EU Neighbourhood

Working with southern and eastern neighbours of the EU to achieve the closest possible political association and the greatest possible degree of economic integration.

Through its European Neighbourhood Policy (ENP), the EU works with its southern and eastern neighbours to achieve the closest possible political association and the greatest possible degree of economic integration. This goal builds on common interests and on values — democracy, the rule of law, respect for human rights, and social cohesion. The ENP is a key part of the European Union's foreign policy.

For the Eastern neighbours, the Eastern Partnership (EaP) was established as a joint initiative involving the EU, its member states and eastern European partners as of now: Armenia, Georgia, Moldova and  Ukraine. It is based on a commitment to the principles of international law and fundamental values - democracy, the rule of law, human rights and fundamental freedoms. It also encompasses support for a market economy, sustainable development and good governance.

Southern neighbour Tunisia formally launched the Smart Specialisation process in 2018 through an official request sent by the Ministry of Economy, Finance and Investment Support to the European Commission. Shortly after that, a national inter-ministerial Smart Specialisation team was established.

The EU and partner countries leaders meet every other year in Eastern Partnership Summits. The latest Eastern partnership Summit Declaration, agreed in May 2015 in Riga, reviewed the cooperation and provided the direction for further joint action. In December 2016, EaP countries committed in a Joint Staff Working Document to adopt at least one Smart Specialisation by 2020.

Smart specialisation strategies are an expression of sound innovation policies and as such are of interest not only to EU member states, but also to non-EU countries willing to improve their innovation ecosystems. To support participatory and evidence-based processes in the EU Neighbourhood countries, the S3 Platform developed a pilot project that supports the early preparatory phases of the development of research and innovation strategies for Smart Specialisation in two of the EU neighbouring countries - Moldova and Ukraine.

Both of the pilot neighbourhood countries are at the early stages of developing of their innovation strategies for Smart Specialisation (RIS3) and need targeted support in mapping their economic and research fabric, internally organising a coherent approach, and mobilising and coordinating relevant stakeholders through an entrepreneurial discovery process. The support provided should enable local stakeholders to gain the competences needed for continuing strategy design and implementation in the future. Exchange of good practices among the pilot targeted countries of the S3 Platform activities can provide additional insights for the development of RIS3 outside the EU.

The pilot project is currently entering the operational phase. The S3 Platform together with an expert team and local partners is preparing a mapping of economic, scientific and innovation potentials with the target countries. At a three-day meeting in Chisinau (MD) on 5-7 April 2017, policy-makers and analysts from partner countries confirmed their strong commitment for this eviden-based and particpatory process. The mapping results will serve as a basis for planning and implementing a series of stakeholder dialogues to jointly devolop detailed priority domains and cross-sectoral niches.

Latest news

View More 

Events

EVENT |
Smart strategies for reconstruction and development in Ukraine, Moldova and Georgia
Smart Specialisation Strategies, a key approach supporting innovation, have become one of the important policy processes for our Eastern Neighbours and are included in key policy and programming documents of the EU: they are one of the Research and Innovation Deliverables for Eastern Partnership...
View More 

Publications

PUBLICATION |
Smart Specialisation in the Eastern Partnership countries - Potential for knowledge-based economic cooperation

Most Eastern Partnership countries have committed to developing their Smart Specialisation Strategies based on the Smart Specialisation Framework for EU Enlargement and Neighbourhood Region (S3 Framework), developed by the JRC in cooperation with partner countries, international experts and...

BIGAS Eloi; BOVENZI Nicandro; FUSTER MARTÍ Enric; MASSUCCI Francesco A.; HOLLANDERS Hugo; MATUSIAK Monika; REIMERIS Ramojus
PUBLICATION |
Smart Specialisation implementation framework for the EU Enlargement and Neighbourhood Region

As economies in the European Union Enlargement and Neighbourhood Region are moving towards EU membership or enhanced cooperation and integration with the EU, they are upgrading their national policy frameworks, with stronger orientation towards EU-style policies. In this process, the region is...

MATUSIAK Monika; RADOVANOVIC Nikola; NAUWELAERS Claire; KACZKOWSKA Katarzyna; KRAMER Jan-Philipp
PUBLICATION |
PSF report on Ukrainian R&I system

This Peer Review, launched in May 2016 aims to provide external advice and operational recommendations to the Ukrainian authorities on possible reforms to undertake in the following focus areas: (1) Optimization of available policy instruments to support the national research system; (2)...

View More