IN THE SPOTLIGHT
EU announces substantial new funds under European Neighbourhood Instrument
In the context of the renewed approach to the European Neighbourhood Policy (ENP) outlined in the Joint Communication of 25 May 2011, the new European Neighbourhood Instrument (ENI), will from 2014 provide increased support to 16 partner countries to the East and South of the EU’s borders.
Building on the achievements of the European Neighbourhood and Partnership Instrument (ENPI), the new ENI will contribute to strengthening bilateral relations with partner countries and bring tangible benefits to both the EU and its partners in areas such as democracy and human rights, the rule of law, good governance and sustainable development.
It will continue to provide the bulk of funding to the European Neighbourhood countries, essentially through bilateral, regional and cross border co-operation programmes.
Main elements of the new ENI
Application of differentiation and the ‘more for more’ principle:This principle is the key aspect of the renewed Neighbourhood policy, and will allow the EU to increase its support significantly for those partners that are genuinely implementing a broad and comprehensive democratisation process. It provides for a much higher level of differentiation in the cooperation with partner countries, reflecting their commitment to universal values, progress in deep democratisation and jointly agreed objectives. It will allow the EU to better adjust its assistance to the partner countries' needs and progress.
Reducing the complexity and length of the programming process. This will be done in order to streamline, shorten and better focus the programming so support can be delivered faster to our ENP partner countries
Streamlining the scope of the Instrument through focussing cooperation on the key policy objectives set out in particular in the ENP action plans agreed with the partners. This will make EU support more relevant and more efficient. Objectives will include in particular promoting human rights and fundamental freedoms, stronger and more inclusive growth, and support to in the progressive economic integration into the EU internal market. Other key areas include promoting confidence building and other measures that contribute to security and the prevention and settlement of conflicts. Support for increased people to people contacts, sectoral cooperation (e.g. energy and climate change) and civil society organisations will also figure prominently.
Amending the provisions on the Cross-Border Cooperation programme. Cross-Border Cooperation (CBC) programmes aim at reinforcing cooperation between Member States and partner countries along the external border of the European Union. The programmes promote economic and social development in border areas, address common challenges, ensure efficient and secure borders and promote people-to-people cooperation. The new provisions will facilitate effective and fast implementation of the programmes, which will benefit participating EU Member Sates and partner countries and their citizens.
Promoting closer links with EU internal instruments and policies. This will be done notably by promoting mechanisms for the pooling of funds from internal and external instruments of the EU budget. The aim is to enable partner countries and their citizens to participate in successful EU internal programmes in areas such as student mobility, youth programmes or support to Civil Society, while improving the efficiency and simplification of the implementation of assistance.
Responding to the evolving relationship with Russia by amending provisions on Russia’s eligibility for ENI funding to reflect the specific status of Russia as an EU neighbour and strategic partner. Russia’s eligibility for regional and Cross-Border Cooperation programmes is retained in the new ENI, but bilateral cooperation will be addressed in the future under the new Partnership Instrument (PI) – a major innovation of the 2014-2020 external instruments package, with a budget of €1.13 billion. The PI’s overall objective is to advance and promote EU interests by supporting the external dimension of internal policies (e.g. competiveness, research and innovation, migration) and to address major global challenges (e.g. energy security, climate change and environment).
Simplifying and mainstreaming the implementation provisions within a new Implementing Regulation common to all EU external assistance instruments.
Budget and next steps
The proposed budget for the new ENI is €18.2 billion for the period 2014-2020. This represents a significant increase compared to the budget of the previous ENPI instrument. This significant increase reflects the increased priority of the ENP in the overall foreign policy of the EU.
The Multiannual Financial Framework (MFF) regulations package will now be transmitted to the European Parliament and the Council of the European Union (EU Member States) for further discussion and adoption. The new MFF budget and the new regulations will enter into force on 01 January 2014.
The European Neighbourhood Policy (ENP) covers 16 partners to the East and South of the EU’s borders, namely Algeria, Armenia, Azerbaijan, Belarus, Egypt, Georgia, Israel, Jordan, Lebanon, Libya, the Republic of Moldova, Morocco, the occupied Palestinian territory, Syria, Tunisia and Ukraine. Under the ENP, the EU offers its neighbours a privileged relationship, building on a mutual commitment to values and principles.
EU external assistance under the ENP is currently funded by the European Neighbourhood and Partnership Instrument (ENPI), which covers the 16 above-mentioned partner countries and Russia. The ENI will replace the ENPI, which runs out at the end of 2013.
Like the ENPI, the new ENI will continue to provide the bulk of funding to the European Neighbourhood countries, essentially through bilateral, regional and cross border co-operation programmes. Today’s texts are the legal proposals to implement the Multiannual Financial Framework presented by the European Commission on 29 June 2011, in the area of external action.
The total amount proposed for the nine geographic and thematic instruments involved is €96,249.4 million over the period 2014-2020 (current prices).
Source of information - ENPI info center