Emerson, Michael and Noutcheva, Gergana and Popescu, Nicu. (2007) European Neighbourhood Policy Two Years on: Time Indeed for an 'ENP Plus'. CEPS Policy Brief, No. 126, 21 March 2007. [Policy Paper]
Conceived in 2003 and 2004, the European Neighbourhood Policy (ENP) has now had two years of operational experience. This initial experience has seen a sorting out of the partner states, with Action Plans drawn up for five Eastern and seven Southern partner states. We would distinguish among these 12 states between the ‘willing’ and the ‘passive’; and among the other partner states without Action Plans between the ‘reluctant’ and the ‘excluded’. These groupings should be the basis for stronger differentiation in the policy packages offered by the EU. In general the political context now calls for a strong reinforcement of the ENP, since the benign situation of 2004 has given way now to a more menacing one, given threats to European values bearing down on the EU from all sides. The EU institutions recognise these needs in principle, and last December the Commission advanced many valuable proposals. ‘ENP plus’ is a term being used by the current German Presidency, without this yet being defined in a public document in operational detail. In our view, ‘ENP plus’ could mean: Plus an advanced association model for the able and willing partner states, Plus a strengthening of regional-multilateral schemes, Plus an upgrading of the standard instruments being deployed, and Plus the offer of an ‘ENP light’ model for difficult states or non-recognised entities. More precisely we suggest a 15-point programme for achieving a qualitative upgrading of the ENP, to give it strategic leverage, rather than allowing it to be seen as a poor cousin of the enlargement process.
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