09 Oct 2017

The Obsolescence of the European Neighbourhood Policy

Steven Blockmans

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The idealism that engendered the European ??Neighbourhood Policy in 2004, later codified in the Lisbon Treaty, has since been reviewed to adapt to the turbulence that has befallen the EU and its neighbourhood.

In this new paperback, Steven Blockmans argues that the ENP is now little more than an elegantly crafted fig leaf that purports to take a soft power approach to the EU’s outer periphery, but in effect it inclines more towards Realpolitik. By prioritising security interests over liberal values in increasingly transactional partnerships, the EU is atomising relations with its neighbouring countries. And without the political will and a strategic vision to guide relations with the neighbours of the EU’s neighbours, the ENP remains in suspended animation.

“At a time when the European Union’s neighbourhood is widely considered to be a ‘ring of fire’, Steven Blockmans offers a refreshingly accessible and provocative account of the EU’s foreign policy towards its ‘near abroad’. Whether or not one agrees with the book’s conclusion that the ENP is in ‘suspended animation’, this is a highly thought-provoking, detailed and illuminating analysis.” 
Tobias Schumacher, European Neighbourhood Policy Chairholder, College of Europe, Natolin.

“This book’s critical reflections and deep and comprehensive analysis make it a must-read for all those concerned with one of the most important issues facing European policymakers today: the EU’s relations with its neighbours.”
Javier Solana, former EU High Representative for CFSP and Secretary General of NATO.

“With its in-depth analysis of the challenges facing the EU as it rethinks the policy approach towards its neighbours, this book comes out at a critical time. It is required reading for all those concerned with the future of a liberal world order.”
Eka Tkeshelashvili, President of the Georgian Institute for Strategic Studies, former Minister of Foreign Affairs of Georgia.

Steven Blockmans is Senior Research Fellow and Head of EU Foreign Policy Unit at CEPS. Professor of EU External Relations Law and Governance at the University of Amsterdam, and founding board member of the Centre for the Law of EU External Relations (CLEER).

CEPS series: e-book   No. of pages: 167

This book is co-published with Rowman and Littlefield International (RLI) and can soon be purchased in paperback for £19.95, from the RLI website. It is also available for free downloading from CEPS’ website, below.