published on ettg.eu, 23.02.2021
The Communication promises a renewed partnership with the Southern Neighbourhood. The document itself is ambitious and comprehensive and joins the ranks of highly readable and thought-provoking policy documents produced by the Commission and the EEAS in recent years. However, the Communication does not herald the arrival of a ‘new agenda’. It emphasises transition rather than transformation, particularly in terms of the kinds of reforms the EU promotes in neighbouring countries, the incentives the EU is prepared to offer, and the risks the EU is prepared to take, especially regarding standing up for its own principles when called upon to do so.