By Lennox Kalifungwa

A survey of 381 members of European parliaments found that an overwhelming majority (66%) consider their country’s relations with Israel as rather good or very good. Three-quarters (77%) call for greater cooperation with Israel. 

The survey, conducted by the European Leadership Network (ELNET), a nonprofit that seeks to foster close relations between Europe and Israel, found that for most European politicians, historical responsibility towards Israel is the bedrock of good relations. Members of parliaments from Germany (209), Sweden (31), France (22), Austria (18), Ireland (15), Latvia (14), the Czech Republic (14), Spain (10), the European Parliament (10), Norway (8), Denmark (8), Greece (6), the U.K. (5), Italy (5), Malta (3), Cyprus (2) and Finland (1) responded to the survey. 

Defense and homeland security were also key issues with 67% of the parliamentarians expressing interest in closer cooperation by NATO with Israel and greater European involvement in the Middle East. “The changing world order with states striving for supra-regional power such as Iran, rising global challenges, and the war in Ukraine undoubtedly point out that Israel and Europe are well advised to invest in their strategic partnership and political alliance,” said Carsten Ovens, executive director of ELNET Germany. 

European politicians also said their countries should assume more responsibility within the framework of the Abraham Accords Cooperation on education and innovation on issues such as health and climate change also were common themes.

 “Shared values and common interests are seen as an important basis for working together. It is now up to the E.U., the national governments of Europe, and Israel to identify new opportunities for cooperation and pursue them,” Ovens said. The results of the survey were presented at the ELNET International Policy Conference (EIPC) 2023, held in Paris from May 8-10. More than 70 speakers and 500 guests from Europe, Israel, and the United States attended.

Produced in association with Jewish News Syndicate

(Additional reporting provided by JNS Reporter)

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