Tag Archives: European neighbourhood policy

Tenth anniversary of the Euro-Mediterranean Partnership

Tenth anniversary of the Euro-Mediterranean Partnership

Outline of the Community (European Union) legislation about Tenth anniversary of the Euro-Mediterranean Partnership

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

Tenth anniversary of the Euro-Mediterranean Partnership

Document or Iniciative

Communication from the Commission to the Council and the European Parliament of 12 April 2005 – Tenth Anniversary of the Euro-Mediterranean Partnership: A work programme to meet the challenges of the next five years [COM(2005) 139 final – Not published in the Official Journal].

Summary

The Commission has identified the critical areas for the future of the Mediterranean region and for intensified relations between the EU and the MNCs.

It focuses on three key objectives:

  • promoting human rights and democracy;
  • supporting job creation and sustainable economic development by liberalising trade and promoting regional integration;
  • contributing to better education for all.

With these proposals the Commission wishes to realise the full potential offered by the Euro-Mediterranean Partnership. A detailed analysis of achievements and shortcomings has shown that cooperation methods can be improved further.

A new model of cooperation may be drawn up via the institutional framework of the European Neighbourhood Policy (ENP). This would mean that new cooperation projects form part of a five-year work programme and benefit from the Euro-Mediterranean Association Agreements and the Neighbourhood Action Plans.

Human rights and democracy

The political dialogue set up by the Euro-Mediterranean Partnership serves to develop common perceptions in the areas of democracy and respect for human rights. Greater emphasis will be placed on certain issues, such as gender equality, the promotion of fundamental and social rights and the role of civil society.

The Commission considers that new impetus must be given to the political dialogue to ensure stability and security in the Mediterranean region. It proposes to hold a conference on human rights and democratisation at sub-regional level. It also encourages the creation of a Democracy Facility under the European Neighbourhood and Partnership Instrument.

Job creation and economic growth

The Commission considers that these two objectives will be met through trade liberalisation and sub-regional integration. Increased trade between the partners will be facilitated in particular by:

  • enhanced liberalisation of trade in services and establishment, and of trade in agricultural and fishery products;
  • increased convergence of technical legislation and regulations, upgrading of infrastructure to European standards;
  • the development of South-South trade relations by the signing of Free Trade Agreements between the MNCs. This type of agreement must also enable the preferential rules of the Pan-Euro-Med cumulation of origin to be implemented;
  • the establishment of appropriate budgetary and monetary policies, and the continuation of structural reforms aimed at lifting obstacles to growth, investment and job creation;
  • the creation of a Euro-Mediterranean Bank, taking into account the success of the Facility for Euro-Mediterranean Investment and Partnership (FEMIP) implemented by the European Investment Bank (EIB);
  • the development of a regional transport network and the reform of the sector, and the adoption of recommendations for the creation of Euro-Mediterranean interconnections;
  • the gradual establishment of a Euro-Mediterranean energy market and the development of energy infrastructures in the partner third countries;
  • the adoption of environmental measures designed to depollute the Mediterranean Sea by 2020.

Education

The contribution of the Euro-Mediterranean Partnership to improving education and vocational training involves intensifying bilateral cooperation. The Commission intends to increase by at least 50% the proportion of financial aid devoted to education from 2007. In line with the Millennium Development Goals, this cooperation focuses on eradicating illiteracy, ensuring primary education for all and eliminating gender disparity at all levels of education.

Mobility in higher education will also be encouraged by extending existing programmes and by launching a new scheme of scholarships for university students co-financed by the MNCs.

Justice, freedom and security

The Commission recommends a series of actions aimed at enhancing cooperation, in particular in the area of migration and social integration of migrants. It recalls that local authorities and civil society play a key role in these areas.

Terrorism

The aim here is to pursue more practical and sustained cooperation in the fight against terrorism through a political dialogue at regional level. Bilateral state-to-state cooperation has proved insufficient and a new stage in the deepening of relations could be the adoption of a common Code of Conduct.

Weapons of mass destruction and ESDP

Attaining the objectives of the Euro-Mediterranean Partnership should lead to a Mediterranean region free of weapons of mass destruction and compliance by all the MNCs with their international obligations in this area. The Secretary General/High Representative for the Common Foreign and Security Policy (CFSP) has taken the initiative of organising a workshop on this subject, aimed at developing Euro-Mediterranean cooperation within the framework of the European Security and Defence Policy (ESDP).

The Middle East Peace Process and the resolution of other conflicts

The appearance of conflicts is an obstacle to progress in the Euro-Mediterranean Partnership. This is why the EU supports cooperation and political dialogue among the parties. Even though the Barcelona Process is not a forum in which a settlement can be reached, it provides the instruments for maintaining peace.

The Commission proposes the signing of a Euro-Mediterranean charter for peace and stability and closer regional integration through the European Neighbourhood Policy. This strategy is suited to the conflict between Israel and the Palestinian Authority and may be reproduced to help resolve other conflicts, in particular the Western Sahara conflict that is a significant obstacle to the development of the integration process within the Arab Maghreb Union.

Civil society

The new Anna Lindh Foundation for Dialogue between Cultures should promote the participation of civil society in the Barcelona Process. Additional mechanisms should strengthen this participation, in particular through the organisation of a Euro-Mediterranean civil forum. The results of the forum will be made operational through the Neighbourhood Policy and its financing instrument.

The Commission supports the Arab International Women’s Forum in its efforts to set up a network of women who are leaders in their areas of business.

Background

In this Communication, the Commission draws up the preparatory framework for the meetings of the Foreign Affairs Ministers in 2005. Most notable was the Extraordinary Conference in Barcelona celebrating the tenth anniversary of a strong partnership between the EU and the MNCs, based on the basic principles of the Partnership, namely dialogue and cooperation.

The Luxembourg Conference (‘Barcelona VII’) aims to make concrete progress in the areas described above. To this end, the Commission attaches to its recommendations a timetable of measures to be taken in the short and medium term to achieve an integrated Euro-Mediterranean area by 2010.

Related Acts

BARCELONA SUMMIT CELEBRATING THE 10TH ANNIVERSARY OF THE EURO-MEDITERRANEAN PARTNERSHIP, 27-28 NOVEMBER 2005.

