Europe Is Not Lost

(Times of Israel) Raanan Eliaz - Are Israel's relations with European countries in fact on the decline? In June 2000, the EU signed its first Association Agreement with Israel. In 2005, Europe adopted the EU-Israel Action Plan to expand relations. In July 2012, the EU approved unprecedented steps to enhance Israel-EU relations in 60 trade and diplomatic policy areas, including increased access to the EU's single market, closer cooperation on transport and energy, and enhanced ties with nine EU agencies. In October 2012, the European Parliament ratified a critical framework agreement on Israeli industrial products, by a vote of 379-230. The EU is also taking ever-stronger measures against Iran, Israel's number one adversary. In January 2012, the European Council imposed a total import ban on Iranian crude oil, petroleum products, and petrochemical products. In October 2012, the Council imposed a total import ban on Iranian natural gas, an embargo on key naval equipment and shipbuilding technology, prohibition of construction of new oil tankers for Iran, and limited EU financial institutions from dealing with Iranian banks and other financial entities outside Iran. Europe continues to spurn Hamas, and is moving toward sanctions on Hizbullah. Most European countries showed understanding of Israel's plight, when continued rocket attacks from Gaza forced Israel to initiate Operation Pillar of Defense in November 2012. The writer is director general of ELNET, the European Leadership Network, promoting closer relations between key European countries and Israel.

2013-02-15 00:00:00

Full Article


Visit the Daily Alert Archive