Kurz: European Neighbourhood Policy must become more flexible

Ministry for Foreign Affairs brings Think-Tank Carnegie Europe to Vienna for an expert conference on European Neighbourhood Policy

Minister for Foreign Affairs, Sebastian Kurz outlined at today's international experts' conference hosted by the Federal Ministry for Europe, Integration and Foreign Affairs and the thinktank Carnegie Europe, his vision of a new European Neighbourhood Policy (ENP): "The political situation in Europe's neighbourhood has significantly changed in the last ten years. The European Neighbourhood Policy must take these developments into consideration. A stronger consideration of the different ambitions of our neighbours and more flexibility is needed, so that especially the states to the East of the Union don't have to choose between Europe and Russia – an "as well as " must be possible" A rigid "one size fits all" formula for all of the partner countries, so the minister, isn't a suitable solution for these challenges. The ENP must become more political and must be tied even stronger to the EU-foreign relations.

Together with EU Commissioner Johannes Hahn and the director of Carnegie Europe, Jan Techau, Austrian and European experts discuss at today's conference the future challenges and goals of ENP to the South and the East of the Union. The co-host Carnegie is one of the worldwide leading thinktanks in the field of European and international politics: "It is the first time that Carnegie Europe and its experts are guests in the Ministry for Foreign Affairs. This is also an acknowledgement of the Austrian efforts on a reform of the ENP", the Minister for Foreign Affairs emphasized.

EU-Commissioner Hahn was tasked by Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker to take stock of the ENP and present suggestions for its future until the end of 2015. The conference of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs is Austria's contribution to this stocktaking process, which also will be addressed at the informal council of EU-Ministers for Foreign Affairs in Riga on Saturday for the first time.