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Meetings Calendar 2006
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Origin and history

 

The rationale for this initiative was to avoid new dividing lines in Europe resulting from the shifting of the EU’s external borders as a result of the agreed enlargement round and to promote stability and prosperity within and beyond the new borders of the Union. The aim is to create a “ring of friends” around the European Union, reaching from Morocco to the Black Sea, which will be offered as an alternative to complete membership in the EU for the states concerned, under the motto “more than partnership, less than membership”.

At the same time, the enlargement declaration stated that the countries of South East Europe still have a clear European perspective, and that relations with this region will continue in the framework of the Stabilisation and Association Process (SAP), independently of and separately from further developments in the rest of the neighbourhood. The European Commission, moreover, together with Javier Solana, the High Representative of the European Union for the CFSP, was called upon to develop ideas and proposals for action in connection with this new initiative.

Incentives for participation in the neighbourhood policy are free trade for certain sectors, ability to invest freely, alignment of legislation and interconnection of energy networks.

Since the beginning, the European Commission has produced concrete working papers and strategy papers for the precise implementation of the ENP. These papers also set out further steps together with the necessary programmes and incentives to encourage the countries concerned to participate.

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Date: 02.05.2006