Magazine article Europe-East

European Neighbourhood Policy : Commission Boasts Enp Successes

Magazine article Europe-East

European Neighbourhood Policy : Commission Boasts Enp Successes

Article excerpt

The European Commission has reported good progress in most of the areas of cooperation with the twelve countries participating in the European Neighbourhood Policy (ENP) over last five years, pointing to governance and the unresolved regional conflicts as the two remaining "most pressing" issues. Since the launch of the ENP, in 2004, the EU has strengthened its contractual and trade relations as well as enhanced people-to-people contacts with the twelve most advanced partners, namely Armenia, Azerbaijan, Egypt, Georgia, Israel, Jordan, Lebanon, Morocco, Moldova, the occupied Palestinian territory, Tunisia and Ukraine, says the ENP's five-year anniversary report published by the EU executive on 12 May.

The outcome of the ENP's five-year implementation has been "more political exchanges, more trade, more people-to-people contacts, as well as more cooperation in sectoral areas," said Stefan Fule, the commissioner for enlargement and neighbourhood policy. He underlined that the ENP enables the EU to act as "a transformative soft power, spreading stability and prosperity beyond the enlargement area". Over the last five years, "the ENP has helped EU neighbours to transform their countries," said Fule. He praised them for progress in reforms, especially in the economic area. "Economic reforms have progressed remarkably across our neighbourhood, both East and South," said Fule. He added, however, that more efforts are necessary in such areas as governance and unresolved regional conflicts. "What is essential for the future is to go up a gear on democratic and political reforms, where progress has been real but generally slower," he said. …

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