Tag Archives: Central and Eastern Europe

European Neighbourhood and Partnership Instrument

European Neighbourhood and Partnership Instrument

Outline of the Community (European Union) legislation about European Neighbourhood and Partnership Instrument

Topics

These categories group together and put in context the legislative and non-legislative initiatives which deal with the same topic.

External relations > Mediterranean partner countries

European Neighbourhood and Partnership Instrument (2007 – 2013)

Document or Iniciative

Regulation (EC) No 1638/2006 of the European Parliament and of the Council of 24 October 2006 laying down general provisions establishing a European Neighbourhood and Partnership Instrument.

Summary

The European Neighbourhood and Partnership Instrument (ENPI) aims at supporting the achievement of the objectives of European Neighbourhood Policy (ENP) with a view to establishing an area of prosperity and good neighbourhood relations between and with ENP partner countries and Russia. The ENPI provides additional assistance and co-finances the actions of partner countries on the basis of partnerships with the Commission.

Scope of the ENPI

The ENPI supports the following in particular:

  • political reform: establishment and adaptation of institutional and administrative capacities, good governance, rule of law, respect for human rights, participation of civil society, multicultural dialogue and the fight against fraud, corruption, organised crime and terrorism;
  • economic reform: economic development, market economy, intensification of trade and regulatory convergence with the EU in the areas of common interest with a view to gradual economic integration with the internal market;
  • social reform: integration, employment, non-discrimination, fight against poverty;
  • sectoral cooperation, in sectors of common interest in particular: environment, sustainable development, energy, transport, telecommunications, health, food security, education and training, research and innovation;
  • regional and local development, and regional integration (Euro-Mediterranean regions and regions of Eastern Europe);
  • participation in Community programmes and agencies.

In addition, the ENPI can provide support to electoral observation and post-crisis missions and to disaster preparedness.

Management and implementation

Programmes implemented in the field adhere to a strict programming process. Priorities and indicative amounts are initially anticipated in multiannual programming papers for national, multi-country and cross-border strategies (for the entire period) and multiannual indicative programmes (three-year, in principle). Annual action programmes and joint programmes for cross-border cooperation, usually annual, that provide details, financial allocations and a timetable are adopted on this basis. The latter constitute the basis for programmes implemented in the field, namely:

  • national and multi-country programmes for each partner country, and regional and sub-regional cooperation: The nature of the programmes is determined by the characteristics of the country or the region, the partner’s ambitions and progress achieved;
  • cross-border cooperation programmes for cooperation between partners and Member States sharing a land or sea border. Cross-border cooperation actions are presented in joint operational programmes (JOPs) by partner countries and are then adopted by the Commission and managed by a joint authority established, in principle, in a Member State.

However, multi-country programmes may also provide for cross-regional cooperation between Member States and partner countries on common interest issues with no geographical restrictions. Moreover, third countries and territories benefiting from another external assistance instrument may participate in global, regional or cross-border programmes.

The budget for the ENPI amounts to 11 181 million for the period 2007-2013, of which 95 % is for national and multi-country programmes and 5 % for cross-border cooperation programmes.

Measures benefiting from the ENPI concern primarily the implementation of programmes and projects, technical assistance and administrative cooperation such as the dispatch of experts. These measures can be support measures for the application of the Regulation.

The ENPI can also finance investments and microprojects. It can finance support for budgets that are transparent, reliable and efficient, and for the implementation of sectoral and macroeconomic policies. It can support the participation of partner countries in the capital of international financial institutions (IFIs) or regional development banks. However, fiscal measures are excluded from the Regulation’s scope.

It can also contribute to the resources at the disposal of the Community, the Member States and financial intermediaries such as the European Investment Bank (EIB), international and regional organisations and other donors.

The actions can be co-funded by the EU and other donors; they can also be funded by the EU and implemented by an international organisation.

However, the Council can suspend assistance in the case of failure to respect the basic values of the EU and its relations with its partners.

Bodies eligible for funding include decentralised institutions and entities in partner countries and regions, mixed organisations, international and regional organisations, IFIs, European institutions and agencies to a certain extent and non-governmental players.

