IN THE SPOTLIGHT
Commission sets new cooperation priorities for Eastern Neighbourhood
The European Commission has released its cooperation priorities, including decisions about funding, for the Eastern Neighbourhood on Monday, 8 September following consultations with partner countries, EU member states and the European Parliament.
The Eastern Neighbourhood is set to receive between €418 million – €511 million in funds for the period of 2014-2017. The majority of the funding will be directed to Eastern Partnership Flagship Initiatives. However, funds will also be allocated to regional cooperation, energy and transport initiatives as well as horizontal and sectoral support for multilateral cooperation.
“Our relationship with the countries in our Neighbourhood has always been one of my priorities. We have strong links with these countries and an important role to play in helping them deal with the political and economic challenges they face” said Catherine Ashton in a statement to the European commission.
European Commission for Enlargement and Neighborhood Policy, Štefan Füle, further added that the “ambition and commitment to reforms will guide the massive EU funding [to] neighbours for the coming years”.
The priorities have been developed in close cooperation with the national authorities of partner countries, civil society and other relevant stakeholders.
The total amount of funding for the Southern and Eastern neighbourhoods is expected at around €5.5 billion and is provided by the new European Neighbourhood Instrument.