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D-IL: Delegation for relations with Israel

The European Parliament's Delegation for relations with Israel is responsible for deepening the Parliament's contacts with Israel and with the Israeli parliament, the Knesset.

These contacts strengthen the European Parliament's international network, while also contributing to the larger bilateral relationship between the European Union and Israel.

The EU and Israel share a long common history, marked by growing interdependence and cooperation. Both share the values of democracy, respect for freedom and rule of law and are committed to an open international economic system based on market principles.

Composition

The D-IL delegation counts 18 full members and 18 substitute members.

Fulvio Martusciello, an Italian member of the Parliament's Group of the European People's Party, is currently the Delegation's Chair. His two Vice-Chairs are Olga Sehnalová (S&D, Czech Republic) and Bas Belder (ECR, Netherlands)

The chair and vice-chairs are elected by the other members of the delegation, while the members are nominated by the Parliament's political groups. The political balance of the delegation mirrors that of the Parliament as a whole.

Inter-parliamentary meetings (IPMs)

The many inter-parliamentary meetings that the European Parliament has held with the Knesset - 43 by the end of 2017 - demonstrate that the relationship between the two legislatures is one of the most dynamic and constant of any delegation's.

These meetings are held either in Israel or in the European Parliament, in Brussels or Strasbourg.

They are organised around specific themes pertaining to EU-Israel relations. Many of the issues the delegation addresses relate to developments in Israel and in the Middle East.

The Middle-East Peace Process and EU-Israel relations have featured in many European Parliament-Knesset debates.

Working methods

In addition to its inter-parliamentary meetings, the D-IL delegation holds regular meetings in Brussels and Strasbourg.

These may involve preparations for - or debriefings after - meetings with Israeli counterparts. They also offer delegation members the opportunity to discuss developments in Israel and bilateral relations.

Some of these meetings are held in association with other bodies of the European Parliament - such as the Committee on Foreign Affairs, the Subcommittee on Human Rights and the Committee on Development - or with other delegations focusing on Israel's neighbourhood, such as the Delegation for relations with Palestine, the Delegation for relations with the Mashreq countries and the Delegation for relations with the USA.

Experts working outside the European Parliament are invited to many delegation meetings. The Israeli ambassador to the EU, senior staff from the European External Action Service (EEAS), non-governmental organisations, think tanks and representatives of civil society have contributed to recent D-IL meetings.