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The ENP translates the EU's wish to build on common interests with partner countries of the East and South and commitment to work jointly in key priority areas, including in the promotion of democracy, rule of law, respect for human rights, and social cohesion. The revised Policy aims to build more effective partnerships between the EU and its neighbours towards a more stable EU Neighbourhood, in political, socio-economic and security terms. Strengthening the state and societal resilience of the EU's partners is a key priority in the face of threats and pressures they are experiencing, including the challenges associated with migration and mobility. The key principles of the revised ENP are differentiation amongst partner countries, flexibility, joint ownership, greater involvement of the EU Member States, and shared responsibility. Through the ENP, the EU offers partner countries potential greater access to the EU's market and regulatory framework, standards and internal agencies and programmes. The EU provides its support to partners in the Neighbourhood region mainly through the European Neighbourhood Instrument (ENI), with over EUR 15 billion for 2014-2020.
The implementation of the ENP is a joint endeavor that requires action on both sides, by neighbours and by the EU. On the EU side, the ENP draws on the involvement of the European External Action Service (EEAS), the European Commission services and the Member States, in line with agreed EU foreign and security policy actions. In its work, the EEAS supports the High Representative of the Union for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy and Vice-President of the European Commission Federica Mogherini and the Commissioner dealing with European Neighborhood Policy and Enlargement Negotiations, Johannes Hahn.
The EU and its Neighbourhood partner countries work both bilaterally and regionally to advance the cooperation.
There are 16 ENP countries:
Republic of Moldova
* 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.
The ENP was launched in 2004 based on a Communication entitled "Wider Europe – Neighbourhood" adopted by the European Commission one year earlier. The Policy was set as a framework to govern the EU's relations with 16 of the EU's Eastern and Southern Neighbours in order to achieve the closest possible political association and the greatest possible degree of economic integration.
The ENP was reviewed in 2011, following the Arab uprisings. A major novelty was the so-called 'more for more' principle, whereby additional reform efforts by partner countries were to be rewarded with additional financial and other support.
Since its launch, the ENP has evolved considerably, due to a number of radical changes and challenges affecting the neighbouring countries in terms of stability, prosperity and security. Recognising the different level of involvement sought in the bilateral relations by the EU's partners and following extensive public consultations with all the main stakeholders, the European Neighbourhood Policy was reviewed in November 2015 by the European External Action Service and the European Commission services as proposed by President Juncker and requested by EU Member States.
The launch of the ENP Review process took place in parallel with the work conducted on the EU's Global Strategy , which also aims for the stabilisation of the EU's Neighbourhood through building resilience of partners. Whereas a number of EU neighbouring countries go through social and economic changes due to globalisation and internal pressure form reforms, security is a precondition for economic development in the medium to longer term.
While continuing defending the EU values and human rights, the current Review also engages partners in increased cooperation on security matters, in light of a differentiated (tailor-made) approach to partner countries, and enhanced ownership of the Policy by all stakeholders.
In political terms, 4 main domains are at the heart of the new Policy:
(1) Good governance, democracy, rule of law and human rights;
(2) economic development for stabilisation;
(3) security and;
(4) migration and mobility.
The 2015 Review reinforced the principle of flexibility in order to accelerate assistance and to ensure it is better adapted to rapidly evolving political circumstances and priorities. The EU provides its support to partners in the Neighbourhood region mainly through the European Neighbourhood Instrument (ENI), with over EUR 15 billion for 2014-2020. Apart from providing grants, the EU is also aiming to leverage substantial additional funding through cooperation with International Financial Institutions by means of investment subsidies from the Neighbourhood Investment Facility. Technical assistance instruments are available to help implement Association Agendas and Partnership Priorities.
Differentiated partnerships and the tailor-made approach are the hallmarks of the revised ENP. Country-by-country developments are addressed in factual country-specific reports which are released by European External Action Service and the European Commission ahead of the Association Council meetings or other similar high-level events and replace the previous ENP annual package, which used to be released for all partners at the same time, once a year.
