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Author
Michele Comelli

Michele Comelli

Michele Comelli(MA, PhD) is senior fellow at the IAI. He has published books, peer reviewed articles ...
Key points
EU - Russia: beyond rivalries?
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EU security: a matter of political urgency
Supporting Ukraine’s difficult path towards reforms
What borders for the EU: a variable geometry neighborhood?
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EU and Neighbours

Potential and limits of EU policies in the neighbourhood

on February 15, 2013, 08:16
Policy paper - Michele Comelli

This Policy Paper is a contribution of Michele Comelli (IAI), to the project Think Global – Act European (TGAE). Thinking strategically about the EU’s external action directed by Notre Europe – Jacques Delors Institute (report available in March 2013, dir. Elvire Fabry, Senior Research Fellow, Notre Europe – Jacques Delors Institute).


Contrary to the premises on which it was launched back in 2003, the European Neighbourhood Policy (ENP) has underperformed in many ways. While democratisation in Eastern Europe has lapsed, a number of Southern Mediterranean countries overthrew their ruling autocrats, but the EU had no role in that. The EU revised the ENP in 2011, but the revision looks unimpressive. In particular, conditionality appears unlikely to work in countries where reforms have been an endogenous product. New challenges have also emerged from the new economic and strategic context. Internally, the crisis has absorbed significant energy and resources, plus Member States tend not only to bypass common external policies, but possibly stand in the way of implementing Lisbon Treaty foreign policy provisions. Externally, other actors have emerged in the EU neighbourhood, while neighbouring countries and their citizens no longer necessarily look at the EU as a model and final foreign policy goal. The EU should adopt a political, not technocratic approach to its periphery, get Member States to support common policies, and seek ad hoc cooperation with new powers in the area, like Turkey. A strategic and proactive approach to the neighbourhood is needed, one that looks at the opportunities for the EU, and not just at the challenges and threats.


Before the publication of the final report presenting the key recommendations of the 16 think tanks involved in the project, 5 series of policy papers address the following key challenges: EU neighbourhood, CSDP, strategic resources, migration and economic policy.


This Policy Paper is part of the series entitled “How to make out of its neighbourhood an opportunity for the EU itself?” which includes contributions by Haizam Amirah Fernández (Elcano Royal Institute) and Timo Behr (Notre Europe – Jacques Delors Institute), Christophe Hillion(SIEPS), Lucia Najšlová (Europeum), Věra Řiháčková (Europeum), Olga Shumylo-Tapiola (Carnegie Europe), Adam Balcer (demosEuropa).

Go to the other contributions of the neighbourhood series >>




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