European Union and Its Neighbors

Date

18 Jul 2012

Sections

Global Europe

Press release

European Neighborhood Policy was introduced in 2006.  It has become evident that it is possible to create reliable foundation to strengthen relationship between  the European Union and its neighboring countries.  Though, in partner countries  much remains to be done in the fields of  living standard, unemployment, economic destabilization, corruption or freeze of political relations in some regions. Actually, mutual relations still have to face challenges, mostly in the sphere of influence in the region. 

The European Union support and encourage its  partnership countries to undertake the reforms and  to follow the way of constant modernization. Such an attitude guarantees EU’s neighbors the privileged position due to the political and economic integration with the Community. The cooperation has several dimensions such as: economic cooperation, special trade relations, market regulatory reforms, cooperation in the area of justice and home affairs, cooperation in transport, energy and environmental issues, research and development as well as social policy.  The consultation and negotiations process connected with all the afore-mentioned issues are not easy as they are usually accompanied by mutual distrust and struggle for geopolitical interests in the region.

One of the most illustrative example of this phenomenon is the EU – Russia relationship regulated by the special Strategic Partnership Agreement. The negotiation process, aiming at the conclusion of a new partnership agreement on the natural gas’s import and its costs, is advancing with difficulty. The last elections in Russia, both  presidential and parliamentary, did not have a positive impact on bilateral relations between the  two partners.  Politicization of both elections resulted in deterioration of relations between Russian Federation and EU countries. Moreover, economic crisis hit severely in both Russia and  EU Member States.

The process of rapprochement between the European Union and Turkey remains one of the most difficult in mutual relations. Turkey has decided to play a role of regional power therefore tightening its relationship with Middle East countries.  At the same time, Turkish government  is still willing to maintain good relationship with the European Union although the shift in its foreign policy’s priorities is visible. It was only in 2008 that Turkey was genuinely enthusiastic about joining the EU but nowadays the country is divided as far as the membership in the EU is concerned.  Large part of Turkish politicians decided that  waiting for the accession to the EU, especially in the light of EU’s member states skepticism towards the admission of  Turkey to the Community, is futile. They decided to create bonds with the Middle East countries and start to play a role of regional power. Which of the Turkish foreign policy  priorities become the winning strategy?

These issues will be tackled by the guests and speakers of the XXII Economic Forum in Krynica Zdrój from 4th until 6th  September. In the discussion panels dealing with the European Union and its Neighborhood Policy, for instance “Russia and the European Union- Relations’ Modernization” or “Turkey and The Middle East or Turkey and the European Union?”, the following guests will take part: Włodzimierz Cimoszewicz, Senator and Former Minister of Foreign Affairs of the Republic of Poland; Olaf Boehnke, Head of the Berlin Office of The European Council on Foreign Relations; Anni Podimata, Vice-President of the European Parliament and Egemen Bagis, Minister for EU Affairs and chief negotiator of Turkey.

For more information visit: www.forum-ekonomiczne.pl 


Institute for Eastern Studies

Institute for Eastern Studies has since its inception in 1992 been active in the field of co-operation among European countries, especially in Central and Eastern Europe. Various projects conducted at different levels have been adding to creation and development of political, economic, cultural and scientific ties among states in the region.

Economic Forum

Over the period of more than ten years, the Forum has become an important and recognized event in this part of Europe. In its efforts related to the Forum, the Eastern Institute is supported by the Programme Council. The Council sets the content and programme of the Forum, and gives direction to its further development. For more information visit: www.forum-ekonomiczne.pl

 

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