The EU assistance is provided to the 16 partner countries , covered by the European Neighbourhood Policy (ENP) , mainly through the European Neighbourhood Instrument, with a total budget of €15.4 billion for the period from 2014 to 2020. It is one of the largest envelopes, representing 24% of expenditures for the EU's external action.
The ENI was established in 2014 as a successor to the European Neighbourhood and Partnership Instrument (ENPI) with a view to advancing further towards an area of shared prosperity and good neighbourliness between the EU and its partner countries.
It focuses on shared objectives and supports agendas of cooperation built upon the agreements in place between the EU and the partner countries, such us the Partnership and Cooperation Agreements and the Association Agreements.
The Instrument builds on and further strengthens certain key features of the former ENPI, notably greater differentiation between countries based on progress with reforms, with two new mechanisms to support what is referred to as the incentive-based approach. These are:
an 'Umbrella' programme of up to 10% of the ENI budget, to be allocated to the partner countries based on their progress in advancing deep and sustainable democracy. Progress in implementing agreed reform objectives contributing to that goal should also be taken into account.
the possibility to vary multiannual bilateral allocations within a range of not more than 20% of the indicative allocation.
The ENI funds are channelled through bilateral programmes for all ENP countries as well as multi-country (regional and the ENP-wide programmes) and cross-border cooperation programmes, to which also Russia is eligible.
The EU seeks the most efficient use of available resources by using innovative financial instruments with leverage effect, such us the Neighbourhood Investment Facility, funded under the European Neighbourhood - wide programme.
ENI multiannual programming
Objectives and priorities for Union support for partner countries together with indicative allocations are set in relevant multiannual programming documents. In the spirit of differentiation, for partner countries who have agreed with the EU Partnership Priorities, Association Agendas, Action Plans or other equivalent jointly agreed document, which represent key points of references for setting priorities for EU support, a multiannual programming document is adopted in the form of a Single Support Framework. For the remaining partner countries multiannual programming documents take the form of the Strategy Papers & Multiannual Indicative Programmes. This approach applies also to multi-country and Cross-border Cooperation programmes.
Indicative financial allocations for country or multi-country programmes are determined on the basis of the criteria set out in Article 4.1 of the ENI Regulation.
The multiannual programming documents are, in principle, established in partnership with beneficiaries. In this respect, the objectives and priorities of EU support are developed in consultation with the relevant authorities of partner countries concerned, civil society organisations, and other stakeholders and in coordination with Member States and other donors, including International Financial Institutions. The programming is also subject of a Strategic Dialogue with the European Parliament.
In accordance with the aid effectiveness principles, programming documents for bilateral cooperation in general present a limited number of sectors, in order to achieve better focus and impact. In addition, a horizontal envelope in bilateral programming documents allows notably for complementary support for capacity development and Civil Society.
European Neighbourhood Instrument 2014-2020 - Programming documents
In addition to the ENI, Neighbourhood countries are also eligible for support under a number of other EU instruments, such as the Instrument Contributing to Peace and Stability, Humanitarian Aid, the Partnership Instrument, the European Instrument for Democracy and Human Rights, the Instrument for Nuclear Safety Cooperation, Macro-Financial Assistance, Development Co-operation Instrument thematic programmes and external actions under EU internal programmes for e g research and innovation, energy, transport, education and youth (Erasmus+) as well as culture (Creative Europe).
 Algeria, Armenia, Azerbaijan, Belarus, Egypt, Georgia, Israel, Jordan, Lebanon, Libya, the Republic of Moldova, Morocco, Palestine*, Syria, Tunisia and Ukraine.
ENI support may also be used for the purpose of enabling the Russian Federation to participate in cross-border cooperation, in regional cooperation with Union participation and in relevant multi-country programmes.
*The designation 'Palestine' shall not be construed as recognition of a State of Palestine and is without prejudice to the individual positions of the EU Member States on this issue.