chapter  7
20 Pages

The neighbourhood

The EU pays considerable attention and devotes considerable resources to the states in its immediate neighbourhood. It has established various types of contractual relations (European Economic Area [EEA], Association Agreements, Partnership and Co-operation Agreements, Stabilisation Agreements, etc.) with its neighbours, and since 2004 the European Neighbourhood Policy (ENP). The ENP is now the flagship policy of the EU towards its neighbours, with individual Action Plans a central element. But the ENP does not offer the enticement of EU membership, and it is consequently much more difficult to promote change in these countries. The ENP embraces the countries to the south of the EU, most of which are also involved in the Barcelona Process, and to the east and south-east, excluding Russia and the Balkans. Russia and the EU have a so-called strategic partnership, but there is little content to the relationship. The western Balkans have their own roadmap towards EU accession. The EEA is the most advanced EU relationship, but the model is not relevant to the majority of the EU’s neighbours.