Furthermore, a number of rules have been defined for tendering for government contracts and grant agreements which are open to natural and legal persons of partner countries, Member States, European Economic Area States (EEA) and countries that are beneficiaries of the Instrument for Pre-accession Assistance (IPA), having traditional links with partner counties or reciprocal access to external assistance. This participation is also available to international organisations.

Implementation of the ENPI should guarantee effectivenesss of assistance, consistency and compatibility with EU policies and external assistance, with the objectives set and with international commitments. It should also guarantee protection of the Community’s financial interests, which the Commission and the Court of Audit monitor.

In principle, management is ensured by the Commission, assisted by a committee, but it can also be decentralised. The Commission regularly evaluates its implementation. Specifically, it is required to present a report before 31 December 2010 for the first three years of application of the Regulation and propose any necessary amendments.

References

Act Entry into force – Date of expiry Deadline for transposition in the Member States Official Journal
Regulation (EC) No 1638/2006 [adoption: codecision COD/2004/0219] 29.11.2006 – 31.12.2013 OJ L 310 of 9.11.2006

Related Acts

Implementation of the ENPI

Regulation (EC) No 951/2007 of the Commission of 9 August 2007 laying down implementing rules for cross-border cooperation programmes financed under Regulation (EC) No 1638/2006 of the European Parliament and of the Council laying down general provisions establishing a European Neighbourhood and Partnership Instrument [Official Journal L 210 of 10.8.2007].


Strategy papers

(national, regional and cross-border).

European neighbourhood policy

Communication from the Commission to the Council and the European Parliament of 4 December 2006 on strengthening the European neighbourhood policy [COM(2006) 726 final – Not published in the Official Journal].
In this Communication, the Commission not only presents a report on the ENP but also proposes ways of strengthening it. In this respect, the ENP has a potential that should be further exploited. From a financial point of view, the creation of the “governance” facility, which supports progress in the reform process on the basis of action plans, and the Neighbourhood Investment Fund (NIF) supporting IFI loans in partner countries should contribute to the objective of efficiency of assistance.

Communication from the Commission to the Council and the European Parliament of 4 December 2004 on the general approach to enable ENP partner countries to participate in Community agencies and Community programmes [COM(2006) 724 final – Not published in the Official Journal].

Strategy for the eastern region 2007-2013

Strategy for the eastern region 2007-2013

Outline of the Community (European Union) legislation about Strategy for the eastern region 2007-2013

Topics

These categories group together and put in context the legislative and non-legislative initiatives which deal with the same topic.

External relations > Eastern europe and central asia

Strategy for the eastern region 2007-2013

Document or Iniciative

European Neighbourhood and Partnership Instrument – Eastern Regional Programme – Strategy Paper 2007-2013 (pdf ).

Summary

The regional strategy paper (RSP) defines the objectives and priorities for regional cooperation on the basis of the European neighbourhood and partnership instrument (ENPI) for the period 2007-2013. In this respect, it supplements the country strategy papers (CSPs) established for each country in the region (Armenia, Azerbaijan, Belarus, Georgia, Moldova, Ukraine and Russia).

The RSP contributes to the achievement of the objectives of the European neighbourhood policy (ENP) with partner countries and of the Four Common Spaces with Russia, in addition to bilateral relations between the European Union (EU) and these countries. Within this context, regional cooperation concerns the challenges that are of common interest for all the countries and that have a cross-border nature.

Moreover, this regional support is justified by its added value or the need for joint intervention by several countries in order to solve cross-border issues. Thus, the willingness of the partner countries to cooperate on a regional basis and to embrace this cooperation is fundamental.

Regional cooperation in a number of sectors will also support further economic and regulatory integration with the EU.

Common challenges for partner countries

The Eastern Region groups a number of countries that share a common past but that are pursuing their own transition process. These countries are facing similar political, economic, social and environmental challenges.

The indicative programme (IP) for the period 2007-2010 (pdf ) covers a specific number of priorities set in consultation with partner countries. They have been chosen for their strategic importance, their comparative advantage and their complementarity at regional level, and also for their coherence with EU policies in this area.

Transport and energy, and in particular networks in these sectors, constitute an essential priority given that the countries in the region are both producer countries and transit countries. Assistance is based on experience acquired under the TRACECA and INOGATE programmes. It includes the following:

  • transport safety, in particular gradual approximation with EU standards, and also development of sustainable transport;
  • energy supply diversity and safety, and the promotion of renewable sources of energy;
  • development of links and networks between the EU and its neighbours in order to strengthen trade relations in particular.