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The Barcelona Summit saw the adoption of new objectives and a five-year work programme to improve the partnership’s impact on people’s lives and to make its results more visible.

Political and security partnership.
The EU and its partners remain committed to making the Euro-Mediterranean region an area of peace, security and prosperity. This commitment concerns both the resolution of the Israeli/Palestinian conflict and other issues such as strengthening the partnership, developing joint regional projects, sustainable development and consolidating the rule of law, democracy and human rights. Citizens and civil society should be more involved, particularly in the decision-making process. The EU will support the reforms on the basis of the shared principles and values and the priorities under the ENP action plans. For their part, the partners will primarily have to undertake to meet international election standards, further the human rights dialogues envisaged under the association agreements and implement the code of conduct on countering terrorism. Dialogue concerning the ESDP and security issues should also be stepped up so as to consolidate the partners’ cooperation on conflict and natural disaster prevention, crisis management and civil protection.
Sustainable socio-economic development and reforms. The Euro-Mediterranean Partnership aims to improve employment and GDP levels and reduce poverty and wealth disparities. In order to achieve this, a business-friendly climate, particularly one which is favourable to small and medium-sized enterprises, must be created. The partners will establish a roadmap identifying the steps to be taken to create a Euro-Mediterranean free trade area by 2010. Trade in agricultural and fisheries products and trade in services should be progressively liberalised. It will also be necessary to speed up the signing of association agreements, promote regional agreements and bilateral free trade agreements and encourage the entry into force of the Agadir Agreement. Existing instruments such as the Pan-Euro-Mediterranean Protocol will also have to be promoted. Cooperation also concerns industrial products, health, the environment, transport, energy and tourism. It is planned to open up Community programmes such as the Eureka programme on research and innovation to all the partners and to apply the methodology used in the EU regional policy.
Education and socio-cultural exchanges. Because of its crucial role in political, economic and social development, education should be improved and strengthened, so as to contribute to achieving the Millennium Development Goals. Objectives will be identified for moving towards quality education which is open to all and tailored to labour market needs. Achieving these objectives should involve increasing funding for education through EU aid programmes and national programmes, including the European Neighbourhood and Partnership Instrument (ENPI), increasing the number of enrolments in an increased number of schools and extending programmes to fight illiteracy. Intercultural knowledge and understanding will benefit mainly from increased support for the work of the Anna Lindh Foundation, the involvement of civil society, measures to encourage mobility, etc.
Migration, social integration, justice and security. These issues will be handled using a comprehensive and integrated approach and increased cooperation. The means for achieving the objectives identified should essentially be meetings of Ministers and experts, frameworks encouraging exchanges of experience, dialogue with and assistance to countries of origin and transit and strengthened administrative and institutional capacities. Cooperation on illegal immigration should be stepped up by dealing with all the aspects involved (readmission agreements, the fight against people trafficking, capacity building). Cooperation between the legal/judicial professions on the one hand and the police and law enforcement authorities on the other should be strengthened by means of contacts, training and technical assistance on the basis of the existing instruments (Euromed Justice, Euromed Police, etc.).

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OTHER RELEVANT DOCUMENTS:

Communication from the Commission to the Council and the European Parliament on the preparation of the Tampere Euro-Mediterranean Foreign Affairs Ministers Conference (27-28 November 2006) – The Euro-Mediterranean Partnership: Time to deliver

Communication from the Commission to the Council and the European Parliament of 25 October 2006 on the preparation of the Tampere Euro-Mediterranean Foreign Affairs Ministers Conference (27-28 November 2006) – The Euro-Mediterranean Partnership: Time to deliver [COM(2006) 620 final – not published in the Official Journal].
With a view to the Tampere Conference, the Commission summarises the successes of the Euro-Mediterranean Partnership. It proposes key areas in which action is required as part of the implementation of the five-year work programme. These key areas are political and security dialogue, implementation of the code of conduct on countering terrorism, the establishment of a Euro-Med area for free trade and investment, energy and transport, the environment, education and social development, strengthening the role of women in society, information society, cultural dialogue and migration.
The Commission also proposes reviewing the working methods, so as to improve communication on the Euro-Mediterranean partnership and the preparation of Euro-Med meetings and conferences by involving participants and giving them more responsibility.

Euro-Mediterranean Regional Strategy and Indicative Programme 2007-2013

Euro-Mediterranean Regional Strategy and Indicative Programme 2007-2013

Outline of the Community (European Union) legislation about Euro-Mediterranean Regional Strategy and Indicative Programme 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 > Mediterranean partner countries

Euro-Mediterranean Regional Strategy and Indicative Programme 2007-2013

Document or Iniciative

European Neighbourhood and Partnership Instrument (ENPI) – Regional Strategy Paper (2007-2013) and Regional Indicative Programme (2007-2013) for the Euro-Mediterranean Partnership .

Summary

The Regional Strategy Paper (RSP) defines the objectives and priorities of the regional cooperation on the basis of the European Neighbourhood and Partnership Instrument (ENPI) for the period 2007-2013. In this context, it aims to achieve the objectives of the European neighbourhood policy (ENP), which seeks to add a further dimension to the Euro-Mediterranean Partnership (Barcelona Processus) to strengthen its impact beyond bilateral relations.

The political, economic, social and environment situation of the Mediterranean region poses a certain number of challenges for the region. Regional cooperation offers a response to the challenges of common, and in particular cross-border, interest for the countries of the region. The RSP in this way complements the country strategy papers (CSP) drawn up for Algeria, the Palestinian Authority, Egypt, Israel, Jordan, Lebanon, Morocco, Syria and Tunisia.

EU response strategy

The European Union (EU) seeks to maintain and step up the reform process in the Mediterranean partner countries. It also seeks to promote dialogue, strengthening the domestic political institutions by means of the collaboration offered by various instruments.

In this capacity, the RIP identifies the priority areas which represent value-added through the comparative advantage they may bring to strengthen the Euro-Mediterranean Partnership.

