European Neighbourhood Policy : New Enp Pledges 1.2 Bn Euro for Union's Neighbours
The European Commission and the European External Action Service (EAS) propose allocatinga1,242 billion, by 2013, to respond to the needs of the countries in the EU's Mediterranean and Eastern neighbourhood. Released on 25 May, a communication(1) drafted jointly by the High Representative of the Union for Foreign Affairs, Catherine Ashton, and the Commissioner for Enlargement and Neighbourhood Policy, Stefan Fule, also proposes that the aid be more conditional on the respect by partner countries of democratic norms and human rights. Council and Parliament must now approve this new approach and its concrete proposals.
This new approach follows events in countries of the Arab world, which forced the EU to rethink its neighbourhood policy. "We are fully aware of the expectations we have elicited from our partners," said Ashton. This new approach "confirms the Union's determination to establish a quality partnership with our neighbours," added Fule.
For this end, the Union has decided to add 1,242 billion to the 5.7 billion allocated to the European Neighbourhood and Partnership Instrument for the 2011-2013 period.aFule explained that the rule that aims to apportion two-thirds of funding to the South and one third to the East will not apply to these additional sums.
"If we want to keep to our principle of more investment, more results', and if we want to insist on the depth of the reform process, this is where we will have to invest our money. We cannot merely be guided by geographical aspects," said the commissioner, who hopes that this reasoning will also be applied in the post-2013 financial perspectives.
Overall, this new approach aims to condition EU aid to progress accomplished in terms of consolidation of democracy by partner countries. More specifically this conditionality will measure efforts in terms of regular and free elections, freedom of association, freedom of expression, freedom of assembly, administration of rule of law and reforms in the security and law enforcement sectors. …