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 Matthijs Schüssler, 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.
Jerusalem Post interviewed participants of the ELNET European Parliament Members delegation, which visited Israel this October, discussing shared strategic challenges in the region.
This June, ELNET EU & NATO was a partner of the Brussels Forum for the fourth year in a row. Under this year’s theme, “A World Disrupted,” the agenda tackled new geopolitical challenges, democracies under distress, climate change and the changing transatlantic relationship.
Effective from June 1, Matthijs Schüssler was appointed as new Executive Director of ELNET-EU & NATO.
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.”
The roundtable, organized in partnership with the European Policy Center (EPC) focused on EU and Israeli development approaches in Sub-Saharan Africa.