The justice, security and migration cooperation is of regional interest, with activities comprising:

  • confidence-building measures for a first component aimed at promoting cooperation in the field of civil protection and a second component on partnership for peace. In more concrete terms, the RIP proposes, for example, support for crisis management and the implementation of a Code of Conduct on Countering Terrorism;
  • a “justice, police and migration” component to consolidate the results obtained during previous programmes and to enhance cooperation on managing migration flows between countries of origin, transit and destination. More specifically, this component encourages contacts, training and assistance among law enforcement officers;
  • a “policy analysis” component, with the objective of developing the Euro-Mediterranean network of foreign policy institutes and the Economic Research Institute.

Sustainable economic development is a priority for the achievement of the Euro-Mediterranean Free Trade Area by 2010. This priority consists of:

  • promotion of reforms and investments to attract investors;
  • cooperation in respect of infrastructure networks in the transport and energy sectors;
  • the completion of an area of free trade and South-South regional economic integration by ensuring the environmental sustainability of the region;
  • an environmental programme covering marine pollution, among other issues.

Social development and cultural exchanges focus on people-to-people exchanges and raising awareness of the Partnership through the media. Their main components are:

  • gender equality and civil society, with a view to encouraging active citizenship, strengthening equality between men and women and encouraging recognition of the role of women;
  • information and communication to promote the Partnership and the ENP and improve cooperation between the EU and the various media in the region;
  • Euromed Youth to encourage dialogue between young people on opposite sides of the Mediterranean, the integration of young people and active citizenship;
  • dialogue between cultures and cultural heritage.

The Partnership with the neighbouring countries in this way allows progress towards a significant degree of integration with the EU, enhanced trading relations and intensified cooperation in matters of security. Nevertheless, the acceptance and will of the partner countries are essential to ensure the effectiveness of the Partnership.

Terms and conditions

The indicative budget for the period 2007-2010 amounts to EUR 343.3 million.

The RIP for the period 2007-2013 presents the programmes for each priority. To this end, it defines performance indicators to measure the impact and the expected outcomes, such as:

  • rebuilding of confidence within each society and between societies by strengthening civil society and transnational links;
  • consolidation of the Euromed networks and police and judicial cooperation;
  • support for the social integration of migrant workers and their families;
  • increase in the number of investment projects and new job creation thanks to a regional investment promotion programme;
  • more integrated energy markets, secure energy supplies and developed interconnections and renewable energy sources;
  • greater public awareness of the need for environmental protection.

Background

In accordance with its foreign policy objectives, the EU promotes prosperity, solidarity, security and sustainable development in the world, as well as democracy and human rights. The ENP, initiated in 2003, pursues these objectives by promoting good neighbourhood relations. To achieve this, the ENPI, the financial instrument of the ENP for 2007-2013, supports the partner countries of the ENP by integrating the regional and cross-border dimension. It also pursues the objectives identified by the MEDA programme 2002-2006, drawing on the experience gained from it.

Related Act

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].

The EU and its neighbouring regions: A renewed approach to transport cooperation

The EU and its neighbouring regions: A renewed approach to transport cooperation

Outline of the Community (European Union) legislation about The EU and its neighbouring regions: A renewed approach to transport cooperation

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Transport > International dimension and enlargement

The EU and its neighbouring regions: A renewed approach to transport cooperation

Document or Iniciative

Communication of 7 July 2011 from the Commission to the Council and the European Parliament – The EU and its neighbouring regions: A renewed approach to transport cooperation [COM (2011) 415 final – Not published in the Official Journal].

Summary

This communication sets out a renewed transport policy cooperation between the European Union (EU) and its neighbouring regions, following the 2007 Commission Communication on the extension of the major trans-European transport axes to the neighbouring countries which focused on infrastructure aspects. This communication outlines short (until 2013) and long term measures in all transport modes to link the EU transport system with that of its neighbours – both the European Neighbourhood Policy (ENP) and the enlargement countries.

Aviation

The majority of ENP countries lie across the sea from the EU or at least a considerable distance away from EU capitals. Aviation therefore has a significant role in passenger transport. Short term actions proposed by the Commission in the aviation sector include:

  • complete ongoing negotiations and extend negotiations for air services agreements to other neighbouring countries;
  • continue to help neighbouring countries to modernise their air traffic management systems (SESAR) and join one of the European airspace blocks;
  • help neighbouring countries to achieve compliance with EU and international aviation safety and security standards.

The Commission also proposed the following longer term actions in the aviation sector:

  • consolidate aviation agreements with the eastern and southern ENP countries with the aim to complete the European Common Aviation Area (ECAA);
  • extend aviation safety cooperation under European Aviation Safety Agency (EASA) to eastern and southern ENP countries;
  • extension of the Single European Sky to include neighbouring countries.

Maritime and inland navigation

A quality competitive maritime transport with a good environmental, safety and security performance is in the common interest of both the EU and its neighbouring countries, which have regional seas in common. In this communication the Commission proposes the following short term actions:

  • help neighbouring countries to improve their Flag State performance and comply with safety, security and social standards;
  • extend the scope of European Maritime Safety Agency (EMSA) to provide assistance to neighbouring countries;
  • promote the SafeSeaNet and CleanSeaNet systems to neighbouring countries;
  • work with neighbouring countries to simplify procedures for short sea shipping in line with the European Maritime Transport Space;
  • help neighbouring countries to achieve EU and international standards in inland navigation;
  • work towards the modernisation of the Danube Commission as part of the revised Belgrade Convention.

In the longer term, the Commission proposes to promote closer integration of the EU’s neighbouring countries to the “Blue Belt” of free maritime movement in and around Europe, intended to reduce administrative charges linked to EU maritime transport.

Road

Road transport is important for trade with neighbouring countries which share a land border with the EU. However, administrative burdens at the border crossings remain an obstacle to an efficient trade flow between the EU and its eastern neighbours. The Commission therefore proposes the following short term actions to improve road transport cooperation with the EU’s neighbouring countries:

  • assist the non-EU contracting parties of the UN Agreement on driving time and rest period rules in international road transport (AETR) in the deployment of digital tachographs;
  • seek a mandate for the EU to become a contracting party to the AETR in order to bring its provisions into line with the EU’s social rules in the road transport sector;
  • help neighbouring countries to increase their road safety;
  • study the impact of gradual road market opening with selected neighbouring countries;
  • improve customs cooperation with Belarus, Moldova and Ukraine to facilitate border crossings.

