European Neighbourhood Policy (ENP):
  Eastern Partnership ENP countries
  Other ENP countries (all but Libya are UfM members)
  Member states of the UfM that are neither ENP countries, members of the EU, or participants in its enlargement agenda

The European Neighbourhood Policy (ENP) is a foreign relations instrument of the European Union (EU) which seeks to tie those countries to the east and south of the European territory of the EU to the Union. These countries include some who seek to one day become either a member state of the European Union, or become more closely integrated with the European Union. The ENP does not apply to neighbours of the EU's outermost regions, specifically France's territories in South America, but only to those countries close to EU member states' territories in mainland Europe.

The countries covered are Algeria, Egypt, Israel, Jordan, Lebanon, Libya, Morocco, Palestine, Syria, Tunisia in the South; and Armenia, Azerbaijan, Belarus, Georgia, Moldova, Ukraine in the East. Russia has a special status with the EU-Russia Common Spaces instead of ENP participation. The EU offers financial assistance to countries within the European Neighbourhood, so long as they meet the strict conditions of government reform, economic reform and other issues surrounding positive transformation. This process is normally underpinned by an Action Plan agreed by Brussels and the target country. The ENP does not cover countries in the current EU enlargement agenda, the European Free Trade Association or the western European microstates.

The EU typically concludes Association Agreements in exchange for commitments to political, economic, trade, or human rights reform in a country. In exchange, the country may be offered tariff-free access to some or all EU markets (notably industrial goods or agricultural products) and financial or technical assistance.



The European Union's European Neighbourhood Policy aims at bringing Europe and its neighbours closer. It was conceived after the 2004 enlargement of the European Union with 10 new member countries, in order to avoid creating new borders in Europe. It is also designed to prevent the emergence of new dividing lines between the enlarged EU and its neighbours. The vision is that of a ring of countries, drawn into further integration, but without necessarily becoming full members of the European Union. The policy was first outlined by the European Commission in March 2003.

The countries covered include Algeria, Egypt, Israel, Jordan, Lebanon, Libya, Morocco, State of Palestine, Syria, Tunisia in the South and Armenia, Azerbaijan, Belarus, Georgia, Moldova, Ukraine in the East.[1] Russia has a special status with the EU–Russia Common Spaces instead of ENP participation.

On 25 May 2011, the European Commission launched what it described as a new and ambitious European Neighbourhood Policy,[2] backed by more than €1.2 billion in new funding, bringing the total to almost €7 billion. The main priorities and directions of a revitalised ENP strategy are set out in the Joint Communication by the European Commission and the High Representative for Foreign Affairs, titled "A new response to a changing Neighbourhood".[3] It seeks to strengthen individual and regional relationships between the EU and countries in its neighbourhood through a "more funds for more reform" approach – making more additional funds available, but with more mutual accountability.

In the South, the first comprehensive policy for the region was the Euro-Mediterranean Partnership (or Barcelona Process) a wide framework of political, economic and social relations between member states of the EU and countries of the Southern Mediterranean. It was initiated on 27–28 November 1995 through a conference of Ministers of Foreign Affairs, held in Barcelona. Besides the 27 member states of the European Union, the remaining "Mediterranean Partners" are all other Mediterranean countries including Libya (which had 'observer status' from 1999 to 2012).

In the East, the Eastern Partnership (EaP) is a policy initiative launched at the Prague Summit in May 2009 that aims to bring the six Eastern European neighbours (Armenia, Azerbaijan, Belarus, Georgia, Moldova and Ukraine) closer to the EU. It represents the Eastern dimension of the ENP and strengthens bilateral relations between the EU and its partners. These states, with the exception of Belarus, also participate in the Euronest Parliamentary Assembly.

In March 2015, the European Commission launched a review of the principles on which the policy is based as well as its scope and how its instruments should be used. The consultation[4] follows four priorities: differentiation; focus; flexibility; ownership and visibility. A Communication setting out proposals for the future direction of the ENP will follow in autumn.

