The EU established its privileged partnership with the Eastern and Southern shores of the Mediterranean back in 1995 with the launch of the Euro-Mediterranean Partnership at the Barcelona Conference, establishing the goal of an area of peace, stability, economic prosperity, upholding democratic values and human rights.
EU cooperation with the Southern Neighbourhood takes place in the framework of the European Neighbourhood Policy (ENP) and includes ten partner countries: Algeria, Egypt, Israel, Jordan, Lebanon, Libya, Morocco, Palestine*, Syria and Tunisia. The ENP was launched in 2004 to strengthen the prosperity, stability and security for all. Currently, cooperation is suspended with Syrian authorities but the EU maintains direct support to the Syrian population.
How does it work?
These various EU cooperation programmes cover a wide range of key sectors such as good governance and rule of law, socio-economic development, migration and support to refugees, climate change, environment, energy and security.
The EU also signed Association Agreements with Algeria, Egypt, Israel, Jordan, Lebanon, Morocco, Palestine* and Tunisia that have deepened trade integration, encouraged political and technical dialogue and promoted cultural, economic, financial and social cooperation.
Following the several migratory crises that erupted in the past years, regional cooperation in the Southern Neighbourhood also includes activities specifically supporting vulnerable host communities, refugees or migrants through the EU Regional Trust Fund in Response to the Syrian Crisis and the North Africa window of the EU Emergency Trust Fund for Africa.
The bulk of funding for implementing the European Neighbourhood Policy derives from the European Neighbourhood Instrument (ENI) since 2014, which succeeds the European Neighbourhood and Partnership Instrument (ENPI) during the funding period 2007-2013.
From 2007 until 2020, the EU has allocated €20.5 billion for cooperation in the Southern Neighbourhood through its successive European Neighbourhood financial instruments.
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* This designation shall not be construed as recognition of a State of Palestine and is without prejudice to the individual positions of the Member States on this issue.