The Commission also proposes, in the longer term, to extend the scope of Interbus Agreement to include international regular carriage of passengers by coach and bus and enlarge the agreement to cover ENP countries.

Rail

The EU market for rail freight and international passenger services have been completely opened, enabling new competitors to enter the market. Rail freight could have a competitive advantage over other modes of transport, in particular on long Euro-Asian corridors, if the current physical and non-physical barriers could be removed, such as the lack of interoperable rail systems, insufficient technology, and inadequate cooperation on border crossings. The Commission therefore proposes the following short term actions in the rail sector:

  • minimise technical barriers to trade, such as the difference between the gauges used in the EU and its neighbouring regions which slows down freight and passenger transport flows;
  • promote the deployment of European Rail Traffic Management System (ERTMS) in neighbouring countries to ensure interoperability and safety of railways networks;
  • promote the participation of enlargement and neighbouring countries in the activities of the European Railway Agency (ERA).

In the longer term, this communication proposes the study and improvement of trans-shipment practices, and considers the possibility of an extension of the EU open rail market to ENP countries.

INFRASTRUCTURE CONNECTIONS

The Commission aims to improve and promote infrastructure connections by defining the networks, prioritising projects and mobilising funds. This would include, amongst various proposed actions, strengthening the Commission’s cooperation with the International Financial Institutions in the eastern and southern ENP and developing further maritime based connections through the Motorways of the Sea concept.

FRAMEWORK FOR IMPLEMENTING POLICY AND INFRASTRUCTURE COOPERATION

To lead both the policy cooperation and transport infrastructure planning, the Commission proposes to establish a Transport Panel under the Eastern Partnership which would set out a new approach for cooperating on all transport issues relating to the eastern neighbourhood countries. The Commission also proposes to sign the Transport Community Treaty with the Western Balkans, which would aim to establish an integrated market for infrastructure and land, inland waterways and maritime transport.

External aspects of enterprise policy

External aspects of enterprise policy

Outline of the Community (European Union) legislation about External aspects of enterprise policy

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

Enterprise > International dimension and enlargement

External aspects of enterprise policy

In order to boost the competitiveness of European businesses, a number of international parameters are essential. Commercial policy, for instance, helps to build a competitive Europe in a globalised economy. Furthermore, the purpose of establishing a stronger partnership for better market access to external markets is to develop trade. Lastly, cooperation in the field of industrial policy gives European businesses the chance to found partnerships or develop beyond the borders of the European Union.

The EU cooperates with its main partners in the world in a number of ways. Firstly, the Commission maintains close links with the governments of third countries. Secondly, businesses themselves have the opportunity to meet at forums and round tables. Lastly, the EU supports industrial cooperation through programmes implemented jointly with third countries.

Intergovernmental relations

The EU engages in bilateral cooperation with third countries. This cooperation takes the form of mutual recognition agreements, association agreements, framework partnership agreements or stability pacts.

The removal of obstacles to business development by means of a less restrictive regulatory policy constitutes one of the EU’s main concerns. For instance, on the basis of Article 133 of the Treaty establishing the European Community (TEC), mutual recognition agreements on standards provide for mutual acceptance between governments of test reports, certificates and conformity marks applied by the relevant agencies to certain products manufactured in a specific country.

The EU maintains close relations with the United States, Canada, China, Russia, India and Japan. For example, it has entered into dialogue on regulatory cooperation and also on industrial policy with China.

It also cooperates regularly with the candidate accession countries, the countries of the Western Balkans and the countries neighbouring the EU (in the framework of the European Neighbourhood Policy), such as the countries of Eastern Europe, the Middle East and the Mediterranean. Euro-Mediterranean cooperation is organised under this neighbourhood policy and also through the Barcelona Process, launched in 1995 with the aim of bringing Europe politically, culturally and economically closer to its Mediterranean partners. Industrial cooperation is seen as an important link in the chain of economic cooperation and is promoted through the progressive establishment of free trade areas and increased investment. It attracts attention through conferences held between Ministers of Industry or working group meetings on subjects relating to industrial policy. One of the main achievements of the Euro-Mediterranean partnership was the adoption of the Euro-Mediterranean Charter for Enterprise on 4 October 2004.

On 23 and 24 April 2007, the General Affairs and External Relations Council approved plans to negotiate association agreements with Central America, the Andean Community and its member countries, as well as draft free trade agreements with the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN), India and South Korea.

Cooperation between businesses

Round tables and commercial dialogue give businesses the opportunity to meet and convey recommendations to the governments of the Member States and countries concerned. Round tables often involve representatives of the industrial sector and also of the national and EU administrations. Among the suggestions frequently made to governments are recommendations on commercial policy, discussions in the World Trade Organisation (WTO), investments, financial services, small- and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) and the removal of obstacles to economic activities caused by divergent national legislation.

The main round tables concern:

  • TransAtlantic Business Dialogue;
  • the Asia-Europe Business Forum;
  • the EU-Japan Business Dialogue Round Table;
  • the EU-Russia Industrialists’ Round Table;
  • the Mercosur-EU Business Forum;
  • EU-India business dialogue.

Industrial cooperation programmes

The EU encourages industrial cooperation through the implementation of programmes which support the creation and expansion of businesses, partnerships between European businesses and foreign businesses, particularly SMEs, and programmes offering business traineeships for students.

The main programmes supported by the EU include:

  • the AL-Invest Programme;
  • the Asia-Invest Community Programme;
  • the programmes developed by the EU-Japan Centre for Industrial Cooperation;
  • the regional technical assistance programmes in the context of Euro-Mediterranean industrial cooperation (industrial areas, promotion of investment, innovation and technology, etc.);
  • the projects supported by the Centre for the Development of Enterprise.

Strategic framework for the international scientific and technological cooperation

Strategic framework for the international scientific and technological cooperation

Outline of the Community (European Union) legislation about Strategic framework for the international scientific and technological cooperation

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

Research and innovation > General framework

Strategic framework for the international scientific and technological cooperation

Document or Iniciative

Communication from the Commission to the Council and the European Parliament of 24 September 2008: “A Strategic European Framework for International Science and Technology Cooperation” [COM(2008) 588 final – Not published in the Official Journal].

Summary

A closer partnership between both Member States themselves, and between Member States and the European Community, is particularly necessary to open up the European Research Area (ERA) to the world.

