Tuesday

19th Feb 2019

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.

... or 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.

News in Brief

  1. Estonia kicks out Danske Bank over money laundering scandal
  2. May and Juncker meet over Brexit on Wednesday
  3. EU promises to open up advisory groups
  4. EU agrees to limit CO2 emissions by trucks
  5. Juncker under attack in Hungary government ad
  6. EU would not oppose extending Brexit talks, Juncker said
  7. Juncker expects Trump not to impose new car tariffs
  8. Former EU official sentenced for office rape

Stakeholders' Highlights

  1. Nordic Council of MinistersMilestone for Nordic-Baltic e-ID
  2. Counter BalanceEU bank urged to free itself from fossil fuels and take climate leadership
  3. Intercultural Dialogue PlatformRoundtable: Muslim Heresy and the Politics of Human Rights, Dr. Matthew J. Nelson
  4. Platform for Peace and JusticeTurkey suffering from the lack of the rule of law
  5. UNESDASoft Drinks Europe welcomes Tim Brett as its new president
  6. Nordic Council of MinistersNordic ministers take the lead in combatting climate change
  7. Counter BalanceEuropean Parliament takes incoherent steps on climate in future EU investments
  8. International Partnership For Human RightsKyrgyz authorities have to immediately release human rights defender Azimjon Askarov
  9. Nordic Council of MinistersSeminar on disability and user involvement
  10. Nordic Council of MinistersInternational appetite for Nordic food policies
  11. Nordic Council of MinistersNew Nordic Innovation House in Hong Kong
  12. Nordic Council of MinistersNordic Region has chance to become world leader when it comes to start-ups

Latest News

  1. College of Europe alumni ask rector to cut Saudi ties
  2. EU says Hungary's anti-Juncker campaign is fake news
  3. Trump right for once: Europe should take back foreign fighters
  4. EU should clarify rules for plant burgers and lab meat
  5. Italian populists could be second biggest force in EU parliament
  6. Merkel defends Russia ties, ridicules Trump on cars
  7. British MPs condemn Facebook CEO's misrule
  8. EU's chance to step up on Hungary and Poland

Join EUobserver

Support quality EU news

Join us