After the last European enlargement on 1st May 2004, the European Union got new neighbors, mainly in the East but a few also in the Middle East. But the neighbors do not all have the same juridical status. For some of them inclusion is already on its way, like for Romania and Bulgaria who signed the treaty of accession, or like Turkey and Croatia who finally opened, very recently, their first chapters of negotiation for accession. As far as the Balkans are concerned, the membership is also envisaged in the long-term perspective for some countries. Croatia as we said, but also Macedonia have the most advanced status, but things have moved recently for Montenegro and Serbia and for Albania which started a « stabilization and association process » a few days ago. But for many other neighbors of the EU, their relations with the latter are made of bilateral agreements, association and cooperation process, with no perspective of political integration.
[...] What are the weaknesses of the ENP? Isn't there a misunderstanding about it with the neighbors? The ENP lacks a strong institutional structure, adding to this the fact that the partnership with the neighbors often seems to be unequal and unfair From its origins, the ENP has some weaknesses that will in the future, prevent it from achieving its objectives. First of all, there is no concrete common institution apart. We definitely cannot consider the financial instrument as an institution; it is nothing but a financial instrument. [...]
[...] The economic offers from the EU in the ENP framework looks the most tempting from the peripheral countries' point of view : getting progressively access to the Common Market (only to industrial goods), taking part in some European programs including getting help for cross-border issues. As we shall see, the fact that it is a voluntary process does not mean that it is at everyone's advantage. But what are the areas where ENP claims to be active? First, there are all of the security aspects, the questions of conflicts in these countries we mentioned the problems of Transnistry, Western Sahara or the conflict in the Middle East but it is also a matter of security of the EU. [...]
[...] The policy is also, and still for the moment, using the existing financial tools of these programs. The principle of this policy has been until now, differentiation. This is not a political common policy between all the neighbors, but more a technical, differentiated and case by case approach. The ENP is composed of four elements created in 2004/2005: a strategy paper describing the vision of the policy, some country reports describing the economic, social and political situation in each of the neighbors, actions plans which can be considered as the key element of the ENP, and an instrument of financing of the policy, which will be created in the future. [...]
[...] If we analyze the commercial relations between the EU and its neighbors within the frame of the International Political Economy, to Vitaliy Denysyuk we can observe the theory of the Hegemonic Stability : a country - or entity - which would have enough political and economic power to stabilize regional commercial relations, either by showing it (directional leadership), by setting some rules (structural leadership) or by playing an active role in the commercial negotiations between countries (instrumental leadership). In his opinion, we can use this frame to analyze the commercial relations between the EU and its neighbors in the frame of the ENP. [...]
[...] Waldner, in charge of external relations and the European Neighborhood Policy. Which countries exactly are concerned by the ENP? As the website of the ENP describes it concerns originally the immediate neighbors: Algeria, Belarus, Egypt, Israel, Jordan, Lebanon, Lybia, Moldova, Morocco, the Palestinian Authority, Syria, Tunisia and Ukraine. Russia does not take part in the ENP, but it still benefits from some programs, and is part of the so-called Common Spaces. In 2004 the Caucasus countries were added (Armenia, Azerbaïdjan and Georgia). [...]
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