What is the European Neighbourhood Policy?

The European Neighbourhood Policy (ENP) was developed in 2004, with the objective of avoiding the emergence of new dividing lines between the enlarged EU and our neighbours and instead strengthening the prosperity, stability and security of all. It is based on the values of democracy, rule of law and respect of human rights.

This ENP framework is proposed to the 16 of EU’s closest neighbours:
AlgeriaArmeniaAzerbaijanBelarusEgyptGeorgiaIsraelJordanLebanonLibyaMoldovaMoroccoPalestineSyriaTunisia and Ukraine.

The ENP is chiefly a bilateral policy between the EU and each partner country. It  is further enriched and complemented by regional and multilateral co-operation initiatives: the Eastern Partnership (launched in Prague in May 2009), the Euro-Mediterranean Partnership (EUROMED) (the Euro-Mediterranean Partnership, formerly known as the Barcelona Process, re-launched in Paris in July 2008), and the Black Sea Synergy (launched in Kiev in February 2008).

Within the ENP the EU offers our neighbours a privileged relationship, building upon a mutual commitment to common values (democracy and human rights, rule of law, good governance, market economy principles and sustainable development). The level of ambition of the relationship depends on the extent to which these values are shared. The ENP includes political association and deeper economic integration, increased mobility and more people-to-people contacts.

The ENP also offers to its partners a very concrete set of opportunities through its sector policies.  These cover a broad range of issues, reaching from employment and social policy, trade, industrial and competition policy to agriculture and rural development, climate change and environment.  They include energy security, transport, research and innovation, as well as support to health, education, culture and youth.

In 2010-2011, the EU reviewed the ENP and put a strong focus on the promotion of deep and sustainable democracy, accompanied by inclusive economic development. Deep and sustainable democracy includes in particular 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 EU also stressed the role of civil society bringing about deep and sustainable democracy. The EU unveiled “more for more” principle, under which the EU will develop stronger partnerships with those neighbours that make more progress towards democratic reform.

The ENP remains distinct from the process of enlargement although it does not prejudge, for European neighbours, how their relationship with the EU may develop in future, in accordance with Treaty provisions.

Source: the European Commission

Basic Documents:

ENP-related strategy papers (on the EEAS website)

Since 2003, the European Commission has adopted successive proposals in the form of Communications which have shaped/mapped the European Neighbourhood Policy. Since the entry into force of the Lisbon Treaty, the Communications are jointly presented by the Commissioner and the High Representative.

ENP Action Plans (on the EEAS website)

The ENP action plans (or Association Agendas for Eastern partner countries) set out the partner country’s agenda for political and economic reforms, with short and medium-term priorities of 3 to 5 years, and reflect the country’s needs and capacities, as well as its and the EU’s interests.

ENP countries progress reports (on the EEAS website)

Once a year, the European Commission and the High Representative of the European Union for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy publish reports assessing the progress made towards the objectives of the Action Plans and the Association Agendas.

Registration of interested participants

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