Beyond EU borders, there is a physical space that, by definition, is a “neighbourhood space”. The existence of that space gave rise to what that we name European Neighbourhood Policy (ENP). The European Neighbourhood Policy is a fundamental part of the policy of European Union, through which the EU works with its Southern and Eastern neighbours in order to promote its interests and achieve the closest possible level of political association and economic integration. The Neighbourhood Policy is inspired by a set of values and principles that the EU seeks to promote. The establishment of the European Neighbourhood Policy and the introduction of a separate provision of the Treaty on the European Union (TEU) dedicated to the EU's relations with neighbouring countries raises some questions. From a legal point of view, two main themes can be identified. Firstly, specific attention must be paid to the legal nature of the ENP. In fact, it cannot be placed in the European Foreign and Security Policy (EFSP), but it also does not belong to any other policy of external relevance. Secondly, equally important is a discussion on the most relevant instruments that the EU employs in the ENP. These include agreements (Partnership and Cooperation Agreements; Association Agreements), financial instruments (including Regulation (EU) 2021/947 establishing the Neighbourhood, Development and International Cooperation Instrument), civilian missions as conflict resolution tools; restrictive measures. This article aims to provide a definition of ENP, through the examination of its sui generis nature compared to other policies of external relevance and through the examination of the tools that are used to achieve it.
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