Integration without Membership: Israel and the European Union
Abstract: In June 2008 the EU-Israel Association Council expressed the political will to intensify EU-Israeli relations as well as agreed to upgrade these relations gradually within the framework of the European Neighbourhood Policy (ENP). Based on this decision, in December 2008 the EU External Relations Council unanimously adopted guidelines for strengthening the political dialogue structures with Israel. The success of this upgrade of the relations process, however, requires, among other things, that Israel and the EU both agree on how they want to craft a tailor-made model for their relations. The article tries to address this EU-Israeli need. The article first describes the bilateral relations between the EU and Israel and then turns to presenting a new model for an ever-closer partnership between the Union and Israel under the ENP. The proposed ‘Euro-Israeli Partnership’ (EIP) is a new model of aligning Israel with the EU below the level of full EU membership. The article also proposes an institutional structure that includes common decision-making and management bodies.
Keywords: European Union, Israel, Barcelona Process, Common Foreign and Security Policy, European Neighbourhood Policy, Union for the Mediterranean