Eastern Partnership Civil Society Forum

European Parliament approves new European Neighbourhood Instrument for 2014-2020

A deal with EU member states on six foreign policy funds – including more than €15 billion for the new European Neighbourhood Instrument (ENI) – was endorsed by the European Parliament today, according to a press release from the EU Neighbourhood Info Centre. The total funding for the six instruments is worth over €51 billion for the period 2014-2020, and covers neighbouring and partner countries, pre-accession assistance, as well as peace-keeping, democracy and human-rights actions, a press release says.

The European Commission welcomed the vote, saying it would “enable the EU to continue to be a global player and promote its interests and values”.

In a joint statement, Commissioner for Enlargement and European Neighbourhood Policy Stefan Füle and Commissioner for Development Andris Piebalgs said: “The instruments adopted today allow us to pursue cooperation with our external partners on four policy priorities: enlargement, neighbourhood, cooperation with strategic partners and development cooperation.”

“In our EU Neighbourhood, we will efficiently accompany sector reforms and keep up the efforts of approximation in the East, and boost democratisation and economic and social development in the South,” the Commissioners said. “We will focus support to our neighbours even more on our political and policy agenda. It will allow for more differentiation and for giving incentives for best performers who genuinely implement deep and sustainable democracy, including respect for human rights, and agreed reform objectives.”

The final budget for the ENI stands at €15.433 billion (current prices), which is overall comparable with the total funding allocated under the current ENPI for 2007-2013.

“Thanks to the new Neighbourhood Instrument the EU should be able to react faster to the changing reality of our neighbourhood, while clearly supporting democratic values and human rights.  We are ready to give more support to countries that make progress on democratic reform, but also expect them to demonstrate more respect for these values,”said the EP’s ENI rapporteur Eduard Kukan.

The European Neighbourhood Instrument was endorsed by 618 votes to 53, with 8 abstentions.

Building on the achievements of the current European Neighbourhood and Partnership Instrument (ENPI), the ENI will support strengthening of relations with Neighbourhood countries and bring tangible benefits to both the EU and its partners. It will provide support through bilateral, multi-country and Cross Border Co-operation (CBC) programmes.

The European Parliament said its intervention meant EU foreign policy spending would be more efficient and more effective, with greater democratic scrutiny.

“We do not want to micromanage EU external assistance but, to ensure the democratic legitimacy and accountability of EU action, we need to scrutinize the big decisions,” said the EP rapporteur on the common implementing rules MEP Elmar Brok, adding: “A mid-term review of the strategic objectives will enable the next Parliament to have its say on priorities under these instruments. We have also ensured that EU action will be more visible, better coordinated, and more closely focused on human rights, democracy and civil society.” 

The new European Neighbourhood Instrument (ENI)

In line with the renewed Neighbourhood Policy launched in 2011, ENI support will mainly focus on:

  • Promoting human rights and the rule of law; establishing deep and sustainable democracy and developing a thriving civil society;
  • Sustainable and inclusive growth and economic, social and territorial development; including progressive integration in the EU internal market;
  • Mobility and people-to-people contacts; including student exchanges;
  • Regional integration; including Cross-Border Cooperation programmes. 

Budget breakdown

The total amount agreed for this external relations package is €51,419 million (current prices) over the period 2014-2020.

−        Instrument for Pre-accession Assistance (IPA): €11,699 million

−        European Neighbourhood Instrument (ENI): €15,433 million

−        Development Cooperation Instrument (DCI): €19,662 million

−        Partnership Instrument (PI): €955 million

−        Instrument contributing to Stability and Peace (IfSP): €2,339 million

−        European Instrument for Democracy & Human Rights (EIDHR): €1,333 million

The package will also have to be voted by the Council and is expected to be adopted shortly. (EU Neighbourhood Info)

Project funded by the European UnionEU