Welcome from the Chair

Welcome to the website of the European Parliament's Delegation for relations with Israel (D-IL). After serving as a member of this Delegation for several legislatures, I now have the honour and privilege of serving as Chair. Together with Vice-Chairs Bert-Jan Ruissen (ECR, NL) and Elena Yonceva (S&D, BG) and all D-IL Members, we work to strengthen the bilateral, structural relationship with the Knesset, the parliament of the state of Israel.

Our Delegation works in close coordination with the Committee on Foreign Affairs (AFET) and other European Parliament bodies, such as the Committees on International Trade (INTA) and on Industry, Research and Energy (ITRE). Our Delegation also exchanges views on the Middle East Peace Process with our colleagues from the Delegation for relations with Palestine (DPAL).

Israel is a key and strategic ally of the European Union, as well as a country that shares our values and heritage. Political, economic and social cooperation - as well as trade, cultural and scientific exchanges - with Israel date almost to the origins of the Union itself, and have been extremely fruitful for both parties. The respect for human rights and democratic principles is an essential element of the EU-Israel Association Agreement and the basis of the bilateral relationship. Israel is also gradually being integrated into European policies and programmes through the Action Plan of the European Neighbourhood Policy (ENP).

Our Delegation closely follows the evolution of the Association Agreement and the ENP Action Plan. Through parliamentary diplomacy, we aim to increase the impact and the legitimacy of EU foreign policy, and to ensure coherence and complementarity by the close coordination of our activities. During the current term, the Delegation for relations with Israel will work hard to enhance relations with Israel and with the wider region. In today's complex international context, this will require effectively using all parliamentary diplomacy tools available. Striving for peace, security and stability in the region is the core of all our activities.

We vigorously contest any kind of amalgamation - including any originating in the EU - between Israel's government policies and Judaism or people of Jewish origin. In the same spirit, our Delegation, in association with the LIBE Committee and all the other relevant parliamentary organs, fights against antisemitism.

I look forward to working with all of my fellow members on these ties, and to cooperating with Knesset counterparts in an enhanced partnership.

Antonio López-Istúriz White (EPP, ES), Chair 2019-2024