Mediterranean section of the ENP in focus

Malta’s inter­est in the future evo­lu­tion of the Euro­pean Neigh­bour­hood Pol­i­cy (ENP) is pri­mar­i­ly focused on the south­ern dimen­sion of the ENP, that is, the Mediter­ranean. Thus, Mal­ta whole­heart­ed­ly sup­port­ed that French ini­tia­tive to estab­lish a Union for the Mediterranean.

The con­flict between Rus­sia and Geor­gia how­ev­er also focused Malta’s atten­tion to the fact that more effort needs to be ded­i­cat­ed to pro­ject­ing sta­bil­i­ty to the EU’s east­ern bor­ders. Twen­ty years after the end of the Cold War Sum­mit in Mal­ta in Decem­ber 1989 between Pres­i­dent George H. W. Bush and Pres­i­dent Mikhail Gor­bachev it is clear that the ENP needs to con­tin­ue to serve as a mech­a­nism that seeks to inte­grate non-EU states clos­er to the EU.

Croatia must join and fast

Mal­ta con­tin­ues to advo­cate that mem­ber­ship to the EU for Croa­t­ia should take place in the short­est time frame pos­si­ble. Apart from being ben­e­fi­cial for Croa­t­ia, this will also help to boost sta­bil­i­ty across the Balka­ns. Mem­ber­ship for oth­er can­di­dates does not receive much atten­tion dur­ing this period.

NATO and the Partnership for Peace

Malta’s inter­est in NATO remains lim­it­ed to the Part­ner­ship for Peace (PfP) mech­a­nism, which Mal­ta re-joined in April 2008 – (Mal­ta had with­drawn its mem­ber­ship from PfP in 1996). Mal­ta is cur­rent­ly prepar­ing a work pro­gramme under the PfP frame­work which it hopes to start imple­ment­ing in 2009. Malta’s mem­ber­ship of the PfP now allows it to par­tic­i­pate in EU/NATO dis­cus­sions, and Mal­ta believes that clos­er coop­er­a­tion between both orga­ni­za­tions is mutu­al­ly ben­e­fi­cial although Mal­ta main­tains its stance of neu­tral­i­ty when it comes to par­tic­i­pat­ing in any mil­i­tary missions.