Columbia International Affairs Online: Working Papers

CIAO DATE: 05/2008

Building security in its neighbourhood through the European neighbourhood policy

Michele Comelli

May 2007

Istituto Affari Internazionali


''Building security in our neighbourhood'' is one of the three objectives of the European Security Strategy (ESS) 1 . This document, which was approved by the European Council in December 2003, defines the major threats and security objectives of the European Union. The three objectives identified addressed the key threats (terrorism, proliferation of weapons of mass destruction, regional conflicts, state failure, and organised crime), building security in the neighbourhood, and building an international order based on effective multilateralism. Among the three, two of them are linked to the EU's neighbourhood. The objective of addressing the key threats only indirectly relates to the areas surrounding the EU. Not all of these security challenges coming from the EU's neighbourhood area are specific to the region; however, the impact of these challenges on EU security, either real or perceived, can still be greater because of geographical proximity. 2 On the other hand, the objective of building security in the neighborhood is directly related to the areas surrounding the EU.

This paper analyses whether the EU can be effective in building security in the Neighbourhood through the policy initiative that was launched specifically to achieve this goal: the European Neighbourhood Policy (ENP). In particular, this paper analyses whether the ENP is succeeding in meeting the security (sub)objectives laid out in the ESS and finally makessome policy recommendations designed to make the ENP more effective in meeting these objectives.