Economic liberalisation trumps democratisation in EU Neighborhood Policy, says Bankwatch
The strategic review of the European Neighbourhood Policy initiated by the European Commission last year should ensure that funds disbursed through the ENPI mechanism truly promote the development of democratic institutions, human rights and environmental sustainability in Partnership countries, says CEE Bankwatch Network.
2 March 2011
Tbilisi, Georgia — The strategic review of the European Neighbourhood Policy  initiated by the European Commission last year should ensure that funds disbursed through the ENPI  mechanism truly promote the development of democratic institutions, human rights and environmental sustainability in Partnership countries, says CEE Bankwatch Network.
In a recent written submission to the review process  Bankwatch highlights how eight years since its inception, the ENP continues to prioritise economic liberalisation over the social and democratic goals it is mandated to promote. In the majority of countries targeted by the policy, national Action Plans  completely lack provisions regarding agriculture, poverty eradication, the development of a reliable social security net, or health services.
Manana Kochladze, Regional Coordinator for Caucasus at CEE Bankwatch Network, says: “Since singing the ENP, Georgian authorities have pushed for a complete liberalisation and deregulation of the economy, leading to the abolition of 85 percent of all licensing legislation, including in the food, industry and vehicle safety spheres. Even though the EU itself has taken a critical attitude towards some of Georgia’s reforms concerning environmental issues and labour and consumer rights, the ENP does little to remedy such deficiencies.”
Bankwatch is asking the Commission to develop guidelines that ensure civil society participation to elaborate and implement national indicative plans. This would make the ENP respond to the needs of partner societies and increase the transparency in funding allocations. “Given that 90 percent of funds disbursed through the ENP framework go towards budget support, it is crucial that payments are conditioned by strict anti-corruption measures,” added Iryna Holovko, Bankwatch national coordinator in Ukraine.
For more information
Bankwatch Regional Coordinator for Caucasus
manana AT bankwatch.org
m.: +995-99-91 66 47
Bankwatch Ukraine National Coordinator
iryna AT bankwatch.org
m: +38 050 647 67 00
Notes to the editors
1. The European Neighbourhood Policy (ENP) was developed in 2004, with the objective of avoiding the emergence of new dividing lines between the enlarged EU and our neighbours and instead strengthening the prosperity, stability and security of all. This ENP framework is proposed to the 16 of EU’s closest neighbours Algeria, Armenia, Azerbaijan, Belarus, Egypt, Georgia, Israel, Jordan, Lebanon, Libya, Moldova, Morocco, Occupied Palestinian Territory, Syria, Tunisia and Ukraine.
2.European Neighbourhood and Partnership Instrument (ENPI) – From 1 January 2007 onwards, as part of the reform of EC assistance instruments, the MEDA, TACIS and various other programmes have been replaced by a single instrument – the European Neighbourhood and Partnership Instrument.
3. See the CEE Bankwatch Network position on the review of the ENP (pdf).
4. Action Plans (AP) are documents negotiated with and tailor-made for each country, which define an agenda of political and economic reforms for short and medium-term. They cover political dialogue and reform, economic and social cooperation and development, trade-related issues and market and regulatory reform, cooperation in justice and home affairs, sectors and a human dimension.
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