Wednesday

23rd May 2018

EU ministers ditch sensitive Israel report

EU foreign ministers have shelved a confidential and critical report on the Israeli Jerusalem policy due to its highly sensitive nature.

The report was prepared by diplomats in East Jerusalem as part of Britain's EU presidency but leaked to the press last month.

Thank you for reading EUobserver!

Subscribe now for a 30 day free trial.

  1. €150 per year
  2. or €15 per month
  3. Cancel anytime

EUobserver is an independent, not-for-profit news organization that publishes daily news reports, analysis, and investigations from Brussels and the EU member states. We are an indispensable news source for anyone who wants to know what is going on in the EU.

We are mainly funded by advertising and subscription revenues. As advertising revenues are falling fast, we depend on subscription revenues to support our journalism.

For group, corporate or student subscriptions, please contact us. See also our full Terms of Use.

If you already have an account click here to login.

It slammed rapid Israeli expansion of Jewish settlements in and around east Jerusalem, saying, "Israeli activities in Jerusalem are in violation of both its road map [peace plan] obligations and international law."

Israel is making it increasingly harder for Palestinians to travel between East Jerusalem and the West Bank, the report pointed out.

"Israel's main motivation ... is almost certainly demographic - to reduce the Palestinian population of Jerusalem, while exerting efforts to boost the number of Jewish Israelis living in the city", the report stated.

But the EU's foreign policy chief Javier Solana persuaded EU ministers on Monday (12 December) not to endorse the report, warning that its publication could undermine the EU's influence in the area.

"This report was a little much", the Jerusalem Post quoted diplomats as saying. "Javier Solana made clear he thought it was very one-sided and unhelpful."

Also, British foreign secretary Jack Straw said it was not appropriate to publish the document.

"The political landscape has altered within Israel - there is a general election in a few months time", he was quoted saying.

Germany and Italy were reported to have backed Mr Solana's view of the report as being one-sided, while Nordic countries were reported to have argued in favour of transparency.

Israel is due to hold elections on 28 March following Prime Minister Ariel Sharon's forming of a new political party.

Israel has occupied east Jerusalem since 1967, while the Palestinians claim the area as their capital.

The EU last month upgraded its role in the region, posting observers to monitor the Palestinian-Egyptian border crossing at Rafah.

Secret EU report slams Israeli Jerusalem policy

A confidential report prepared by top EU diplomats has slammed rapid expansion of Jewish settlements in and around East Jerusalem, warning the Israeli policy could sabotage the peace process with Palestinians.

Sofia summit: EU leaders search for a Trump strategy

"With friends like that, who needs enemies?" European Council Donald Tusk asked on Wednesday, as EU leaders were trying to come up with a reply to the US president's questioning of the transatlantic relationship.

Devil in detail in Macedonia name talks

Unlocking Macedonia talks could be this year's big breakthrough in EU enlargement, but the devil's in the detail of Macedonia's constitution, as Macedonian prime minister Zoran Zaev and Greek PM Alexis Tsipras meet in Sofia.

Analysis

EU has no 'magic bullet' against US Iran sanctions

EU leaders in Sofia will discuss how they can protect the bloc's economic interests against US threats to sanction companies doing business in Iran. But their options are limited.

Analysis

EU has no 'magic bullet' against US Iran sanctions

EU leaders in Sofia will discuss how they can protect the bloc's economic interests against US threats to sanction companies doing business in Iran. But their options are limited.

Opinion

Ratifying CETA after 'Achmea scandal' is anti-European

While few people in Europe have heard of the 'Achmea' ruling, the case will have far-reaching consequences. Member states must understand the implications of the case quickly - especially those considering ratifying the EU-Canada trade agreement.

Stakeholders' Highlights

  1. Nordic Council of MinistersOECD Report: Gender Equality Boosts GDP Growth in Nordic Region
  2. Centre Maurits Coppieters“Peace and reconciliation is a process that takes decades” Dr. Anthony Soares on #Brexit and Northern Ireland
  3. Mission of China to the EUMEPs Positive on China’s New Measures of Opening Up
  4. Macedonian Human Rights MovementOld White Men are Destroying Macedonia by Romanticizing Greece
  5. Counter BalanceControversial EIB-Backed Project Under Fire at European Parliament
  6. Nordic Council of MinistersIncome Inequality Increasing in Nordic Countries
  7. European Jewish CongressEU Leaders to Cease Contact with Mahmoud Abbas Until He Apologizes for Antisemitic Comments
  8. International Partnership for Human RightsAnnual Report celebrates organization’s tenth anniversary
  9. Nordic Council of MinistersNordic Cooperation Needed on Green Exports and Funding
  10. Mission of China to the EUPremier Li Confirms China Will Continue to Open Up
  11. European Jewish CongressCalls on Brussels University to Revoke Decision to Honour Ken Loach
  12. Sustainable Energy Week 2018"Lead the Clean Energy Transition"- Register and Join Us in Brussels from 5 to 7 May

Latest News

  1. 'Killer robot' projects eligible for EU defence fund
  2. Funding for European values needs radical changes
  3. Feeble EU format deflates Zuckerberg 'hearing'
  4. Are EU data watchdogs staffed for GDPR?
  5. EU pessimistic on permanent US trade exemption
  6. US asks EU to go after Russian and African villains
  7. Facebook threatened with removal from EU-US data pact
  8. Defence firms 'reap benefits' of advice to EU