Lawmakers Call for Renewal of High-Level EU-Israel Dialogue

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More than a hundred leading EU, European and Israeli parliamentarians jointly urge EU High Representative Borrell to act to resume EU-Israel Association Council meetings which have not been held since 2012.

A cross-party group of more than hundred members of the European Parliament, national parliaments across Europe, and the Israeli Knesset signed a joint letter calling on the EU chief diplomat, High Representative Josep Borrell, to take immediate steps to reconvene the EU-Israel Association Council, which has not been held since 2012.

In July, the EU and Israel will celebrate the 25th anniversary of the Association Agreement between the two parties, which designates the Association Council as the official framework for ministerial-level dialogue. In the letter to Borrell, lawmakers point out that the Council has not held a formal meeting for nearly a decade, “despite pressing challenges and significant shared interests.”

The signatories urge the EU to relaunch the high-level council, in light of the establishment of a new coalition government in Israel, as an “effective forum for close dialogue and consultation.” They further note that while the EU has adopted a set of joint policy priorities with five Southern partners – Jordan, Lebanon, Egypt, Algeria, and Tunisia, to date no EU-Israel Partnership Priorities have been adopted.

Recalling recent statements by High Representative Borrell that the EU values its relationship with Israel and is keen to schedule a meeting of the Association Council as soon as a date can be mutually agreed on, the lawmakers state that renewing the high-level official dialogue would “promote a high degree of mutual confidence,” allowing for discussion not only on shared interests, but also on matters where the EU and Israel may differ. The initiative, led by MEP Antonio López-Istúriz White, chair of the European Parliament Delegation for relations with Israel, has been signed by leading lawmakers from 25 European countries and Israel.

ELNET lauds the unprecedented call by European and Israeli legislators to renew the EU-Israel Association Council, the highest forum for bilateral cooperation. ELNET is dedicated to strong Israeli-European relations and staunchly supports this initiative. We are encouraged by this clear and united call for renewing bilateral exchange by lawmakers from a broad political spectrum across Europe. It is high time that Europe reinvigorates this critical forum with Israel to discuss urgent security and economic interests in the face of growing international uncertainty.