European Neighbourhood Policy : Meps Prefer Performance-Based Approach to Union's Neighbours

Article excerpt

A differentiated, performance-based approach with a clear benchmarking system, increased support to civil society and the visa liberalisation process should lie at the core of the new European Neighbourhood Policy (ENP), says a report on the Eastern dimension of the ENP adopted by the European Parliament's Committee on Foreign Affairs (AFET), on 16 March. The document, drafted by Marek Siwiec (S&D, Poland), also calls for "a sizeable increase" of resources in the future financial perspectives (2014-2020), "in particular for the European Neighbourhood Partnership Instrument (ENPI)". Addressing a joint press conference with Mario David (EPP, Portugal), rapporteur on the Southern dimension of the ENP, following the vote, Siwiec underlined the need for a reform of the current system of distribution of EU funds in the neighbouring countries. "The current way of spending is very inefficient and bureaucratic. It has to be changed," he said. "More money should also be redistributed through non-governmental organisations to avoid a situation like in Tunisia where funds were managed exclusively by an often corrupted administration," he told Europolitics New Neighbours .

On the controversial issue of division of resources between the two regions, David rejected the idea advocated by the Mediterranean EU member states, including France, Spain and Greece, to increase spending in the South at the expense of the East. "We do not ask for a different division than that decided in 2006 when a declaration of the European Commission and Coreper was adopted, which provides two-thirds of the total amount of the ENPI to the Southern countries and one third to the Eastern countries according to demographic weights," he said. …