lundi 6 octobre 2008

Newropeans position - EU Neighbourhood Policy - 'European Strategy for the Stabilization of Israel-Palestine' (2009-2024)

The text below represents one very concrete outcome of Franck Biancheri's November 07 tour in Israel/Palestine: a major bullet-point in Newropeans programme...

Strategy over a period of 20 years to support peaceful coexistence between Israelis and Palestinians.

The past years have shown that the United States won’t solve the Israelo-Palestinian conflict. It is obvious that a stable and peaceful middle east, as a region bordering the EU, is in the common European interest. For this reason, Newropeans proposes a strategy to en dopen conflict between Israelis and Palestinians, the European Strategy for the Stabilization (ESS) of Israel-Palestine.

As the project of Newropeans itself, this process targets a period of 15 to 20 years. Especially regarding this conflict, it is unrealistic to expect large progress in little time. To break the vicious circle of violence, it is necessary to change the mentality of both sides, which requires at least a generation, while continuously and coherently influencing both sides. It is only like this, that Israelis and Palestinians can themselves be the driving force behind the process of peace, which is a necessity for enduring peace and stability.

Eleven principles of the European Strategy for the Stabilization

To determine objectives and limits of the strategy proposed by Newropeans, and therefore contribute to its success, it is necessary to transparently present its 11 principles.

1. Peace is no objective in itself, but the result of a process aiming at peaceful coexistence of all parts of population.
2. A process of coexistence can, other than a peace process, include many groups and therefore increase the critical mass of those abandoning violence.
3. The EU does not want to replace local inhabitants. It is only them who can uphold peace. To create peace between peoples, it is beforehand necessary for them to have internal peace.
4. The EU wants to support the creation of an educational, scientific, cultural, economical, technological and political environment permitting peaceful coexistence.
5. The EU wants to propose a realistic schedule to achieve peaceful coexistence within a generation (20 years).
6. At the heart of this strategy are the coming generations in Israel and Palestine, as it is them who will be architects of their nations future.
7. The EU will, while respecting sovereignty, support initiatives of civil society who are in accordance with the objectives of the ESS.
8. The EU has via several aid payments become the biggest supporter and most important trade partner of Israel and Palestine and wants to use this for the sake of ESS. Every destruction of goods financed by the EU will be charged to the responsible parties.
9. The peaceful stabilization of the relations between Israel and Palestine does not necessarily require direct agreement between both peoples, but learning how to coexist with other peoples, cultures, languages and religions.
10. The democratically organized peaceful relocation of parts of population has to be a possibility, if it allows to calm hot spots and to draw commonly accepted borders.
11. The regions bordering Israel and Palestine will be embedded in the process, to allow long-term stabilization of the whole region.

On these eleven pillars, the EU will create a coherent policy for stabilization of the Isrealo- Palestine relations.

As every long term strategy, it is necessary to focus on the final objectives, the main points, and the general way of proceeding. The rest are tactical considerations to be taken adapted to the particular situation

Seven important operational goals of the ESS Israel-Palestine

The following seven goals determine according to Newropeans the European strategy in the region for the next 20 years:

A. Erasmus + Israel-Palestine: Palestinian and Israeli universities are independently included into the Erasmus program via an ad hoc enlargement. The aim is to have at least 50.000 students of both countries study for at least a semester at EU universities, and at the same time, have at least 50.000 EU students study in Israel or Palestine.

B. Bilingual Education: The EU should support bilingual education, that means creation of classes in both Hebrew in Palestine and Arab in Israel.

C. Jerusalem as capital of no state for 20 years: At least for a duration of 20 years, Jerusalem should be capital of neither one state, nor the other. The development of two distinct capitals, Tel Aviv and Ramallah, will be financially supported.

D. Territorial reorganization: Active support of territorial reorganization of both states, to allow the creation of homogenic and viable regions. EU will financially and technically support a territory exchange program aiming at a termination of the Gaza strips enclave situation and a return of Palestinian refugees on Palestinian territory. Participation in this relocation program will be supported by strong economical incentives.

E. Support of mobility: EU supports feasibility studies and realization of a fast train network linking Beirut via Amman and Tel Aviv with Cairo, as well as Baghdad and Damascus

F. Support of regional freedom of movement: Technical support in creating a zone of free circulation of goods and persons including Lebanon, Syria, Jordan, Palestine, Israel, Egypt and Iraq.

G. Support of mobility between EU and Israel-Palestine: Along with progresses made in ESS, EU will step by step introduce special regulations allowing Israeli and Palestinian citizens to more easily travel in the EU.

To fulfill these goals, EU will choose a long-term strategy, while searching to cooperate with local partners. These partners can be public organizations or NGO, groups or individuals. The cooperation would nonetheless be limited on concrete projects. Different than former, failed initiatives, there will be no demands to those partners beforehand to pursue politically correct goals or to issue particular statements. EU wants to negotiate with responsible parties aware of their interests, without degrading them beforehand or forcing them into submission.

Outside of the region, EU cooperates with all parties sharing the goals of ESS.

On the other hand, EU systematically uses the legal means available to sanction those who try to stop ESS from succeeding.

As first political movement on a European level, Newropeans will start the ESS process upon entry into European Parliament.

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