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The European Neighbourhood Policy at the crossroads

Anna Labedzka

The European Neighbourhood Policy (ENP) was launched to prevent theemergence of new dividing lines between the eastwardly enlarged EU and the diverse pool of its neighbours to the east and south. Over the past decade, the neighbourhood has proven to be anything but a static and homogenous entity. The point of departure for this paper is the Commission Communication Towards a New European Neighbourhood Policy issued in March 2015. The author argues that although the EU has positioned itself as a civilian actor, it is thus far a normative power with vital economic and security interests that it needs to attend to urgently. Therefore, it is crucial to review the ENP in a broader context of improved consistency in EU external policies. The ENP stands a chance of serving both the EU and its neighbours once an interplay of the following trinity has been established: a good understanding of the complexity and diversity of the EU's neighbours; the establishment of a monitoring mechanism for the situation in the regions surrounding the EU,including developments in relations between the EU's neighbours and their neighbours; a rapid response to the changing dynamics in the EU'sneighbourhood, including the merger of crisis management instruments withENP tools.

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