European Union Neighborhood Policy (ENP)


The European Neighborhood Policy (ENP) strives to improve the relations between EU countries and their neighbors. Dannreuther (2006) observes that the policy has become a vehicle driving cooperation within EU countries within a wide policy platform. The nature of ENP ensures that there is great economic development, better governance, and stability within the neighborhood. The policy ensures that peace is spread across the borders to prevent the emergence of artificially perpetrated wars and violence. This has helped in the provision of security for both EU and her neighbors. ENP enables the Union to respond economically and politically through financial aid and technical assistance to ensure proper engagement among its neighbors and member states of the Union. The purpose of this paper is to provide an insightful analysis on whether ENP fosters or undermines security within member states and neighborhoods.

Aims of ENP

According to Lavenex (2008), the main function of ENP is to ensure that division between EU and her neighbors is effectively curbed for effective creation of cohesion. The policy strives to ensure that there is stability by supporting the political activities of member states and neighbors and enabling favorable economic and political transition within such countries. It also helps in settling regional scores and conflicts. The policy helps in fostering security by helping in the fight against corruption within EU countries and their neighbors. It also ensures that organized crimes and all sorts of trafficking are curbed for increased security. The policy helps members to attain prosperity by assisting them to develop economically and adopt modernization.

ENP Instruments and Principles

The main instruments in ENP operations include stability, security, prosperity, and values and intensified relations. Paczyński (2011) observes that in fostering stability, the policy ensures that there is enhanced assistance geared towards the satisfaction of needs. This helps in boosting regional cooperation. The instrument of stability also ensures that there is adequate funding for all EU programs and those of its affiliate neighbors. Through this instrument, EU consequently involves in political conflicts and crisis management. ENP entails availability of security as an instrument which strives to intensify cooperation to prevent and curb commonly recurring security threats. The tool of prosperity entails an extension of markets within EU to cross borders and to enhance effective regulatory structures. It also fosters favorable trading techniques and relations within EU and her borders. It enhances investment and provision of security within business premises. This instrument further supports the integration of a globally acknowledged trading system (Haukkala, 2008). The tools of values and intensified relations ensure that there is a lawful migration of people across EU and her neighbors. It also promotes basic human rights and enhances cultural tolerance and cooperation thus leading to increased mutual understanding. It ensures that the transport, energy and communication systems within member states are effectively integrated.

The two basic principles commonly used in ENP operations include differentiation and conditionality. Through well-articulated Action Plans, ENP strives to realize its differentiation strategy. Action plans help in the establishment of objectives, goals, and priorities to be achieved within a specified period (Lavenex, 2008). An action plan must be approved by the Cooperation or the Association Council. Joint ownership is encompassed in the Action Plans, and all partners become beneficiaries of the results. The principle of conditionality, however, contracts with differentiation as it dictates that engagement should effectively be introduced progressively and should meet financial obligations and availability. This principle ensures that any financial macro-assistance sought by a member state or partners should be geared towards enhancing both political and economic reforms. Countries with cases of political instability such as Syria have always been left out due to their inability to meet the requirements of the principle of conditionality.

However, Haukkala (2008) observes that the most important tool of operation for ENP is its financial instrument. Through the European Neighborhood and Partnership Instrument (ENPI) which replaced previously available financial instruments such as the Community Assistance program for Mediterranean Countries (MEDA) and the Community Technical Assistance program for the Commonwealth Independent States (TACIS). ENP has further enhanced Inter-Regional Programs.

ENP Security Measures

ENP does not necessarily provide security to warring states, but it helps in solving regional conflicts and enhancing political dialogue. There has been an increase in the number of frozen conflicts, especially within EU neighborhood. Regions such as Transnistria, South Ossetia, Abkhazia, Western Sahara, The Middle East, and Nagorno-Karabakh have always recorded high level of regional political conflicts (Barbé & Johansson‐Nogués, 2008). EU has put more effort in ensuring that cohesion is attained within these regions. This is because lack of political tolerance and increase in unrest within such regions which are affiliated to EU would jeopardize the operations of the Union. EU strives to foster economic and political development within such countries to boost her own security which may be affected due to lack of cohesion within neighborhoods and member states. Keukeleire & Delreux (2014), opine that EU realizes that prolonged conflict and wars within her neighbors would lead to regional escalation, disruption of energy supply, gross effects on the migration of people across borders, and creation of room for terrorist attacks which may pose security threats to EU. The Union has ensured that there are adequate and effective preparations to curb any security threats by appointing her special representatives with the help of police and border security operatives, they strive to protect the borders of member states and those of their neighbors.

