Answer given by Vice-President Mogherini on behalf of the European Commission
As a general observation, common commercial policy is the European Union's exclusive competence (Article 3 of the Treaty on the Functioning of the European Union) and is based on uniform principles (Article 207 of the Treaty on the Functioning of the European Union). Member States have to comply with these uniform principles.
In this context it is important to observe that there is not yet a final decision from the lower house on the pending legislation of the senate.
As a matter of general policy, the EU rejects any attempts to isolate Israel and does not support calls for a boycott. At the same time, and in line with international law, the EU does not recognise Israel’s sovereignty over the territories occupied by Israel since June 1967, and does not consider them to be part of Israel’s territory, irrespective of their legal status under domestic Israeli law.
The Foreign Affairs Council, in its conclusions of 18 January 2016, took a clear position on the issue: ‘The EU and its Member States are committed to ensure continued, full and effective implementation of existing EU legislation and bilateral arrangements applicable to settlements products. The EU expresses its commitment to ensure that — in line with international law — all agreements between the State of Israel and the EU must unequivocally and explicitly indicate their inapplicability to the territories occupied by Israel in 1967. This does not constitute a boycott of Israel which the EU strongly opposes’.