Funding: from the ENPI via ENI to NDICI

Main article: Global Europe

Giving incentives and rewarding best performers, as well as offering funds in a faster and more flexible manner, were the two main principles underlying the European Neighbourhood Instrument (ENI) that came into force in 2014 and was merged in 2021 into Global Europe.[5] It has a budget of €15.4 billion and provides the bulk of funding through a number of programmes and replaced The earlier European Neighbourhood and Partnership Instrument (ENPI). This cooperation instrument continues to be managed by Directorate-General for Development and Cooperation and EuropeAid, which turns decisions taken on a political level into actions on the ground. The ENPI funding approved for the 2007–2013 period was €11.2 billion.

Kazakhstan's Foreign Ministry has expressed interest in the ENP[6] and some MEPs have also discussed Kazakhstan's inclusion in the ENP.[7] The EU Neighbourhood Info Centre was launched in January 2009 by the European Commission to make more known the relationship between the EU and its Neighbours.


De jure status of possible future enlargement of the European Union

In recent history, such agreements are signed as part of two EU policies: Stabilisation and Association Process (SAP) and European Neighbourhood Policy (ENP). The countries of the Mediterranean and the East European EU neighbours (including South Caucasus, but excluding Russia that insists on creating four EU–Russia Common Spaces) are covered by ENP through the Directorate-General for External Relations. In the ENP Association Agreements (as in similar AAs signed with Mexico and other states) there is no mention of EU membership—this is a concern only to the European ENP states, because for the Mediterranean they cannot join the union in its current form because they are not located in Europe. The ENP AAs are similar to the Partnership and Cooperation Agreements signed with CIS states in the 1990s and to the multiple other AAs governing the relations between the EU and other third countries. The ENP stipulates that after signing of AA with a particular country the EU will make a Country Report and then the two sides will agree on an Action Plan drafted by the EU (including particular reforms, actions and also aid by the EU) for the next three to five years.

Both the SAA and ENP AP are based mostly on the EU's acquis communautaire and its promulgation in the cooperating states legislation. Of course the depth of the harmonisation is less than for full EU members and some policy areas may not be covered (depending on the particular state).

According to EUobserver the ENP countries may be divided into two groups—European states with explicitly stated EU membership possibility for the long term and Mediterranean states with no such statement in the Action Plans. This division is obvious in the two groups for multilateral activities that are meant to supplement the bilateral ENP Action Plans—the Eastern Partnership and the Union for the Mediterranean.[8]

Association Agreements have to be ratified by all the EU member states. AA signed with the Mediterranean states also include a Free Trade Agreement between the EU and the third country. For the East European EU neighbours covered by the ENP such provisions are expected for some of the next Action Plan periods.


Although the Eastern Partnership was inaugurated on 7 May 2009, academic research critically analysing the policy became available by early 2010 (see Elena Korosteleva#Building Research Excellence in Russian and East European Studies at the Universities of Tartu, Uppsala and Kent). Research findings from a UK ESRC research project examining the EU's relations with three Eastern Partnership member states—namely, Belarus, Ukraine, and Moldova—notes both conceptual and empirical dilemmas.[9] First, conceptually the EU has limited uniform awareness of what it is trying to promote in its eastern neighbourhood under the aegis of "shared values", "collective norms", and "joint ownership". Secondly, empirically, the EU seems to favour a "top-down" governance approach (based on rule/norm transfer and conditionality) in its relations with outsiders, which is clearly at odds with a voluntary idea of "partnership", and explicitly limits the input of "the other" in the process of reform.[10] This has led critics to argue that the neighbourhood policies are subordinated to the EU's interests and values, while the role of the "partners" is at best secondary.[11]

The Arab Spring in North Africa shed light on the close personal and business ties between members of governing elites in EU member states and their Mediterranean counterparts. For example, French Foreign Minister Michèle Alliot-Marie was forced to resign due to public outrage over her links to the ousted Ben Ali regime in Tunisia.[12] In 2008, the EU tried to negotiate an association agreement with Libya and earmarked €60 million in ENPI funds to the country over the 2011–2013 period.[13]


