New European Commission Should Enforce ‘More for More’ Principle
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On September 10th, the President of the European Commission (EC), Jean-Claude Juncker, sent a mission letter to Commissioner for European Neighbourhood Policy (ENP) and Enlargement Negotiations, Johannes Hahn. In this letter, EC President Juncker demands that the new Commissioner work closely with High Representative for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy/Vice-President, Federica Mogherini, to promote stability at Europe’s borders and help neighbouring countries develop and support democratic institutions.
In line with this, and on the occasion of the new European Commission taking office, the Euro-Mediterranean Human Rights Network (EMHRN) has published country factsheets on the ENP Progress Reports. These timely documents analyse and summarise the finding of this year’s reports. The factsheets also highlight shortcomings in the reports and make recommendations for the new concerned Commissioners to take up in the next year’s reports. EMHRN’s main concern is the inconsistent application of the ‘more for more’ principle. This principle is vital for democratic transitions in the EU’s Southern Neighbourhood and should remain the cornerstone of the renewed ENP.
The ENP aims to develop a special relationship between the EU and its neighbours with a view to achieving closer political association and greater economic integration. Through a joint Action Plan, partner countries demonstrate their commitment to democracy, human rights, rule of law and good governance. Once a year, the European External Action Service (EEAS) and the EC jointly publish reports assessing progress made towards the objectives of the Action Plans and the Association Agreements. For countries that have not signed an ENP Action Plan with the EU, a memo is issued, but no progress report.
This annual assessment is meant to guide EU actions and policies towards partner countries in the year to follow. They are also used a basis for implementing the ‘more for more’ principle; the EU should give more political and financial support to those neighbours that implement more reforms and are more democratic.
Given the importance of these progress reports and memos as a tool for human rights advocacy, and in our efforts to make them more accessible to civil society in our mandate area, EMHRN has created nine country factsheets on progress reports and memos. These factsheets are useful tools that human rights organisations and other stakeholders can use in their advocacy work with the EU. EMHRN members and partners regularly contribute to these documents, making them ‘living’ sources on EU relations with their respective countries.
Read EMHRN summary of ENP Progress Report/Memo and recommendations: