By Ramona Mănescu

The European Neighbourhood Policy (ENP) is, for many European citizens, just an abstract concept, “another bureaucratic instrument” of Brussels. I believe this instrument can do much more, being capable of responding directly to many of the needs and demands of the European citizens. It can bring clear benefits in terms of security and economic opportunities. It can back up European interests and values, like those concerning the protection of the Christian minority which is under an enormous pressure all over our Southern Neighbourhood.

In the spirit of the recent European Parliament Resolution on the systematic mass murder of religious minorities by the so-called ‘ISIS/Daesh’, it is obvious that we need to use the ENP more efficiently, especially to support civil society and minorities. The mentioned Resolution points out the continuously deteriorating situation of Christians in the Middle East, in addition to Daesh’s actions targeting religious minorities and any other group which doesn’t respond to their demands. It is not only about a worsening of living conditions. The numbers of this minority are continuously diminishing, raising the prospect, in the very near future, of its complete elimination.

The overall reality of the Middle East shows us that the number of Christians, for the first time in the last two millennia, is on a continuous and accelerated decrease. Since 1910, the Christian population has diminished from 14% to less than 4%. This is down to multiple causes. Intolerance and violent conflicts are just two of these causes, the most visible ones. Christian minorities, without the necessary support, are being decimated through physical annihilation, forced conversion or emigration. In their place is found intolerance, extremism, radicalism and terrorism.

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This text is an extract from the volume „European Neighbourhood Policy And Migration”, published by GICT in June 2018 with the support of the EPP Group in the European Parliament. The volume contains a collection of 36 texts, written and published by Ramona Mănescu between 2015 and 2017. The extract represents the intro to „European Neighbourhood Policy – an instrument in support of Christian communities from Middle East”, text first published on 23 March 2016.

„European Neighbourhood Policy And Migration” volume can be found under ISBN: 978-973-587-202-1 and if you are interested in a copy of this volume, please contact GICT.