Annual Neighbourhoods Conference

02 February 2021 at 09h15 CET

What about after COVID-19 for the relationship between the EU and its neighbours: renewed companionship or distant proximity in the face of common challenges?

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The pandemic and the severe economic and social crisis that was one of its major consequences have affected both the European Union and its Member States and the countries of its neighbors to the south and east.

The EU has responded with an ambitious recovery plan without deviating from its main priorities, which are the fight against climate change and the modernization (especially digital) of its economy.

It has maintained a strong commitment to democracy and the rule of law.

It is committed to seeking greater strategic autonomy.

On the side of our neighbors, in addition to the loss of human life and economic and social damage, the ongoing armed conflicts have continued, new hotbeds of tension and violence have emerged, particularly in the Caucasus and the Eastern Mediterranean, and political deadlocks and violations of human rights and the rule of law have remained frequent.

Yet these societies, like the EU, also face the challenges of climate change and digitization.

This could be the breeding ground for a renewed companionship or in line with the observation made last year of a distancing from other international or regional geopolitical actors.

This is the main issue around which our conference will be organized.