Friday

5th Mar 2021

Polls show EU support for Palestinian bid

  • The UN plenary chamber in New York. The general assembly will be the first global-level meeting after the Arab Spring (Photo: tomdz)

A strong majority of people in three large EU countries - France, Germany and the UK - have said their governments should vote in favour of Palestine's UN bid.

The poll by YouGov and Ifop for pro-Palestinian NGO Avaaz showed that 69 percent of people in France, 71 percent in Germany and 59 percent in the UK want their leaders to take the step at this year's UN General Assembly, which starts in New York on Tuesday (13 September).

Read and decide

Join EUobserver today

Become an expert on Europe

Get instant access to all articles — and 20 years of archives. 14-day free trial.

... or subscribe as a group

The public endorsement comes amid EU disunity on the issue. France and the UK are expected to back the move but Germany was said to have flip-flopped at an EU ministers' meeting in Poland last week.

The Palestinian side is expected to ask the UN to upgrade its status from an "observer" to a "non-member state," putting it on a par with the Vatican.

The draft resolution will clearly say that a Yes vote does not oblige any UN country to recognise Palestine bilaterally and that Palestine will immediately return to talks with Israel, Israeli daily Haaretz reported on Monday. The formulation would see 20 out of 27 EU countries, including Germany and Italy, back the text, the newspaper said.

Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas will give a speech in New York on 23 September but the vote is not likely before early October.

If Palestine gets its way, it could pave the way for it to join international bodies, like the International Criminal Court in The Hague, and launch law suits against Israel.

"This is just a step on a long road, and its goal is not to delegitimise or isolate anyone. Rather, it’s intended to delegitimise the occupation," senior Palestinian diplomat Saeb Erekat said on Sunday.

"If we win recognition, we don’t believe that the settlements will be automatically removed or that Israeli provocations and crimes would stop. The only difference is that Palestine will become a state that is occupied by another member of the UN. This means that the final-status negotiations would be only over working out a timetable for an Israeli withdrawal."

No matter what the result of the vote, it could increase tensions in the region.

Israel and the US have said they will freeze Palestinian tax income and aid if they go ahead, while Erekat has in the past predicted Arab Spring-type mass protests in the occupied territories and on Egypt's borders in the aftermath of the UN meeting.

Anti-Israeli feeling already boiled over in post-revolutionary Egypt when protesters attacked the Israeli embassy in Cairo on Friday, prompting its evacuation.

"We trust that this regrettable incident is an isolated event and that the authorities will take the necessary measures to normalise the situation," EU foreign relations chief Catherin Ashton, in Cairo on Monday for a meeting of the Arab League, said in a statement.

Tension, confusion behind EU facade on Palestine

Hostility toward foreign affairs chief Catherine Ashton, confusion over what the Palestinians will ask for at the UN and how major EU countries will react marked behind-closed-doors talks of EU ministers in Poland.

EU opinions multiply on Palestinian UN upgrade

Five EU countries have joined France in saying the UN should upgrade Palestine's status. Three have joined the UK in saying No. Others fall in between the two camps or are staying out of the debate for now.

Opinion

Why Russia politics threaten European security

Russia could expand hostile operations, such as poisonings, including beyond its borders, if it feels an "existential" threat and there is no European pushback.

Analysis

Ten years on from Tahrir: EU's massive missed opportunity

Investing in the Arab world, in a smart way, is also investing in the European Union's future itself. Let's hope that the disasters of the last decade help to shape the neighbourhood policy of the next 10 years.

Stakeholders' Highlights

  1. Nordic Council of MinistersNordic Council to host EU webinars on energy, digitalisation and antibiotic resistance
  2. UNESDAEU Code of Conduct can showcase PPPs delivering healthier more sustainable society
  3. CESIKlaus Heeger and Romain Wolff re-elected Secretary General and President of independent trade unions in Europe (CESI)
  4. Nordic Council of MinistersWomen benefit in the digitalised labour market
  5. Nordic Council of MinistersReport: The prevalence of men who use internet forums characterised by misogyny
  6. Nordic Council of MinistersJoin the Nordic climate debate on 17 November!

Latest News

  1. China and Russia abusing corona for geopolitics, Lithuania says
  2. Worries on Europe's infection surge, after six-week drop
  3. EU wants large firms to report on gender pay-gap or face fines
  4. EU Commission cannot hold Frontex to account
  5. Orbán leaves EPP group - the beginning of a long endgame
  6. 'Corporate due diligence'? - a reality check before EP votes
  7. Austrian ex-minister joins list of EU's pro-Kremlin lobbyists
  8. Internal Frontex probe to deliver final report this week

Join EUobserver

Support quality EU news

Join us