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Wednesday, 18 February 2009 - Brussels OJ edition

The review of the European Neighbourhood Policy Instrument (debate)

  Cem Özdemir, on behalf of the Verts/ALE Group.(DE) Mr President, Commissioner, ladies and gentlemen, I too wish to start by thanking the rapporteur, Mr Szymański, for a very good report. The European Neighbourhood and Partnership Instrument (ENPI) can be an effective instrument only if it provides incentives for democratic reform and promotes sustainable – ecological and fair – development.

To make it possible to verify the effectiveness of this instrument, clear, specific, measurable objectives must be defined for all the action plans under the European Neighbourhood Policy (ENP). We in the Group of the Greens/European Free Alliance make a particular call for coherence in all the human rights instruments in the context of the ENP action plans, and also a thorough investigation of the ‘Justice’ projects promoted by means of the ENPI.

A further important point also rightly emphasised in the report is the increased involvement of civil society in the design and monitoring process with regard to the ENPI. The war in Georgia in the summer of 2008 made it clear that, up to then, the European Union had not developed and implemented a sustainable conflict resolution policy for the Caucasus region.

Frozen conflicts, such as the one in Nagorno-Karabakh, still hinder the further development of the ENP in the South Caucasus region. Therefore, we call on the Council to work more actively in the field of conflict resolution. This instrument gives the European Union the opportunity to play an active role in its neighbouring region, in order to take forward democratic reform and sustainable development.

Particularly with a view to preserving its – our – credibility, the European Union must finally start taking the democracy and human rights clauses in its agreements with third countries seriously and taking the appropriate action – ideally positive but, if necessary, negative.

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