According to Kelley (2006), ENP does not only ensure that there is political security but also strives to secure energy. The European Council adopted an energy package thus helped in the establishment of an external energy policy. Through the energy policy, ENP has been able to bring together producers, consumers, and transit states in the business. All the three categories of countries have effectively gained from the energy policy. In fighting for energy protection and preservation, ENP strives to ensure that there is effective dialogue on climatic change. With full realization of the impacts of global warming on the economy, the commission strives to build a well-capacitated climate change policy. This policy would impact on the direction of foreign investment to EU and her neighbors. What the commission strives to implement is Black Sea Energy policy to enhance increased investment and help in the provision of cleaner technologies to member states.

The policy strives to protect the health of its partners and neighbors as well as enhancing proper transport networks within affiliate states. In the struggle to foster security within members and neighbors, through the ENP, EU strives to ensure that transport networks leading to all destinations are well established and free of any security attacks (Browning and Joenniemi, 2008). The Mediterranean Sea has been used for water travel in shipping goods to and from EU neighbors. The commission has ensured that there is effective security within such transport systems. To better the relationship between her neighbors and herself, EU strives to enter into health cooperation and agreement. This is geared towards the provision of health security to all EU members and their neighborhoods. This strategy has helped in increasing the global voice of EU especially in championing for the eradication of communicable and deadly diseases such as HIV/AIDS. Through the integrated maritime policy, EU has been acknowledged to be the best vehicle for dialogue and conflict resolution (Orbie, 2009). The maritime policy would be at par with the objectives of ENP which are all geared towards the provision of political and economic security to EU and her neighbors.

From the objectives, aims, instruments, and operation of EU through the ENP it would be difficult to establish whether ENP is solely meant to foster security or if it plays other roles apart from that. Provision of security entails protection through arms. However, EU strives to dwell in enhancing dialogue during regional conflicts (Del Sarto & Schumacher, 2005). EU depends on most of her neighbors for economic success. This forms part of the reasons why EU strives to ensure that her neighbors enjoy security so that there would not be influx and lack of flow of exports from her neighbors. In a recent development, EU through ENP has put up strategies to help in health security within a member state. I believe that through this, EU would be drumming up for her voice to be globally heard to increase her support base. Though ENP strives to foster security within EU and her neighbors, the policy in more economically driven. Through the financial instruments, EU has been able to fund various members and neighbors especially during times of political unrest. 


In summary, the establishment of ENP by EU has led to increased security among most member states and neighbors. However, the Union does not necessarily provide armed security services but fosters dialogue and cohesion among conflicting states. ENP has been able to help in the economic development of her neighbors by importing products from such countries. During the political unrest in Libya, EU sent representatives to help in the solution of the conflict. Most West and Sub-Saharan countries have been major beneficiaries of ENP in terms of restoration of peace and cohesion within them and their boundaries. The availability of funds at the Union has helped in the financing of members and neighbors to enhance their economic stability. However, I believe that it would be pragmatically recommendable for EU to have security operatives that help in dealing with extreme security threats within member countries and neighborhoods such as terrorist attacks. In the recent past, terrorist attacks have been on the verge of jeopardizing both political and economic activities within the most state. The most recent terrorist threat that continues to hit the headlines is Kim Jong-Un’s North Korean threat of missile attack on the United States of America. EU should barely call for dialogue in such situations but should foster security by being part of the active restoration process of the same. Through ENP, EU has become more than just a cooperation that fosters cohesion but also strives to fight for regional and global security.

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