European Union's Policy Toward the Conflict in the Middle East Term Paper

Download this Term Paper in word format (.doc)

Note: Sample below may appear distorted but all corresponding word document files contain proper formatting

Excerpt from Term Paper:

European Union's Policy Towards The Conflict In The Middle East

The Palestinian-Israeli conflict has always been of major concern to Europe because of the importance of this festering issue that has defied all attempts at a satisfactory solution for the last half-century and because of Europe's proximity of the Middle East. Prior to 1973, the EU member countries had differing policies with the Gaullist France displaying a pro-Arab bias and countries like Germany and Netherlands having very close relations with Israel. Since that time, and especially since the Oslo accord of 1993, the European Union has tried to follow a unified and consistent policy with regard to the Middle East conflict. In this paper we shall review the background and general development of the policy; the problems that the policy has faced, and the current status of the policy. The paper also includes a general assessment of the EU's Middle East policy (its achievements and failures) as well as a comparison of the policy with that of the United States' policy.

Background and Development of the Policy

Historically speaking, Europe's connection with the Middle East and the conflict in the region is deep-rooted. It was Britain (one of the leading members of the European Union now) that had promised a separate homeland to the Jews in Palestine in the 1917's Balfour declaration. The Zionist movement also originated in Europe and most Jewish settlers who immigrated to Palestine before and after the Second World War were Europeans. Following the 1973 Arab-Israeli war and the Arab led oil embargo, Europe faced a common economic problem. This led to the need for a common European policy on the Middle East. The Venice Declaration in 1980 was the first genuinely official European statement of a strong political position on the Middle East in which it recognized the Palestinian's right to self-determination and an end to Israeli occupation of Arab territories captured mainly during the six-day war in 1967. ("The European Union,"n.d.) Since that time the European Community, and subsequently the European Union, has tended to maintain this basic position on the Middle East conflict and until the Gulf War of 1991 followed a Middle East Policy that was independent of the U.S. policy.

The Problems that the EU Policy has Run into The EU was marginalized to an extent at the Madrid Peace conference (October, 1991) called by the U.S. And Russia at which it had only observer status. From then onwards, the political clout of Europe diminished and the EU tended to concentrate mainly on economic issues with regard to the Middle East.

It proceeded to conclude cooperation agreements in the region with several countries including Israel and Palestinians and aimed to establish a Euro-Mediterranean partnership with a free trade zone. The European Union has also provided massive budgetary support to the Palestinian Authority (PA) especially since the Israeli government closure of the Palestinian territories and its discontinuance of customs and VAT payment (collected by Israel on the Palestinian Authority's behalf) since 2000. According to the European Union Web site, it has provided € 10 million per month in direct budgetary assistance to the PA since from June 2001. The support is directed towards the budget of the PA helping to secure expenditures such as public service salaries, social, educational, health and core functions of the PA. ("The EU and the Middle East-FAQs," 2002) This financial aid to the Palestinians has come in for a lot of criticism from Israel and certain quarters in the United States who alleges that the aid is being misused by the Palestinian Authorities. The Israeli Government has even prepared a dossier of evidence in which, among other things, claims are made that Yasser Arafat and the Palestinian Authority have secretly used budgetary support provided by the EU (among others) to finance supporters of terrorism or directly acts of terrorism. The European Union has rejected such charges and asserts, "on the basis of the material it has examined, has not found any evidence of EU funds being used for purposes other than those agreed between the EU and the PA." ("EU funding to the Palestinian Authority," Jan 2003).

The second problem with the European Union's Middle East policy is a fall-out of "old" Europe's differences with the United States over…[continue]

Cite This Term Paper:

"European Union's Policy Toward The Conflict In The Middle East" (2003, May 11) Retrieved December 7, 2016, from

"European Union's Policy Toward The Conflict In The Middle East" 11 May 2003. Web.7 December. 2016. <>

"European Union's Policy Toward The Conflict In The Middle East", 11 May 2003, Accessed.7 December. 2016,

Other Documents Pertaining To This Topic

  • European Union s Common Foreign and

    To achieve these various purposes, NATO embarked on a series of interlocking efforts during the 1990s that were intended to provide some aspect of an overall concept of security. A series of initiatives resulted in NATO accepting new members with the possibility of still further additions in the future, crafted the Partnership for Peace and created the Euro-Atlantic Partnership Council; entered into a Founding Act with Russia and a Charter

  • Conflict Resolution in the Middle East

    Conflict Resolution in the Middle East History of the ARAB-ISRAELI conflict The Palestinian Arab and Jews rivalry is of recent origin that started on the eve of 20th century. Even though both of them have different religions the religious diversity is not considered to be the reasons of such rivalry. This is necessarily a struggle over the territory. The territory claimed by both the groups till 1948 was known as Palestine. However,

  • Imperialism in the Middle East

    The Egyptian King Faud (1922-36) repeatedly disbanded popularly elected Wafd governments, despite huge majorities, due to their distinctly nationalist platform. The fickleness of the British position is exemplified by their later coercion of King Farouk (1936-52) to appoint an enfeebled Wafd government due to their need for a neutral Egypt during the Second World War. This intense irony does not detract from the fact that the monarchs in Egypt

  • Middle East Counter Terrorism and What

    They are also dangerous to the United States because of the United States policy of having open doors and welcoming many different cultures and traditions to its lands. For this reason the three groups believe the United States works closely with those that they wish to eradicate. In addition the groups can easily infiltrate the nation and set up terrorist plans in this country because of the freedom of travel

  • Challenging the Beijing Consensus China Foreign Policy in the 21st...

    Foreign Policy of China (Beijing consensus) Structure of Chinese Foreign Policy The "Chinese Model" of Investment The "Beijing Consensus" as a Competing Framework Operational Views The U.S.-China (Beijing consensus) Trade Agreement and Beijing Consensus Trading with the Enemy Act Export Control Act. Mutual Defense Assistance Control Act Category B Category C The 1974 Trade Act. The Operational Consequences of Chinese Foreign Policy The World Views and China (Beijing consensus) Expatriates The Managerial Practices Self Sufficiency of China (Beijing consensus) China and western world: A comparison The China (Beijing

  • Inter Parliamentary Union and Its Role

    8). Likewise, the Institute of Agriculture required a quorum of two-thirds of its members for voting purposes and for the balancing of votes according to the size of the budgetary contributions (Bowett, 1970). While this analysis of these early forms of public international unions is not complete, it does suggest that they were beginning to identify the wide range of interests involved in modern international commerce and what was required

  • Margret Thatcher

    Margaret Thatcher has the distinction of being the longest serving Prime Minister of the United Kingdom in over 150 years. While she is credited with being instrumental in reinstating Britain as major economic power in the world, there are strong and ambivalent options about her tenure as Prime Minister. While many laud her for some of the economic policies that she implemented, others criticize her for these same policies. "Her

Read Full Term Paper
Copyright 2016 . All Rights Reserved