In order for this partnership to be successful, the Commission has established a strategic framework for international science and technology cooperation. This framework provides guidelines which should be implemented by the European Community (EC) and by Member States in close cooperation with third countries.

GUIDLINES FOR OPENING UP THEERA

Achieving an international dimension

To achieve this objective the EC must strengthen ties with European Neighbourhood Policy (ENP) partner countries and prepare their potential association to theFramework Programme (FP7). The Commission and Member States can coordinate the implementation of priorities with ENP countries and enhance regional dialogue on Information and Communication Technologies (ICTs). For its part, the Commission can also establish policy dialogue with ENP countries and promote the dissemination of good practice and the alignment of policies in these countries by allowing them to access the ICT Policy Support Programme (PSP).

The EC should encourage cooperation with specific third countries by following the geographical and thematic priorities determined jointly by the Member States and the Commission. This cooperation could bring added value to the tackling of global challenges such as climate change, poverty, etc. It would enable results to be shared under bilateral agreements and encourage the creation of a European network of experts in the fields of science, ICTs and media in EU delegations located in third countries. Member States and the Commission should also monitor thecoherence of policies on research and development (R&D) and the complementarity of funding mechanisms in order to avoid wasting resources. For its part, the Commission should ensure that cooperation with specific third countries takes advantage of FP7 funding mechanisms and leads to the conclusion of bi-regional agreements with ASEAN and the African Union. Finally, the Commission should continue to provide technical assistance to third countries on ICT policies by learning from the experience of geographically targeted projects such as @LIS for Latin America and EUMEDIS for the Mediterranean.

Improving conditions for international science and technology cooperation

To achieve this goal, Member States and the Commission should encourage international cooperation under the framework of global research infrastructures, including in the ICT sector. They should also explore means to reduce the digital divide in developing countries.

It is important for Member States and for the Commission that mobility of researchers and global networking is encouraged. European researchers who work in a third country, as well as researchers who come to Europe from third countries, must be enabled to continue to contribute to their country’s development through the creation of networks. In order to promote the mobility of researchers, Member States should incorporate the “Scientific Visa Package” into their legislation and introduce grants for researchers returning to their country of origin. Furthermore, Community instruments for international mobility, such as the FP7 “People” Programme in particular, could be adapted.

An opening of research programmes would enable research institutions in all third countries to access R&D programmes. Funding is normally limited to participants from international cooperation partner countries. However, since open competition promotes excellence in research, funding for collaborative projects could be extended to include research organisations and researchers located in industrialised third countries where reciprocal funding is made available for European researchers.

On the basis of international agreements on science and technology cooperation, Member States and the Commission should promote the principles of the Recommendation on the management of intellectual property (IP) on a global scale. These principles guarantee reciprocity, fair treatment and mutual benefits with regards to IP and thus promote confidence and knowledge sharing in research activities.

In the ITC sector, the Commission should pay more attention to pre-standardisation cooperation based on open standards and encourage links between results of research programmes and standardisation. This would help to remove obstacles to disseminating technologies in particular.

CONTEXT

This strategy for international science and technology cooperation constitutes one of the five strategic actions taken by the Commission in the wake of the 2007 Green Paper “The European Research Area: New Perspectives”. Furthermore, the strategy’s objective is to contribute to the free circulation of knowledge (the ‘European Union’s fifth freedom’) at a global level.

This strategy also follows on from the Commission’s 2006 Communication “Towards a Global Partnership in the Information Society” and a public consultation on the opening of new markets in the ICT sector organised in July 2007.

Neighbourhood policy: participation in European Union Agencies and programmes

Neighbourhood policy: participation in European Union Agencies and programmes

Outline of the Community (European Union) legislation about Neighbourhood policy: participation in European Union Agencies and programmes

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

Neighbourhood policy: participation in European Union Agencies and programmes

Document or Iniciative

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

Summary

The European Neighbourhood Policy (ENP) partner countries which have concluded either association agreements or partnership and cooperation agreements with the European Union (EU) may participate in Agencies and EU programmes which support the implementation of European policies.

This participation, provided for in the ENP action plans, is undertaken on a voluntary basis. It must be in the interest of both the ENP partners as well as the EU. The main objective is to contribute to national reforms, to administrative capacity building and to the alignment of standards, and if necessary, EU legislation.

In March 2007, the Council of the EU agreed to the gradual participation of 13 ENP partners in EU Agencies and programmes (Algeria, Armenia, Azerbaijan, Egypt, Georgia, Lebanon, Israel, Jordan, Moldova, Morocco, the Palestinian Authority, Tunisia and Ukraine). This was agreed in order to encourage regulatory and administrative reform, and to promote the convergence of partners’ policies with EU norms, standards and good practice.

Participation in EU Agencies

Including ENP countries in agencies is a gradual and selective process. The Commission identifies their participation capacity in terms of the country’s priorities, the situation regarding the sectoral reforms undertaken, as well as its long-term commitment. The Commission also takes in account the existing advantages for the EU and the agencies’ integration capacities.

The participation of the ENP countries in the agencies is the subject of technical agreements. However, before their conclusion, a period can be organised to enable the ENP partners to familiarise themselves with the agencies concerned. This preparatory stage allows them to adapt their legislation, norms, standards and approaches to European best practice. If necessary, legislative alignment may also be required.

ENP countries may participate in the work of the Agencies or conduct cooperation actions depending on their areas of activity .

Participation in EU programmes

ENP partners may participate solely in EU programmes which are open to non-EU member countries. The general objective of the programmes is to assist in the implementation of EU policies through cooperation between EU countries.

The general conditions of ENP countries’ participation in programmes are provided by the framework-agreements. Agreement protocols for each programme then establish the rules of participation for each country.

The main programmes concerned are:

  • the Competitiveness and Innovation Framework Programme (CIP);
  • Customs 2013;
  • SESAR;
  • Health (2008-2013);
  • the consumer policy (2007-2013).

The specific cooperation conditions  concerning certain activities are also provided for the following programmes:

  • Hercule II;
  • Fundamental Rights and Justice;
  • prevention, preparedness and consequence management of terrorism;
  • prevention of and fight against crime;
  • Marco Polo,
  • IDABC,
  • civil protection;
  • lifelong learning and training;
  • culture;
  • media 2007;
  • Youth in Action;
  • 7th framework programme for research;
  • 2008 statistics;
  • cross-border, transnational and interregional cooperation actions under the European Regional Development Fund (ERDF).

