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Wednesday, 6 April 2011 - Strasbourg OJ edition

Review of the European Neighbourhood Policy - Eastern Dimension - Review of the European Neighbourhood Policy - Southern Dimension

  Kristian Vigenin (S&D). – Madam President, developments in the Southern Neighbourhood have provoked a lot of criticism of the EU Neighbourhood Policy as pursued so far. We should be critical, of course, but we should also be fair.

The Neighbourhood Policy has contributed a lot to the development of relations with those countries – and not only with those countries but also with their societies, which will be one of the main issues now to be added to the review of Neighbourhood Policy. These developments, to some extent, follow the engagement of the European Union with those countries. So, in that respect, we need to review this policy, and to adapt it, but we should not simply criticise what has been done so far. As such, the EP reports are an important contribution to the ENP review and I hope they will be taken into consideration by the Commission.

I would like to warn against the attempts to oppose East and South, not only as regards refocusing attention, but also, maybe, as regards reallocating funds and resources. We have to be very careful on this and to take into account the fact that, on the one hand, of course, the challenge is to assist democratic processes in Egypt and Tunisia, and to support democratisation in the South, but it is also to preserve the peace in the Southern Caucuses, for example, and to contribute to the peaceful solution of frozen conflicts and to consolidate democracies.

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