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European Neighbourhood Policy

EU European Neighbourhood Policy
  ENP East
  ENP South
  Other Union for the Mediterranean member states

The European Neighbourhood Policy (ENP) is a foreign relations instrument of the European Union (EU) which seeks to tie those countries to the east and south of the European territory of the EU to the Union. These countries, primarily developing countries, include some who seek to one day become either a member state of the European Union, or more closely integrated with the European Union. The ENP does not apply to neighbours of the EU's outermost regions, specifically France's territories in South America, but only to those countries close to EU member states' territories in mainland Europe.

The countries covered include Moldova, Ukraine in the East. Russia has a special status with the EU-Russia Common Spaces instead of ENP participation.

The EU offers financial assistance to countries within the European Neighbourhood, so long as they meet the strict conditions of government reform, economic reform and other issues surrounding positive transformation. This process is normally underpinned by an Action Plan, as agreed by both Brussels and the target country. The ENP does not cover countries which are in the current EU enlargement agenda, the European Free Trade Association or the western European microstates.

The EU typically concludes Association Agreements in exchange for commitments to political, economic, trade, or human rights reform in a country. In exchange, the country may be offered tariff-free access to some or all EU markets (industrial goods, agricultural products, etc.), and financial or technical assistance.


  • History 1
    • Funding the policy: from ENPI to ENI 1.1
  • Agreements 2
  • Criticism 3
  • Status 4
  • Statistics 5
  • Academic policy papers 6
  • Books 7
  • 8 Academic journal articles
  • Book chapters 9
  • External links 10
  • See also 11
  • References 12


The European Union's European Neighbourhood Policy (ENP) aims at bringing Europe and its neighbours closer. It was conceived after the 2004 enlargement of the European Union with 10 new member countries, in order to avoid creating new borders in Europe. It is also designed to prevent the emergence of new dividing lines between the enlarged EU and its neighbours. The vision is that of a ring of countries, drawn into further integration, but without necessarily becoming full members of the European Union. The policy was first outlined by the European Commission in March 2003.

The countries covered include Moldova, Ukraine in the East. Russia has a special status with the EU-Russia Common Spaces instead of ENP participation.

On 25 May 2011, the European Commission launched what it described as a new and ambitious European Neighbourhood Policy, backed by more than €1.2 billion in new funding, bringing the total to almost €7 billion. The main priorities and directions of a revitalised ENP strategy are set out in the Joint Communication by the European Commission and the High Representative for Foreign Affairs, titled "A new response to a changing Neighbourhood". It seeks to strengthen individual and regional relationships between the EU and countries in its neighbourhood through a ‘more funds for more reform’ approach – making more additional funds available, but with more mutual accountability.

In the South the first comprehensive policy for the region was the Euro-Mediterranean Partnership (or Barcelona Process) a wide framework of political, economic and social relations between member states of the EU and countries of the Southern Mediterranean. It was initiated on 27–28 November 1995 through a conference of Ministers of Foreign Affairs, held in Barcelona. Besides the 27 member states of the European Union, the remaining "Mediterranean Partners" are all other Mediterranean countries including Libya (which had 'observer status' from 1999 to 2012).

In the East the Eastern Partnership (EaP) is a policy initiative launched at the Prague Summit in May 2009 that aims to bring the 6 Eastern neighbours - Armenia, Azerbaijan, Belarus, Georgia, Republic of Moldova and Ukraine - closer to the EU. It represents the Eastern dimension of the ENP and strengthens bilateral relations between the EU and its partners.

Funding the policy: from ENPI to ENI

Giving incentives and rewarding best performers, as well as offering funds in a faster and more flexible manner, are the two main principles underlying the European Neighbourhood Instrument (ENI) that came into force in 2014.[1] It has a budget of €15.4 billion and provides the bulk of funding through a number of programmes. The ENI, effective from 2014 to 2020, replaces the European Neighbourhood and Partnership Instrument – known as the ENPI. This cooperation instrument continues to be managed by DG Development and Cooperation - EuropeAid, which turns decisions taken on a political level into actions on the ground. ENPI funding approved for the period 2007-2013 was €11.2 billion.