Protection of the environment and forests and the fight against climate change are of critical importance for the IP. Air and water quality, waste management, the protection of nature and soils, and industrial pollution will be given special attention, as will pollution of the Baltic, Barents, Caspian and Black Seas. Increased awareness and involvement of civil society and the private sector are necessary to support efforts undertaken in this area.

Border and migration management, the fight against cross-border organised crime and customs at regional level will create economies of scale on account of their cross-border nature. Specifically, the EU supports measures against human trafficking, corruption and terrorism at national and international level.

Moreover, people-to people activities and information and support will benefit from assistance in order to stimulate cooperation between civil society and EU partner countries.

Finally, landmines, explosive remnants of war, small arms and light weapons constitute a serious threat for civilians and for the environment. As a consequence of former or “frozen” conflicts, many countries are confronted with the presence of anti-personnel landmines and other remnants of war. In addition, sustained assistance and clear action strategies are essential in this area.

Instruments and means

Several instruments and measures will support the achievement of these priorities. The ENPI is the main instrument and includes the following:

  • national allocations focused on the strategic priorities of beneficiary countries;
  • cross-border cooperation (CBC) and Neighbourhood and Partnership Programmes (NPP), which are intended to promote cross-border cooperation between beneficiary countries, the EU, candidate countries and potential candidate countries;
  • the Interregional Programme, whose activities will be implemented consistently in all neighbouring countries (TAIEX, Tempus, SIGMA, etc.);
  • thematic programmes under the new instruments such as democracy and human rights, migration and asylum, non-state actors and local authorities, environment and use of natural resources or even energy.

Moreover, other instruments will or can also be used.

  • the Democracy and Human Rights Instrument;
  • the Nuclear Safety Instrument supporting improvements in nuclear safety (power stations, waste management, etc.);
  • the Stability Instrument aimed at providing an effective response to existing or emerging crises or continued political instability (“frozen” conflicts).

At the same time, the use of interest-rate subsidies can leverage investments by various international financing institutions in the areas of the environment, energy and transport.

Background

In accordance with the objectives of its external policy, the EU promotes prosperity, solidarity, security and sustainable development throughout the world as well as democracy and human rights. The ENP launched after the fifth enlargement pursues these objectives while insisting on relations of good neighbourliness between the EU and its neighbours. For this, the ENPI, the ENP financial instrument for the period 2007-2013, supports ENP partner countries and Russia by integrating the regional and cross-border dimension and by pursuing the objectives identified by the previous Tacis programme.

Related Acts

Communication from the Commission to the European Parliament and the Council of 3 December 2008 – Eastern Partnership [COM(2008) 823 final – Not published in the Official Journal].
The Commission presents proposals aimed at strengthening the EU’s commitment to its eastern neighbours. This regional partnership should lead to the conclusion of association agreements. It should also support the acceleration of economic reforms, political dialogue and multilateralism, in particular through a comprehensive institution-building programme.

The deepening of bilateral relations should take place within the framework of:

  • the gradual establishing of a free trade area with the EU, supplemented progressively by free trade agreements between the partner countries;
  • cooperation on energy, considering the existing interdependent trade relations between the EU and its partners;
  • the introduction of “mobility and security pacts”, differentiated by country, outlining both a progressive liberalisation of the visa policy and an intensification of the fight against illegal immigration;
  • the development of economic and social policies at local, regional and cross-border levels.

The partnership should be based on a new multilateral framework. Implemented through four thematic platforms, it aims at developing cooperation and dialogue in the following areas:

  • democracy, the rule of law, good governance, stability and territorial integrity;
  • economic integration and regulatory convergence with the EU;
  • the environment;
  • the interconnection of transport and information networks;
  • energy security, in particular through warning mechanisms, the diversification of supply and transit routes;
  • culture and contacts between people.

Specific initiatives are also planned concerning good border management, small and medium enterprises, renewable energies and the response to natural or man-made disasters.

The Commission proposes an overall increase in the funding granted to eastern partners under the European Neighbourhood and Partnership Instrument (ENPI). It invites Member States to increase their direct contributions Neighbourhood Investment Facility (NIF).

