Building Relations with the EU’s Eastern Neighbours – Seven Years of Results Through the ENPI

Increased financing in the Eastern Neighbourhood opened the possibility to engage in support for major sector reforms in most countries, according to the DG EuropeAid report “European Neighbourhood Instrument 2007-2013 – Overview of Activities and Results”, recently released. It says at individual country level this entailed a renewed and deeper policy dialogue on strategic planning and reforms.

The European Neighbourhood and Partnership Instrument (ENPI), with a €13.4 billion commitment, operated from January 2007 to January 2014, when it was replaced by the European Neighbourhood Instrument (ENI), which runs until 2020.

Following the review of the European Neighbourhood Policy (ENP) in 2011, the EaPIC (EaP Integration and Cooperation) programme was established as the East component of the new ‘more for more’ mechanism, the report says. Additional funding was channeled to Eastern Partnership (EaP) countries, to deliver on reforms for deep democracy and respect of human rights. It also resulted in increased funding for people-to-people contacts at regional level, with the creation of the Eastern Neighbourhood Civil Society Facility (€40 million in 2011-2013), and a very substantial increase in support to disadvantaged youth (€31.5 million in 2010-2013) and higher education.

Emphasis has been put on a series of sectors in order to support sustainable economic and social development, including an increased focus on agriculture and rural development in some partner countries as a means for fighting poverty and creating jobs and investment opportunities.

The total amount of ENPI funds available for bilateral and regional cooperation with EaP countries was €2.5 billion for the period 2010-13. This includes €350 million of additional funds made available when the Eastern Partnership was launched.

The report notes that in implementing the ENPI, there was a continuous dialogue between the EU and each of the partner countries, in order to achieve a spirit of co-ownership and partnership, ensuring that programmes funded are adapted to their needs and contribute to their economic and social development, and ultimately to the well-being of the citizens.

Overall, it says, the mix of available tools and modalities for aid delivery in the Neighbourhood became richer, which translated into more opportunities for adapting the ENPI response to different needs and changing situations. Partners were granted access to institution building tools and the use of budget support opened areas of dialogue with the governments.

Bilateral assistance East

The resources allocated to each country and some of the priority areas over the period 2007-2013 are:

Armenia:€281.5 million committed for justice reform, public finance system modernisation, trade and socio-economic reforms, focusing on modernization of the vocational education and training system.

Azerbaijan: €143.5 million for energy policy reforms,in particular in terms of promoting energy efficiency and the use of renewable energy sources, agriculture and rural development, and the justice sector.

Belarus: €94.2 million. Cooperation with the government is focused on neutral sectors, such as environment, energy efficiency, regional development and food safety. After the 2010 crackdown on civil society, assistance to NGOs was stepped up.

Georgia: €452.1 million for the justice system, sustainable economic development and agriculture, and support for internally displaced people.

Moldova: €560.9 million with a focus on justice reform, better business climate, energy, economic development of rural areas, border management and migration and confidence building measures in Transnistria.

Ukraine: €1,005.6 million committed to support reforms in the energy sector, including its environmental dimension, transport, trade, reform of public finance management, migration and border management, and engagement with civil society and local authorities.

Russia: €66.5 million (no longer eligible under the ENI). Focus on support for the Common Spaces and the Partnership for Modernisation, private-public partnerships in transport, civil society and higher education, and support to the EU-Baltic Sea programme.

EU Cooperation in the East funds projects ranging from support to job creation and investments in the rural areas of Moldova, to mutual trade with the EU in Ukraine, and improving the juvenile justice system in Georgia. Other projects promoted the reform of the justice system in Armenia, backing energy efficiency and renewable energy in Azerbaijan, and engaging with Belarusian civil society.

Source: enpi-info.eu

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