This section needs to be updated. Please help update this article to reflect recent events or newly available information. (August 2023)
ENP partner EU Agreement FTA provi­sions Country Report Action Plan Adoption by the EU Adoption by the ENP partner AP duration CFSP invita­tion[14] EU aspira­tion[15] Sub-group
Morocco AA, March 2000 Yes May 2004 End 2004 21 February 2005 27 July 2005 3–5 years No No South
Algeria AA, September 2005 Yes Under development No No South
Tunisia AA, March 1998 Yes May 2004 End 2004 21 February 2005 4 July 2005 3–5 years No No South
Libya Negotiations on Framework Agreement with Libya started in November 2008[16] No No South
Egypt AA, June 2004 Yes March 2005 End 2006 5 March 2007 6 March 2007 3–5 years No No South
Jordan AA, May 2002 Yes May 2004 End 2004 21 February 2005 11 January 2005 3–5 years Yes[17] No South
Lebanon AA, April 2006 Yes March 2005 Autumn 2006 17 October 2006 19 January 2007 5 years No No South
Syria CA, November 1978 Updated AA initialed in December 2008,[16] signature by the EU Council and ratification pending. Syria delayed signature in 2009. The EU expects full cooperation with the Special Tribunal for Lebanon. South
Israel AA, June 2000 Yes May 2004 End 2004 21 February 2005 11 April 2005 3+[18] years No No South
Palestinian Authority Interim AA, July 1997 Yes May 2004 End 2004 21 February 2005 4 May 2005 3–5 years No No South
Moldova AA, June 2014 DCFTA May 2004 End 2004 21 February 2005 22 February 2005 3 years Yes Yes East
Ukraine AA, June 2014 DCFTA May 2004 End 2004 21 February 2005 21 February 2005 3 years Yes[19] Yes East
Belarus EU considers the Belarus authorities too undemocratic; PCA ratification procedure suspended since 1997.[20][21][22] No No East
Georgia AA, June 2014 DCFTA March 2005 Autumn 2006 13 November 2006 14 November 2006 5 years Yes Yes East
Armenia CEPA, March 2021 Negotiations[24] March 2005 Autumn 2006 13 November 2006 14 November 2006 5 years Yes Yes East
Azerbaijan PCA, July 1999 Not yet[26] March 2005 Autumn 2006 13 November 2006 14 November 2006 5 years Yes No East
Other regional partners
Mauritania As one of the ACP countries Mauritania is in the process of negotiating the West African Economic Partnership Agreement, but notwithstanding this it is a full member of the Union for the Mediterranean. No No NONE
Russia PCA, December 1997 No Opted to cooperate through the formation of EU-Russia Common Spaces instead of the ENP. Roadmap (Action Plan substitute) adopted in May 2005[27] No No NONE
Kazakhstan PCA, July 1999 No The Kazakh Foreign Ministry has expressed interest in the ENP.[6] Some MEPs also discussed Kazakhstan's inclusion in the ENP.[7] No No NONE

sources: [3], [4], ENP official page [5]


