Strategy group on the future of the European Neighbourhood Policy


19th May, 2015

Chaired by:

Susi Dennison, Co-Director of the European Power Programme, Senior Policy Fellow


As the EU formally reviews its approach to its neighbourhood, Rethink: Europe convened a strategy group in Brussels on the future of the European Neighbourhood Policy (ENP). Bringing together expert observers and decision-makers involved in the official EU consultation process that was launched in spring 2015 by the EU High Representative Federica Mogherini and Neighbourhood Commissioner Johannes Hahn the group discussed priorities for an ENP overhaul four years and several crises after it was last reviewed.

The ideas covered in the meeting started from the observation that a future ENP needed to differentiate more in terms of target countries, policy initiatives, and budgets rather than trying to formulate a one-size-fits-all solution to two fundamentally different regions – the south and the east – which are both mired in long term crises. Particularly relevant will be the European relations with countries that generally still align with the EU or aspire to do so more thoroughly in the future – Tunisia and Morocco in the south, and Ukraine, Moldova, and Georgia in the east.

Among the experts present where several Members of the European Council on Foreign Relations, including Robert Cooper, former Counsellor of the European External Action Service (EEAS), Steven Everts, Advisor to the EEAS, Marc Otte, Director General of Egmont Institute and former EU Special Representative to the Middle East Peace Process, Anna Terron, Special Advisor to the European Commissioner for Home Affairs, and Nathalie Tocci, Advisor to the EU High Representative.

The meeting in Brussels formed the basis for ECFR’s in-depth policy memo and formal proposal to the ENP review “Europe’s Neighbourhood: Crisis as the New Normal” authored by Nick Witney and Susi Dennison, Co-Directors of ECFR’s European Power Programme.

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