This new initiative for eastern partnership should be launched at the “Eastern Partnership Meeting” in spring 2009.

Multilateral Environment for Europe process

Multilateral Environment for Europe process

Outline of the Community (European Union) legislation about Multilateral Environment for Europe process

Topics

These categories group together and put in context the legislative and non-legislative initiatives which deal with the same topic.

External relations > Eastern europe and central asia

Multilateral Environment for Europe process

Document or Iniciative

Communication from the Commission of 21 May 2007 – Commission Cooperation with the Environment for Europe Process after the 2007 Ministerial Conference in Belgrade [COM(2007) 262 final – Not published in the Official Journal].

Summary

The Environment for Europe process is an informal multilateral framework created in 1991 and overseen by the United Nations Economic Commission for Europe (UNECE) to promote environmental protection in the countries of Central and Eastern Europe.

The European landscape has changed since the creation of this multilateral process, in particular through the enlargement of the EU to the east which integrated most of the countries of Central and Eastern Europe targeted by this process and thereby made them subject to the Community environment acquis. In addition, relations between the EU and UNECE countries have also been taken into account in the European Neighbourhood Policy and the development of bilateral relations (for example with Russia and the Ukraine) or regional relations (Black Sea region).

The main success stories of the Environment for Europe process include holding multilateral forums, its contribution to the drafting of pan-European reports evaluating the state of the environment, as well as the environmental strategy for the countries of Eastern Europe, the Caucasus and Central Asia (Armenia, Azerbaijan, Belarus, Georgia, Kazakhstan, Kirgizstan, Moldova, Russia, Tajikistan, Turkmenistan, Ukraine and Uzbekistan) which aims to find solutions to environmental problems shared by these countries.

However, the Commission notes that the process has encountered some problems, such as difficulties for countries of the former Soviet Union which have not joined the EU to make progress in environmental matters (due mainly to internal political and financial constraints). The Commission also underlines the difficulties linked to the range of subjects dealt with at ministerial conferences and the fact that the role of the Environment for Europe process has progressively decreased as other cooperation frameworks and initiatives have developed.

At the ministerial meeting in Kiev in 2003 the parties decided from then on to focus the process more on countries in Eastern Europe, the Caucasus and Central Asia. They also rearranged the activities of the various working groups to make better use of available resources. Three trends emerged at this meeting, namely the progressive expansion of the EU towards the east (27 of the 56 members of UNECE are now in the EU and another three are EU candidates); the diversity of the countries in Eastern Europe, the Caucasus and Central Asia and the difficulty in seeing them as a unified region; and the decrease in donations to countries such as Russia and Kazakhstan following their rapid economic growth since the end of the 1990s.

The Commission is of the opinion that, following the meeting to be held in Belgrade in October 2007, the central role of the UNECE should be to facilitate the implementation of the UN’s conventions in the region and to continue in its role of coordinating environmental activities in the countries covered by the Environment for Europe process and helping to evaluate these countries’ environmental performance.

In turn the Commission will concentrate in particular on helping to implement the existing UNECE environmental conventions, contributing to UNECE environmental performance reviews, supporting Regional Environmental Centres, participating in selected sub-regional initiatives and improving the water sector in the region.

Related Acts

Communication from the Commission to the Council and the European Parliament of 4 December 2006 on

strengthening the European Neighbourhood Policy

[COM(2006) 726 final – Not published in the Official Journal].

Communication from the Commission of 17 December 2001 – EU-

Russia

Environmental Cooperation [COM(2001) 772 final – Not published in the Official Journal].

Communication from the Commission to the Council and the European Parliament of 6 February 2003 –

Pan-European Environmental Cooperation

after the 2003 Kiev Conference [COM(2003) 62 final – Not published in the Official Journal].

Council Decision of 15 October 1996 on the conclusion, on behalf of the Community, of the Convention on environmental impact assessment in a transboundary context (Espoo Convention).

The Espoo Convention, signed on 26 February 1991, aims to set out the obligations of Parties to assess the environmental impact of certain activities at an early stage of planning and imposes on States the general obligation regarding notification and consultation on all major projects that are likely to have a significant adverse environmental impact across borders. This Convention covers the UNECE countries.