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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

  Traian Ungureanu (PPE), in writing. – The European Neighbourhood Policy should remain European, not French, Romanian or Polish. A distinction between neighbours in the South and in the East, followed by a transfer of funds from East to South, could benefit the agenda of a sponsor state, but it would put an end to the European Neighbourhood Policy. The pressure brought to bear by France to fund the South while starving the programmes for the East could set an unfortunate precedent. Europe should deal with its neighbourhood, and not with prioritised neighbours. A transfer of funds from East to South would send a disastrous signal to our eastern partners. It does not make sense to support democracy in the South by weakening it in the East. The European aspirations and democratic values of Eastern partners could be further damaged by an impulsive visa liberalisation policy. There is no place for a ‘Russia first’ policy in this domain. Russian citizens have a right to free travel, but not before our partners in the East. Granting a visa-free regime to Russia would transform the Russian passport into a golden document sought after in Georgia, Moldova and Ukraine. It would internally destabilise these countries. I insist that the EU should seriously consider these problems.

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