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Plenary round-up – Strasbourg, May II 2018

31-05-2018

The May II plenary session highlights were the debate on the 2021-2027 Multiannual Financial Framework and own resources in the context of the publication of individual proposals for spending programmes, and the debate on the future of Europe with the Prime Minister of Luxembourg, Xavier Bettel. Alpha Condé, President of Guinea and the President of Colombia, Juan Manuel Santos Calderón, also addressed Parliament. VP/HR Federica Mogherini's statements on the situation in the Gaza Strip, the status ...

The May II plenary session highlights were the debate on the 2021-2027 Multiannual Financial Framework and own resources in the context of the publication of individual proposals for spending programmes, and the debate on the future of Europe with the Prime Minister of Luxembourg, Xavier Bettel. Alpha Condé, President of Guinea and the President of Colombia, Juan Manuel Santos Calderón, also addressed Parliament. VP/HR Federica Mogherini's statements on the situation in the Gaza Strip, the status of Jerusalem, and the situation in Nicaragua were also discussed. Debates followed on US tariffs in the steel and aluminium sector, the use of pre-accession funds in Turkey and the impact of delocalisation on workers and regions. Parliament approved the revision of the Posting of Workers Directive, and the modernisation of the Trade Defence Instruments Regulation (at second reading), and a multiannual plan for demersal stocks in the North Sea. Parliament voted, inter alia, on a number of own-initiative reports on implementation of the interinstitutional agreement on better law-making, odometer manipulation in motor vehicles, gender equality and women's empowerment, and minimum standards on rights, support and protection for victims of crime.

US recognition of Jerusalem as capital of Israel

11-12-2017

On 6 December 2017, US President Donald Trump recognised Jerusalem as the capital of Israel, mirroring the official Israeli position on the status of the city. In doing so, the US has become the first country to officially endorse the Israeli position on a hotly disputed issue that lies at the very heart of the Middle East Peace Process (MEPP), potentially weakening the role of the US in that process as an impartial mediator and tilting the odds further in Israel’s favour. The move has been widely ...

On 6 December 2017, US President Donald Trump recognised Jerusalem as the capital of Israel, mirroring the official Israeli position on the status of the city. In doing so, the US has become the first country to officially endorse the Israeli position on a hotly disputed issue that lies at the very heart of the Middle East Peace Process (MEPP), potentially weakening the role of the US in that process as an impartial mediator and tilting the odds further in Israel’s favour. The move has been widely condemned as a violation of international law and a political provocation. However, it leaves open the possibility to address the status of the city as part of a comprehensive peace deal between Israelis and Palestinians.

Energy: a shaping factor for regional stability in the Eastern Mediterranean?

16-05-2017

Since 2010 the Eastern Mediterranean region has become a hotspot of international energy discussions due to a series of gas discoveries in the offshore of Israel, Cyprus and Egypt. To exploit this gas potential, a number of export options have progressively been discussed, alongside new regional cooperation scenarios. Hopes have also been expressed about the potential role of new gas discoveries in strengthening not only the regional energy cooperation, but also the overall regional economic and ...

Since 2010 the Eastern Mediterranean region has become a hotspot of international energy discussions due to a series of gas discoveries in the offshore of Israel, Cyprus and Egypt. To exploit this gas potential, a number of export options have progressively been discussed, alongside new regional cooperation scenarios. Hopes have also been expressed about the potential role of new gas discoveries in strengthening not only the regional energy cooperation, but also the overall regional economic and political stability. However, initial expectations largely cooled down over time, particularly due to delays in investment decision in Israel and the downward revision of gas resources in Cyprus. These developments even raised scepticism about the idea of the Eastern Mediterranean becoming a sizeable gas-exporting region. But initial expectations were revived in 2015, after the discovery of the large Zohr gas field in offshore Egypt. Considering its large size, this discovery has reshaped the regional gas outlook, and has also raised new regional cooperation prospects. However, multiple lines of conflict in the region continue to make future Eastern Mediterranean gas activities a major geopolitical issue. This study seeks to provide a comprehensive analysis of all these developments, with the ultimate aim of assessing the realistic implications of regional gas discoveries for both Eastern Mediterranean countries and the EU.

