Although the US has often prided itself of the status of sole interlocutor in the Middle East “conflict”, it has equally gained the reputation of an interested and biased mediator. In parallel, the European Community or EC – now European Union, EU – claimed to have a ‚more balanced’ approach on the Middle East file, which in turn garnered Palestinians’ trust. But during the current escalation, the EU has been woefully disunited. This blog argues that a more unified European voice can only come about by “walking the talk” of an Israel-Palestine policy/peace agreement based on purported basic European values.
For decades, the EU has declared that it aims to support democratization in its southern neighborhood. Yet, the EU’s cooperation with repressive rulers in other policy fields, such as energy, migration, security, and trade, contradicts the EU’s own democracy support objectives. European policymakers have apparently not learnt from the pre-2011 period. As we argue in our project SHAPEDEM-EU, the EU must embark on a journey of un-, de- and re-learning, and it must avoid contradicting practices in different policy fields. This can be done by introducing a democracy learning loop.