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Commissioner Ferrero-Waldner presents ENP progress reports – ‘2008 demonstrates strategic importance of policy’
The difficulties of 2008 have “clearly demonstrated the strategic importance of the European Neighbourhood Policy”, Commissioner for External Relations and the ENP Benita Ferrero-Waldner has said.
Presenting the Commission’s annual Progress Reports, which take stock of the reform achievements made by ENP countries in 2008 and identify areas for further effort, the Commissioner underlined the importance of the ENP: “The economic and financial crisis, violent conflicts in our neighbourhood and political instability all impact on the security and prosperity of EU citizens. Therefore, it remains crucial for the EU to provide tangible, targeted and credible support to our neighbours to create mutual security and prosperity dividends."
A Commission press release said that despite the difficult context (global financial crisis and conflicts in the Caucasus and Middle East), the EU’s relations with its neighbours had further intensified in 2008, with the ENP further deepened by two new initiatives, the Union for the Mediterranean and the Eastern Partnership.
Commissioner Benita Ferrero-Waldner nevertheless pointed to mixed achievements among the partner countries, saying they had "made considerable progress in key areas, such as trade, taxation and a better business environment, but need to do significantly more especially on political reforms, good governance and human rights."
The press release further highlights details of achievements in the following areas:
· Political cooperation
· Economic Integration and trade exchanges
· Visa facilitation and the fight against illegal migration
· Cooperation on justice
· Energy cooperation
· Transport links
EU assistance to ENP partners in 2008 increased to €1.71 billion, compared to €1.67 billion in 2007.
For all the relevant reports, click here
Individual progress reports on implementation of the ENP can be found as follows:
Benita Ferrero-Waldner press conference – EBS video
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