+++ EU Enlargement +++ European Neighbourhood Policy +++ Eastern Partnership +++ Euro-Mediterranean Partnership +++ Democracy and Rule of Law +++ Deep and Comprehensive Free Trade +++ The Role of Civil Society +++
One of the most important EU foreign policy issues is ensuring stability in surrounding areas. The enlargement policy is undoubtedly the most successful instrument: as it did for the countries of Central and Eastern Europe that acceded to the EU in 2004 and 2007, the prospect of accession represents a significant incentive for the countries of the Western Balkans (Albania, Bosnia-Herzegovina, Serbia, Kosovo, Croatia, Macedonia, Montenegro) and Turkey to implement political, economic and social reforms in line with EU standards. However, there are numerous problems that will have to be overcome along the way in areas such as the rule of law, corruption, organised crime, the expansion of social systems, minority policy and ethnic tensions and national-territorial conflicts.
In order to enable neighbouring countries that cannot currently be offered the prospect of EU accession to nonetheless benefit from the successes of EU integration, i.e. security, stability and prosperity, in 2003 the EU developed the European Neighbourhood Policy (ENP). This offers the EU’s neighbours to the east (Armenia, Azerbaijan, Belarus, Georgia, Moldova, Ukraine) and to the south (Algeria, Egypt, Israel, Jordan, Lebanon, Libya, Morocco, the Palestinian Territories, Syria, Tunisia) privileged partnership agreements. These are based on the recognition of common values such as democracy, human rights, the rule of law, good governance, market economic principles and sustainable development. Relations with partners to the south will be further enhanced by the Union for the Mediterranean. The EU’s Eastern Partnership targets intensified cooperation with partner countries in Eastern Europe.
The EU Office of the Friedrich-Ebert-Stiftung in Brussels contributes to education, dialogue and debate in these areas through expert visits, training for multipliers and conferences with experts and decision-makers from the EU candidate and neighbour countries. Support for regional cooperation in the Western Balkan countries is a particular focal point of the FES's work.