Ekstern forfatter

Simone TAGLIAPIETRA

Water in the Israeli-Palestinian conflict

13-01-2016

The Palestinian population in the West Bank and Gaza is one of the fastest growing in the world and its demand for water is increasing. Access and distribution of water in these territories has been an issue within the context of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict since 1967. In 1995, the Oslo II Accord adopted a quantitative approach to the water issue, detailing the quantities to be allocated to Israel, the West Bank and Gaza, but did not sufficiently take into account the natural, political and ...

The Palestinian population in the West Bank and Gaza is one of the fastest growing in the world and its demand for water is increasing. Access and distribution of water in these territories has been an issue within the context of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict since 1967. In 1995, the Oslo II Accord adopted a quantitative approach to the water issue, detailing the quantities to be allocated to Israel, the West Bank and Gaza, but did not sufficiently take into account the natural, political and socio-economic developments that have affected water supply and demand in the region since. Economic disparities, lack of substantial and sufficient infrastructure and of effective water resources management, compounded by pollution and climate change have led to disproportionate allocation of water and to substantial depletion and contamination of water resources. Water consumption by Israelis and Palestinians reflects stark inequalities. Due to the allocations of trans-boundary water resources agreed upon under Oslo II, Israel currently controls approximately 80% of water reserves in the West Bank. Military conflict in Gaza in the summer of 2014 left over a million residents without access to water. The international community and the EU have expressed concern over the limited access to water in the West Bank and Gaza, and have become active on the issue of water management. Reports from the European Commission (EuropeAid) highlight that technical and humanitarian assistance on water issues has to go hand in hand with progress on the political front, in order for effectiveness to be maximised and for long-term results to be achieved.

Political movements in the West Bank and Gaza

12-11-2015

Political movements in the West Bank and Gaza are divided into factions of the Palestine Liberation Organisation (PLO) which accept the Oslo Accords, and non-PLO factions which reject a two state solution and Israel's right to exist. Fatah and Hamas are the largest Palestinian political movements.

Political movements in the West Bank and Gaza are divided into factions of the Palestine Liberation Organisation (PLO) which accept the Oslo Accords, and non-PLO factions which reject a two state solution and Israel's right to exist. Fatah and Hamas are the largest Palestinian political movements.

Israel's 34th government and the new political landscape of its Parliament

06-07-2015

The Israeli Parliament (Knesset) voted on Thursday 14 May 2015 61-59 in favour of Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu's cabinet, which has become Israel's 34th government. Prime Minister Netanyahu's fourth government, predominantly made up of right wing and religious parties, faces many different challenges ranging from socioeconomic issues, which topped the election campaign, to the diplomatic stalemate with the Palestinians. Much scepticism has been expressed regarding the government's ability to ...

The Israeli Parliament (Knesset) voted on Thursday 14 May 2015 61-59 in favour of Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu's cabinet, which has become Israel's 34th government. Prime Minister Netanyahu's fourth government, predominantly made up of right wing and religious parties, faces many different challenges ranging from socioeconomic issues, which topped the election campaign, to the diplomatic stalemate with the Palestinians. Much scepticism has been expressed regarding the government's ability to rule with only a one-seat majority.

Occupation/Annexation of a Territory: Respect for International Humanitarian Law and Human Rights and Consistent EU Policy

25-06-2015

Situations of occupation are often among the most difficult conflicts to resolve, in particular if the occupied territory is also illegally annexed. Legally speaking, an illegally annexed territory is occupied. Third parties (like the EU) have an obligation to not recognise an illegal annexation and to not assist in the continued occupation and annexation. An occupying power has limited authority over the occupied territory under international humanitarian law (IHL), but has nevertheless an obligation ...

Situations of occupation are often among the most difficult conflicts to resolve, in particular if the occupied territory is also illegally annexed. Legally speaking, an illegally annexed territory is occupied. Third parties (like the EU) have an obligation to not recognise an illegal annexation and to not assist in the continued occupation and annexation. An occupying power has limited authority over the occupied territory under international humanitarian law (IHL), but has nevertheless an obligation to respect not only IHL but also international human rights law. The EU has so far not adopted a consistent policy in these cases, but there are elements of good practice that can be used. A future EU policy should be based on non-recognition – as has been the case with regard to Crimea. The EU and its member states should refuse to recognise legislative and other changes in the occupied territory, they should refrain from engaging in economic and other activities that sustain the occupation and they should seriously consider sanctions against the responsible government.

