Monday

26th Jun 2017

EU releases aid to prevent Palestinian administration collapse

EU external affairs commissioner Benita Ferrero-Waldner on Monday (27 February) announced a €120 million aid package to the Palestinians in order to avoid a breakdown of the Palestinian administration.

"Today I will announce a very substantial package of assistance to meet basic needs," the commissioner said ahead of an EU foreign ministers meeting according to agency reports.

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.

The package would include €40 million to pay the Palestinian authority's electricity bills.

"In effect we will pay electricity bills for them, direct to the utilities concerned, including in Israel," the commissioner said.

Humanitarian aid worth €64 million will be channelled through UN agencies for Palestinian refugees, she added.

Another €17.5 million will be used to pay the salaries of the Palestinian administration, constituting the only part of the package paid directly to the Palestinian Authority.

The EU's move comes after last month's election victory of radical islamist movement Hamas, which is on the EU's list of terrorist organisations.

European diplomats earlier indicated that despite Hamas' victory, an immediate withdrawal of EU funding was not an option, as this would mean a break-down of the Palestinian administration, which is feared would be followed by chaos and fresh violence.

The 25-member bloc is awaiting Palestinian coalition-building efforts, which officials say could last as long as three months.

The EU is the largest international donor to the Palestinians, with aid amounting to €500m a year.

International Middle East envoy James Wolfensohn warned that without emergency funds, the Palestinian Authority would face financial collapse within two weeks now that Israel has cut off tax transfers, according to Reuters.

"If the freeze on Israeli transfers continues, there will continue to be a significant shortfall in the Palestinian finances,'' Ms Ferrero-Waldner said.

EU extends sanctions on Russia

German chancellor Angela Merkel said that Russia hadn't done enough to implement the so-called Minsk peace process, a condition for lifting the sanctions.

EU steps up global counter-terrorism drive

EU foreign ministers vowed to increase the number of projects and financial support in different parts of the world ahead of an EU summit in Brussels, where leaders will focus on security and defence.

Interview

EU visa waiver unlikely to import Ukraine crime

Visa-free travel, which began last week, unlikely to prompt a Ukrainian crime wave, an EU police expert has said, but Ukraine itself is seeing increases in lawlessness.

Stakeholders' Highlights

  1. EPSUOn Public Services Day, Stop Austerity! Workers Need a Pay Rise!
  2. EGBAOnline Gambling: The EU Court Rejects Closed Licensing Regimes In Member States
  3. World VisionFaces of Today, Leaders of Tomorrow: Join the Debate on Violence Against Girls - 29 June
  4. ECR GroupThe EU Must Better Protect Industry from Unfair Competition
  5. Malta EU 2017Better Protection for Workers From Cancer-Causing Substances
  6. EPSUAfter 9 Years of Austerity Europe's Public Sector Workers Deserve a Pay Rise!
  7. Dialogue PlatformGlobalised Religions and the Dialogue Imperative. Join the Debate!
  8. UNICEFEU Trust Fund Contribution to UNICEF's Syria Crisis Response Reaches Nearly €200 Million
  9. EUSEW17Bringing Buildings Into the Circular Economy. Discuss at EU Sustainable Energy Week
  10. European Healthy Lifestyle AllianceCan an Ideal Body Weight Lead to Premature Death?
  11. Malta EU 2017End of Roaming Charges: What Does It Entail?
  12. World VisionWorld Refugee Day, a Dark Reminder of the Reality of Children on the Move

Latest News

  1. Macron’s investment screening idea watered down by leaders
  2. Leaders unimpressed by May’s offer to EU citizens
  3. New Irish PM praises unscripted nature of EU summits
  4. EU extends sanctions on Russia
  5. UK's universities set 'Brexit wish list'
  6. Decision on post-Brexit home for EU agencies postponed
  7. May's offer on citizens’ rights dismissed as ‘pathetic’
  8. 'Historic' defence plan gets launch date at EU summit