The below resolution was passed at the EMI Federal Assembly 2015 and can be downloaded here.
2015 is an important year for the European Neighbourhood. On 21-22 May, the Riga Summit on the Eastern Partnership will take place. In addition, on 4 March the European Commission launched its stakeholder consultation ‘Towards a new European Neighbourhood Policy’, with the aim of producing a comprehensive review of the ENP.
Following its Resolution on the ‘European enlargement process and the reinvigoration of the Eastern Partnership’ (Federal Assembly 2014), the European Movement International wishes to reiterate and advance its position on the European Neighbourhood Policy, taking into account new developments and anticipating the upcoming review of the ENP.
The European Movement International calls upon all those present at the Eastern Partnership Summit in Riga to engage in a constructive dialogue, and present concrete deliverables and reform commitments.
Concrete deliverables from the Riga Summit should include:
- agreement on a clear membership perspective for those Eastern Partnership countries that wish to join the European Union, in accordance with Article 49 of the Lisbon Treaty;
- increasing political, financial and technical support for the Eastern partners that have signed the Association Agreements;
- approving visa-free travel for Ukraine and Georgia; and
- establishing greater cooperation in the area of energy, especially energy security and diversity of supply.
European Neighbourhood Policy review
The European Movement International believes the following proposals are key to the success of the revived European Neighbourhood Policy and Eastern Partnership programme:
- The European Neighbourhood Policy and its regional programmes should function as a framework policy for individual approaches to the different European Neighbourhood countries, which is necessary to respond to their different aspirations, socio-economic realities and structural policy differences.
- The revised European Neighbourhood Policy should be flexible, dynamic and responsive, so as to respond to different domestic needs and contexts, address short-term challenges in a timely manner, but also complement long-term goals and policies. More integration between the ENP, short-term crisis management and security and defence policies would also be essential.
- The European Neighbourhood Policy should refocus on engagement with citizens and civil society organisations, as the role of civil society is crucial to its success. In parallel to its work with the national governments, the EU should continue to support civil society and respond better to the needs and interests of citizens and civil society initiatives.
- The Eastern Partnership programme should focus on state building and strengthening democracy in the Eastern Partnership countries, while at the same time strengthen the role of the EU as a security actor and in democracy promotion.
- The revised Eastern Partnership programme should include a new approach towards Russia and include a serious security dimension. This requires a more political approach for the Eastern Partnership, under the authority of the EU High Representative and with full backing of the Member States.
- The review of the European Partnership programme should involve a multilateral debate on, and legal assessment of, the compatibility of the newly launched Eurasian Economic Union with the European Economic Area (EEA) and further European integration perspectives. This should also consider the importance of the Russian market for Eastern Partnership countries.
The European Movement International calls upon the European Commission, European Parliament and Member States to revitalise the European Neighbourhood Policy with determination and ambition, taking into account the ideas presented by the various stakeholders.
The EMI Political Committee “Europe in the World” will prepare a contribution to the consultations on the European Neighbourhood Policy on behalf of the European Movement International.