European Union


Paolo Gentiloni VIDEO  ©EP  European Union  

EU Foreign Policy chief, Joseph-Borrell, held discussions this week with Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas and Israeli Foreign Minister Gabi Ashkenazi while working on a diplomatic mediation involving Foreign Ministers of Egypt Sameh Shoukry, Jordan Ayman Safadi and Turkey Mevlüt Çavuşoğlu. EU remains committed to the Two States solution to the Israeli-Palestine conflict.

While Israeli Prime Minister, Benjamin Netanyahu, declared he won't stop bombing and air strikes on Gaza, EU Foreign Policy chief called an extraordinary videoconference of the EU Foreign Ministers on Tuesday 18 May "in view of the ongoing escalation between Israel and Palestine and the unacceptable number of civilian casualties. We will coordinate and discuss how the EU can best contribute to end the current violence".

"Borrell has instructed the HR for the Middle East Peace Process, Sven Koopmans, to work actively with other envoys from the Middle East Quartet to address the crisis. On the ground, the EU Delegation in Tel Aviv and the EU Representation in Jerusalem are also engaging with the Israeli and Palestinian authorities and with Member States representatives", one EEAS press release reads.

GAZA, Borrell calls EU Foreign Ministers conference 18th May
"Urgent need to address the root causes of the conflict"

Brussels, 16 May 2021 - EU diplomatic machine is tirelessly working to de-escalate tensions in Gaza where clashes escalated to war over the last seven days. The High Representative for the block's Foreign Policy Joseph Borrell, stressed that while Israel has the right to protect its population from these kind of attacks, it must act proportionately and avoid civilian casualties. 

"Violence must end now" said Borrell .
"There is an urgent need to address the root causes of the conflict and to find a political pathway, which allows for a return to meaningful negotiations towards a two-state solution based on the internationally agreed parameters"

The historic structural disparity of military forces, where Israel is supplied with heavy weapons and high tech military equipment by western countries, resulted so far into 188 Arab/Palestinians dead, mostly civilians and 47 of them children, while on the Israeli side rockets launched from Gaza Strip caused ten dead and at least 150 wounded.


Paolo Gentiloni VIDEO  ©EP  European Union  

Israeli Prime Minister Netanyahu during a TV broadcast while showing a plan for occupation of territories in the Jordan Valley

Geneva, 4 February 2020 - "In line with international law and relevant UN Security Council resolutions, the EU does not recognise Israel’s sovereignty over the territories occupied since 1967. Steps towards annexation, if implemented, could not pass unchallenged".

The EU Foreign Policy chief, Joseph Borrell made clear in a statement the bloc is not prepared to accept the Middle East peace plan for a solution of the conflict between Israel and Palestine announced by Trump last January. The plan has been strongly rejected by the Palestinian Authority's leader Abbas who Saturday 1st February announced the end of any security cooperation with Israel.

"The EU - he said - recalls its commitment to a negotiated two-State solution, based on 1967 lines, with equivalent land swaps, as may be agreed between the parties, with the State of Israel and an independent, democratic, contiguous, sovereign and viable State of Palestine, living side by side in peace, security and mutual recognition as set out in the Council Conclusions of July 2014. The US initiative, as presented on 28 January, departs from these internationally agreed parameters".

Calling on Israeli and Palestinians to re-engage and to refrain from any unilateral actions against international law, Borrell expressed the 27 members' concerns about "statements on the prospect of annexation of the Jordan Valley and other parts of the West Bank"; the Union will challenge any steps towards occupation  of new territories.

Israel-Palestine: EU concerned by statements on annexation 

of the Jordan Valley 
"The US initiative departs from internationally agreed parameters for a two-State solution"

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photo Joseph Borrell Copyright © EU Parliament 

Brussels, 1 February 2020 - From today the premises of the former Commission Representation in London will become those of the European Union Delegation. Operations will start officially from 1st February 2020, the day when  the United Kingdom left the EU and became a third country.

"While we regret the decision of the UK to leave our Union, we fully respect this choice and are ready to move forward" says Joseph Borrell, in an official communique explaining "the diplomatic representation of the European Union from now on will be ensured by an EU Delegation, under my authority as High Representative of the Union for Foreign affairs and Security Policy".

