its neighbours have evolved since the review in 2015. Building on the revised ENP, the cooperation with the East and with the South was further strengthened:

  • In the South – a strengthened Mediterranean partnership remains a strategic priority for the EU. A Joint Communication by the EEAS and the European Commission on the Renewed Partnership with the Southern Neighbourhood was adopted on 9 February 2021. The initiative was backed by an EU Economic and Investment Plan for our Southern Neighbours” aimed at unleashing the untapped economic potential of the region.

 

Implementation and support

The EU supports the ENP objectives through political dialogue and a number of other tools, including financial support and technical cooperation. Association Agendas, Partnership Priorities and equivalents are the basis for setting priorities for assistance by establishing political and economic reform agendas with short- and medium-term priorities. Agreed jointly, they reflect the needs, interests and capacities of the EU and each partner. The Association Agendas and Partnership Priorities build on existing legal agreements with the EU – Partnership & Cooperation Agreements (PCAs) or Association Agreements (AAs). Additional tools have been developed under the ENP to advance market access, in particular through the negotiation of Deep and Comprehensive Free Trade Agreements (DCFTAs).

Country-by-country developments are addressed in country-specific reports which are released by the European External Action Service and the European Commission ahead of Association Council meetings or other similar high-level events.

A Joint Report on the implementation of the ENP Review was published in May 2017.

 

Financial assistance

European Neighbourhood Instrument (ENI): ENI was the main financial instrument for implementing the ENP during the 2013-2020 programming period. ENI supported the neighbourhood regions with a financial envelop of €15.4 billion.

Neighbourhood, Development and International Cooperation Instrument (NDICI)(link is external): In the 2021-2027 period, assistance to the partner countries in the Neighbourhood will be financed through NDICI. With a total financial envelope of EUR 79 462 million (pending final adoption), the new instrument will be based on a ‘policy first’ principle. It will streamline EU external action by merging most of the existing external financing instruments and the European Development Fund into one single tool. NDICI will preserve the key features of the European Neighbourhood Instrument (ENI) in relation to enhanced political cooperation with the ENP partner countries. In total, the EU’s neighbourhood area will be granted a dedicated financial envelope of at least EUR 19 323 million for the period 2021-2027.

The “Umbrella” programme, launched by the EU in 2014 is a set of dedicated dialogues, complemented by financial assistance, to support our partners in their democratic transitions. The programme follows an “incentive-based” approach and rewards progress in the area of democracy reforms and human rights with financial support. More than 1 billion EUR has been provided since 2014 to several ENP partner countries. NDICI will continue to support the programme in the 2021-2027 period.

 

Participation in EU programmes and sectoral cooperation

Under the ENP, the EU works together with its partners to develop democratic, socially equitable and inclusive societies. It offers partners economic integration, improved circulation of people across borders, financial assistance and technical cooperation toward approximation with EU standards. Cooperation between the EU and its neighbours in a wide range of sectors, from environment to culture, agriculture to statistics, customs, competition – and far beyond. The objective is to help improve the quality of life of the citizens in the EU and in our neighbourhood. ENP countries have the possibility to participate in EU programmes and activities of a large number of EU agencies according to different modalities.

[1]  This designation shall not be construed as recognition of a State of Palestine and is without prejudice to the individual positions of the member states on this issue.

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