Abstract: Populist parties in government, such as Lega and Fidesz, have a declared interest in European Union (EU) foreign policy in the Southern Neighbourhood. Their main focus is on migration control, border management and security issues for these countries. It is thus relevant to investigate to what extent populism is shaping the development of the European Neighbourhood Policy (ENP) as it evolves from a normative-based policy towards a much more ‘interest-based’ policy. This article will examine the implications of Italian and Hungarian populist pressure on the ENP in third country contexts, using Tunisia and Egypt as in-depth case studies. The article also aims to contribute conceptually to current debates on the de-Europeanisation -or not- of EU foreign policy. The two cases illustrate how, under the influence of member states with populist radical right parties (PRRPs) in government, informal and illiberal Europeanisation is not a contradiction in terms but a real possibility.