Wording and Meaning(s): EU-Israeli Political Cooperation According to the ENP Action Plan
Title: Wording and Meaning(s): EU-Israeli Political Cooperation According to the ENP Action Plan
Author: DEL SARTO, Raffaella A.
Citation: Mediterranean Politics, 2007, 12, 1, 59-75
Although the war between Israel and Hizballah of summer 2006 and the persistent violence in Israeli-Palestinian relations have been attracting much attention, this article investigates the envisaged bilateral relations between the European Union (EU) and Israel according to the EU-Israel Action Plan of December 2004. Negotiated in the framework of the European Neighbourhood Policy (ENP), the document is notably vague on the envisaged political cooperation, thus reflecting the need to reconcile divergent positions on the desirable type of relations in general, and the EU's role in Middle East peace making in particular. Moreover, the expectations raised by the initial 'wider Europe' initiative on the Israeli side, along with EU-internal divergences on the 'right' approach toward Israel and the Palestine conflict, affected the negotiations on the Action Plan. However, while the bilateral Action Plan must be seen in the context of the EU's increased assertiveness on the international stage, implementing the ambiguous Action Plan is likely to be more difficult than agreeing on it. The future of EU-Israeli relations and the influence of the ENP with regard to Israel will depend on a number of developments, most notably the future of Middle East peace making, along with a change of attitudes of each side vis-à-vis the respective other.
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