“The Iran Deal Revisited - Consequences of the US Withdrawal on EU-Israel Relations”, Herzliya, November 8, 2018.
The Israeli European Policy Network - IEPN - met on November 2018 to discuss the possible implications of the American withdrawal on the Israeli-EU relations in the near future. The May 8thwithdrawal from the 2015 Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA), also known as the Iran Nuclear Deal, by the United States marked a dramatic shift in the manner in which relations between Iran and the rest of the world were approached. It also signifies a questioning of the reliability of the US as a party to international treaties. The deal, which was negotiated between Iran and the “E3 plus 3” of the United States, Great Britain, France, Russia, China and the European union aimed to reduce the nuclear capabilities of the Iranian regime in exchange for a reduction in economic sanctions on the country. Many observers considered this as a significant step in the right direction to ensure a future of peaceful co-existence between the Islamic Republic of Iran and the Western World in general, and Iran vis-à-vis its neighbors in the Middle East - in particular.
"Right-Wing Populism in Europe and Israel: Common Challenges and Policy Options", Barcelona, October 15-16, 2017.
On October 15 -16, theÂÂÂ IEPN hosted an international Conference in Barcelona.Participants at the Conference included European and Israeli representatives from politics, civil society, diplomacy and academics. Among these were MK Stav Shaffir (Zionist union) and former MK Nitzan Horovitz. Input Statements were given by representatives of the European and Israeli perspectives. One of the Keynote Speeches was held by Pere Vilanova, Professor at University Barcelona and Senior Research Associate of CIDOB.
Throughout the conference the phenomenon of Right-Wing Populism and its repercussions for Europe and Israel, as well as Common Challenges and Policy Options were discussed.
"After 50 years – No future for two Peoples? What must be done to build Peace?", Herzliya, June 29, 2017.
A great number of European, Israeli and Palestinian representatives from politics, civil society, diplomacy and academics participated in the one-day event. Among these were MK Merav Michaeli, the director of Peace Now, Avi Buskila, the journalist Tal Schneider and the head of the European Division at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs ambassador Shmuel Revel. Elias Zananiri, the vice chairman of the PLO Committee for Interaction with the Israeli Society, was among the Palestinian participants. An alternative perspective was provided by Israel Harel, the former chairman of the umbrella organization of the settler movement (Yesha Council). On the European side, among others, the head of the EU Delegation in Israel ambassador Lars Faaborg-Andersen gave his input.
Throughout the conference, a broad discussion on the two main questions emerged: What are obstacles to the peace process? And what role should the European union and more generally the international community play in this? The participants also discussed the shape of a peaceful solution: two states, one state or e.g. a confederation of two sovereign states?
"Russia in the Middle East: EU and Israeli perspectives", Herzliya, September 27 ,2016.
During the conference scholars from different institutes and Israeli, as well as European politicians discussed the role of Russia in the Middle East, especially its involvement in the Syrian conflict.
"Opportunities and Challenges of Migration for Europe and Israel", Budapest, March 16-17, 2016.
On March, 16/17th, the Israeli-European Policy Network – IEPN organized a meeting in Budapest dealing with the topic: „On the Move: Opportunities and Challenges of Migration for Europe and Israel“. The keynote speech was delivered by Lászlo Kovács, former Foreign Minister of Hungary, EU Commissioner, and Head of the Hungarian Socialist Party (MSZP). It was followed by discussions among the participating scientists, politicians, experts, activists, and journalists. Through input statements and roundtables, they elaborated on the economic, political, and cultural chances and challenges of migration, possible security threats, and the European and Israeli policy responses.
"A Changing Middle East - the Impact of the E3/E+3-Iran Deal on EU-Israel Relations", Herzliya, October 8, 2015.
The subject discussed focused on the question: which Impact does the Iran-Deal have on EU-Israel Relations? The conference enabled an exchange of views between international and Israeli experts from various fields such as national security, international relations and peace and conflict studies. Due to the variety of guests a fruitful and controversial discussion arose and allowed new insights and perspectives for the participants of the conference.
The conference comprised three panels: The first panel discussed the currently developing relations between Iran and the EU and their impact on the bilateral relations between the EU and Israel.
This session was opened with a keynote by the former major general and National SecurityAmbassador of the EU to Israel Lars Faaborg-Andersen speaking at the IEPN Meeting, Herzliya, October 2015 Advisor Yaakov Amidror. The second panel was dedicated to the geopolitical situation in the region, considering the Israeli/Palestinian conflict, the peace process and the role of the EU. Within the third panel the speakers examined the impact of the international agreement on the nuclear program of Iran more closely and offered a comparative perspective on the legitimacy of economic sanctions in the resolution of political conflicts. Among many other interesting participants the Ambassador of the EU to Israel Lars Faaborg-Andersen and MK Tamar Zandberg (Meretz Party) joined the discussion at the Conference, while MK Tzipi Livni gave a keynote speech at the kick-off dinner the night before.
