EUROPEAN FOREIGN POLICY SCORECARD 2015

Levant

40 - Israel and Palestine

Grade: B-
Unity 3/5
Resources 4/5
Outcome 4/10
Total 11/20
Scorecard 2012: C- (7/20)
Scorecard 2013: C+ (9/20)
Scorecard 2014: B+ (14/20)

The two-state solution slips further away, while the EU-funded conflict management system shows growing cracks.

The collapse of US-led talks in April was followed by the creation of a “government of national consensus” for the Palestinian Authority comprised of technocrats with Hamas support. The EU was supportive, but reconciliation and Gaza-West Bank governance re-unification has stalled. Summer’s 50-day conflict between Israel and Gaza left Gaza devastated and 2,100 Palestinians, 66 Israeli soldiers, and six Israeli civilians dead. Europe was largely marginal to mediation and ceasefire efforts, self-barred from contacts with Hamas and unable to agree a strong line on Israeli. Autumn saw sporadic individual acts of Palestinian violence targeting Israeli civilians in Jerusalem. Meanwhile, Israel approved construction of thousands of new homes in the settlements.

Europeans responded to this steadily deteriorating situation in several ways. The policy of non-recognition of the Israeli settlements continued in 2014. Sixteen member states issued business advisories for European companies working in the Occupied Palestinian Territories, with a smaller number, including Germany, Ireland, Romania, Spain, and the UK, making special efforts to implement the EU Guidelines for awarding funding. The Czech Republic showed less willingness to do so. However, Europeans were reluctant to apply non-recognition further, for example by issuing settlement product guidelines. E3 efforts to secure a Security Council resolution on Gaza rehabilitation led nowhere. Europeans pledged $568 million at the donors’ conference in Cairo, but the situation in Gaza remains precarious. Europe’s considerable efforts to provide technical solutions to end the blockade achieved little. Without political progress, that is unlikely to change. Towards the end of the year, High Representative Federica Mogherini made Israel/Palestine her first international visit, E3 pushed for a Security Council resolution to outline the two-state goal and a deadline for achieving it, and several member states’ parliaments (UK, Ireland, Spain, France, and Luxembourg) and the EU Parliament voted to recognise the state of Palestine “in principle” following Sweden’s official recognition. Europe’s growing recognition of its own leverage, notably with the Israelis, has been only narrowly deployed, offset by the Palestinians leadership’s lack of strategy.