Wednesday

27th Mar 2019

Monetary union with Israel not to be ruled out, says Verheugen

The European Commissioner for industry has spoken out in favour of stronger ties between the EU and Israel.

Writing in the German monthly journal, Internationale Politik, Guenter Veheugen said that he could "imagine Israel being widely integrated into the European economic structures" and "being a full participant in the internal market".

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He also wrote that, in the long-term, he would "not even rule out monetary union" with Israel.

This is not the first time Mr Verheugen, who is serving his second term as European Commissioner, has spoken out in favour of stronger relations with Israel.

In 2003, during his time as enlargement Commissioner, Mr Verheugen spoke of a single market from Oslo to Jerusalem.

Mr Verheugen has retained a heavyweight post in the current Commission being responsible for co-ordinating the EU's legislation to bring it further towards its ambitious economic goals; he is also vice-president of the Commission.

Currently, EU relations with Israel are based on a neighbourhood agreement - the EU has several such agreements including ones with Ukraine, Morocco and Tunisia.

They have been characterised in the past by the Commission as being 'everything but the institutions'.

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