European Neighbourhood Policy in 2012: Continuing engagement for a stronger cooperation with neighbours despite turbulent political and economic conditions
Brussels (20th March) – The cooperation of the EU with its partner countries is stronger and is delivering positive results, indicate the country and regional reports on the progress of the European Neighbourhood Policy (ENP) in 2012 published today. EU Commissioner Štefan Füle declared: "I attach great importance to the partnership with civil society in the ENP. The role of civil society remains central to the democratisation processes. We have significantly enhanced our engagement with civil society of partner countries to maximise public support for reforms. Therefore, it is regrettable that in some partner countries, civil society organisations continue to face serious constraints such as obstacles to freedom of movements, lawsuits against NGOs leaders, cumbersome administrative procedures, acceptance of financial support subject to authorisation, etc." Click on the news item title for the press release, Commissioner Füle ’s remarks at the European parliament and documents.
Two years after the launch of a new approach to the ENP, achievements are encouraging in many areas of cooperation, although 2012 has been a challenging year due to political instability and difficult socio-economic conditions. Still, political reforms are uneven in partner countries and progress towards deep and sustainable democracy is not always linear.