Business Briefs

Political and Institutional Factors: European Neighborhood Policy

With the most recent European enlargement in May 2004, the European Union's borders moved sharply to the east and south-east. None of the new neighbors are fully functioning democracies or market economies. Indeed all of them are a disturbing mixture of weak states, failed states, and authoritarian states. Including Russia, they are home to almost a quarter of a billion people, who are separated from the EU by an enormous "welfare gap" in terms of socio-economic development levels. The challenge for the EU is to develop a policy vis-à-vis these states that gives it leverage over developments in its periphery but does not lead to accession. This is what the European Neighborhood Policy (ENP) tries to achieve. The ENP recognizes that the EU cannot realistically offer the prospect of membership - its "golden carrot" - to a set of countries whose applications would be unwelcome and whose prospects of fulfilling the necessary conditions for membership are so distant. The challenge is thus to develop a set of "silver" or "bronze" carrots that would meet the needs of the new neighbors, most notably alleviating their poverty, political instability and sense of exclusion, but which would fall short of the prospect of membership.

  • Development of the European Neighborhood Policy
  • The Current State of Play
  • Three Years On: Moving Towards an ENP-Plus?
  • The Record So Far: Achievements and Prospects
  • EC Assistance in 2006 and 2007

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