Munich Security Conference 2015 - Key security challenges ahead

19-02-2015

Between 6 and 8 February 2015, world leaders, former and current politicians, as well as media and civil society representatives gathered for the 51st Munich Security Conference (MSC), an increasingly important forum for debate and exchange of views among the world's security community. The agenda was dedicated to the key challenges that lay ahead in 2015, dominated by the crisis in Ukraine and the deteriorating relations between Russia and the West, the rise of violent extremism and the fight against ...

Between 6 and 8 February 2015, world leaders, former and current politicians, as well as media and civil society representatives gathered for the 51st Munich Security Conference (MSC), an increasingly important forum for debate and exchange of views among the world's security community. The agenda was dedicated to the key challenges that lay ahead in 2015, dominated by the crisis in Ukraine and the deteriorating relations between Russia and the West, the rise of violent extremism and the fight against terrorism, the proliferation of nuclear weapons, the refugee crisis around the world, the situation in the Middle East, as well as climate and energy security challenges. The underlying theme of the conference focused on the dangers of a collapse in the global order, of its institutions and, most importantly, of the principles on which it has been built since the Second World War.

The Prospect of Eastern Mediterranean Gas Production: An Alternative Energy Supplier for the EU?

15-04-2014

Israeli gas discoveries in 2009 and 2010 have transformed the Eastern Mediterranean into a natural gas producing region and a potential energy exporter for European and Asian markets. However, the turbulent political situation in Egypt, the Syrian civil war, the tensions between Israel and Gaza, the long-lasting dispute between Turkey and Cyprus, and the maritime border disputes cast a shadow on this economic opportunity. Moreover, the gas industry in the Eastern Mediterranean is at an infant stage ...

Israeli gas discoveries in 2009 and 2010 have transformed the Eastern Mediterranean into a natural gas producing region and a potential energy exporter for European and Asian markets. However, the turbulent political situation in Egypt, the Syrian civil war, the tensions between Israel and Gaza, the long-lasting dispute between Turkey and Cyprus, and the maritime border disputes cast a shadow on this economic opportunity. Moreover, the gas industry in the Eastern Mediterranean is at an infant stage, and the countries concerned seem unable to coordinate their plans for future exports. Global actors are ready to exploit the Eastern Mediterranean’s strategic implications. Russia aims to safeguard its gas monopoly, the United States to support its business interest, and Europe to increase its energy security and reduce dependence on Russia in the light of the Crimean crisis. In this context, the European Union should back the strategic triangle of Israel, Cyprus and Turkey as a first step towards the construction of an Eastern Mediterranean energy corridor.

Gaza's Population at the Breaking Point

29-11-2013

Over the past six years, Gaza's 1.8 million residents – 70 % of whom are refugees and 80 % of whom depend on humanitarian assistance for their daily livelihood – have struggled with the land, air, and sea blockade imposed by Israel for security reasons. In the last year, the decline of Gaza's socio-economic situation has accelerated dizzyingly. Almost one in three people is unemployed, with youth and women the hardest hit. The blockade and Israel's restrictions on the movement of goods and persons ...

Over the past six years, Gaza's 1.8 million residents – 70 % of whom are refugees and 80 % of whom depend on humanitarian assistance for their daily livelihood – have struggled with the land, air, and sea blockade imposed by Israel for security reasons. In the last year, the decline of Gaza's socio-economic situation has accelerated dizzyingly. Almost one in three people is unemployed, with youth and women the hardest hit. The blockade and Israel's restrictions on the movement of goods and persons to and from the territory mean that sustainable economic activity in Gaza is next to impossible. This bleak economic picture goes hand-in-hand with the fragile humanitarian situation, which has also deteriorated further in the last few months, as Egypt has closed most of the illegal tunnels for reasons of national security and limited crossings at Rafah. Fuel shortages have closed the only electric power plant in Gaza, adding to residents' sea of troubles. In the recent words of the Commissioner General of the United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees in the Near East (UNRWA), 'Gaza is quickly becoming uninhabitable.' To alleviate Gaza's economic woes and prevent a further radicalisation of the political landscape, humanitarian assistance must be delivered to the people in need. This assistance must be supplemented by greater efforts to improve governance in Gaza and to bring about a political solution to the siege of the enclave.

Kommende begivenheder

03-06-2020
EPRS online Book Talk | One of Them: From Albert Square to Parliament Square
Anden begivenhed -
EPRS
11-06-2020
CONT Public Hearing: Implementation of EU funds
Høring -
CONT
15-06-2020
EPRS online Book Talk | A Certain Idea of France: The life of Charles de Gaulle
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EPRS

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