The European Neighbourhood Policy between bilateralism and region-building

Federica Bicchi*, Gergana Noutcheva, Benedetta Voltolini

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapterAcademic


Since its beginning, the European Neighbourhood Policy (ENP) has sparked debates about how the EU envisages relations with its neighbourhood. One of the most contested aspects has been the relationship between bilateralism, multilateralism and region-building, and how these different forms of political relations interact and, ideally, ensure harmonious relations between the EU and its neighbours. As this chapter shows, and the revised ENP (launched in November 2015) has confirmed, the EU has relied consistently on bilateralism, but it has also engaged with region-building in its neighbourhood. Region-building displays a different trajectory in its eastern and southern components, with the emphasis shifting from region-building to bilateralism in the South, whereas region-building has increased in relevance in the East. This chapter provides an overview of the interplay between bilateralism and region-building across time and in the shadow of power asymmetries in the area.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationThe Routledge Handbook on the European Neighbourhood Policy
EditorsTobias Schumacher, Andreas Marchetti, Thomas Demmelhuber
Place of PublicationAbingdon and New York
PublisherRoutledge/Taylor & Francis Group
Number of pages10
ISBN (Electronic)9781315691244
ISBN (Print)9781138913721
Publication statusPublished - 30 Nov 2017

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