Terms and conditions

Each ENP country pays a financial contribution, which varies according to the Agency or the programme and is based on various factors. This takes the form of a contribution to the general budget of the EU.

The Commission presents regular reports on the progress achieved in implementing the ENP, as well as the situation regarding implementation of the individual ENP action plans, which also contain information on the participation of partner countries in EU Agencies and programmes.

Related Acts

Communication from the Commission to the Council and Parliament – Preparing for the participation of the Western Balkan countries in Community programmes and agencies [COM(2003) 748 final – Not published in the Official Journal].

Framework Agreements

Proposal for a Council Decision of 28 July 2010 on the conclusion of a Protocol to the Partnership and Co-operation Agreement establishing a partnership between the European Communities and their Member States, of the one part, and Ukraine, of the other part, on a Framework Agreement between the European Union and Ukraine on the general principles for the participation of Ukraine in Union programmes [COM(2010) 407 final – Not published in the Official Journal].

Proposal for a Council Decision on the signing of a Protocol to the Euro-Mediterranean Agreement between the European Communities and their Member States, of the one part, and the Kingdom of Morocco, of the other part, on a Framework Agreement between the European Union and the Kingdom of Morocco on the general principles for the participation of Morocco in Union programmes [COM(2010) 232 – Not published in the Official Journal].

Proposal for a Council Decision on the signing of a Protocol to the Euro-Mediterranean Agreement between the European Communities and their Member States, of the one part, and the Kingdom of Morocco, of the other part, on a Framework Agreement between the European Union and the Kingdom of Morocco on the general principles for the participation of Morocco in Union programmes [COM(2010) 194 final – Not published in the Official Journal].

Protocol to the Euro-Mediterranean Agreement establishing an association between the European Communities and their Member States, of the one part, and the State of Israel, of the other part, on a framework Agreement between the European Community and the State of Israel on the general principles governing the State of Israel’s participation in Community programmes [Official Journal L 129 of 17.5.2008].

Protocol to the Stabilisation and Association Agreement between the European Community and their Member States, of the one part, and the former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia, of the other part on a framework Agreement between the European Community and the former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia [Official Journal OJ L 192 of 22.7.2005].

Framework Agreement between the European Community and Serbia and Montenegro on the general principles for the participation of Serbia and Montenegro in Community programmes [Official Journal L 192 of 22.7.2005].

Framework Agreement between the European Community and the Republic of Croatia on the general principles for the participation of the Republic of Croatia in Community programmes [Official Journal L 192 of 22.7.2005].

Framework Agreement between the European Community and Bosnia and Herzegovina on the general principles for the participation of Bosnia and Herzegovina in Community programmes [Official Journal L 192 of 22.7.2005].

Framework Agreement between the European Community and the Republic of Albania on the general principles for the participation of the Republic of Albania in Community programmes [Official Journal L 192 of 22.7.2005].

Framework Agreement between the European Community and the Republic of Turkey on the general principles for the participation of the Republic of Turkey in Community programmes [Official Journal L 61 of 2.3.2003].

Strengthening the European Neighbourhood Policy

Strengthening the European Neighbourhood Policy

Outline of the Community (European Union) legislation about Strengthening the European Neighbourhood Policy

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

Strengthening the European Neighbourhood Policy

Document or Iniciative

Communication from the Commission to the Council and the European Parliament on strengthening the European Neighbourhood Policy [COM(2006) 726 final – Not published in the Official Journal].

Summary

After eighteen months in operation, the ENP has shown that it offers a solid basis for strengthening ties between the EU and its neighbours.

However, the ENP has potential which could be better utilised to boost its impact. The partner countries are faced with several challenges such as poverty, unemployment, mixed economic performance, corruption, weak governance and frozen conflicts in certain regions.

The EU supports and encourages reforms in partner countries with a view to creating prosperity, stability and security in the region, in our mutual interest. The challenges facing our neighbours often go beyond their borders and also concern the EU. In this regard, the EU and its partners have a mutual interest in stability to help combat illegal immigration, environmental degradation and terrorism and to ensure reliable energy supplies.

The strengths of the ENP

The ENP fosters political progress and lays the groundwork for improved dialogue between the EU and its partners by offering:

  • a single, clear framework for integration which covers all aspects of bilateral relations with our neighbours in global and sectoral terms;
  • ENP action plans mutually agreed by the EU and the partner country concerned to demonstrate joint and individual ownership. Twelve ENP action plans have been established to date. They lend concreteness to the ENP and enable the focus to be on specific, measurable and time-bound objectives. They are based on partner countries’ reform strategies and also offer a working basis for certain international financial institutions (IFI);
  • The European Neighbourhood and Partnership Instrument (ENPI), to provide financial support for the reform process. Its flexibility should allow for better use of funds and should improve results, in particular through instruments such as cross-border cooperation, TAIEX and twinning.

Strengthening the ENP to make full use of its potential.

Full advantage can be taken of the ENP by boosting its resources and by providing an appropriate response to the needs and aspirations of the partner countries. The EU will be repaid for the effort it makes by the political advantages brought by the reforms implemented by the partner countries in their own interest. However, the results of the ENP also depend on the will of the partners which determines the closeness of the relationship with the EU and the level of assistance. The Commission therefore proposed strengthening the policy in December 2006 – the response of the Council is now awaited – by:

Enhancing the economic and trade component, which involves comprehensive and global trade and economic integration. Firstly, the EU supports accessions to the World Trade Organisation (WTO) (for example, Ukraine) and the granting of autonomous trade preferences (for example, Moldova). In the long term, economic integration could go beyond goods and services to encompass comprehensive convergence in trade and regulatory areas (such as technical norms, research, intellectual property rights, company law etc.).

The action plans are excellent means of achieving this and will lead in the medium to long term to a new generation of ambitious and complex, deep and comprehensive free-trade agreements like the one which will be negotiated this year with Ukraine.

