Saturday

23rd Jun 2018

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."

Read and decide

Join EUobserver today

Support quality EU news

Get instant access to all articles — and 18 year's of archives. 30 days free trial.

... our join as a group

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.

EU takes aim at Israeli settler products

EU foreign ministers have "warned" Israel they will take a tougher approach to exports originating from illegal settlements on Palestinian land.

UN vote marks EU defeat for Israel

Just one EU country - the Czech Republic - voted against Palestine's bid to become a UN "observer state" on Thursday.

Opinion

Europe could lose out in North Korean bonanza

South Korean businesses including Hyundai and Samsung are already scoping investment opportunities. Will North Korea become a 'new Vietnam' opportunity - or more like Myanmar, where slow Brussels policy-making meant EU exporters lost out.

News in Brief

  1. Venice Commission: Hungary should repeal NGO law
  2. Trump threatens to slap 20 percent tariff on EU cars
  3. EU closes deficit procedure against France
  4. Romania's ruling party leader gets jail sentence
  5. EU states defer individual decisions on asylum reforms
  6. Commission opens case on Qatar gas flow
  7. EU adopts posted workers directive
  8. EU leaders to call for 'coordinated plan' on AI

Stakeholders' Highlights

  1. Mission of China to the EUJointly Building Belt and Road Initiative Leads to a Better Future for All
  2. Macedonian Human Rights MovementMHRMI Launches Lawsuits Against Individuals and Countries Involved in Changing Macedonia's Name
  3. IPHRCivil society asks PACE to appoint Rapporteur to probe issue of political prisoners in Azerbaijan
  4. ACCASocial Mobility – How Can We Increase Opportunities Through Training and Education?
  5. Nordic Council of MinistersEnergy Solutions for a Greener Tomorrow
  6. UNICEFWhat Kind of Europe Do Children Want? Unicef & Eurochild Launch Survey on the Europe Kids Want
  7. Nordic Council of MinistersNordic Countries Take a Stand for Climate-Smart Energy Solutions
  8. Mission of China to the EUChina: Work Together for a Better Globalisation
  9. Nordic Council of MinistersNordics Could Be First Carbon-Negative Region in World
  10. European Federation of Allergy and AirwaysLife Is Possible for Patients with Severe Asthma
  11. PKEE - Polish Energy AssociationCommon-Sense Approach Needed for EU Energy Reform
  12. Nordic Council of MinistersNordic Region to Lead in Developing and Rolling Out 5G Network

Latest News

  1. Migration row at centre of EU summit This Week
  2. Merkel's woes cast shadow on EU's future
  3. Europe's tech race - trying to keep pace with US and China
  4. Merkel and Juncker's mini-summit risks fiasco
  5. Greece and creditors proclaim 'end of crisis'
  6. How a US firm pushed for EU €2.1trn pension fund
  7. Commission defends Africa migrant plan ahead of summit
  8. Bavaria hijacks EU migration talks

Join EUobserver

Support quality EU news

Join us