EU proposes substantial increase in funding for its neighbourhood partners
Azerbaijan, Baku, Dec. 8 /Trend A.Badalova/
The European Union proposes a substantial increase in funding for its neighbourhood partners, with a proposed budget of €18.2 billion under its new European Neighbourhood Instrument (ENI), ENPI Info Center reported.
The budget covers the period of 2014-2020, and is by 40 percent up on the amount available under the European Neighbourhood and Partnership Instrument (ENPI) for 2007-2013.
The European Commission said the significant increase reflects the increased priority of the European Neighbourhood Policy in the overall foreign policy of the EU.
"The EU will stand by its international commitments to the poorest and most vulnerable people, to those in our neighbourhood undergoing transition and those in countries on a path to joining the Union," the EU High Representative for Foreign Affairs Catherine Ashton said.
According to the EU Commissioner for Enlargement and Neighbourhood Policy Štefan Füle, the increased budget showed the EU was prepared to match its words with deeds, in order to ensure the success of the democratisation process and to improve economic and social development.
Füle explained the ENI would be based on the new principles of the ENP, "in particular 'More for More' and increased differentiation".
Like the ENPI, the new ENI will continue to provide the bulk of funding to the European Neighbourhood countries, essentially through bilateral, regional and cross border co-operation programmes.
On 29 June 2011 the European Commission presented the implementation of the Multiannual Financial Framework in the area of external action.
The total amount proposed for the nine geographic and thematic instruments involved is €96,249.4 million over the period 2014-2020.
The package will be transmitted to the European Parliament and the Council and is expected to be adopted in 2012.