21st Oct 2020

France and Germany unveil Middle East plan

France and Germany have come to an agreement on a Middle East plan, which will offer an alternative to the US 'Wider Middle East' project and will be presented to EU leaders at the European Summit on 25 March.

According to a report in Le Monde, the document - "a strategic partnership for a common future with the Middle East", will propose a "sincere partnership, a co-operation and a common vision".

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

Although the joint initiative will differ from the US scheme, French and German leaders have to take into account the proposals that the American authorities want to adopt at a G8 meeting in June.

But the proposals underline that "any initiative for the Middle East needs to respond to the needs and the aspirations of the region", which is seen as a swipe at the US, whose ideas have been seen by many Arabs as a US-imposed "model" for the region.

According to the Franco-German plan, Europe "needs to define a different approach which complements the US approach and works by using its own institutions and instuments".

Take each country as it comes

Paris and Berlin emphasise the importance of working individually with each country concerned in the region, rather than imposing a blanket solution - "we will work with all countries, responding as far as possible to their own demands and working with the individual countries as much as possible".

They intend to involve not just governments, but civil society as well, while always keeping in mind that "we need to take into account the national sentiment and the identity of each country".

The document is intended to feed into the thinking of the Irish presidency which will draw up a report on the Middle East at the Spring European Summit in Brussels on 25-26 March.

Murder highlights plight of Sakharov prize nominees

Honduran environmental rights defender Arnold Joaquín Morazan was killed in his home on Tuesday, a few days after his fellow activists were shortlisted for the European Parliament's Sakharov prize for freedom of thought.

News in Brief

  1. Ireland first EU state to re-impose full lockdown
  2. EU countries agree farm policy reform
  3. EU corona-bonds attracted huge demand
  4. France seeks Putin's help on counter-terrorism
  5. Cyber attacks 'targeted health system during pandemic'
  6. Greece asks EU countries to halt military exports to Turkey
  7. Covid-19: Spain considers curfews in hardest-hit areas
  8. Study: Air pollution costs Europeans €1,276 per year


A 'geopolitical' EU Commission. Great idea - but when?

Safeguarding Europe's position starts with recognising the unpleasant reality that Europe's power is waning. Behind the facade of European cooperation, national self-interest still predominates and that has never been any different.

Rightwing MEPs bend to Saudi will after Khashoggi death

Saudi dissident and journalist Jamal Khashoggi was killed two years ago on 2 October. Since then, mainly centre-right, conservative and far-right MEPs have voted down any moves to restrict, limit or ban the sales of weapons to the Saudi regime.

Stakeholders' Highlights

  1. UNESDAMaking healthier diets the easy choice
  2. Nordic Council of MinistersUN Secretary General to meet with Nordic Council on COVID-19
  3. UNESDAWell-designed Deposit Return Schemes can help reach Single-Use Plastics Directive targets
  4. Nordic Council of MinistersNordic Council meets Belarusian opposition leader Svetlana Tichanovskaja
  5. Nordic Council of MinistersNordic Region to invest DKK 250 million in green digitalised business sector
  6. UNESDAReducing packaging waste – a huge opportunity for circularity

Latest News

  1. 'Big majority' of citizens want EU funds linked to rule of law
  2. EU declares war on Malta and Cyprus passport sales
  3. EU Commission's Libya stance undercut by internal report
  4. Backroom deal will make CAP reform a catastrophic failure
  5. EU money used by neo-Nazi to promote Holocaust denial
  6. Over 80% of Europe's habitats in poor or bad condition
  7. EU's Brexit move could end deadlock in talks
  8. EU's migrants more at risk from coronavirus

Join EUobserver

Support quality EU news

Join us