They will take into account the impact of trade on sustainable development and will cover products of particular importance to the partner countries. They will be binding. In this connection, the free trade agreements with Mediterranean partners should be extended.

Such agreements will be concluded progressively according to the pace of each country. With a common regulatory basis and a similar degree of market access, the process will, in the long term, favour the emergence of a broader neighbourhood economic community between the EU and its partners as outlined in the Agadir Agreement for the countries around the Mediterranean.

To facilitate mobility and manage migration, procedures for issuing visas for certain categories of trip with a legitimate purpose (business, official or educational) should be simplified. Experience of free movement within the EU shows us that the visa procedures may be an obstacle to mobility even though cooperation is increasing.

Amending these procedures requires an examination of all the issues concerned: illegal immigration, combating trafficking and smuggling in human beings, efficient border management, readmission agreements, return of illegal migrants, and adequate processing of requests for protection and asylum. An appropriate response from the partners to these questions would contribute to simpler and faster procedures and to joint efforts on illegal immigration.

Visa facilitation and readmission agreements go some way towards this while being adapted to the specific needs of each country, as in the cases of Ukraine, Moldova and Morocco. These agreements should in particular concern the countries for which the action plan stipulates a dialogue on the issues of migration and visas. Moreover, developments in the EU in this area such as the creation of a visa information system may also be useful.

Promoting people-to-people exchanges gives the ENP a “human face” distinct from the mobility issue. These involve contact and opportunities for contact between citizens of the EU and the partner countries. They also encourage mutual knowledge and understanding. The ENP will also gain visibility through bilateral programmes and by exchanging information and experience.

Specifically, people-to-people exchanges include:

  • educational and youth exchanges, a core element aimed at building bridges and overcoming prejudices within the EU. University cooperation will be supported through the Tempus and Erasmus Mundus programmes and a new scholarship scheme. Modernisation and reforms will benefit from improved political dialogue on higher education. Dissemination and exchange of best practices will enable cooperation and convergence with EU policies such as the Bologna Process. Assistance for education reform will be strengthened, in particular through the European Training Foundation (ETF). A new ENP programme could also be envisaged to promote exchanges among young professionals in the field of culture and the arts, as well as among regulators.
  • mobility of researchers to increase scientific cooperation and improve excellence by increasing grants for mobility and information;
  • civil society exchanges for economic, social, cultural and inter-cultural purposes to build bridges in many areas (contacts among trade unions, town-twinning, health and NGOs). Cross-border cooperation under the ENPI will be one of the instruments. Furthermore, increased participation by civil society in the reform process will be encouraged;
  • strengthening of contacts between firms, particularly small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs).

The thematic dimension of the of the ENP requires a multilateral approach for the cross-cutting areas which are of common interest to the EU and all its partners, such as energy, transport, the environment, the information society, research, public health and migration etc.

Besides in-depth scrutiny and debate on each topic, various informal methods of addressing them could also be used, such as ad hoc or more regular ministerial or expert level meetings. The existing multilateral agreements such as the Energy Community Treaty and the aviation agreements could be extended. In general, the purpose of developing a horizontal dimension of the ENP is not to create new institutions but to find ways to boost cooperation with the partner countries in particular areas. Participation by partners in certain programmes and Community agencies is another means of achieving this.

The strengthening of political cooperation will help to resolve conflicts and deal with the associated risks (escalation or an exodus of refugees, interruption of energy supplies or cutting of trade and transport links, the spread of terrorism and organised crime etc.) The security and stability of Europe is at stake and the association of Russia is encouraged.

The EU participates in regional and multilateral conflict resolution in forums such as the Quartet for Peace in the Middle East and in civil or military observation, peace-keeping or border management operations like those in Moldova or Rafah. The stability instrument could strengthen the role of the EU. Moreover, further resources should be devoted to sustainable development.

The ENP offers opportunities through improved dialogue, development support and regional cooperation. It could also provide a basis for the development of other means such as alignment with CFSP Declarations offered to all ENP partners, invitation of partners to briefing and coordination meetings held by international organisations, an informal high-level meeting to launch the enhanced ENP, intensified parliamentary cooperation or a greater EU presence in partner countries (diplomatic missions in Member States and to the European Union, Commission Delegations).

The aim of improving regional cooperation is to take advantage of the potential for dialogue and cooperation at ENP regional level, with the support of the ENPI:

  • improved cooperation in the Black Sea region (“Black Sea Synergy”), (Commission communication adopted 11 April 2007) together with a strengthened ENP regional strategy should provide favourable conditions for conflict resolution. All the interested parties, including Russia and Turkey, should be associated. Sectoral issues will be addressed through scientific cooperation, political dialogue or existing regional organisations like the International Commission for the Protection of the Black Sea. The Black Sea Economic Cooperation Organisation (BSEC) provides a useful platform for closer relations and improved regular dialogue between the EU and the countries concerned. Regional cooperation should take account of other regional initiatives, such as the Baku Initiative in the transport and energy fields.
  • in the Mediterranean region, the ENP has just boosted dialogue and regional integration through a Europe-Mediterranean partnership. It inspired the work programme (PDF ) adopted at the 2005 Barcelona Summit and strengthened bilateral relations according to respective situations and interests. The action plans in force have already proved their worth (reforms, progress in sensitive areas, establishment of unitary dialogue on various points, setting of common priorities) and the action plans for Egypt and the Lebanon adopted at the beginning of 2007 provide the ENP with a regional dimension. The ENP will enable synergies to be sought in certain economic sectors, for example with the Gulf Cooperation Council.

The ENP also offers a possibility of strengthening regional cooperation outside the immediate neighbouring area of the EU, with “our neighbours’ neighbours” (Central Asia, the Gulf, Africa). Cooperation activities will focus on regional issues of common interest such as energy, transport, migration, infrastructure, peace and security etc., with the support of the ENPI and the Development Cooperation Instrument (DCI). They should also attract investment in development and modernisation of these countries.

Enhanced financial cooperation will be funded by financial instruments which contribute to political objectives, such as, first and foremost, the ENPI, which has replaced the TACIS and MEDA programmes, and will also benefit from the new extended mandate of the European Investment Bank (EIB). With increased assistance, the ENPI provides a flexible framework tailored to the ENP’s priorities. Other cooperation instruments will also be available under the ENP, particularly in the areas of human rights, nuclear safety and thematic programmes.

