Policy Paper 69
 

The EU neighbourhood competence under Article 8 TEU

Christophe Hillion, Senior Researcher, SIEPS —
Since the Treaty of Lisbon, the European Union is formally instructed to “develop a special relationship with neighbouring countries” (Article 8 TEU). While this explicit mandate partly codifies past EU engagement, particularly through the European Neighbourhood Policy, it introduces several noticeable novelties in the way in which the Union conceives of, and develops its policy towards its vicinity. Envisaged as a EU ‘neighbourhood competence’ with a value-promotion objective and a mandatory nature, it epitomises the EU as normative power. Yet, despite the strong constitutional instruction of the TEU, and the profound changes in the region, the actual engagement of the Union (and its Member States) towards the vicinity has not profoundly changed. It is argued that the EU neighbourhood policy appears to be affected by the disadvantages of its constitutionalisation, and incapable of reaping the latter’s benefits in terms of compelling the EU institutions and Member States to act forcefully.

|   15/02/2013                       |   Europe in the world
Policy Paper
This Policy Paper is a contribution of Christophe Hillion (SIEPS), to the project Think Global – Act European (TGAE). Thinking strategically about the EU’s external action directed by Notre Europe – Jacques Delors Institute (report available in March 2013, dir. Elvire Fabry, Senior Research Fellow, Notre Europe – Jacques Delors Institute).

Since the
Treaty of Lisbon, the European Union is formally instructed to “develop a
special relationship with neighbouring countries” (Article 8 TEU). While this explicit
mandate partly codifies past EU engagement, particularly through the European
Neighbourhood Policy, it introduces several noticeable novelties in the way in
which the Union conceives of, and develops its policy towards its vicinity.
Envisaged as a EU ‘neighbourhood competence’ with a value-promotion objective
and a mandatory nature, it epitomises the EU as normative power. Yet, despite
the strong constitutional instruction of the TEU, and the profound changes in
the region, the actual engagement of the Union (and its Member States) towards
the vicinity has not profoundly changed. It is argued that the EU neighbourhood
policy appears to be affected by the disadvantages of its
constitutionalisation, and incapable of reaping the latter’s benefits in terms
of compelling the EU institutions and Member States to act forcefully.”

Before the publication of the final report presenting the key recommendations of the 16 think tanks involved in the project, 5 series of policy papers address the following key challenges: EU neighbourhood, CSDP, strategic resources, migration and economic policy.

This Policy Paper is part of the series entitled
“How to make out of its neighbourhood an opportunity for the EU itself?” which
includes contributions by Michele Comelli (IAI), Haizam Amirah Fernández (Elcano Royal Institute), Timo Behr (Notre Europe – Jacques Delors Institute), Lucia Najšlová (Europeum), Vera Rihácková (Europeum), Olga Shumylo-Tapiola (Carnegie Europe), Adam Balcer (demosEuropa).

Go to the other contributions of the neighbourhood series>>

The project is led with the support of the