The European Neighbourhood Policy in a Comparative Perspective

Throughout the academic year 2013-2014 the Department of EU International Relations and Diplomacy Studies at the College of Europe, Bruges campus, with the financial support of the European Commission, organised a series of events dedicated to the European Neighbourhood Policy (ENP) in a comparative perspective. The initiative focuses on a comparison of different co-operation schemes that the European Union has in place with partner countries in order to put the ENP into context and to draw lessons for the ENP from the experience of other third countries.

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High-Level Lectures on the ENP in a Comparative Perspective


While the ENP has received considerable attention from scholars and commentators, the EU’s wider range of neighbourhood policies and their relevance for the evolution of the ENP has attracted much less interest. The ’European Neighbourhood Policy in a Comparative Perspective’ series therefore focused on a comparison of the ENP with the EU’s other frameworks of co-operation: the pre-accession strategy, the EU-Turkey customs union, the Stabilisation and Association Process, the European Economic Area (EEA), the EU-Swiss bilateralism, the newly emerging scheme for the European small-sized countries, the EU-Russia Strategic Partnership and others. In order to sustain and further improve the ENP it is crucial to understand the proliferation of EU neighbourhood policies in a wider sense. The events series aimed to compare existing and envisaged policy frameworks and to contribute to a broader view of the evolution, the challenges and the coherence of the EU’s integration with its wider neighbourhood. Moreover, in view of statements by the European Commission on the long-term achievement of a ‘Neighbourhood Economic Community’, with a possible parallel in the EEA, the events series sought to encourage reflection on the conceivable shape of such a Community through comparison with the EU’s other neighbourhood policies and on the lessons to be drawn for the possibilities and limits of such integration.

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