Israeli, European Parliamentarians Call for Closer Economic, Cultural Ties

A delegation of Israeli parliamentarians met with counterparts from the European Parliament and called for closer ties in a number of areas.

The meeting took place on Thursday at the European Parliament in Brussels. Yesh Atid MK and former Science Minister Yaakov Peri, along with Kulanu MKs Eli Alalouf and Merav Ben-Ami, met a delegation of MEPs led by Italian MEP Fulvio Martusciello, chair of the European Parliament delegation for relations with Israel.

The two delegations discussed a range of topics, including the peace process between Israel and the Palestinians and issues concerning immigration and asylum seekers. They also discussed a number of security challenges, particularly cyber-security and the shared terrorist threat.

“The major issues under discussion included the continued rise of religiously motivated terrorism and extremism as well as the increase in antisemitism and hate crimes in Europe,” a joint statement released after the meeting said. “These significant challenges demand joint deliberation, information-sharing and an examination of the ways to address and combat these phenomena.”

The Israeli delegates emphasized the need to work more closely with Israel’s Arab neighbors in areas of shared interest, such as renewable energy and the environment, as a confidence building measure towards reviving peace talks.

The meeting also focused on the potential for increasing bilateral ties between Israel and the European Union. The parliamentarians called for closer cooperation in economic, cultural, educational and scientific work.

Israel is the only non-EU country to be a full participant in the EU’s flagship Horizon 2020 research and innovation program, which aims to create jobs and fuel economic growth.

(via BICOM)