Magazine article Europe-East

Neighbourhood Policy : Member States Support Enp's New Approach

Magazine article Europe-East

Neighbourhood Policy : Member States Support Enp's New Approach

Article excerpt

The Union's 27 foreign ministers endorsed the key elements of a communication on the new approach of the European Neighbourhood Policy (ENP), published jointly, on 25 May, by the Commission and by the Union's High Representative for Foreign Affairs, Catherine Ashton. Meeting on 20 June in Luxembourg, the ministers approved the proposal to tie aid more closely to respect for democracy and human rights and invited the Commission and the high representative to report on implementation of the new approach in 2012.

Concerning more specifically the Southern Mediterranean neighbourhood, the ministers welcomed the creation of a task force for the region and highlighted the need to appoint an EU special representative. Spanish national Bernardino Leon appears to be a strong candidate, said one European source.

ADDITIONAL RESOURCES

On financial support, the ministers considered it useful to state that the decision to allocate an additional 1.242 billion, by 2013, had to be taken under the normal budgetary procedure and without prejudice to the multiannual financial framework. In concrete terms, the Commission is asked to submit an amending letter for the draft 2012 budget to the budgetary authority for redeployments of nearly 1 billion. No mention is made of the allocation of 242 million from repayment of European Investment Bank loans. This concerns amendment of Article 23 - "Funds made available to the EIB or other financial intermediaries" - of Regulation 1638/2006 establishing the European Neighbourhood and Partnership Instrument (ENPI).

In their conclusions, the ministers simply reiterated their "support for the increase in lending from the EIB". They also once again voiced their support for expanding the mandate of the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD). For the next multiannual financial framework (post-2013), the ministers ask the Commission to propose a European neighbourhood instrument based on simplified programming and ensuring greater differentiation based on a more for more' approach. …

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