Annapolis : the EU’s role in the conference

Preparations: the High Representative for CFSP Javier Solana’s tour in the Middle East (11 to 14 November 2007)

Although she’s not the instigating power, the European Union has also participated in the preparation of the planned peace conference in Annapolis on November 27.

From 11 to 14 November, the head of the CFSP Javier Solana has visited the cities of Ramallah, Jerusalem, Tel Aviv and Cairo in order to encourage the leaders attending the conference on November 27 to do everything so that it is a success. He pointed out that failure this time could not be an option given the regional catastrophic consequences in such a case.

Despite the difficulty given the chaotic preparations, but also the short time expected (one day), Javier Solana insisted on three advances to be achieved by the peace conference:

1) create a new political dynamic;

2) prepare the groundwork for a major economic effort to help the Palestinians. An international conference of donors will be held in Paris in December for this purpose;

3) And changes must occur before the conference.

He also stressed the fact that although the conference lasted only one day, this will be enough to start the peace process. And that’s its the goal.

Statement by Javier Solana Friday, November 23, 2006 concerning the European participation in the Conference Annapolis

Javier Solana stressed the strategic importance of the Israeli-Palestinian peace for Europe. He also called on all parties to the conference to support the effort launched in Annapolis under the auspices of the Quartet.

The EU stresses the importance of the international conference of donors for Palestine to be held in December.

The EU agrees:

– To promote the bilateral effort of the parties

– To promote the role of facilitator of the United States

– To ensure the active involvement of the Quartet in the conference and in its follow-up

– To continue its collaboration with the Arab and to support the Arab Peace Initiative

– To maintain a high level of cooperation with the region, including supporting the political efforts and post-conflict efforts.

The EU emphasizes the building of the future Palestinian state. For this, she is committed to working with the Palestinian Authority, but said that both parties must also make efforts to agree with each other.

In concrete terms what do EU propose ? (Cf. Declaration of 23 November)

The EU propose to provide assistance in 3 areas:

1) the construction of the Palestinian state

– Establishment of a modern and democratic police in cooperation with the US coordinator, as well as prisons and effective judicial institutions.

– Construction of institutions and good governance (an area in which the EU already works via the institution « Governance Strategy Group » based in Jerusalem)

– The growth of the Palestinian economy by strengthening the private sector (collateral for loans, trade facilitation…)

– Customs and Trade: to facilitate the monitoring of goods through Palestinian borders and to support PA’s trade policy. The EU is ready to resume work with trilateral groups for trade policy.

2) during the transition period

– Support to reach viable PA’s finances.

– Plan for reform and development: stable institutions, economic recovery, as well as projects with short-term results. It will be accorded to a schedule coordinated by the representative of the Quartet, Tony Blair, with a need to Israel support about access and movement in the Palestinian territories.

– Support to humanitarian emergency (water, electricity, gas) in the West Bank, Gaza and to Palestinian refugees. EU’s aid to Gaza will be combined with the goal of Palestinian unity.

3) conflict resolution

– Support to the resolution of Jerusalem status by increasing its assistance to hospitals, schools and community centres for the population of East Jerusalem.

– Adapting aid to refugees with the goal of achieving a lasting solution in this regard.

– European contribution to security if the need appears in the context of a permanent arrangement.