European Neighbourhood and Partnership Instrument (ENPI)
Delivered in Plenary - 23rd Septemer 2010
As the former rapporteur for the ENP in the last Parliament, I would say to Commissioner Füle that I remain sceptical as to whether one can really combine Morocco and Moldova under one policy umbrella. To an extent, the Eastern Partnership developments and the Euromed/Barcelona Process reflect my concerns.
Of course, I still hope that one day Ukraine, Moldova and a democratic Belarus might join the European Union. Nevertheless, I do agree that more cross-border ENPI funding needs to made affordable to solve questions such as the frozen conflicts from Transnistria to Nagorno-Karabakh, which is a region that particularly concerns me and which has never had any funding from the Commission. There is a real risk at the moment of an escalation of tensions, or even of hostilities breaking out again between Armenia and Azerbaijan over Nagorno-Karabakh, particularly as Azerbaijan is now flush with petrodollars.
In the southern dimension, solving the Western Sahara question and fighting religious fundamentalism, particularly in secular countries like Egypt and Tunisia, could also be an area where cross-border cooperation could become a priority. Sadly, for most of the countries of the European Neighbourhood Policy, it is all about bilateral EU relations with Brussels, with little or no interest really in regional integration amongst themselves or in cross-border cooperation.