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European Neighbourhood Policy Package - Conclusions for the Eastern Partners. OSW Commentary No. 78, 2012-05-25

Sadowski, Rafal (2012) European Neighbourhood Policy Package - Conclusions for the Eastern Partners. OSW Commentary No. 78, 2012-05-25. [Policy Paper]

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    In 2011 the European Union began a process aimed at reforming its policy on the Eastern and Southern Neighbourhood. The change in circumstances in neighbouring countries following the Arab Spring, along with the lack of significant progress regarding Eastern Europe’s integration with the EU, formed the main driving force behind this process. The prime objective of the changes to the European Neighbourhood Policy (ENP) was the need to introduce new incentives for partner countries to modernise and integrate more closely with the EU Another aim was to increase the flexibility of EU instruments (by adapting them to the specific context of each partner state). One year later, on 15 May 2012, the European Commission and the EU High Representative for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy published the European Neighbourhood Policy Package which reported on the progress made in the implementation of the ENP over the preceding year and set out the aims and Action Plans for 20131. An analysis of the outcomes of changes made to the EU policy towards Eastern Europe and the South Caucasus suggests that the aim of the revision was aimed more at addressing the changing political landscape in the region rather than at the implementation of a substantial reform of the neighbourhood policy. The ENP is largely based on bureaucratic procedures (the negotiation of bilateral agreements, the implementation of support programmes). These have only a limited capacity to bring about lasting change in the region, as has been exemplified by the deterioration of democratic standards in a number of countries; this was highlighted in EU’s own reports. This problem is particularly clear in the case of Ukraine; until recently it was seen as the leader of European integration but is now raising much concern due to a deterioration in the state of democracy there. EU instruments have a limited influence on the situation in Eastern Partnership countries and the region’s significance on the EU’s agenda is falling (the priority is now given to counteracting the economic crisis, and prominence in the neighbourhood policy has been given to the Southern Mediterranean). In response to this EU policy on Eastern Europe will focus to a larger extent on technical and sectoral cooperation.

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    Item Type: Policy Paper
    Subjects for non-EU documents: EU policies and themes > External relations > EU-South-Eastern Europe (Balkans)
    EU policies and themes > External relations > EU-Eastern Partnership
    EU policies and themes > External relations > European Neighbourhood Policy
    Subjects for EU documents: UNSPECIFIED
    EU Series and Periodicals: UNSPECIFIED
    EU Annual Reports: UNSPECIFIED
    Series: Series > Centre for Eastern Studies (OSW) > OSW Commentary
    Depositing User: Phil Wilkin
    Official EU Document: No
    Language: English
    Date Deposited: 12 Dec 2014 14:55
    Number of Pages: 9
    Last Modified: 12 Dec 2014 14:55

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