A Joint Communication on the implementation of the ENP Review will be adopted in spring 2017. This Communication will take stock of developments and trends in the Neighbourhood and will examine how region-wide challenges in the priority areas have been addressed since the revised Policy has been launched.
The Association Agendas and Partnership Priorities build on existing legal agreements with the EU – Partnership & Cooperation Agreements (PCAs) or Association Agreements (AAs). The Association Councils remain the highest formal bodies established under the Association Agreements to supervise the implementation of the Agreements and to discuss issues of mutual interest.
The ENP is chiefly a bilateral policy between the EU and each partner country. Nevertheless, it is complemented by regional and multilateral cooperation initiatives:
Cooperation with the Southern Mediterranean countries on migration-related issues are strategic, aimed at facilitating mobility but discouraging irregular migration. The EU’s policy framework for dialogue and cooperation on migration with non-EU countries is presented in the Communication on the New Partnership Framework with third countries adopted in June 2016 (COM(2016)385). The EU has proposed to establish structured dialogues on migration, mobility and security to the Southern Mediterranean countries. The goal is to develop, under the auspices of the European Agenda for Migration, mobility partnerships and other agreements ensuring that the movement of persons between the EU and its partner countries is well managed. A Joint Communication on 'Migration on the Central Mediterranean route – Managing flows, saving lives' (JOIN(2017) 4 final) was adopted in January 2017 and was welcomed by the members of the European Council the following month. The EU has also worked closely with the member states of the Khartoum and Rabat Processes to implement the Joint Valletta Action Plan agreed in February 2016. Migration has been addressed in bilateral Partnership Priorities to help strengthen the countries' migration governance framework and efforts to tackle and prevent irregular migration. On a North African level the EU is to establish systems to provide better education, health and social protection for migrant communities.
The EU has a large and diversified security-related portfolio with ENP countries, covering all ENP security areas in a combination of bilateral, regional, and cross-border projects. The new focus on security reflected in the ENP Review of 2015 opens up a wide range of new areas of cooperation under the ENP, including conflict prevention, crisis management and security sector reform. The EU will also intensify work with partners to tackle terrorism and to counter radicalisation. The role of the civil society will be key to identify partnership priorities in the field of security on a country-based level. Security Sector Reform is a shared objective with a number of ENP countries and, together with countering terrorism, is among the Partnership Priorities already agreed with Lebanon and with Jordan. Furthermore, a 23 million EUR programme in support of Security Sector Reform activities is being implemented in Tunisia. Counter-terrorism roadmaps and packages are being developed with Tunisia, Lebanon and Jordan, based on extensive dialogue. Several civilian CSDP missions have been deployed in Ukraine, Georgia, Palestine and Libya, with a focus on community security, including border management. Ukraine, Georgia and R. Moldova participate in EU CSDP missions and operations based on Framework Participation Agreements, while Ukraine contributes to the EU Battle Groups.
ENP countries have the possibility to participate in around 20 EU programmes, according to different modalities. For formal participation / association to EU programmes, an enabling formal Protocol (FPP) to the relevant Association Agreement with the EU needs to be negotiated. Thus far, the following ENP countries have negotiated such a Protocol: Armenia, Azerbaijan, Georgia, Moldova, Ukraine, Algeria, Israel, Jordan, Lebanon, Morocco, Tunisia. In April 2015, Moldova ratified the agreement to participate in COSME; Armenia joined in December 2015 and Ukraine in February 2017. Tunisia, Israel, Georgia, Ukraine, Moldova, and Armenia have become full Horizon 2020 partners between 2014 and 2016. Since 2015, Ukraine, Moldova and Georgia have been also associated to Creative Europe. Other ENP countries expressed formal interest in participating in various EU programmes and the processes are ongoing. Since 2007, the Council also authorised the participation of ENP countries in activities of a large number of EU agencies (FRONTEX, EUROPOL, CEPOL, EEA, EFSA, EMCDDA, etc.). The relevant Agencies' Regulations provide for various options of participation, allowing for different levels of engagement and working arrangements. All ENP countries have some forms of cooperation with EU agencies.
