Sunday, June 22, 2008

European Union and Israel Ties

Diplomatic relations

• The Israeli Foreign Ministry has begun a strategic overhaul of relations with the EU and its member nations, increasingly "plugging into" EU institutions and, in turn, allowing Europe to play a greater role in Israeli diplomatic and economic processes. Jerusalem's strategy is to enhance cooperation with Europe in a variety of fields and to demonstrate that Israel can help with some of the EU's many interests in the region. To that end, Israel has in the past few weeks sent a detailed proposal to the European Union for negotiations on "significant" Israeli involvement with Europe in nine fields, including finance, education, environment, youth development, law enforcement, security cooperation and scientific research collaboration. [2]

• Part of Israel's strategy to strengthen relations with Europe involves de-linking those ties from the vicissitudes of the Israeli-Palestinian peace process. Israeli-European ties have tended to fluctuate parallel to progress, or the lack thereof, in negotiations with the Palestinians.

The EU: A trade partner for Israel

• The EU is the main trade partner of Israel. According to an economic analysis prepared by the Commercial Department at the Israeli Mission to the EU,

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