"I have appointed Ambassador João Vale de Almeida as Head of Delegation and I trust that he will be working tirelessly to ensure smooth cooperation between the European Union and the United Kingdom" says  Borrell highlighting the "key role" in the guarantee of respect of rights of EU citizens in the UK.

"In addition to the traditional responsibilities of an EU Delegation in a third country, such as EU diplomatic representation, EU coordination and reporting and promotion of the EU in the host country, the EU Delegation to the United Kingdom will have a key role in ensuring the implementation of the UK’s Withdrawal Agreement. Together with the embassies of EU Member States, it will also raise awareness on the rights of EU citizen’s in the United Kingdom after Brexit.

photo:  João Vale de Almeida, head of EU Delegation to the UK

Borrell: with de Almeida EU Delegation to the UK will rise awareness of EU citizens' rights

EU Parliament president David Sassoli with Liliana Segre Copyright © EU Parliament 

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Brussels, 29 January 2020  - “We need to bow before the victims of the Shoah, we must remember because we know Auschwitz was build by Europeans. We have to hold upon our shoulders this paternity, because what happened there causes us to face the responsibility.” said EU Parliament president David Sassoli who before the ceremony in Brussels for the 75th Anniversary from Auschwitz liberation by the Red Army, welcomed Auschwitz survivor Liliana Segre.

An Italian Senator for life, Segre, 90 years old, signed on a memory book with the sentence ‘What an emotion! I do exist and the EU Parliament as well’, adding “this was not in someone’s plans”. Segre was threatened few weeks ago by neo-fascists in her city of origin, Milan where right on the remembrance day (27 January) another anti-semitic attack took place.

Later her testimony moved MEPs: “We ate snow in order to drink water wherever there was snow that wasn’t blood”; it was a flash, a moment of the march of the death.  


"People still ask me how is it possible antisemitism still exists. Antisemitism has always existed, it’s just that politics enact this in the circular course of history".

She tells a silent audience in an unwritten discourse that follows the emotional flow of memories that gave us the ultimate meaning of a united Europe: "When I've arrived I saw all the coloured flags at the entrance; so many countries here in  spirit of brotherhood where people speak straight and look into each other eyes. But this hasn't been  always that way".

Antisemitism: an open wound Europe is

still unable to heal 

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The UN Convention on the Elimination of Violence and Harassment in the World of Work recognises that violence and harassment at work can be a human rights violation or abuse, posing a threat to equal opportunities. 

The Convention sets the legal frame of definition of "violence and harassment in the world of work" stating that everyone in the world of work has the right to be free from violence and harassment, including gender-based violence.

Brussels - In the EU countries the 32% of all reported cases of sexual harassment the perpetrator was someone related to the woman's employment: colleague, boss or customer.

The alarming figures are behind the Commission's decision to call all EU member states to ratify the Convention on the Elimination of Violence and Harassment in the World of Work, adopted June last year during the Centenary of the International Labour Organization, the UN agency for the guarantee and enhancement of respect of Human Rights in the workplace.

"The adoption of ILO Convention No. 190 and Recommendation No. 206 recognizes the right of everyone to a world of work free from violence and harassment, including gender-based violence and harassment",  it is stated in the official text of the UN agency's Convention.

The Commission adopted a proposal for a Council decision allowing Member States to take forward the process of ratifying it at national level as it cannot ratify ILO Conventions because the EU is not a member of the UN Organisation. That means such Conventions can be ratified at national level only.

Nicolas Schmit, Commissioner for Jobs and Social Right, stressed that “the new Convention is a much-needed international instrument to protect everyone's right to a workplace free from violence and harassment. Once adopted, this Decision will support Member States in leading the way for its ratification and implementation.”

According to a survey on violence against women conducted by the European Union Agency for Fundamental Rights, 1 in 2 women in the EU said they have experienced some sort of sexual harassment at least once since the age of 15.

 Elimination of Violence and Harassment in the World of Work:

EU Commission calls members to ratify ILO Convention

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