mardi 20 novembre 2007

NIPI's first visit is for Israel and Palestine

By making of Israel and Palestine the destination of the first international policy visit of his president, Newropeans is clearly demonstrating how much the Israeli-Palestinian conflict resolution will be a top priority in coming years. Meanwhile, by looking at defining an independent EU strategy with a twenty years perspective, it aknowledeges that the region needs a very long term approach, with a priority given to the citizens of all sides.

It is time for the Europeans as well as for the Israelis and the Palestinians to aknowledge four facts:

. first that the peace process under US leadership has failed,
. second that the Israeli-Palestinian conflict is directly affecting the neighbourhood of the EU,
. third that the EU has to use more effectively its growing economical, monetary and cultural influence in the region,
. fourth that the European Union experience in terms of integration of diverse cultures; religions an nationalities, if brought with modesty and under control of both Israelis and Palestinians civil societies, can be relevant for shaping up long term solutions.

The Newropeans are the 'sabras' of the EU, born after the Treaty of Rome, in an already existing united Europe. It may come with no surprise too many that they therefore develop a very innovative vision of the role of the EU in the world; an first of all in this region which is at the same time very closed to the EU geographically and historically, and, due to its current divisions, very far from the EU's vision of relations between people.

For my third trip to the region, I am certain that I will learn a lot from the meetings and conferences prepared by the the Young Israeli Forum for Cooperation an their Palestinian partners. These organizations and their members perfectly embody what we believe, in Newropeans, to be the best 'future builders' for the region. With their support and the inputs from all those who have accepted to discuss with me during this trip, I hope to help Newropeans define and adopt by Spring 2008 a very clear strategy for the EU in this region, for the next 20 years. One thing is certain, this outcome will be largely translated, circulated and discussed throughout the 27 Member states, during the Newropeans campaign for the June 2009 elections to the European Parliament.

Franck Biancheri (President of Newropeans) - Paris, November 18, 2007