Israel is Europe’s third largest trading partner in the Middle East and its economic performance is among the strongest in the OECD. Israel is also a major political and security actor in the Middle East and Mediterranean basin. As a result, Europe and Israel share important strategic objectives, including combating terrorism and extremism, fostering stability, regional cooperation, and peace. The cooperation with Europe is vast and includes areas, such as cyber security, counter-terrorism, agriculture, water and food security, and innovation. The discovery of gas in the Eastern Mediterranean Sea opened further opportunities for cooperation.
Scientific collaboration is a fundamental component of the bilateral relations. Both Israeli and European academic institutions rank yearly among the most innovative worldwide. With high rates of R&D funding and a record number of start-ups, Israel is a central hub for global science and innovation. The scientific cooperation contributed to breakthroughs in research in multiple sectors, from smart irrigation, through child tumors and robotics.
Europe and Israel share fundamental values and strategic interests and benefit from robust economic relations despite political differences. ELNET’s mission and programs serve to enhance mutual understanding of these common values and interests.
ELNET in Israel
ELNET’s Israeli office serves as a central hub in the network, facilitating delegations and dialogues in cooperation with ELNET’s European affiliates and Friends of ELNET in the US. The Israeli office is also responsible for developing strong relationships with Israeli decision-makers, research institutes, businesses and civil society leaders. Under the leadership of an international board and led by Director Shai Bazak, a former Israeli diplomat, ELNET-Israel fosters Israeli-Europe ties, while educating the Israeli policymakers about the importance of strengthening relations with Europe.
ELNET strongly believes that the Israeli-Palestinian conflict is political in nature and it should be addressed predominantly with political rather than legal tools which force the parties to adopt rigid positions, making it more difficult to advance towards resolution of the conflict.
ELNET hosted 14 European ambassadors and senior diplomats on a strategic tour of Israel’s border with Gaza.
FutureMed conference provided a broad range of perspectives and practical insights from world leaders, decision-makers and experts directly involved in all aspects of responding to the recent COVID-19 emergency.