The main objective of this project is to strengthen the integration process between the EU and the NCs by focusing on the European Research Neighbourhood (ERN), thereby improving fundamentally the understanding of institutional framework conditions of the ENP countries, their economic interactions with the EU in terms of people, capital, trade, knowledge, and innovation, in order to improve future definition and implementation of European Neighbouring Policiestaking into account that “one size fits all” policy recommendations will not be appropriate due to the bilateral nature of the EU-ENP countries agreements. The specific objectives are the following:
- To provide a framework for the theoretical and empirical point of view about the relationships among the EU and the NCs.
- To study, theoretically and empirically, the patterns of economic interaction between the EU and its neighbouring countries (NCs) and to estimate the subnational (ie regional) effects of these interactions
- To analyse the role of labour migration and its economic and social consequences (costs and benefits) both for destination (EU regions) and origin regions (neighbouring ones)
- To investigate the extent to which the innovative performance of regions (EU27 and NC16) depends on endogenous ability in knowledge creation or on the capacity to absorb, adopt and imitate other regions’ innovations.
- To identify the impact of changes in the institutional structure in the ENP countries and regions on (a) the prospects for improved economic development and social cohesion, and (b) for their stronger integration with the EU and, in particular, with the New Member States (NMS).
- To extract country specific Policy Guidelines for policymakers in the EU and NCs to support the development of higher levels of economic integration for the growth, competitiveness and cohesion prospects of the two areas.
- To disseminate the research findings to both policymakers and academic researchers, at European, national and regional level, in order to improve both future neighbourhood policy making and future academic research in the area.