Term Paper: European Union's Policy

Pages: 4 (1425 words)  ·  Bibliography Sources: 1+  ·  Level: College Senior  ·  Topic: History - Israel  ·  Buy This Paper


[. . .] Any attempt by the EU to keep its policy independent from the one adopted by the U.S. As seen as a sign of Gaullist intransigence by an increasingly assertive U.S..

Current Status of the Policy

The underlying theme of the European Union's Middle East policy is an evenhanded approach towards Israel and the Palestinians. While it recognizes Israel's "irrevocable right to live in peace and security within internationally recognized borders," it also "recognizes the need for the establishment of a democratic, viable and peaceful sovereign Palestinian State on the basis of the 1967 borders, with the possibility of minor adjustments through land swaps, Jerusalem as a shared capital, and a just and acceptable solution to refugee issue." (Ibid. "EU General Position..")

Moreover, The European Union is one of the "quartet" that have recently released the "Road map" for peace in the Middle East. This "Road Map" is a performance-based and goal-driven roadmap, with clear phases, timelines, target dates, and benchmarks aimed at progress towards peace through reciprocal steps by the two parties (Israel and the Palestinian Authorities) under the auspices of the Quartet. Its final goal is a final and comprehensive settlement of the Israel-Palestinian conflict by 2005. ("European Union Welcomes.." April 30, 2003)

Comparison of the U.S. And EU Policies

Although the U.S. And the EU are both joint partners and promoters of the recently released "Road Map" for peace in the Middle East, their recent policies on the Middle East have been perceived as being different. This is mainly because of the light in which "terrorism" is viewed by the United States after 9/11. While the EU, as part of its policy, condemns the suicide bombings and terror attacks by the Palestinians on Israeli citizens, it also calls on Israel to stop its extra-judicial killings, to lift the closures and restrictions imposed on the Palestinian people, to freeze settlement activities, and to withdraw its military from the Palestinian areas. On the other hand, president Bush and his administration consider the Israeli actions as justified self-defense (pre-emptive strikes) and the U.S. President calls Sharon "a man of peace."

Assessment of EU's Middle East Policy

The European Union's Middle East Policy is far more even handed than, say, that of the United States that has an undeniable tilt towards the Israeli position. As such, the EU has an important role to play in the successful implementation of the newly released "Road map' for peace in the Middle East as an important member of the "quartet." At the same time, it must be admitted that so far its Middle East Policy has failed to have much impact in bringing peace to the troubled region. This may, in part, be due to its relative political weakness as compared to the United States in the post Cold war era. Moreover, after the traumatic events of 9/11, freedom movements around the world (including that of the Palestinians) that have relied on 'terrorism' have come under tremendous pressure. Hence, some people have even dubbed the even-handedness in EU's Middle East policy as "anti-Semitic." Because of its differences with Europe over Iraq, the U.S. has also tended to deliberately ignore European opinion on international policies. This further undermines EU's role in the Middle East.


The European Union." (n.d.) Middle East: The Faultline. Le Monde, diplomatique. Mondediplo.com. Retrieved on April 10, 2003 at http://mondediplo.com/focus/mideast/r1276

The EU & the Middle East: Position & background FAQs." (May, 2002). The EU and the Middle East Process. European Union in the World: External Relations. Retrieved on April 10, 2003 at http://europa.eu.int/comm/external_relations/mepp/faq/index.htm

European Commission welcomes Quartet's presentation of the Middle East Road Map." (April 30, 2003) The EU and the Middle East Process. European Union in the World: External Relations. http://europa.eu.int/comm/external_relations/med_mideast/news/ip03_612.htm

EU funding to the Palestinian Authority: Commissioner Patten responds to a letter from Mr. Laschet, MEP." (January 21, 2003) The EU and the Middle East Process. European Union in the World: External Relations. http://europa.eu.int/comm/external_relations/mepp/eufundspa.htm

The "quartet" includes the United States, Russia and the United nations, besides the EU.

Other examples are the Chechens fighting against the Russians and the Kashmiris fighting against India.

EU & Middle East [END OF PREVIEW]

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