Kazakhstan's Foreign Ministry has expressed interest in the ENP[2] and some MEPs have also discussed Kazakhstan's inclusion in the ENP.[3]

The EU Neighbourhood Info Centre was launched in January 2009 by the European Commission to make more known the relationship between the EU and its Neighbours.


In recent history, such agreements are signed as part of two EU policies: Stabilisation and Association process (SAp) and European Neighbourhood Policy (ENP). The countries of the Mediterranean and the East European EU neighbours (including South Caucasus, but excluding Russia that insists on creating four EU-Russia Common Spaces) are covered by ENP through the External Relations directorate-general. In the ENP Association Agreements (as in similar AAs signed with Mexico and other states) there is no mention of EU membership—this is a concern only to the European ENP states, because for the Mediterranean it is obvious that they cannot join the union in its current form because they are not located in Europe. The ENP AAs are similar to the Partnership and Cooperation Agreements signed with CIS states in the 1990s and to the multiple other AAs governing the relations between the EU and other third countries. The ENP stipulates that after signing of AA with a particular country the EU will make a Country Report and then the two sides will agree on an Action Plan drafted by the EU (including particular reforms, actions and also aid by the EU) for the next three to five years.

Both the SAA and ENP AP are based mostly on the EU's acquis communautaire and its promulgation in the cooperating states legislation. Of course the depth of the harmonisation is less than for full EU members and some policy areas may not be covered (depending on the particular state).

According to EUobserver the ENP countries may be divided into two groups—European states with explicitly stated EU membership possibility for the long term and Mediterranean states with no such statement in the Action Plans. This division is obvious in the two groups for multilateral activities that are meant to supplement the bilateral ENP Action Plans—the Eastern Partnership and the Union for the Mediterranean.[4]

Association Agreements have to be ratified by all the EU member states. AA signed with the Mediterranean states also include a Free Trade Agreement between the EU and the third country. For the East European EU neighbours covered by the ENP such provisions are expected for some of the next Action Plan periods.


Although the Eastern Partnership was inaugurated on 7 May 2009, academic research critically analysing the policy became available by early 2010.[5] Research findings from a UK ESRC research project examining the EU's relations with three Eastern Partnership member states—namely, Belarus, Ukraine, and Moldova—notes both conceptual and empirical dilemmas.[6] First, conceptually the EU has limited uniform awareness of what it is trying to promote in its eastern neighbourhood under the aegis of "shared values", "collective norms", and "joint ownership". Secondly, empirically, the EU seems to favour a "top-down" governance approach (based on rule/norm transfer and conditionality) in its relations with outsiders, which is clearly at odds with a voluntary idea of "partnership", and explicitly limits the input of "the other" in the process of reform.[7]

The Arab Spring in North Africa has shed light on the close personal and business ties between governing elites in EU member states and their Mediterranean counterparts. For example, French Foreign Minister Michèle Alliot-Marie was forced to resign due to public outrage over her links to the ousted Ben Ali regime in Tunisia.[8] In 2008, the EU tried to negotiate an association agreement with Libya and earmarked €60 million in ENPI funds to the country over the 2011–2013 period.[9]


