fullguy et al...eat your hearts out

  1. 5,748 Posts.
    European Commssion wants Israel in 'Wider Europe' initiative

    By Sharon Sadeh, Haaretz Correspondent

    LONDON - The European Commission announced
    Wednesday that it intends to incorporate Israel
    into its "Wider Europe" initiative, which may give
    it a status similar to that of European Union
    states, especially on commercial and economic
    issues.

    EU representatives who met with a Foreign Ministry delegation in Brussels on Wednesday as part of the annual meeting of the Israeli-EU Association
    Agreement Committee said that unlike in the past, EU-Israeli relations will no longer be conditional on the progress of the Israeli-Palestinian peace process.

    Over the past few weeks, Israel has created an
    inter-ministerial task force to formulate its
    stance on the Wider Europe scheme. Adopting
    this scheme would mean a new model of relations
    with the EU, similar to the one the European
    bloc currently has with Switzerland and
    Norway.

    Israeli diplomatic sources said that Wednesday's
    talks were conducted in a cordial and
    businesslike manner, though no understanding
    was reached on the controversy over taxing
    Israeli goods produced in the settlements. The
    Europeans promised to expand cooperation in
    several fields, including economics and the
    law.

    A large part of the talks focused on energy and
    the environment, and the Europeans asked Israel
    to finish ratifying the Kyoto Protocol on
    environmental protection. They stressed that a
    positive answer from Israel would considerably
    improve Israel's status in the EU. If Israel
    ratifies the agreement, this would bring the
    number of states to the minimum required to
    implement it, despite the United States'
    objections.

    Israel's Ambassador to the EU Oded Eran said
    that considerable progress was made Wednesday,
    and that the Europeans were surprisingly
    positive on many issues. Among others, he said,
    the Europeans proposed formalizing contacts to
    bring an Israeli work group into the European
    satellite project Galileo, after which Israel's
    permanent position in the project would be
    determined.

 
arrow-down-2 Created with Sketch. arrow-down-2 Created with Sketch.