Towards an Ever Closer Partnership: A Model for a New Euro-Israeli Partnership

October 2008


In March 2007, the European Union (EU) and Israel established a ‘Reflection Group’, charged with examining areas in which cooperation between Israel and the EU could be enhanced. Based on the preliminary work of this Reflection Group, the EU-Israel Association Council convened in June 2008 and expressed the political will to intensify Euro-Israeli relations, while also agreeing to develop these relations gradually within the framework of the European Neighbourhood Policy (ENP). The success of this project, however, requires that Israel and the EU reach an agreement on how they should craft a tailor-made model to guide their relations.

This study aims to address this joint challenge. Starting from a description of the bilateral relations between the EU and Israel, it goes on to outline a new framework for an ever-closer partnership between the Union and Israel under the ENP. The proposed ‘Euro-Israeli Partnership’ (EIP) presents a new model for aligning Israel with the EU, while remaining below the level of full EU membership. An institutional structure that includes common decision-making and management bodies is also here explored. The EIP could serve as model for all ENP partner countries and potentially act as a springboard from where the consolidation process of the Euro-Mediterranean Neighbourhood Space can begin to take shape.

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