ENP partner
EU Agreement FTA provisions Country Report Action Plan Adoption by the EU Adoption by the ENP partner AP duration CFSP invitation[10] EU aspiration[11] Sub-group
Morocco AA, March 2000 Yes May 2004 End 2004 21 February 2005 27 July 2005 3–5 years No No South
Algeria AA, September 2005 Yes Under development (2010) South
Tunisia AA, March 1998 Yes May 2004 End 2004 21 February 2005 4.7.2005 3–5 years No No South
Libya Negotiations on Framework Agreement with Libya started in November 8[12] (2010). South
Egypt AA, June 2004 Yes March 2005 End 2006 5.3.2007 6.3.2007 3–5 years No No South
Jordan AA, May 2002 Yes May 2004 End 2004 21 February 2005 11.1.2005 3–5 years Yes[13] No South
Lebanon AA, April 2006 Yes March 2005 Autumn 2006 17 October 2006 19 January 2007 5 years No No South
Syria CA, November 1978 Updated AA initialed in December 2008,[12] signature by the EU Council and ratification pending. Syria delayed signature in 2009. The EU expects full cooperation with the Special Tribunal for Lebanon. (2010) South
Israel AA, June 2000 Yes May 2004 End 2004 21 February 2005 11.4.2005 3+[14] years No No South
Palestinian Authority Interim AA, July 1997 Yes May 2004 End 2004 21 February 2005 4.5.2005 3–5 years No No South
Moldova AA, June 2014 (pending ratification) DCFTA May 2004 End 2004 21 February 2005 22 February 2005 3 years Yes Yes East
Ukraine AA, June 2014 (pending ratification) DCFTA May 2004 End 2004 21 February 2005 21 February 2005 3 years Yes[15] Yes East
Belarus EU considers the Belarus authorities too undemocratic; PCA ratification procedure suspended since 1997.[16][17][18] East
Georgia AA, June 2014 (pending ratification) DCFTA March 2005 Autumn 2006 13 November 2006 14 November 2006 5 years Yes Yes East
Armenia PCA, July 1999 Negotiations[20] March 2005 Autumn 2006 13 November 2006 14 November 2006 5 years Yes Yes East
Azerbaijan PCA, July 1999 Not yet[21] March 2005 Autumn 2006 13 November 2006 14 November 2006 5 years Yes Yes East
Other regional partners
Mauritania As one of the ACP countries Mauritania is in the process of negotiating the West African Economic Partnership Agreement, but notwithstanding this it is a full member of the Union for the Mediterranean. NONE
Russia PCA, December 1997 No Opted to cooperate through the formation of EU-Russia Common Spaces instead of the ENP. Roadmap (Action Plan substitute) adopted in May 2005[22] No No NONE
Kazakhstan PCA, July 1999 No The Kazakh Foreign Ministry has expressed interest in the ENP.[23] Some MEPs also discussed Kazakhstan's inclusion in the ENP.[24] NONE

(brackets): expected date
sources: [1], [2], ENP official page [3]


State (18)[25] GNI[26] GDP[27] GNI PPP[28] GDP PPP[29] HDI[30] life exp.[31] CPI[32] press freedom[33] internet users[34] WTO[35] VWP[36]
 Algeria 3,620 4,922 7,640 6,927 0.748 72.4 3.2 31.33 10.4 obs 20.3
 Armenia 2,640 3,400 5,900 5,436 0.777 72.1 2.9 22.75 5.8 WTO 53.3
 Azerbaijan 2,550 6,142 6,260 8,958 0.758 67.5 1.9 53.63 18.3 obs 14.0
 Belarus 4,220 6,058 10,740 12,344 0.817 69.0 2.0 58.33 29.0 obs 21.1
 Egypt 1,580 2,108 5,400 5,904 0.716 71.3 2.8 50.25 12.9 WTO 35.3
 Georgia 2,120 3,060 4,770 5,001 0.763 71.0 3.9 31.25 7.8 WTO 46.6
 Israel 21,900 26,535 25,930 28,245 0.930 80.7 6.0 80.83 n/d WTO 3.0
 Jordan 2,850 3,266 5,160 5,171 0.769 72.5 5.1 36.00 n/d WTO 43.2
 Kazakhstan 5,060 9,075 9,700 11,563 0.807 67.2 2.2 35.33 12.4 obs 11.7
 Lebanon 5,770 7,375 10,050 12,063 0.796 72.0 3.0 14.00 n/d obs 27.9
 Libya 9,010 17,468 14,710 14,593 0.840 74.0 2.6 61.50 4.2 obs 27.1
 Moldova 1,260 1,830 2,930 3,153 0.719 68.9 2.9 21.38 16.2 WTO 36.7
 Morocco 2,250 2,901 3,990 4,432 0.646 71.2 3.5 32.25 19.2 WTO 24.0
 Palestine n/d n/d n/d n/d 0.731 73.4 n/d 66.88 n/d x 55.6
 Russia 7,560 12,578 14,400 16,160 0.806 65.5 2.1 47.50 27.0 WTO 7.5
 Syria 1,760 2,237 4,370 4,668 0.736 74.1 2.1 59.63 n/d x 33.1
 Tunisia 4,351 4,032 9,060 9,550 0.762 73.9 4.4 48.10 27.0 WTO 23.9
 Ukraine 2,550 4,318 6,810 7,633 0.786 67.9 2.5 19.25 14.6 WTO 30.9
  high income ($11,456 or more)GNI (Gross National Income)
  upper middle income ($3,706 to $11,455) GNI
  lower middle income ($936 to $3,705) GNI
  low income (less than $935) GNI