We are pleased to publish the Input Papers that were presented at the Conference:
At the Annual meeting several ideas as to the direction Israel is heading after the March 2015 elections were presented. The aim of the meeting was to learn more about the manner in which the election results in Israel affect Israeli-European relations, including future elections. Furthermore, achievements, limits and shortcomings of the EU’s involvement in the Israeli-Palestinian conflict were discussed, focusing in particular on convergence among EU member states policies and the complex dynamics of EU-US relations in the Middle East.
Ambassador Marc Otte (former Ambassador of Belgium to Israel) gave the Keynote Dinner Speech. On the following days a closed Workshop on the topic: Where is Israel Heading after the March Elections? was held.
In both sessions Statements from EU and Israeli perspectives were presented.
Researchers, trade unionists and representatives of student unions and young progressive organizations from Israel and six European countries discussed contemporary challenges for the youth in the EU and Israel.
The discussions focused around following three topics:
Socio-Economic Challenges for Youth in Europe and Israel: Youth Unemployment and Lack of Social Protection Political Challenges facing Israeli and European Youth: Reviving Democracy, Voter Apathy and Right-Wing Populism/Radicalism How to address Social Exclusion and Lack of Democracy for Youth globally?
Corporate Social Responsibility in the EU and in Israel: Corporate Cultures regarding Humanitarian Law and Human Rights and their Impact on Conflict Solutions, Herzliya, April 10, 2014.
High ranking opinion leaders from science, politics and business participated at the seminar on April, 10th 2014. Dr. Werner Puschra, Director of FES Israel, and Lars Faaborg-Andersen, Head ofÂÂÂ Delegation of the European Commission in Israel, opened the conference. Theconference was structured in three different sessions in which the development and present status of corporate social responsibility in Israel and Europe were summarized and discussed. A distinguished speaker at the IEPN Meeting was MK Chilik Bar, Deputy Speaker of the Knesset and General Secretary of the Israel Labor Party (Avoda).
The Topics that were discussed at the Conference:
First Session:Corporate Social Responsibility in the EU and it's Impact on Conflict Solution Second Session: The Economic Impact of Corporate Responsibility in the Israeli Perspective Third Session: Summary and Conclusions
IEPN - Paper summarizing the main findings of the Conference - click here.
Munich IEPN Talk: Israel in the Year 2025: In What State will the State of Israel be? , Munich, July 25, 2013.
The Event was organised in cooperation with the Bayernforum, the Bavarian branch of the Friedrich-Ebert-Stiftung. About 100 guests participated at the IEPN/Bayernforum Munich Talk which was very well frequented this year as well as last year.
Prof. Stephan Stetter, Christoph Moosbauer and Dr. Roby Nathanson (Coordinators of IEPN) gave a short introduction about the work of the IEPN – Israeli European Policy Network, as well as about the historical development and present status of the relations between the European union and Israel.
Dr. Nachman Shai delivering his speech
In his dedicated speech, Dr. Nachman Shai, who for many years served as the Spokesman of the Israeli Army and who is known primarily from the Gulf War in 1991, analyzed the different internal political challenges and risks Israel is facing today. Dr. Nachman Shai revealed himself as being a well informed connaisseur of the Israeli political scene.
The discussion following Dr. Shai's Talk dealt with the democratic nature of the State of Israel. In spite of all the internal challenges, Israel's democratic institutions and its democratice culture would be stronger than today's prevailing tendencies.
Program of the Event: Greetings: Alina Fuchs, BayernForum of the Friedrich-Ebert-Stiftung Current and Future Challenges in EU-Israel Relations, Prof. Dr. Stephan Stetter, Universität der Bundeswehr München Israel in the Year 2025: In What State Will the State of Israel Be?, Dr. Nachman Shai, Member of Knesset Discussion Moderation: Christoph Moosbauer, IEPN
Natural Gas in the Eastern Mediterranean - Economic Impacts and Strategic Implications, Institute for National Security Studies (INSS),ÂÂÂ Tel Aviv, June 5-6, 2013.MK Amir Peretz -Minister of Environmental Protection
The Publication summarizing the main findings of the Conference was published November 2013 - Digital Version available as well.
Martin Skancke, former Director General in the Ministry of Finance, Norway - responsible for the Government Pension Fund
The conference brought together international experts and high-ranking decision makers from the United States, Norway, Cyprus, Turkey, Israel, the EU and Russia. In four panels, the strategic, economic, social and environmental costs and opportunities involved in exporting natural gas resources now being produced in the Eastern Mediterranean were analysed. The experts from the various countries presented the perspective of their respective country.
