Remarks by Ashton and Füle at ENP package 2012 presentation

External Relations chief Catherine Ashton has said the policy of “economics meets politics”, that is bringing together classical foreign policy, financial support and all of the different elements of what the EU does, “helps us to support deep democracy, enabling the changes that can take place - not just elections, but the growth of institutions and the growth of the processes that you need to ensure elections follow elections and that you have a society that is able to be in control of the mandate of its own government. And that you also have economic growth and development”.
The EU official was speaking at the presentation of the European Neighbourhood Policy (ENP) 2012 package (on May 15), during which progress from last year was presented and a number of documents, including a road map for the East and the South, as well as country progress reports, were revealed.
On his part, External Relations and Neighbourhood Commissioner Štefan Füle expressed the view that the ENP ‘package’ presented “gives evidence of concrete and substantial changes in our approach towards our neighbours. It is clear that we want to strengthen our support to the regional cooperation frameworks. But it is also clear that we want to focus increased resources and attention towards the countries most committed to reforms, and that we consider each country with increased respect for their own specificity and reform path.''
Both officials gave a number of examples from both the neighbourhoods East and South, while at the same time underlining the three principles that have guided the review: that the EU should focus its support on those countries and governments most committed to political and economic reform, “mutual accountability” that is the EU should live up to its side of the bargain in response to those who live up to their side, and that it should reach out directly to populations, to civil society, to opposition groups especially when governments block reform and won't engage with their people.
In her remarks, the High Representative made particular mention to two innovations for the South, the appointment of a Special Representative who is helping the EU make strong links both on the ground and in Brussels, and the Task Force that brings together a number of players supporting the same objectives in order to leverage available resources. Two Task Forces were held so far, one in Tunisia, one in Jordan.
Commissioner Füle referred to developments in Ukraine which he described as “cause for concern”. He said “we initialed Association Agreement at the end of March and we wish to sign it but Ukraine needs to show that it lives in the spirit of this political association. We expect Ukraine to address the issues of politically motivated trials, independence of judiciary and selective use of law.” (EU Neighbourhood Info)
Read more
Ashton remarks
Info Centre - EU assesses reforms in the Neighbourhood (15/05/2012)
Info Centre - ENP south: report on activities 2011 and roadmap to 2013 released (16/05/2012)

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