Annex: Council Conclusions on the Review of the
European Neighbourhood Policy
1. "The Council welcomes the Joint Communication
of 18 November 2015 on the 'Review of the European Neighbourhood
Policy', aimed at better responding to changes and challenges
in the neighbourhood. As set out in the April 2015 Council Conclusions,
a democratic, stable and prosperous neighbourhood is a strategic
priority and a fundamental interest for the EU. Underlining the
importance of a special relationship with the EU's neighbours,
the stabilisation of the neighbourhood in political, economic
and security terms will be the main political priority for the
EU in the next years. In doing so, the EU will pursue its interests
and promote universal values.
2. "The European Neighbourhood Policy is
key for both the EU's Common Foreign and Security Policy and other
areas of the EU's external action. The findings of the review
should feed in to the development of wider EU policy, in particular
the Global Strategy on Foreign and Security Policy. The Council
recalls the importance it attaches to the High Representative
and the Commission ensuring better policy coherence with all aspects
of EU external action. It encourages enhanced co-ordination between
EU Delegations and Member States, and also with international
organisations, in partner countries.
3. "The Council welcomes that the revised
ENP, as set out in the Joint Communication, takes into account
interests and needs of the EU and its neighbours, neighbours'
commitment to reforms, the level of ambition of the partnership
as well as different challenges and the geopolitical environment.
4. "Recalling the need to ensure the EU
Member States' full involvement in the ENP, the Council will remain
seized of the review process and looks forward to a regular dialogue
on its implementation. The Council invites the High Representative
and the Commission to engage with partner countries on the revised
policy and then present progress to the Council for discussion.
The Council looks forward to regular high-level dialogue on delivery
of the European Neighbourhood Policy.
5. "The Council welcomes the engagement
and consultation with partner countries in the review process.
Enhanced differentiation between and greater ownership by partner
countries are key principles for the reviewed ENP. The Council
welcomes the proposals set out in the Joint Communication to further
develop relations with partners wishing to pursue deeper relations
with the EU based on shared values, including by increasing opportunities
for political dialogue at ministerial level. The Council underlines
the importance of assisting all partners in their reform efforts
with a corresponding level of support. The Council confirms the
intention to start a new phase of engagement with partners in
2016 which could lead to the setting of new partnership priorities,
where appropriate, focused on agreed priorities and interests.
6. "The Council underlines that the EU's
partnerships under the ENP should be focused on people as well
as governments. The Council calls for effective promotion of good
governance, democracy, rule of law and human rights, which are
important for long-term stability. These topics will be discussed
with all partners, in mutually agreed formats, as well as in partnership
with the wider society. This should include enhanced support to
civil society and a renewed focus on the importance of gender
equality. The European Endowment for Democracy can play an important
role in this regard.
7. "The Council stresses the importance
of sustainable economic development for stabilisation through
investment in economic modernisation with a particular focus on
youth, education and employment to boost prosperity. The Council
stresses the need for renewed action on connectivity, energy security
and climate action.
8. "Full and effective implementation of
Association Agreements/ Deep and Comprehensive Free Trade Areas
(AAs/DCFTAs) is a key priority which, accompanied by reforms,
will result in relevant partners' comprehensive approximation
with international standards and EU legislation and standards.
This will lead to the gradual economic integration of AA/DCFTA
partners in the EU internal market and therefore to the creation
of an economic area. Such a vision will also contribute to the
long-term goal of a wider area of economic prosperity based on
World Trade Organisation (WTO) rules and sovereign choices throughout
Europe and beyond. The Council encourages the Commission to work
with all ENP partners in their ongoing and possible future negotiations.
For those who do not wish to engage in negotiations for a DCFTA,
there should be the opportunity to jointly determine attractive
and realistic alternatives to promote economic integration and
strengthen trade and investment relations that reflect mutual
9. "The Council welcomes the new proposals
to strengthen the security dimension of the ENP, and reiterates
its calls for greater coherence of the ENP with the security and
foreign policy dimensions of the EU's other actions abroad. This
will include measures to reinforce partners' resilience such as
countering the terrorist threat and preventing radicalisation,
and supporting Security Sector Reform and border management. Such
security measures and cooperation will be conducted in full compliance
with the rule of law and international law, including international
human rights law. The ENP security proposals should be implemented
in line with the comprehensive approach and with the external
dimension of other relevant EU policies with closer coordination
between the security-related work financed under the ENI and wider
CFSP/CSDP activities, where appropriate. In addition, the Council
will enhance cooperation with partners, including through, where
appropriate, CSDP activities or the EU's Special Representatives,
to support the management and resolution of conflicts in the neighbourhood
including through agreed frameworks. In addition, cross-cultural
dialogue, such as that promoted by the Anna Lindh foundation,
can play a role in conflict prevention.
10. "The Council welcomes proposals for
intensified cooperation on both regular and irregular migration.
The Council calls on the High Representative and the Commission
to continue increasing the support for partner countries receiving
and assisting refugees and IDPs. The Council calls for enhanced
effective cooperation on returns, readmission and sustainable
reintegration and for continued engagement with partners beyond
the neighbourhood building on the Valletta Summit and other existing
initiatives. Tackling together with partners the root causes of
irregular migration and forced displacement including of unaccompanied
minors should remain priorities. The Council reconfirms that enhanced
mobility in a secure and well managed environment and people-to-people
contacts should be promoted. Mutually-beneficial regular migration
including circular migration should be promoted through better
11. "The Council reaffirms the importance
of the Eastern Partnership and its commitment to continue implementing
the shared priorities agreed at Riga and previous Eastern Partnership
Summits. The Council supports further strengthening of this regional
dimension, including through the regional programmes of the EU
and the multilateral framework of the EaP.
12. "The Council acknowledges that the Union
for the Mediterranean has proved to be a valuable forum for political
and economic discussion, as well as for agreeing concrete projects
in priority sectors. The Union for the Mediterranean should be
considered as a key regional framework for political dialogue
and regional cooperation efforts, including through regular ministerial
13. "The Council supports outreach beyond
the neighbourhood in order to tackle shared challenges. The High
Representative and the Commission in consultation with the Council
will develop new Thematic Frameworks with interested ENP partners
to offer cooperation on regional issues in the neighbourhood,
to state and multilateral actors, as well as to other partners.
14. "The Council also recalls the importance
of other existing initiatives with EU and Member States involvement
such as the Black Sea Synergy and AMICI (A southern Mediterranean
Investment Coordination Initiative).
15. "The Council supports increasing the
flexibility of existing financing instruments in order to improve
the EU's capability to respond flexibly to crisis situations.
The EU will also preserve the predictability and continuity of
its support for implementing the mutually agreed long-term reform
goals and other elements required by the ENI regulation. Commitment
to and implementation of reform will continue to guide the allocation
of funds under the ENI umbrella programme, in line with the incentive
based approach. The Council looks forward to examining proposals
for more effective delivery of financial support, including those
set out in the Joint Communication.
16. "The Council recognises the need to
improve communication of the ENP, and on ensuring better visibility
and outreach for the policy and its outcomes. This should include
enhanced strategic communication efforts, including related support
to partners and support to independent media in the neighbourhood.
17. "The Council welcomes the new approach
to reporting, focusing specifically on meeting the goals agreed
with partners. This reporting will support the work of Association
Councils, Co-operation Councils and other high-level meetings.
In addition, the Council invites the High Representative and the
Commission to provide regular reporting to track developments
in the neighbourhood as required by the ENI regulation."
72 See Council Conclusions on the Review of the European Neighbourhood Policy. Back