Friday, May 27, 2011

“A new response to a changing Neighbourhood”

STATEMENT by Mr Kristan VIGENIN, Co-President of the Euronest Parliamentary Assembly and Chairman of the EP Delegation to the Euronest PA on the occasion of the publication of the Joint Communication by the European Commission and the High Representative of the EU for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy on “A new response to a changing Neighbourhood”

Mr VIGENIN congratulated the Commission and the High Representative on the new communication, which presents a re-adapted strategic approach to the European Neighbourhood Policy (ENP).

The commitment to work together towards "deep democracy", as one of the main priorities in the document, will bring more clarity on the goals and the road ahead in the relations with our neighbours. There is a clear signal that not only the responsibility but also the accountability for the results achieved is shared.

With regard to the Eastern neighbourhood, it is essential that the Communication makes a reference to articles 8 and 49 of the Treaty on European Union. The Communication also focuses on the need for better tailoring of the partnership offer towards individual countries through the "more for more" approach. The membership perspective is a strong incentive for some of our partners in the Euronest Parliamentary Assembly. It gives more added value to the strengthened cooperation with the EU and demands a deep commitment from our partners.

The drafting of annual reports on the progress of the neighbouring countries provides greater opportunities, both for the EP to play its key role in the assessment process and for the Euronest Parliamentary Assembly to have a fresh input to the monitoring and implementation of the main lines of the new ENP.

Mobility and people to people contacts; media freedom; support to political parties, NGOs and social partners will be main subjects of discussion in the Euronest bodies and I commend the Commission for setting out the partnership with civil society as a priority. This shows that we have learned our lesson from recent events in North Africa.

Finally, it is crucial for the Member States to understand that the new ENP will not be successful unless it is supported by the joint efforts of all EU institutions and countries. Individual actions would undermine the solid basis for a common EU strategy that has been presented in this document.

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