Enhancing EU-Israel Ties
Strengthening relations between the European Union and the Jewish State
The AJC Transatlantic Institute (TAI) works to strengthen EU ties with Israel and advocates for a strategic partnership between them based on shared democratic values, interests, and history.
Over the more than 40 years since Israel signed its first bilateral trade agreement with the EU, the bloc has become Israel’s largest trading partner. The EU, in turn, benefits greatly from Israeli expertise in fields ranging from counterterrorism to high-tech and innovation.
TAI strives to correct the common European misconception that Israeli settlements are the primary obstacles to a negotiated two-state solution or that Israel by itself can bring about peace. Through public conferences, diplomatic outreach, and traditional as well as social media, TAI puts forward an evidence-based analysis of the Arab-Israeli conflict and an accurate picture of Israeli politics and society.
TAI engages with EU officials and diplomats as well as members of the European Parliament, which has a significant say in the bloc’s foreign policy.
AJC Project Interchange
Twice a year, TAI brings leading officials of EU institutions and member states to Israel, where they experience the reality of the Jewish state, beyond the headlines. Through Project Interchange, an educational institute of AJC, participants learn about Israel’s challenges and accomplishments by meeting with key political and civil society leaders. LEARN MORE
Combating Anti-Israel Bias
Within the European Parliament, TAI works for passage of legislative measures that treat Israel fairly.
TAI successfully advocated for European Parliament passage of the “Agreement on Conformity Assessment and Acceptance of Industrial Products,” designed to facilitate pharmaceutical trade between the EU and Israel. Before TAI’s involvement, a number of EU lawmakers opposed to closer ties between the EU and Israel held up the vote on this important agreement for over two years.
TAI also helped introduce and galvanize support for a crucial amendment to a European Parliament resolution on the EU’s Iran policy that condemned the regime’s antisemitism and threats against the Jewish state. The original draft resolution was silent on Iran’s anti-Jewish and anti-Israeli policies. And in a resolution about the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, TAI successfully campaigned for the European Parliament to clearly address and condemn Palestinian obstacles to peace, such as incitement and terrorism.
The wave of Islamist violence that has swept over the European continent has triggered increased interest in Israel’s expertise in counterterrorism. To foster this vital cooperation and enhance understanding for Israel’s own security predicaments, TAI has brought a number of notable Israeli experts to Brussels. In addition, TAI partnered with the Konrad Adenauer Foundation to host the first “European-Israeli Dialogue on National Security and Regional Stability,” which attracted considerable interest in the EU policy community
TAI has long called on the EU to blacklist the terrorist organization Hezbollah, as the Arab League, Canada, the Gulf Cooperation Council, the Netherlands, the United Kingdom, and the United States have already done. Following a concerted campaign by AJC and TAI, the EU’s Foreign Affairs Council partially adopted this policy by listing Hezbollah’s “military wing” as a terrorist organization. While AJC (and even Hezbollah itself) reject the artificial separation into so-called political and military wings, listing at least part of the organization was a promising first blow against the terror group.