New Briefing Paper: The Role of the EU in the Israel/Palestine Conflict in Context

QCEA has published a new briefing paper analysing the position of the European Union towards the ongoing conflict in Israel/Palestine.

The paper sets out the EU’s stated positions in the context of its important role in the region. This role includes its membership of the Middle East ‘Quartet’ and its status as both a major donor to the Palestinian Authority and key trading partner of Israel. The five key issues that are analysed are: borders, settlements, Jerusalem, security and refugees – those that are well-known to all relevant actors in the conflict.

The paper includes several prominent international proposals that have been made in the last ten years coming from the United States, within Israel and the Palestinian Territories and from the League of Arab States. It also presents the current positions of the Government of Israel and the Palestinian Authority, complete with extensive up-to-date references throughout. A summative but detailed annex is included at the end of the paper to broadly trace the history of the conflict at this present impasse.

A view across the Old City of Jerusalem Image CC BY Fr.Bessonnet via Flickr

What emerges from the analysis is the extent to which the EU’s stated positions on a resolution of the conflict align with those of the Palestinian Authority and the Arab League States and diverge from those of the current Government of Israel. With the EU seeking to play an increasingly prominent role towards the conflict and in the Middle East region more broadly, the paper recommends steps the EU could take to contribute to a just and lasting peace. These draw on the findings of QCEA’s previous briefing papers, all of which can be downloaded from our programme page on our website.

The topic of the paper is particularly pertinent at the present time, as the EU is deliberating its stance ahead of the attempted efforts of the Palestinian Authority to have a Palestinian State recognised at the United Nations in September. The paper aims to generate discussion on how the EU’s position are translated into action, and provides some recommendations on what more could be done for the EU to uphold its stated principles towards the conflict in the framework of international law and human rights.

Please download the paper here. QCEA would like to hear comments and feedback on the paper and its conclusions, which you can send to

About John Nicholls

John was a Programme Assistant on QCEA's Palestine and Israel programme, from October 2010 to October 2011.

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