Sunday

5th Jul 2020

Spanish EU presidency wants Palestinian state in 2010

  • The separation wall snaking through parts of Palestinian territory. Spain wants to see a viable Palestinian state established in the coming year (Photo: Wikipedia)

Spain, the European Union's incoming president, is to orchestrate a push by the bloc for the establishment of a Palestinian state in 2010.

Miguel Moratinos, the country's foreign minister, said on Friday (18 December) that Madrid sees the foundation of a Palestinian state alongside Israel as one of its main priorities under its six-month helmsmanship of the 27-country bloc, which begins in January.

Read and decide

Join EUobserver today

Support quality EU news

Get instant access to all articles — and 20 years of archives. 14-day free trial.

... or subscribe as a group

"My idea, and my dream, and my engagement, is to work for having in 2010, finally, a Palestinian state that could live in peace and security with Israel," he told reporters in Brussels while outlining his country's plans for the next six months.

"We are all in the international community defending the two-state solution. Why should we wait for a Palestinian state?" he asked.

"We have Israel as a state, we want its neighbour, the Palestinians, to have the same status."

He said that its creation must come through negotiation, in effect suggesting that the EU would prefer not to be forced into a situation of choosing whether to recognise a Palestinian unilateral declaration of independence.

In recent weeks, Palestinian officials have said they intend to take precisely such a move "within weeks".

Analysts believe that while Palestinian Authority figures may be bluffing that Ramallah would make such an announcement so soon, they do think that if peace talks are not restarted in a substantive way at some point, independence is very likely in the near future.

Mr Moratinos' words reflected the urgency the EU sees in dealing with the matter.

"It's not going to be easy, but I think it's needed. We need a Palestinian state, the sooner, the better, and that is going to be our objective," he said.

He added that the Spanish presidency is to step up the bloc's diplomacy under its EU watch, aiming to breath new life into the long foundered peace talks.

The foreign minister outlined Madrid's four key priorities as EU skipper: shepherding the bloc's tentative economic recovery, boosting the bloc's international influence, expanding the rights and freedoms of European citizens and overseeing implementation of the recently passed Lisbon Treaty.

Mr Moratinos said that an extra summit of EU leaders is to be mounted in February to discuss successor economic plans to the soon-to-be-expired Lisbon Strategy, widely seen as a flop.

Spain's prime minister has long made women's rights a key element of his premiership, something he wishes to build on at the European level with the creation of an EU monitoring centre for violence against women.

EU parliament chairs explain missing lobbyist meetings

MEPs in January 2019 agreed to a rule change in a bid for greater transparency. The rules included requiring committee chairs to publish their meetings with registered lobbyists. EUobserver spoke to six chairs, who haven't done so yet.

MEPs to consider creating EU 'Legion d'Honneur'

Inspired by France's Legion of Honour, the EU Parliament's internal bodies are considering a proposal to create an annual award for services to the EU, including a 'Grand Cross', and 'Kinights'. But not all are convinced it is needed.

Top lobbyist defends alleged bully set to chair EU body

Alleged bully Jacek Krawczyk is facing possible criminal charges in Belgium following serious complaints of harassment. Krawczyk is set to become president of the EESC, an EU body. BusinessEurope, a lobbyist outfit, is speaking out in his defence.

News in Brief

  1. EU grants Remdesivir conditional authorisation
  2. French prime minister and government resign
  3. France lied on Nato naval clash, Turkey claims
  4. EU highlights abuses in recent Russia vote
  5. Belgium bids to host EU mask stockpile
  6. France shamed on refugees by European court
  7. French and Dutch police take down criminal phone network
  8. EU launches infringement case on Covid-19 cancelled trips

MEP in police protection after Czech PM calls him 'traitor'

Three MEPs received numerous death threats in the Czech Republic for asking questions about how EU funds are being spent. One of them had his entire family under police protection after people threatened to murder his four children.

Black MEP: 'I have been a victim of police violence'

MEPs urged an end to structural racism and discrimination in Europe and the US, following the brutal killing of black American George Floyd by US police. Socialists and Green MEPs stressed the need to unblock the anti-discrimination directive.

Stakeholders' Highlights

  1. Nordic Council of MinistersNEW REPORT: Eight in ten people are concerned about climate change
  2. UNESDAHow reducing sugar and calories in soft drinks makes the healthier choice the easy choice
  3. Nordic Council of MinistersGreen energy to power Nordic start after Covid-19
  4. European Sustainable Energy WeekThis year’s EU Sustainable Energy Week (EUSEW) will be held digitally!
  5. Nordic Council of MinistersNordic states are fighting to protect gender equality during corona crisis
  6. UNESDACircularity works, let’s all give it a chance

Join EUobserver

Support quality EU news

Join us