04 September, 2007
The European Neighbourhood Policy (ENP) was promoted in tandem with the accession of the ten new member states to the EU and is aimed at averting the formation of new lines of separation from neighbouring countries. This policy promotes economic development, political stability and good governance in countries that – at least in the near future – will not become members of the European Union.
Participating in this policy are 16 countries that fall into two categories:
- Countries of the former Soviet Union (Ukraine, Moldova, Georgia, Armenia, Azerbaijan, Belarus), which comprise the ‘eastern dimension’ of the ENP, and
- Mediterranean countries (Algeria, Tunisia, Morocco, Egypt, Israel, Jordan, Lebanon, the Palestinian Authority, Syria and Libya), which comprise the ‘Mediterranean dimension’ of the ENP.
The December 2006 Communication from the European Commission regarding the ENP, as well as the reference to the ENP made in the Conclusions of the June 2007 General Affairs and External Relations Council – which were adopted by the European Council of the same month – indicate the importance of this policy to the EU. (Relevant EU documents: http://ec.europa.eu/world/enp/documents_en.htm)
The ENP is implemented through Action Plans directed specifically at each country, and it will be funded through the European Neighbourhood Partnership Instrument (ENPI). Two other funds – the Governance Facility and the Neighbourhood Investment Fund – are included in the same framework.
A Ministerial Conference will be held in Brussels on 3 September 2007, with the ENP countries and the member states of the EU participating for the first time. The Conference will concern the strengthening of this policy, and is being organised by the EU Commissioner for External Affairs and ENP, Ms. Benita Ferrero-Waldner, who, together with the President of the Commission, Mr. Jose Manuel Barroso, and Portuguese Foreign Minister Mr. Luis Amado, will open the proceedings.
The September Conference will focus on the following issues:
- seeking opportunities for further deregulation of trade between the EU and Neighbourhood countries,
- facilitating travel,
- energy security, and
- challenges and dangers arising from climate change.
The Ministers will also have the opportunity to voice their concerns regarding a number of important issues regarding the strengthening of the ENP.
Greece supports and wants to contribute to the strengthening of the ENP, and considers it to be a very important tool that contributes substantially to establishing security, stability and peace in the wider region bordering on the EU, while also promoting political and economic reforms in our southern and eastern neighbours.