State (18)[28] GNI[29] GDP[30] GNI PPP[31] GDP PPP[32] HDI[33] life exp.[34] CPI[35] press freedom[36][37] internet users[38] WTO[39] VWP[40]
 Algeria 3,620 4,922 7,640 6,927 0.748 72.4 3.2 45.53 10.4 obs X
 Armenia 2,640 3,400 5,900 5,436 0.777 72.1 2.9 68.97 5.8 WTO X
 Azerbaijan 2,550 6,142 6,260 8,958 0.758 67.5 1.9 39.4 18.3 obs X
 Belarus 4,220 6,058 10,740 12,344 0.817 69.0 2.0 39.62 29.0 obs X
 Egypt 1,580 2,108 5,400 5,904 0.716 71.3 2.8 30.23 12.9 WTO X
 Georgia 2,120 3,060 4,770 5,001 0.763 71.0 3.9 59.3 7.8 WTO X
 Israel 21,900 26,535 25,930 28,245 0.930 83.04 6.0 59.62 n/d WTO
 Jordan 2,850 3,266 5,160 5,171 0.769 72.5 5.1 48.66 n/d WTO X
 Kazakhstan 5,060 9,075 9,700 11,563 0.807 67.2 2.2 48.28 12.4 WTO X
 Lebanon 5,770 7,375 10,050 12,063 0.796 72.0 3.0 46.58 n/d obs X
 Libya 9,010 17,468 14,710 14,593 0.840 74.0 2.6 43.16 4.2 obs X
 Moldova 1,260 1,830 2,930 3,153 0.719 68.9 2.9 73.47 16.2 WTO X
 Morocco 2,250 2,901 3,990 4,432 0.646 71.2 3.5 45.42 19.2 WTO X
 Palestine n/d n/d n/d n/d 0.731 73.4 n/d 28.98 n/d X X
 Russia 7,560 12,578 14,400 16,160 0.806 65.5 2.1 38.82 27.0 WTO X
 Syria 1,760 2,237 4,370 4,668 0.736 74.1 2.1 28.94 n/d obs X
 Tunisia 4,351 4,032 9,060 9,550 0.762 73.9 4.4 58.49 27.0 WTO X
 Ukraine 2,550 4,318 6,810 7,633 0.786 67.9 2.5 55.76 14.6 WTO X
  high income ($11,456 or more) GNI (Gross National Income)
  upper middle income ($3,706 to $11,455) GNI
  lower middle income ($936 to $3,705) GNI
  low income (less than $935) GNI

