In 2015 the Heinrich-Böll-Stiftung (hbs) took part in the Commission’s consultation procedure on the new European Neighbourhood Policy (EaP). Our contribution was based on the results of an expert workshop in Brussels in which the relevant hbs offices and departments discussed their experiences and ideas with experts from the European Commission, the EEAS, the European Parliament, think tanks, NGOs and universities. The new ENP was presented in November 2015. In 2016 the Heinrich-Böll-Stiftung organised two ENP workshops, one focused on the southern neighbourhood, the other on Eastern Partnership (EaP). Again, the relevant experts from the EU institutions, think tanks, NGO and the academic world were invited to meet with the regional offices and departments of the hbs and invited experts and contributors to our web dossier Rebuilding the Neighbourhood – and discuss the recent developments in the eastern neighbourhood and the subsequent challenges for the Eastern Partnership. The introductory questions were:
- What has changed in the eastern neighbourhood?
- What are the main challenges to which the EU has to respond and – after the Brexit –what can the ambitions be?
- How much credit does the EU still have in the eastern neighbourhood?
Other key questions were:
- Judiciary and rule of law: should there be different strategies with reformers and non-reformers?
- Visa liberalisation for Ukraine, Georgia, Moldova - Is the EU (with national governments being the main responsible) jeopardising its credibility and predictability and what does this how us concerning the potential and the limitations of EaP?
- Economic prospects and development scenarios of EaP countries: What can/should the EU do to promote sustainable economic modernisation?
- What communication strategies should the EU apply to counter growing Euroscepticism and nationalism in EaP countries?