MK's, Politicians, Academics and Entrepreneurs participated at the Conference. Amongst others: MK Amir Peretz (Minister of Environmental Protection), MK Avishay Braverman (Economics Affairs Committee Chairman), Prof. Eytan Sheshinski (Sir Isaac Wolfson Professor of Public Finance, Hebrew University), Martin Skancke (Consultant, former Director General in the Ministry of Finance, Norway - responsible for the Government Pension Fund), Leonidas Kioussis (DG Energy, EU Commission Representative), Dr. Ahmet Han (Kadir Has University, Republic of Turkey), Dr. Liudmila Studenikina (Gubkin Russian State University of Oil and Gas).
The different inputs highlighted the complexity of the issue and the implications of the discovery of Natural Gas in the Eastern Mediterranean.
Third International Panel at the Conference: Global Strategic ImplicationsThe topics of the fours panels were:
Comparing Dividends of Domestic Consumption vs. Export Regional Cooperation and Leveraging the Natural Gas Findings Global Strategic Implications Are the Environment and Energy Mutually Exclusive? Program of the Conference:
In October 2012, the IEPN sent an Open Letter to the Minister of Education, Gide'on Sa'ar and the Members of the Council for Higher Education in support of the Department of Government and Politics at Ben Gurion University.
New Challenges in the Middle East - What separates Israel from the EU?, Lecture and Discussion with Shimon Stein, former Ambassador of the State of Israel in Germany.
On September 11, 2012, the IEPN hosted two public events in Munich.
The first event took place in the framework of the Annual Conference of the European Association of Israel Studies (EAIS). The EAIS was founded in 2011 and is the largest academic meeting for scholars from Europe, Israel and elsewhere. The publication reception of the IEPN saw a keynote speech by Ambassador Stein.
The second event was a public lecture by Ambassador Stein on the topic of “New Challenges in the Middle East: What unites and what divides Israel and the EU“. This lecture was organised jointly by the IEPN and the BayernForum of the Friedrich-Ebert-Stiftung. Anna-Lena Koschig of the BayernForum welcomed the more than 100 guests.
Professor Stephan Stetter then introduced the work and objectives of the IEPN. This was followed by the lecture of Ambassador Stein. He focused among other issues on the current developments regarding the Iranian nuclear programme and discussed the different approaches and, possibly, objectives held by the Israeli government and the EU and its member states.
Last IEPN Conference in cooperation with the Institute for National Security Studies (INSS) and the Macro Center for Political Economics: Natural Gas in the Eastern Mediterranean: Casus Belli or Chance for Regional Cooperation?, Tel Aviv, July 5, 2012.
The conference brought together international experts and high-ranking decision makers from Turkey, Israel, the EU (including Cyprus). In three panels the legal, geopolitical and economic aspects of the exploitation of energy resources in the Eastern Mediterranean region were discussed.
The first part of the meeting consisted of Presentations and discussions. There were two rounds of discussion that evolved around the topics of "Muslim Minorities in Europe" and "Muslim Minorities in Israel". In the second part of the meeting a Roundtable on the topic of "The Future of Minorities and Democracies" took place. Input was given by MK Ophir Pines-Paz (former Minister of Internal Affairs), and Comment by Shawki Khatib, Activist of Arab Community in Israel. The high-level meeting was attended by key public figures and high ranking European and Israeli researchers, politicians and experts.
Meeting of IEPN Circle Europe in Tel Aviv: "Between Opportunities and Deadlock. New Challenges for EU-Israel Relations", June 2, 2009.
Guest Speakers: Dr. Alfred Gusenbauer, former Chancellor of the Republic of Austria and MK Majallie Whbee, previous Deputy Foreign Minister of Israel. Dr. Gusenbauer gave the European input.
Participating at the Meeting were Members of the Circle Europe of IEPN - the Israeli-European Policy Network, consisting of Israeli researchers. Ambassadors and members of diplomatic staff were part of the attending public.
The IEPN Workshop in Berlin took place on April 22, 2009. Topic of the Event was: "New Challenges for EU-Israel Relations after the Gaza War". The Workshop consisted of two parts. In the first part Dr. Oded Eran, Director of the INSS, Institute for National Security Studies and Dr. Claire Spencer, Director of the Middle East and Africa Department at Chatham House, London, gave their analysis and submitted Papers analysing recent developments in the Israeli-European Relations after the War in Gaza.
The second part of the Workshop dealt with the political dimension of the relations both from the Israeli and European sides. Minister of Welfare and Social Affairs, Isaac Herzog, Nina Obermaier from the European Commission and Walter Kolbow, MdB, Deputy Head of the SPD-Faction presented their perspective of the subject.
Click here to read a detailed Report of the Workshop in Berlin.