Foreign Relations

The European Union's Common Foreign and Security Policy (CFSP) has grown stronger with each new treaty. However, since unanimous agreement is needed amongst the member states for any foreign policy initiative, these tend to be in uncontroversial fields where no member country has a strong individual interest. Such initiatives usually have to be implemented by member countries. For example, member states frequently agree statements deploring the actions of non-democratic regimes, but there are rarely effective means to sanction them.

European Neighbourhood Policy seeks to strengthen the involvement of Mediterranean partner countries in the CFSP. Therefore a stronger and more effective political dialogue between the EU and its neighbours is needed. This includes issues such as regional and international issues, conflict prevention and crisis management and common security threats (e.g. terrorism and its root causes, proliferation of weapons of mass destruction and illegal arms exports).

Improved co-ordination within the established political dialogue formats are yet to be explored, together with the possible involvement of partner countries in the CFSP’s implementation. Development of varied issues like a common acting on conflict prevention and crisis management, the exchange of information and a joint training programme are possible. The second priority will be to shape further a shared responsibility between the EU and partners for security and stability amongst the neighbouring countries.

For further details on the ENP, please visit the following links:

EUROPA - Overviews on European Union activities - Foreign Security and Policy
The European Neighbourhood Policy's Southern Dimension Info Centre
European Union Internet Resources - Berkeley Library
European Commission - European Union in the World