More than 100 members of parliament from different European countries and Israel issued a call on Tuesday for the urgent reconvening of high-level dialogue between the EU and the Jewish state.
In a letter to the EU’s foreign policy chief, Josep Borrell, the parliamentarians urged him to take “immediate steps to reconvene the EU-Israel Association Council, which has not been held since 2012.”
Initiated by Antonio López-Istúriz White — a Spanish member of the European Parliament and chair of the European Parliament Delegation for relations with Israel — the letter was signed by lawmakers from 25 European countries and Israel. Among the Israeli signatories was Yair Lapid, the leader of the Yesh Atid-Telem opposition party.
The letter observed that the EU-Israel Association Council had not held a formal meeting for nearly a decade, “despite pressing challenges and significant shared interests.”
The signatories urged the EU to relaunch the high-level council, in light of the establishment of a new coalition government in Israel, as an “effective forum for close dialogue and consultation.”
Recalling recent statements by High Representative Borrell that the EU valued its relationship with Israel and was keen to schedule a meeting of the Association Council as soon as a date could be mutually agreed on, the lawmakers stated that renewing the high-level official dialogue would “promote a high degree of mutual confidence,” allowing for discussion not only on shared interests, but also on matters where the EU and Israel may differ.