Europe has enormous strategic, political and economic importance in the world and certainly for Israel. Its historic and geopolitical connection to the Middle East as well as its proximity to the region make Europe an important player in the region. 

The European Union consists of 28 member states who jointly form a leading global economic and diplomatic power, with presence in important institutions and political frameworks such the UN, NATO, P5+1, G7 and G20. The EU is the second largest economic block and Israel’s largest trading partner, as well as a major contributor to Israeli science and innovation. 

The EU and Israel cooperate in many policy areas, such as trade, culture, science, energy, and security. Middle East stability is critical to the EU and Israel, and both parties share an interest in resolving the Arab-Israeli conflict. Israel is an important trading partner for the EU in the Mediterranean region and has proven to be one of the world’s most resilient economies. Israel is a global innovation leader in science and technology, high-tech, cyber security, agriculture, water and energy. Israel is a key participant and beneficiary of EU scientific programs such as Horizon 2020.

ELNET in Brussels

ELNET-EU & NATO was established in Brussels in 2016. Led by an international board and headed by Ines von Behr, Executive Director, the Brussels office conducts annual strategic dialogues between EU and Israel, as well as seminars, conferences and roundtables involving high-level NATO, EU and Israeli officials and experts on critical issues such as counter-terrorism, cyber security cooperation, and Middle East stability. The ELNET Brussels Office is also a strategic partner of the German Marshall Fund’s Brussels Forum and hosted a roundtable in 2016, 2017 and 2018.


The Fourth EU-Israel Strategic Dialogue

The Forum of Strategic Dialogue and ELNET EU & NATO successfully held the 4th EU-Israel Strategic Dialogue in close cooperation with our Brussels partner, the European Policy Centre, on the thematic focus of “The EU and Israel in a volatile global environment.”

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Towards A New Middle Eastern Disorder

This year, the ELNET Brussels office invited the Director General of the Israeli Ministry of Intelligence, Chagai Tzuriel, and its Spokesperson, Arye Shalicar to speak at the ELNET roundtable on the topic ‘Towards a new Middle Eastern Disorder.’

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Ines von Behr

Executive Director, ELNET-EU & NATO
Ines von Behr formerly led the Counter Terrorism (CT) stream as a Senior Analyst at RAND Europe. Beforehand she worked for NATO on Emerging Security Challenges and for the European Commission on the ENP as well as for the Canadian Government focusing on the Middle East and the EU. She holds an MA in European Political Studies from the College of Europe in Bruges as well as an MA in Social Sciences from the Humboldt University Berlin. She also took part in a special training course in CT Studies from St. Andrews University.

Sonja Thebes

Program Manager and Coordinator, ELNET-EU & NATO
Sonja Thebes formerly worked at RAND Europe and the German Marshall Fund of the United States (GMF) in Brussels. She holds an MA degree in Security, Peace and Conflict Studies from the Free University in Brussels (ULB) and in Homeland Security and Counter-terrorism from the IDC Herzliya, as well as a BA in Political Science from the Goethe University in Frankfurt.