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European Neighbourhood Policy

The European Neighbourhood Policy shares the benefits of the EU with neighbouring countries, thus strengthening stability, security and well-being.

DG ECFIN contributes to the European Neighbourhood Policy (ENP) by:

Geographical coverage

The European Neighbourhood Policy applies to some of the EU's immediate neighbours by land or sea. Relations with other neighbouring countries are covered by different agreements.

Eastern Europe

Middle East and North Africa

Benefits

The European Neighbourhood Policy (ENP) offers partner countries the possibility to participate in EU activities through greater political, security, economic and cultural cooperation.

On the economic front, the ENP offers preferential trade relations, a stake in the EU internal market, improved infrastructure connections with the Union (in particular energy, transport and telecommunications), the possibility of participating in a number of EU programmes, and increased financial and technical assistance.

In addition to regular development cooperation assistance, neighbourhood countries are also eligible for Macro-Financial Assistance (MFA), a form of emergency financial assistance for countries experiencing a balance of payments crisis.

A strategic partnership

At the core of the ENP are the partner countries’ Action Plans. These political documents lay out the strategic objectives of cooperation between each neighbourhood country and the EU. Action Plans set out a comprehensive list of jointly agreed priorities to be implemented by each country and the EU. Fostering economic growth by improving the conditions for sustained investment and productivity gains is a major priority.

DG ECFIN conducts regular economic dialogues as an integral part of the ENP. They are the primary occasion for the EU and its partner countries to discuss macroeconomic developments, monetary and fiscal policy, financial sector developments and structural reforms.

The dialogues are a mutual exchange. They help the European Commission to deepen its understanding of the economic situation in the ENP partner countries and help these countries to deepen their understanding of developments in the EU.

They are also an opportunity to discuss reform priorities and to review the progress that has been made towards achieving the economic and structural reform goals agreed in the ENP Action Plans. Economic dialogues take place annually, alternating between Brussels and the partner’s capital city.

Related policies

The ENP is complemented by economic cooperation policies with a greater political and social dimension, such as the Eastern Partnership, the Euro-Mediterranean Partnership and the Black Sea Synergy.

The European Commission ensures coordination with international financial institutions, including the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development, the European Investment Bank or the International Monetary Fund.

The EU also works in cooperation with other partners, such as the G8 countries, to improve welfare and raise the living standards of people in its neighbouring countries.