Download European Union Policy towards the Arab-Israeli Peace by Costanza Musu (auth.) PDF

By Costanza Musu (auth.)

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Extra info for European Union Policy towards the Arab-Israeli Peace Process: The Quicksands of Politics

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However, this first European success was marred by German and Dutch objections to making the document’s content public. The paper, which is known as the Schuman Paper and was largely based on UN Resolution 242,15 remained unpublished, but its contents were leaked to the public in the German press, causing considerable opposition in German public opinion, which saw it as too supportive of the Arabs. Domestic pressures caused the German Foreign Minister Scheel to assert during a visit to Israel that the document was only a ‘working paper’ and merely constituted a basis for further discussions among the Six (Greilsammer and Weiler 1987: 28), a declaration that in turn caused great irritation in Paris, clearly showing the limits of a common European policy towards the Middle East conflict.

In fact, a certain trend was gradually taking shape: the completely divergent positions adopted by the member states in the wake of the Six-Day War were slowly starting to converge, and especially the States more supportive of Israel were reconsidering their position towards the Arab world. : 27). A new path in cooperation among European member states deserves to be mentioned. An upsurge of international terrorism, exemplified by the terrorist attack on Israeli athletes during the 1972 Olympic Games in Munich, gave the European governments a clear perception of Europe’s exposure to cross-border terrorism and prompted an enhanced cooperation on this issue.

Indeed, ever since its inception, EPC carried the seed of an inconsistency that was bound to characterise all its manifestations: its structure was light, strictly intergovernmental and entirely separate from 28 EU Policy towards the Arab–Israeli Peace Process the Community structure. On the other hand, its aim was grand, as EPC was supposed to represent the channel through which Europe would speak with ‘one voice’ and would finally take up the position it deserved in the world. The member states, while acknowledging the need for increased political coordination within the framework of the EC, nevertheless wanted to make sure that each of their voices would be adequately discernible, and provided for a structure that resembled more a ‘choir of voices’ than ‘one voice’, and a potentially very discordant choir at that.

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