EU Neighbourhood policy

The European Neighbourhood Policy (ENP) was developed in 2004, to avoid the emergence of new dividing lines between the enlarged EU and our neighbours. I Instead, the ENP aims to strengthen the prosperity, stability and security of all concerned. In this way, it also addresses the strategic objectives set out in the December 2003 European Security Strategy.

The European Neighbourhood Policy (ENP) was first outlined in a Commission Communication on Wider Europe in March 2003, followed by a more developed Strategy Paper on the European Neighbourhood Policy published in May 2004. This document sets out in concrete terms how the EU proposes to work more closely with these countries. As part of its report on implementation, in December 2006 and again in December 2007, the Commission also made proposals as to how the policy could be further strengthened.

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 ENP goes beyond existing relationships to offer a deeper political relationship and economic integration. The level of ambition of the relationship will depend on the extent to which these values are effectively shared. 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.

The European Neighbourhood Policy applies to the EU’s immediate neighbours by land or sea – Algeria, Armenia, Azerbaijan, Belarus, Egypt, Georgia, Israel, Jordan, Lebanon, Libya, Moldova, Morocco, the Occupied Palestinian Territory, Syria, Tunisia and Ukraine. Although Russia is also a neighbour of the EU, our relations are instead developed through a Strategic Partnership covering four “common spaces”.