Sunday

4th Dec 2016

Barroso in Palestine: 'We are laying foundations of future state'

  • Barroso in Bethlehem: Palestine recently used its new status as a member of UN heritage body, Unesco, to seek special protection for the Christian shrine (Photo: ec.europa.eu)

European Commission chief Jose Manuel Barroso has pledged support for a future Palestinian state on his first official trip to the region.

Speaking alongside Palestinian Prime Minister Salam Fayyad in Ramallah on Sunday (8 July) he said that "through our ... political and financial support we are laying the foundations of a future democratic and viable Palestinian state – its institutions and its infrastructure."

Dear EUobserver reader

Subscribe now for unrestricted access to EUobserver.

Sign up for 30 days' free trial, no obligation. Full subscription only 15 € / month or 150 € / year.

  1. Unlimited access on desktop and mobile
  2. All premium articles, analysis, commentary and investigations
  3. EUobserver archives

EUobserver is the only independent news media covering EU affairs in Brussels and all 28 member states.

♡ We value your support.

If you already have an account click here to login.

He voiced "concern" about "the continuous growth of [Irsaeli] settlements in the West Bank, including East Jerusalem."

He also "welcomed" the prospect of a unity government between the more moderate Palestinian Authority in the West Bank and the militant Hamas group in Gaza, which is listed as a terrorist entity by EU countries.

In a second speech in Palestinian-controlled Jericho later the same day, he urged the Palestinian side to "uphold ... the right to peaceful protest and demonstration, the freedom of expression and of the media, as well as the proper treatment of arrested persons and of detainees."

The EU has paid out €4 billion in aid to Palestinian authorities since 2000.

On Sunday, Barroso announced a new €20 million grant to help with police and judicial training and cut the ribbon on an EU-co-financed Palestine College for Police Sciences.

He also met with Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas and is due to meet Israeli leaders on Monday.

Peace talks between the two sides have stalled, with Ramallah-based EU diplomats repeatedly warning that Israeli settler expansion is making a future two-state solution impossible in practice.

Meanwhile, fellow Arab countries have failed to pay out on previous promises of aid for Palestinian state-building.

Fayyad and Abbas both warned that the shortfall in payments could create a crisis in terms of day-to-day governance.

"We have been honouring our commitments even in times of economic turbulence. We call also on other donors, especially donors in the region, to do the same," Barroso noted in Jericho.

Commission won't call Castro a dictator

The EU executive says that a statement decribing the former Cuban leader as a "hero for many" is balanced and suggests that the use of the word dictator by a commissioner doesn't reflect its position.

News in Brief

  1. Talks on wholesale roaming rules to start
  2. Lead MEP Dieselgate committee: Italy and Slovakia will cooperate
  3. Transparency NGO sues EU commission on Turkey deal
  4. Pro-EU liberal wins UK by-election
  5. Finnish support for Nato drops, Russia-scepticism grows
  6. Cyprus talks to resume in January
  7. Documents from German NSA inquiry released
  8. Transport commissioner 'not aware' of legal action on emissions

Stakeholders' Highlights

  1. CESIElects Leaders and Sets Safety & Health at Work and Gender Equality Among the Guidelines For Next Term
  2. European Gaming & Betting AssociationContinues to Grow its Membership and Welcomes its Newest Member Association
  3. ACCASupports the Women of Europe Awards, Celebrating the Women who are Building Europe
  4. European Heart NetworkWhat About our Kids? Protect Children From Unhealthy Food and Drink Marketing
  5. ECR GroupRestoring Trust and Confidence in the European Parliament
  6. UNICEFChild Rights Agencies Call on EU to put Refugee and Migrant Children First
  7. MIRAIA New Vision on Clean Tech: Balancing Energy Efficiency, Climate Change and Costs
  8. World VisionChildren Cannot Wait! 7 Priority Actions to Protect all Refugee and Migrant Children
  9. ANCI LazioRegio-Mob Project Delivers Analysis of Trasport and Mobility in Rome
  10. SDG Watch EuropeCivil Society Disappointed by the Commission's Plans for Sustainable Development Goals
  11. PLATO15 Fully-Funded PhD Positions Open – The Post-Crisis Legitimacy of the EU (PLATO)
  12. Access NowTell the EU Council: Protect our Rights to Privacy and Security