Improvement of coordination between the various donors will help to strengthen financial cooperation. This depends on the mobilisation of investments and looking for synergies between Community funds, Member States and financial institutions

ENPI facilitates the mobilisation of funds through its financing mechanisms based on the priorities identified in the action plans, including:

  • The Governance Facility which aims to assist the reform process in partner countries based on their action plan;
  • Neighbourhood Investment Fund (NIF). This fund is used to support IFI lending in the Member States. It will allow more coherence and complementarity between Community assistance and that of the Member States.

Background

The ENP was launched to promote good relations between the enlarged EU and its neighbours. To avoid the emergence of new dividing lines, the EU has an interest in promoting prosperity, stability and security among its neighbours by working with them to support their transition. The ENP does not offer the prospect of accession to partner countries but nor does it prejudice the development of relations with the EU.

Related Acts

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

This proposal concerns the means by which the various Community agencies and programmes could be opened to neighbouring countries. In its conclusions of March 2007 (PDF ), the General Affairs and External Relations Council accepted this proposal and the Commission is in the process of preparing negotiating directives on the various programmes.

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.

Cross-border cooperation 2007-2013

Cross-border cooperation 2007-2013

Outline of the Community (European Union) legislation about Cross-border cooperation 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 > Mediterranean partner countries

Cross-border cooperation (CBC) 2007-2013

Document or Iniciative

European Neighbourhood and Partnership Instrument – Cross-border cooperation strategy paper 2007-2013, Indicative Programme 2007-2010 .

Summary

Cross-border cooperation (CBC) is a priority of the European Neighbourhood Policy (ENP) and of the strategic partnership with Russia. It focuses on the Member States and the countries benefiting from the European Neighbourhood and Partnership Instrument (ENPI). It concerns both land and maritime borders, even if geographical eligibility is defined by the ENPI.

The CBC concerns Eastern Europe, the southern Caucasus and the Southern Mediterranean specifically Algeria, Armenia, the Palestinian Authority, Azerbaijan, Belarus, Egypt, Georgia, Israel, Jordan, Lebanon, Libya, Morocco, Moldova, Syria, Tunisia, Ukraine and Russia.

Objectives and programmes

Despite their differences and socio-economic disparities, frontier regions face several common challenges. These constitute the priorities and key objectives of the CBC, namely:

  • to promote harmonious economic and social development in regions located on either side of common frontiers. Special attention is given to local trade and investments, the promotion of joint enterprises, tourism, investments in local infrastructure and cooperation in the energy, transport and communications sectors;
  • to deal with common challenges in areas such as the environment, public health and prevention and fight against organised crime. Actions include joint planning and surveillance activities, improved management of natural resources, fisheries resources and waste. The water pollution issue is essential within the context of shared sea basins, i.e. the Baltic, Black and Mediterranean Seas. Actions also include measures to encourage cooperation in the surveillance and treatment of communicable diseases and increased cooperation in the fight against corruption, illegal immigration and human trafficking;
  • to guarantee secure and efficient borders by improving operations and procedures for managing borders, strengthening the security of the international logistics chain or even by improving infrastructures and equipment at borders;
  • to promote local people-to people actions at cross-border level by improving civil society contacts. Educational, social and cultural cooperation can play an essential role in promoting democracy and EU values.

The CBC covers two categories of programmes, i.e. programmes concerning:

  • Land borders and sea routes for regions located along important land borders or sea routes. These programmes can involve two or more countries. Nine programmes have been drawn up for land borders and concern the following: Kolartic/Russia, Karelia/Russia, South-East Finland/Russia, Estonia/Latvia/Russia, Lithuania/Poland/Russia, Hungary/Slovakia/Romania/Ukraine. Three programmes have been drawn up for sea routes: the Spain/Morocco and Italy/Tunisia programmes and the CBC Atlantic programme;
  • sea basins for regions located at the external frontiers of the EU, along one of the three sea basins (Baltic, Black and Mediterranean Seas).

The initiatives can be based on existing infrastructures such as intergovernmental cross-border cooperation committees (Finland and Russia organise such meetings on a regular basis, as do Poland and Ukraine), intergovernmental regional cooperation bodies (Council of the Baltic Sea States, Black Sea Economic Cooperation, etc.) or other associations and networks created to promote regional or border cooperation (Eurocities, Euroregions, etc.).

Arrangements

The partners draw up joint programmes at local, regional and national level which they propose to the Commission. They are responsible not only for detailed programming but also for the management and implementation of these programmes. Political and institutional willingness to achieve and embrace the objectives is therefore essential to guarantee the effectiveness of CBC. Involvement and participation of civil society in these programmes are also of fundamental importance.

Funding is ensured by the ENPI for beneficiary countries and by the European Regional Development Fund (ERDF) for Member States. Funding for the period 2007-2010 amounts to 583.28 million (ENPI-ERDF). For the period 2011-2013, it will amount to 535.15 million. A mid-term evaluation, scheduled for 2010, will allow adaptation and re-evaluation of resources, if necessary.

The following three types of results are expected:

  • the results of the programme as a whole, such as the achievement of objectives, ways of improving coordination, the effectiveness of contributions;
  • results associated with the implementation of key objectives such as sustainable economic and social development, strengthening of administrative practices, identification of challenges and a suitable and effective response to these challenges;
  • the specific results of the programmes drawn up by partners such as long-term cooperation links, strengthening of networks and enhanced commitment.

In order to measure the impact, the partners will set out indicators as programmes are being drawn up. Indicators are programme-specific for each of the objectives relating to regional trade, social development, statistics or border operations or cooperation opportunities created. Other indicators are general, such as the number of partners, the number of CBC projects implemented successfully, etc.

Background

CBC pursues cross-border cooperation programmes launched under previous programmes (Tacis, MEDA, Phare, Interreg). On the basis of the lessons learnt from those programmes, CBC, under the ENPI, assigns more responsibility to the players involved by decentralising programing, management and implementation. In this way, CBC supplements the achievement of ENP objectives at bilateral level.

Related Acts

Commission Regulation (EC) No 951/2007 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].
The Regulation provides details on the scope, content, structure and also financial management and evaluation of cross-border cooperation programmes.