The european union (eu) is not only affecting european space, but is also trying to spread “prosperity, stability and security” in its immediate geographical surroundings (european commission. N.d. European neighborhood policy. Http://ec.europa.eu/world/enp/index_en.htm). Therefore the european neighborhood policy (enp) was developed to address regional differences at the external border in the immediate neighborhood of the eu. To influence beyond its own boundaries, the eu tries to convince the partner countries (the countries addressed through the enp) through partial inclusion and conditionality. This article will regard the perception of the eu of its geographical neighbors beyond its own border by analyzing official eu documents. As a result of the unexpected developments of the arab spring in 2011, the eu needed to adjust its approach towards its neighborhood. This paper will analyze to what extent the union is acknowledging its “others,” its partner countries before and after the beginning of the arab spring. This will be approached according to a concept of albert camus who proposed “seeing the other” (voir l'autre) as an option to render conflict unnecessary. Building upon this concept this article also introduces the exploratory concept of “listening to the other” (écouter l'autre).