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External Relations – European Neighbourhood Policy
European Neighbourhood Policy – Southern Dimension
The Southern Dimension is part of the European Neighbourhood Policy (ENP) and concerns 9 countries of the Southern Mediterranean (Egypt, Algeria, Jordan, Israel, Lebanon, Libya, Morocco, Syria, Tunisia) and Palestine. The implementation of this partnership began in 2004, with the principal aim of averting the emergence of new dividing lines between an enlarged Europe and its southern neighbours, while also strengthening prosperity, stability and security for all.
The EU’s approach to the Mediterranean partners is twofold: bilateral and multilateral. The Southern Dimension of the ENP focuses on the bilateral level, via a network of agreements: the Association Agreements. Also of pivotal importance are the Action Plans, which determine the short- and mid-term priorities in the field of political and economic reforms. On the multilateral level, the Southern Dimension of the ENP is enriched through the Union for the Mediterranean, which succeeded the Barcelona Process in 2008.
In the framework of the revised ENP – which was adopted in 2011, in the wake of the world-shaking developments of the Arab Spring – a roadmap was drawn up (May 2012) for the implementation of the EU’s new policy on its Southern Neighbours. Concurrently, annual progress reports were issued, by responsibility of the European Commission and the European External Action Service, detailing and assessing the course of each partner-country’s approach to the EU. It should be noted that EU assistance is granted in accordance with the special needs, priorities and progress manifested by each of our southern partners, while there is a special focus – within the above framework – on rewarding those partners who proceed to democratic reforms.
Greece attaches particular importance to the Southern Dimension of the ENP and firmly encourages the Mediterranean partners to intensify their efforts in the direction of consolidating democratic reforms and socio-economic development, and to capitalize fully on the tools provided by the ENP.
The developments of vital importance seen in recent years in the countries of the European Neighbourhood have opened up the debate in the direction of a new revision of the European Neighbourhood Policy. The new revision is included in the mandate of European Neighbourhood Policy and Enlargement Negotiations Commissioner Johannes Hahn.
Greece is participating actively in this debate, as our country is linked by traditional ties to the countries of North Africa and the Middle East, which facilitates understanding of conditions and the maintenance of channels of communication with regional actors.