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European Neighbourhood Policy and its country priorities

The European Neighbourhood Policy (ENP) was created by the European Union (EU) to achieve greater economic development, stability, and better governance in its neighbourhood countries. The Policy substantially deepens the relations of the EU with its neighbours and has become the established vehicle for cooperation with these countries across a wide policy spectrum. It covers Algeria, Armenia, Azerbaijan, Belarus, Egypt, Georgia, Israel, Jordan, Lebanon, Libya, Republic of Moldova, Morocco, the Palestinian Authority, Syria, Tunisia and the Ukraine.

The European Neighbourhood and Partnership Instrument (ENPI) is the main financial mechanism of the European Commission through which assistance is given to the European Neighbourhood Policy (ENP) Partner Countries, as well as Russia. It is through this instrument that the ENPI FLEG Program is funded. For more information on ENPI visit http://www.enpi-info.eu/maineast.php?id=205&id_type=10.

Country priorities

Individual ENP Action Plans, agreed with each partner country, set out a detailed and jointly-agreed reform agenda to be followed. Each country's Action Plan differs reflecting the priorities it has agreed with the EU although all cover a number of policy areas and include sectoral issues such as environment, energy, research and development.

In the field of environment the following specific objectives and expected results have been defined in the national indicative programmes 2011-2013 for each of the countries taking part in the ENPI FLEG Program:

Armenia

Specific objectives

  • To align legislation and procedures with EU norms and standards;
  • To strengthen administrative and institutional capacity in the transport (road, railway, aviation), energy and environment sectors; and
  • To address climate change in relevant sectors.

Expected results

  • Implementation of sector-specific regulatory reform and institution building in the transport, energy and environment sectors;
  • Increased mitigation and reduced effects of climate change through appropriate measures in the transport and energy sectors (including energy efficiency and renewable energy sources); and
  • Increased level of regulatory alignment in the transport, energy and environment sectors.

Azerbaijan

Specific objectives

  • To have environmental, sustainable development and climate change considerations integrated into the country’s sectoral policies; and
  • To strengthen environmental governance.

Expected results

  • Better legislation in this area including approximation of environmental legislation with European norms and standards;
  • Enhanced awareness of environmental considerations in cross-cutting legislation, taking into consideration EU best practices and experience;
  • Strengthening of enforcement of legislation and environmental governance; and
  • Reduction of effects on climate change.

Belarus

Belarus faces many challenges in the promotion of environmental protection. Key areas include water quality, waste management, implementation of the Kyoto Protocol, nature protection, soil degradation, industrial pollution and radiation contamination.

Institutional and administrative capacity requires strengthening, in particular as regards strategic planning, implementation and enforcement. Furthermore, mechanisms for access to information and public participation have to be improved, including support for civil society.

Support may address energy efficiency and energy savings, along with the enhancement of environmental governance and compliance with EU and international standards in the water and environment sectors, e.g. targeting the regional dimension of the EU Water Initiative and regional aspects of the protection and sustainable management of forests.

Georgia

Specific objectives

  • To foster economic and social development in the regions and reduce regional and social disparities, with a focus on the integration of vulnerable groups;
  • To integrate environmental and climate change considerations within development programmes; and
  • To stimulate economic opportunities and cooperation between regions in Georgia and the EU.

Expected results

  • Implementation of reforms and establishment of necessary structures with regard to environmental issues;
  • Development of policies for environmental protection and sustainable use of resources;
  • Integration of local and regional development and environmental policy within the national development plan; and
  • Enhanced agricultural production and market access (both internal and external) for Georgian agricultural output. Increased quality of Georgian products and increased opportunities for sustainable farming and for agro-processing industries with emphasis on innovation and new technologies.

Moldova

Specific objectives

  • To strengthen the development and implementation of environmental policy and legislation and the sustainable management of natural resources;
  • To participate actively in regional environmental cooperation;
  • To increase environmental awareness;
  • To cooperate in order to mitigate and adapt to its impacts (including disaster risk reduction);
  • To increase the energy efficiency of the Moldovan economy; and
  • To diversify sources of energy supplies to Moldova, including by developing the use of renewable energy.

Expected results

  • Strengthened administrative capacity at national, regional and local level for implementing and enforcing environmental legislation, including regional and international multilateral agreements;
  • Strengthened environmental governance (including by securing public participation in environmental matters) and strategic planning;
  • Environmental legislation promoting convergence with EU legislation and policy approaches as appropriate adopted and enforced;
  • Energy efficiency and renewable energy law, regulations, standards and best practice aligned with EU law/best practice and commitments under the Energy Community Treaty;
  • Increased contribution to the international efforts for the protection of the Black Sea environment;
  • Participation in international climate change mechanisms;
  • Energy efficiency and renewable energy policies incorporated in governmental policies and promoted in the private sector; and
  • Strengthened protection of biodiversity and landscape diversity.

Ukraine

Specific objectives

  • To strengthen Ukraine’s environmental policy development and implementation, and the sustainable management of natural resources;
  • To increase environmental cooperation and awareness; and
  • To address climate change causes (mitigation) and effects (adaptation) in line with Ukraine’s commitments under the Kyoto Protocol and its expected successor agreement.

Expected results

  • Improved strategic approaches and approximation of national environmental policy and legislation to EU acquis and policy;
  • Environmental and climate change integrated into sector policies;
  • Strengthening of the administrative capacity at the national, regional and local level;
  • Improved capacity to implement climate obligations under the Kyoto Protocol and its expected successor agreement;
  • Preparation of adaptation strategies and plans on climate change;
  • Level of public environmental awareness significantly increased; and
  • Losses of bio and landscape diversity are limited.

Please note that Russia is not included in the above list as it is not part of ENP.

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