Academic policy papers

  • Building a Stronger Eastern Partnership: Towards an EaP 2.0, Global Europe Centre, University of Kent, September 2013
  • Belarus and the Eastern Partnership: a National Values SurveyGlobal Europe Centre, University of Kent, October 2013
  • Moldova’s Values Survey: Widening a European Dialogue in Moldova, Global Europe Centre, University of Kent, January 2014


  • Korosteleva, E.A, (2012),The European Union and its Eastern Neighbours: Towards a more ambitious partnership? London: BASEES/Routledge Series on Russian and East European Studies, ISBN 0-415-61261-6
  • Korosteleva E.A, (Ed.) (2011), Eastern Partnership: A New Opportunity for the Neighbours?, London: Routledge, ISBN 0-415-67607-X
  • Korosteleva, E.A, (2011), The Eastern Partnership: Problems and Perspectives, (in Russian), Minsk: Belarusian State University

Academic journal articles

  • Esther Barbé and Elisabeth Johansson-Nogués: "The EU as a Modest 'Force for Good': The European Neighbourhood Policy", International Affairs, Vol. 84, no. 1 (Jan, 2008); pp. 81-96.
  • Elena Korosteleva: Belarusian Foreign Policy in a Time of Crisis’, Journal of Communist Studies and Transition Politics, Special Issue, 27(3–4) 2011, pp. 566–86
  • Elena Korosteleva:‘Change or Continuity: Is the Eastern Partnership an Adequate Tool for the European Neighbourhood’, International Relations, 25(2) 2011, pp. 243–62
  • Elena Korosteleva:‘Eastern Partnership: a New Opportunity for the Neighbours?’, Journal of Communist Studies and Transition Politics, Special Issue, 27(1) 2011, pp. 1–21
  • Wolfgang Tiede and Jakob Schirmer: „Strategische Notwendigkeit – Die Östliche Partnerschaft der Europäischen Union" („Strategic Necessity – The EU’s Eastern Partnership"), in „WeltTrends" (Zeitschrift für internationale Politik und vergleichende Studien), 71/2010, pp. 10–14.
  • Elena Korosteleva:‘Moldova’s European Choice: Between Two Stools’, Europe-Asia Studies, Vol. 62(8) 2010, p. 1267–89
  • Elena Korosteleva:‘The Limits of EU Governance: Belarus’ Response to the European Neighbourhood Policy’, Contemporary Politics, Vol. 15, No. 2, June 2009, pp. 229–45
  • Elena Korosteleva and Gisselle Bosse: “Changing Belarus ? The Limits of EU Governance in Eastern Europe ”, Conflict and Cooperation, Vol.44, No. 2 2009, pp. 143–65
  • Wolfgang Tiede and Jakob Schirmer: "Die Östliche Partnerschaft der Europäischen Union im Rahmen des Gemeinschaftsrechts" ("The European Union's Eastern Partnership under Community law") in Osteuropa-Recht (OER)) 2009 (German Law Journal), vol. 2, pp. 184–191

Book chapters

  • Wolfgang Tiede und Jakob Schirmer: „The EU’s Eastern Partnership – Objectives and Legal Basis", in: "The European Legal Forum" (EuLF) 3/2009, pp. 168–174.

