Columbia International Affairs Online: Policy Briefs

CIAO DATE: 02/2012

European Neighbourhood Policy: How to Reconcile EU's Offer with Neighbour's Expectations?

Monika Arcipowska, Beata Wojna

November 2011

The Polish Institute of International Affairs


The paper diagnoses the key challenges faced by the European Union as it re-calibrates its policy towards its immediate neighbours to the east and to the south, spurred by the recognition of inadequate progress in the former case, and by a tectonic shift in the socio-political landscape in the latter case. The authors argue that the EU needs to urgently address the disconnect between its own objectives in the neighbourhood, and the expectations of its partners, who are themselves a hugely heterogenic group. The EU has no better choice but to increase the conditionality behind its initiatives, and to introduce greater differentiation among their addressees. The institutional, structural and financial constraints of the EU’s neighbourhood policy only add to the challenge, but the EU has too much to loose in terms of its own credibility as a foreign policy actor to allow them to prevail.