See also


  1. ^ "European Neighbourhood Policy (ENP)". European External Action Service. 21 December 2016. Retrieved 7 October 2017.
  2. ^ New and ambitious European Neighbourhood Policy
  3. ^ A new response to a changing Neighbourhood Archived 26 June 2011 at the Wayback Machine
  4. ^ "Consultation: "Towards a new European Neighbourhood Policy". European Commission. Retrieved 27 May 2015". Archived from the original on 27 May 2015. Retrieved 27 May 2015.
  5. ^ Establishing a European Neighbourhood Instrument
  6. ^ a b "The EU's relations with Kazakhstan - Overview". Archived from the original on 2 January 2008. Retrieved 17 January 2022.
  7. ^ a b "Kazakhstan". Archived from the original on 25 February 2021. Retrieved 3 February 2017.
  8. ^ "Berlin in plans to split EU neighbourhood states". Retrieved 3 February 2017.
  9. ^ 'Moldova most EU-friendly Eastern country, survey reveals', Euractive, 2010-06-14
  10. ^ "Europeanizing or Securitizing the 'outsiders'? Assessing the EU's partnership-building approach with Eastern Europe". Archived from the original on 10 October 2009. Retrieved 6 April 2010.
  11. ^ Castan Pinos, J. (2014) ‘The Conflicting Aims of the European Neighborhood Policy and its Secondary Effects’, Journal of Borderlands Studies 29 (2): 139.
  12. ^ "French Foreign Minister Alliot-Marie quits over Tunisia". BBC News. 27 February 2011. Retrieved 3 February 2017 – via
  13. ^ "redirect" (PDF). Archived from the original (PDF) on 8 October 2010. Retrieved 3 February 2017.
  14. ^ The EU may invite the ENP partner to align itself with EU declarations in the field of Common Foreign and Security Policy on a case-by-case basis. Currently, in addition to ENP partners the EU invites for alignment the candidate countries, SAp and EFTA states. Each states decides on a case-by-case basis if to align itself with the particular declaration it is invited to.
  15. ^ The EU takes note of expressed European aspirations by the ENP partner.
  16. ^ a b "redirect" (PDF). Archived from the original (PDF) on 8 October 2010. Retrieved 3 February 2017.
  17. ^ Not envisioned in the Action Plan, but invitation was sent. Jordan has not yet taken a decision.
  18. ^ Extended in April 2008
  19. ^ Not envisioned in the Action Plan, but invitations sent and accepted by Ukraine.
  20. ^ White, S., Korosteleva, E.A. and Löwenhardt, J. (Eds.),(2005), "Postcommunist Belarus", N.Y. & Oxford: Rowman and Littlefield.
  21. ^ Korosteleva E.A., Marsh, R. and Lawson, C., (eds.) (2003) Contemporary Belarus: Between Democracy and Dictatorship, London : RoutledgeCurzon
  22. ^ Lewis, A. (ed.)(2002) The EU and Belarus: Between Moscow and Brussels, London : Kogan Page
  23. ^ "EU and Armenia to start negotiations for a new agreement". European External Action Service. 7 December 2015. Retrieved 3 January 2016.
  24. ^ Negotiations over an Association Agreement without free trade provisions started in Dec 2015.[23]
  25. ^ "Press - Consilium" (PDF). Archived from the original on 9 August 2016. Retrieved 3 February 2017.
  26. ^ Current Association Agreement negotiations conducted without a Deep and Comprehensive Free Trade Area. DCFTA negotiations possible after Azerbaijan obtains WTO membership.[25]
  27. ^ "The four common spaces". Archived from the original on 28 June 2008.
  28. ^ Only sovereign states are listed
  29. ^ GNI (nominal) per capita 2007, World Development Indicators database contentMDK:20399244~menuPK:1504474~pagePK:64133150~piPK:64133175~theSitePK:239419,00.html, World Bank, revised 17 October 2008 [1], Atlas method Archived 26 October 2008 at the Wayback Machine
  30. ^ GDP per capita for year 2008 from IMF World Economic Outlook Database 2008 October Edition
  31. ^ GNI PPP per capita 2007, World Development Indicators database contentMDK:20399244~menuPK:1504474~pagePK:64133150~piPK:64133175~theSitePK:239419,00.html, World Bank, revised 17 October 2008 [2] Archived 26 October 2008 at the Wayback Machine
  32. ^ GDP PPP per capita for year 2008 from IMF World Economic Outlook Database 2008 October Edition
  33. ^ The Human Development Index (HDI) is a comparative measure of life expectancy, literacy, education, and standards of living for countries worldwide. It is a standard means of measuring well-being, especially child welfare. It is used to distinguish whether the country is a developed, a developing, or an under-developed country, and also to measure the impact of economic policies on quality of life.
  34. ^ life expectancy United Nations World Population Prospects: 2006 revision – Table A.17 for 2005–2010 Archived 26 September 2007 at the Wayback Machine
  35. ^ Corruption Perceptions Index (CPI) ordering the countries of the world according to "the degree to which corruption is perceived to exist among public officials and politicians". Transparency International defines corruption as "the abuse of public office for private gain".
  36. ^ RWB Worldwide press freedom index (2022) compiles and publishes an annual ranking of countries based upon the organization's assessment of their press freedom records. Small countries, such as Malta, and Andorra, are excluded from this report.
  37. ^ "Reporters Without Borders Index". Retrieved 14 December 2022.
  38. ^ Source; InternetWorldStats for countries of Europe, Asia updated for 31 December 2008
  39. ^ WTOMembers and Observers Archived 29 December 2009 at the Wayback Machine
  40. ^ VWP is a program of the United States of America which allows citizens of countries with visa refusal rate less than 3% and some specific countries 10% to travel to the US for tourism or business for up to 90 days without having to obtain a visa. All countries participating in the program have high HDI and most are regarded as developed countries; Adjusted Visa Refusal Rate Archived 5 April 2013 at the Wayback Machine year 2006 Archived 5 April 2013 at the Wayback Machine, 2007 Archived 26 February 2009 at the Wayback Machine, 2008 Archived 22 June 2011 at the Wayback Machine

Further reading

Academic policy papers


Book chapters

Academic journal articles