Wednesday, February 05, 2014

Israel is a Strategic Asset to the EU

Former Prime Minister of Spain speaks in UK Parliament in support of new study that debunks the myth that Israel is a liability to Europe
Added Value: Israel’s Strategic Worth to the European Union and its Member States, a joint report by The Henry Jackson Society and Friends of Israel Initiative, examines the extent to which Israel represents a strategic asset to the EU. The report looks at three key arenas: military, economic and scientific/technological. It finds that Europe is more secure, more innovative and more relevant on the world stage thanks to the tools Israel provides: from unmanned aerial vehicles to intelligence; from energy to pharmaceuticals; and from particle accelerators to high tech start-up.

At a time when Israel’s detractors in the EU have sought to cast it not only as an illegitimate state, but a liability and burden to Europe, Added Value demonstrates that by virtually all key parameters, Israel is a net strategic advantage to the EU.
Among the report’s key findings:
  • Contrary to news reports of EU-Israel disagreements – such as European Commission directives to label Israeli goods from the West Bank – by the most important measures, the EU’s relations with Israel are closer than at any time in the Union’s history.
  • With nearly €30 billion in bilateral trade, the EU is Israel’s top source of imports and Israel is Europe’s leading trade partner in the Eastern Mediterranean. As the European economy continues to falter, EU exports to Israel are growing by roughly 5% a year.
  • Israel provides invaluable counter-terrorism intelligence that keeps Europeans secure, while Israeli military technology protects EU troops in the field in Afghanistan, Mali and elsewhere.
  • A world leader in high-tech innovation, Israel is vital in keeping Europe competitive in science and technological. That is the reason Israel is the only non-European country included in the Framework Programmes, the guiding blueprints for the EU’s scientific research.  
At the Parliamentary launch, former Prime Minister of Spain Jose Maria Aznar addressed his fellow EU citizens:
"We Europeans will be unable to emerge from our present crises secure, innovative and diplomatically significant without strong state-to-state relations at home and healthy alliances with strategic partners in our neighbourhood. We must start by acknowledging and enhancing our crucial strategic relationship with the State of Israel."
Added Value demonstrates that despite the strident calls of some in the EU to reduce or cut ties to Israel, such a move would come at tremendous strategic cost.

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