The State of Europe-Israel Relations: Key Insights from the 2024 Israel Survey

On June 27th, ELNET-DACH published the findings of their third annual Israel Survey. Conducted via email, this year’s survey involved 317 Members of Parliament (MPs) from 29 European countries, providing a comprehensive look at the current state of Europe-Israel relations. The survey delves into the perceptions and priorities of European MPs from diverse political affiliations regarding Israel, Europe’s Middle East policy and Jewish life in Europe amidst significant geopolitical events.

The survey reveals that a significant 73% of European legislators rate the relationship between their country and Israel as either very good or good, with 83% considering this relationship to hold special significance. This reflects a strong and steady alliance between Europe and Israel.

Defense cooperation with Israel is also gaining momentum across Europe, with a 26% increase in MPs advocating for enhanced defense collaboration compared to last year. Notably, 72% of parliamentarians highlighted new technologies as the primary area for cooperation.

An impressive 85% of MPs expressed a desire to promote further agreements between Israel and Arab/Muslim countries, with 77% believing that the Abraham Accords should be leveraged as a framework for Arab countries to mediate peace and aid in reconstruction efforts.

However, UNRWA’s organizational structure is under scrutiny, with 90% of MPs favoring changes. Within this group, opinions are split: 46% advocate for reform and stricter oversight, while 44% suggest integrating UNRWA into other UN bodies.

Antisemitism remains a pressing issue, with 53% of MPs identifying radical Muslim communities as the most significant source of antisemitism. There is also an increasing perception of threats from the left and various societal layers. A substantial majority agree that Israel-related antisemitism is problematic and 84% believe more efforts are needed to combat antisemitism in their countries.

Carsten Ovens, CEO of ELNET-DACH, commented on the survey’s findings:          
“The Israel Survey once again shows the broad interest of European politics in close relations with Israel. Compared to the previous year, interest in cooperation in the defense sector as well as in cooperation on new technologies has increased enormously. While October 7 was also meant to attack the Abraham Accords, MPs across Europe see them as an instrument for stability in the region and want to further support them – now even more than ever. Meanwhile, UNRWA has lost credibility and needs to be reformed.”

Daniela Ludwig MP, Israel and Antisemitism Commissioner of the CDU/CSU Parliamentary Group, also reflected on the survey’s findings:
“The events of October 7 not only caused a geopolitical change, but also influenced the social climate in Europe, especially affecting Jewish communities. The survey shows that the vast majority of European MPs demand that more efforts have to be made to protect Jewish life in Europe. Particularly in Germany, parliamentarians recognize the problem of Israel-related antisemitism, which has significantly increased over the last three years and needs to be specifically addressed through education as well as further contact and cooperation with Israel.”

Another remark was made by Philip Krämer MP (Alliance90/The Greens):                       “The Zeitenwende, initiated by Russia’s war of aggression against Ukraine, means for European MPs to recognize the need to strengthen Europe’s security architecture. This sentiment has only grown stronger following the terror attack on Israel on October 7 by Hamas and the expanding Hezbollah-Iran-Russia alliance. Enhancing NATO’s partnership with Israel appears to be a promising pathway for European MPs to make Europe stronger on the world stage. According to the Israel Survey, leveraging the Abraham Accords framework to further develop a security architecture in the region is also seen as beneficial.”

The survey project saw collaboration with several prestigious institutions and organizations: Bar-Ilan University in Israel served as an academic partner, while other notable partners included the Konrad Adenauer Foundation (Greece and Cyprus), the Royal Elcano Institute (Spain), the Ireland Israel Alliance, Med Israel for Fred (Norway), the Foreign Policy Institute (Turkey), and the New Strategy Center (Romania).

Read the 2024 Israel Survey below:


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