The European Neighbourhood Policy should strengthen the partnership between the EU and the countries and societies of the neighbourhood. We should keep in mind that this partnership should be built on the mutual commitment to common values which are democracy, human rights, the rule of law, good governance market economy and sustainable development, the European Parliament stressed today with the adoption of the Report assessing the European Neighbourhood Policy.
It regrets that in most cases, the events, both in EU South and East neighbouring countries, present a mixed picture of progress, stagnation and regression and the progress made by partner countries has not always matched the goals commonly set with the EU. MEPs called for more effort from both the EU and its neighbouring partners and for the implementation of the incentive-based and differentiated approaches within this policy.
“Progress within the Eastern Neighbourhood is not satisfactory, but both sides are at fault: Eastern partners lack societal ownership of change whereas on the EU side, there are not enough forces to fuel the process of greater integration”, said Jacek Saryusz-Wolski MEP, author of the part of the Report dealing with the Eastern Neighbourhood, after the vote.
“The flipside of the ‘more for more’ principle is the ‘less for less’ principle. If the EU wants to be consistent, it should apply this principle equally, implementing the incentive-based principle for those countries that are making efforts to build democracy and are undertaking the agreed reforms. On the contrary, the EU should be less generous to those who are not showing interest in reforms”, he suggested.
The Report also recalls that there will not be any substantial progress in the way of association with the EU and Eastern countries without resolving the issue of selective justice.
For the Southern neighbourhood, the Report recommended that the EU maintains its commitment to supporting the transition.
“The Union must keep up and strengthen its commitment (when applicable) to supporting our Southern partner countries, focusing on democratic transformation established through a strong partnership with civil society, with both local, regional and national authorities, and of course having sustainable and inclusive economic development as a main objective”, said Mário David MEP, who oversaw the works of the Report on behalf of the EPP Group.
“The EU-ENP should aim at the larger ‘Euro-Mediterranean Economic Area’ which would promote economic growth in our neighbouring partners in the South and undoubtedly facilitate South-South integration”, he concluded.