Eastern Europe, Caucasus and Central Asia, Europe, Middle East and North Africa, Research, Trade, economic integration and globalization

New Approach to the European Neighbourhood Policy

Context: The European Neighbourhood Policy (ENP) was developed in 2003 to strengthen relations between the EU and its neighbouring countries. The political development, civil wars, ensuing humanitarian crises, migration and an overall surge of internal and external conflicts have increased the difficulties to advance with the core objectives of the ENP and have instead created numerous challenges. Challenges have their expressions on the sub-national level, be it in the cooperation with the ENP partners or in the contribution of local and regional authorities to the general policy formulation towards the ENP countries.

As a result, this study request is first and foremost looking to develop the grounds for the upcoming phase of the ENP which next phase is supposed to be more comprehensive and more flexible and should combine long-term structural engagement with better instruments for short-term impact.


Objectives: The objective of the study is to provide evidence for the existing challenges of the subnational level in the Neighbourhood countries in the areas of regional and sub-regional cooperation, funding, sectoral development, implementation of the association and similar agreements and migration.

As a result, there are 5 main research questions/issues to be addressed:

  1. Analysis of the ENP’s regional and sub-regional cooperation;
  2. Sectoral development (especially in the area of economic development) and the role of LRAs;
  3. Does the funding reach LRAs and if not, why?;
  4. Concrete role of LRAs in the implementation of Association agreements and similar agreements;
  5. Migration flows.


Approach: Each of these five research questions will be tackled in 3 steps:

  1. Typology of subnational entities
  2. Empirical analysis, data based
  3. Bottlenecks, solutions and good practices as illustrations for the main impacts on LRAs.

Thus, the study will go beyond the strategic deliberations which will be done in the new ENP which will cover the relations between the EU and ENP countries but will focus on processes, challenges and problems which are in place and will have to be mastered in the conjunction with the new ENP, if there will be a substantially different approach which is still to be determined.


Scope of the Study: States included are sixteen partner countries – Algeria, Armenia, Azerbaijan, Belarus, Egypt, Georgia, Israel, Jordan, Lebanon, Libya, Moldova, Morocco, Palestine, Syria, Tunisia and Ukraine

Client: Committee of the Regions

Consortium leader: London School of Economics and Political Science