Following consultations with Partner countries, a review of the EaP multilateral architecture of Platforms and Panels is envisaged so that the modalities for the further strengthening of the cooperation could be agreed at the EaP Summit in November 2017. In particular, a better alignment on the 4 Riga priorities (economic development and market opportunities, connectivity and energy efficiency, strengthening institutions and good governance, mobility and people-to-people links) is foreseen, also in order to ensure the EaP deliverables for 2020.
Since the launch of the EU-LAS Strategic Dialogue on November 2015, the EU has strengthened its operational cooperation with the League of Arab States, particularly in the fields of conflict prevention, early warning and crisis management, humanitarian assistance, counter-terrorism, non-proliferation of weapons of mass destruction and arms control, in the framework of the specific Working Groups dedicated to these topics. Representatives of the European Union and the League of Arab States met in Cairo on 30 November 2016 to hold the fifth meeting of the EU Political and Security Committee and the League of Arab States Permanent Representatives, where it was decided to reinforce the Euro-Arab partnership in a number of key topics. The second meeting of the Strategic Dialogue was held in Cairo in November 2016 and two further Working Groups on international migration and respectively fighting against transnational organised crime were launched, demonstrating the shared regional interests and the common challenges faced on these issues.
 Egypt and Palestine have not yet signed any FPP. Currently, Belarus, Libya and Syria cannot participate.
Central to the ENP are the bilateral Action Plans or Association Agendas between the EU and each ENP partner (12 of them were agreed). These set out an agenda of political and economic reforms with short and medium-term priorities of 3 to 5 years. ENP Action Plans/Association Agendas reflect each partner's needs and capacities, as well as their and the EU’s interests. The ENP is not yet ‘activated’ for Algeria, Belarus, Libya and Syria. An Action Plan with Algeria is currently under negotiation.
Under the ENP, the EU works together with its partners to develop democratic, socially equitable and inclusive societies, and offers its neighbours economic integration, improved circulation of people across borders, financial assistance and technical cooperation toward approximation with EU standards.
Better cooperation in specific sectors means improving daily living conditions of citizens in a tangible way:
The European Commission provides financial support in grant form to partners; the European Investment Bank and the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development complement this support through loans. The civil society plays an important role in contributing to democracy and good governance building in partner countries. The EU supports organisations via the Civil Society Facility.
The ENP builds upon the legal agreements in place between the EU and the partner in question: Partnership and Cooperation Agreements (PCA) or Association Agreements (AA). Implementation of the ENP is jointly promoted and monitored through the Committees and sub-Committees established in the frame of these agreements. The European External Action Service and the European Commission publish each year the ENP Progress Reports. The assessments and recommendations contained in the Progress Reports form the basis for EU policy towards each ENP partner under the "more for more" principle.
The 'more for more' principle applies to all incentives proposed by the EU: policy developments as well as to financial assistance (excluded humanitarian assistance, refugee & external borders funds and support to civil society). Partners determinedly embarking on political reforms should be offered, in addition to the incentives available to other partners, those that relate to the most ambitious elements of:
In that context, the Commission has decided to set up specific programmes both for the Eastern (EAPIC) and Southern (SPRING) neighbours that will allocate extra financial support only to those neighbours taking clear and concrete steps on political reforms. In addition, a new Civil Society Facility was created in September 2011 to strengthen the capacity of civil society to promote and monitor reforms, and increase public accountability.
In most economies small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) are the engine of economic growth and job creation.
People’s mobility is a basic condition for fostering trade and investment, cultural exchanges and social and economic development in modern society. The EU has signed a number of agreements with neighbours, making mobility and access to Schengen visas easier, quicker and cheaper. With some partners negotiations on visas are being held to achieve visa free travel agreements, on the condition that mobility can take place in a secure and well-managed environment.