You may not have heard about the European Neighbourhood and Partnership Instrument, (ENPI), and to be fair, why on earth should you. This is a Commission proposal for a regulation (read Law) regarding spending cash on the near abroad, foreign parts - or as it is now described in Communitaire jargon "neighbourhood".
What we are talking here are those countries who consider it alright if they pop round to the Commission in the middle of the night and ask for a cup of sugar. Or in the case of Ukraine it is the Commission who pops round to Kiev and asks for the odd pipeline of oil.
Well we are told that the programme will,
“replace existing geographical and thematic programmes covering the countries concerned. External aspects of internal policies, currently covered by a specific instrument, will be either mainstreamed in country and multicountry programmes, or, where appropriate, dealt with through a specific thematic programme.”
Clear isn’t it? But hold on what’s this funds will go to “crossborder cooperation programmes”.
Essentially what we are looking at here is a deliberate attempt to rub out national borders by funding “regional activities” that are cross border in nature. Thus they are managed at a regional level, the member state government being unable to intervene as the control is multinational (but at a regional level).
Or as they put it;
“Crossborder cooperation should contribute to integrated and sustainable regional development between neighbouring border regions and harmonious territorial integration across the Community and with neighbouring countries.”
What is created by this form of policy is the Euroregion, a bizarre cubist construct. My favourite is the “Transmanche Region” which includes Kent and the Pas de Calais. They are linked by a common history we are told. True at times each has seen the launch of invasions of the other.