External links

  • European Neighbourhood Policy at European Union External Action Service
  • EU Neighbourhood Info Centre
  • EU Neighbourhood Library
  • European Neighbourhood Policy Website
  • Eurostat – Statistics Explained – European Neighbourhood Policy (statistical data)
  • Website on the programming of EC development cooperation for the ENP region
  • – Portal on Eastern Partnership – (part of ENPI)

See also


  1. ^ Establishing a European Neighbourhood Instrument
  2. ^ [4]
  3. ^ [5]
  4. ^ [6]
  5. ^
  6. ^ 'Moldova most EU-friendly Eastern country, survey reveals', Euractive, 2010-06-14
  7. ^
  8. ^ French Foreign Minister Alliot-Marie quits over Tunisia
  9. ^ European Commission’s National Indicative Programme 2011–2013 for Libya, page 21
  10. ^ The EU may invite the ENP partner to align itself with EU declarations in the field of Common Foreign and Security Policy on a case-by-case basis. Currently, in addition to ENP partners the EU invites for alignment the candidate countries, SAp and EFTA states. Each states decides on a case-by-case basis if to align itself with the particular declaration it is invited to.
  11. ^ The EU takes note of expressed European aspirations by the ENP partner.
  12. ^ a b Implementation of the European Neighbourhood Policy in 2008
  13. ^ Not envisioned in the Action Plan, but invitation was sent. Jordan has not yet taken a decision.
  14. ^ Extended in April 2008
  15. ^ Not envisioned in the Action Plan, but invitations sent and accepted by Ukraine.
  16. ^ White, S., Korosteleva, E.A. and Löwenhardt, J. (Eds.),(2005), "Postcommunist Belarus", N.Y. & Oxford: Rowman and Littlefield.
  17. ^ Korosteleva E.A., Marsh, R. and Lawson, C., (eds.) (2003) Contemporary Belarus: Between Democracy and Dictatorship, London : RoutledgeCurzon
  18. ^ Lewis, A. (ed.)(2002) The EU and Belarus: Between Moscow and Brussels, London : Kogan Page
  19. ^ a b [7]
  20. ^ Negotiations over Deep and Comprehensive Free Trade Area (DCFTA) expected to begin as part of the current Association Agreement negotiations.[19]
  21. ^ Current WTO membership.[19]
  22. ^ [8]
  23. ^ [9]
  24. ^ [10]
  25. ^ Only sovereign states are listed
  26. ^ GNI (nominal) per capita 2007, World Development Indicators database [11] , World Bank, revised 17 October 2008 [12], Atlas method
  27. ^ GDP per capita for year 2008 from IMF World Economic Outlook Database 2008 October Edition
  28. ^ GNI PPP per capita 2007, World Development Indicators database [13] , World Bank, revised 17 October 2008 [14]
  29. ^ GDP PPP per capita for year 2008 from IMF World Economic Outlook Database 2008 October Edition
  30. ^ The Human Development Index (HDI) is a comparative measure of life expectancy, literacy, education, and standards of living for countries worldwide. It is a standard means of measuring well-being, especially child welfare. It is used to distinguish whether the country is a developed, a developing, or an under-developed country, and also to measure the impact of economic policies on quality of life.
  31. ^ life expectancy United Nations World Population Prospects: 2006 revision – Table A.17 for 2005–2010
  32. ^ Corruption Perceptions Index (CPI) ordering the countries of the world according to "the degree to which corruption is perceived to exist among public officials and politicians". Transparency International defines corruption as "the abuse of public office for private gain".
  33. ^ Source; InternetWorldStats for countries of Europe, Asia updated for 31 December 2008 ^
  34. ^ WTO – Members and Observers
  35. ^ VWP is a program of the United States of America which allows citizens of countries with visa refusal rate less than 3% and some specific countries 10% to travel to the US for tourism or business for up to 90 days without having to obtain a visa. All countries participating in the program have high HDI and most are regarded as developed countries; Adjusted Visa Refusal Rate year 2006, 2007, 2008
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