The document highlights key principles and related implementation points for the review of the European Neighbourhood Policy (ENP), which have been jointly developed by organizations actively engaged in promoting and advancing human rights, democracy and good governance, citizen participation, and social justice across the Eastern and Southern Neighbourhood, within the framework of the Enlargement, Pre- Accession and Neighbourhood (EPAN).

The member organizations of the CONCORD EPAN Working Group cover in their work the whole territory of the European Union, the Enlargement Countries, and the Eastern and Southern Neighbourhood.

The EU should refocus the ENP towards fighting inequalities, promoting a human rights-based approach (HRBA) in its policies and programmes, taking a radical shift away from a “business as usual approach” in policy priorities. The key elements for a genuine mutual partnership are: respect for human rights (including economic, social and cultural rights), enabling environment for civil society, promotion of accountability, democracy and good governance (at the regional, national and local levels), mutual accountability and policy coherence for development.

The revised ENP should explicitly define the partnership between the EU and neighbouring countries as full engagement between all the stakeholders — not only government-to-government, but society-to-society too. The EU should commit to recognising and promoting pluralism throughout all aspects of its relations with neighbours while ensuring inclusive consultations at the national and regional levels to strengthen the joint ownership of its policies and programmes by citizens of both the EU and partner countries. Specifically, this entails: mapping and consulting relevant stakeholders, including networks of civil society, independent trade unions, human rights defenders and social movements; ensuring participatory mechanisms at the local, national and regional levels in the design, implementation and monitoring of EU policies and programmes; including specific support and statutory role for independent civil society organisations as part of bilateral agreements, recognising their essential role in ensuring public oversight and transparency.

Read here the Press Release “#newENP: Going back to basics… Yes, but for universal values”

Link to the revision of the European Neighbourhood Policy (ENP).