Magazine article Europe-East

European Neighbourhood Policy : Commission Spells out 2008 Priorities to Strengthen Enp

Magazine article Europe-East

European Neighbourhood Policy : Commission Spells out 2008 Priorities to Strengthen Enp

Article excerpt

Trade, mobility and frozen conflicts are the areas where the European Commission intends to enhance its actions in the course of 2008 in a bid to further strengthen cooperation with countries participating in the European Neighbourhood Policy (ENP). To achieve this aim, the Commission has to enjoy the support of the EU member states. Therefore the communication published by the Commission on 5 December calls on the member states to show, in cooperation with the EU executive, greater political commitment to "foster economic integration and improve market access" for products coming from the ENP countries, better "manage migration," "intensify support" for ENP countries' sectoral reforms, and play a greater part in tackling frozen conflicts.

"Today's communication sets out where we need to see additional efforts by the Commission and the member states to ensure [...] that the incentives for reform that we have offered [to our partners] are concrete, credible and relevant to their needs," Benita Ferrero-Waldner, the commissioner for external relations and the ENP, said. She called on the member states to "foster economic integration" with the ENP countries by, inter alia, supporting the Commission's efforts to liberalise agricultural trade with them. "We are seeking support from the member states for the Commission's efforts to conclude the ongoing agricultural negotiations, in particular by limiting the number of products excluded from full liberalisation," Ferrero-Waldner said. She stressed that countries that are reluctant to liberalisation should understand that "if we want to have balance in the migration flow, we have to open our market". …

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