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Enhancing Mobility in the European Neighborhood Policy? The Cases of Moldova and Georgia

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For more content, see Review of Socialist Law.

In 2004, the EU launched the European Neighborhood Policy (ENP) with the objective of avoiding new dividing lines between the EU and its neighbors in the East and the South. This was offered as an alternative to full EU membership. The ENP is intended to bring about prosperity, stability, and security. In this context, the EU has agreed on a number of Action Plans on a bilateral basis with twelve ENP partner states. The mobility of persons is a key policy priority in the framework of the ENP, which is substantiated by the conclusion of 'mobility partnerships' with Moldova (2008) and Georgia (2009). Even though the Action Plans have been negotiated on the basis of 'joint ownership', it is arguable that EU interests have come to dominate the cooperation. The question arises to what extent these policy plans are beneficial for the neighboring countries and individual migrants. This article focuses on the rules and policy priorities contained in the Partnership and Cooperation Agreements, the Action Plans, the visa facilitation and readmission agreements, as well as the mobility partnerships concluded with Moldova and Georgia. The analysis unfolds that the main emphasis of the ENP is on border control and the fight against irregular migration, whereas little has been done to enhance legal migration opportunities. Therefore, we argue that the ENP falls short of meeting the objective to create cooperation based on mutual interest and joint ownership.


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