In its communication on Wider Europe in 2003, the Commission launched a new program to structure its relations with its neighbors, the European Neighborhood Policy (ENP). With the 2004 EU enlargement in mind the EU wanted to start forging closer bonds with its new neighbors in the East. The objectives of the ENP would be to provide political stability and economic prosperity to its neighbors. The ENP would thus prevent that the new EU borders would become stark political and economic dividing lines. In exchange for reforms the EU would offer its neighbors further economic integration. The integration would fall short of EU membership, however. Prospects for membership would not be provided in the medium term, even though the approach is reminiscent of the path taken in the enlargement process. In the two years that have transpired since its launch, the EU has set out strategies and action plans for different countries as part of the ENP.
The workshop intends to study a variety of aspects of the ENP: legal, institutional, economic and political issues. It will analyze the specific characteristics of the policy and its expected political and economic impact on the neighbors, the EU's border regions and the rest of the EU. In studying these various issues a wide range of points of view will be considered: views from within the EU and from within the EU institutions, as well as perspectives from Eastern Europe, North-Africa, the Middle East and North-America.