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Annus mirabilis or annus horribilis? European Neighbourhood Policy AD 2011

Open Panel

Abstract

Tua res agitur, paries cum proximus ardet [your property is in danger when the neighboring wall (house) is on fire] said Horace centuries ago. This acute observation is of universal application, starting with our everyday life and ending with the European Union and its immediate neighbourhood. This is one of the reasons why the EU has been developing the European Neighbourhood Policy over the last years. The purpose of this paper is to look how the ENP has progressed in 2011 with major political revolutions unfolding in Tunisia, Egypt as well as undemocratic election exercise in Belarus. Has the new apparatus laid down by the Treaty of Lisbon worked? Has it enhanced the persuasive force of the European Union and facilitated a coherent reaction to these major events? What has been the role of the newly created European External Action Service? It is also vital to analyse the Strategic Review of the European Neighbourhood Policy and put all its strengths and weaknesses on trial. The aim of this paper is not only to answer the title question but, first and foremost, to verify if the Treaty of Lisbon with all its novelties has survived the first major tests. Is it really the right answer to problems the EU’s external activities have been suffering from ever since the first framework for the CFSP was laid down?