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Neighbourhood policy a success - 03/04/2008

Two North-African traders stacking water-melons into high pyramids

Easier trade, joint research and innovation, freedom of movement, more secure energy supply – practical benefits of the European neighbourhood policy

Taking stock, this week, of how the European neighbourhood policy (ENP) is developing, the EU welcomes the progress made in a range of different areas and moves to intensify cooperation with Israel, Moldova, Ukraine and Morocco.

As the reports show, the policy's successes are down to the expert input of specialists in the EU and commitment from the individual countries. "We work closely with our partners to […] bring them closer to the Union", explained external affairs commissioner, Benita Ferrero-Waldner. "Each country shapes its relationship with us individually" she added.

A few examples of cooperation since end 2006:

  • business – free trade area set up with Ukraine
  • migration – first joint EU visa application centre set up in Moldova
  • fight against crime – training schemes in the Mediterranean countries for judges, lawyers and the police – 1000 have already received training
  • energy – several oil and gas pipelines under development, to link EU to neighbouring countries and make supplies more secure
  • environment – go-ahead given for 44 projects to clean up the Mediterranean

The neighbourhood policy was launched in 2004 to encourage good relations between the EU, with its new members, and the countries around it. In line with the EU's security strategy , the policy sets out to boost the prosperity, stability and security of all concerned. In 2007, the EU earmarked a further €1.65 billion to be spent on supporting neighbourhood-policy countries - €3 a head for every EU citizen.

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