Tuesday, November 10, 2015 9:00 to 12:30
40 Years of EU-Israel Ties: Economic, Political and Security Perspectives
The year 2015 marks the anniversary of two crucial events in Europe's relationship with Israel: 50 years of diplomatic ties between Germany and Israel and 40 years since the signing of the EU-Israel Cooperation Agreement, which paved the way for the Association Agreement of 1995.
That a mere 20 years after World War II and the Holocaust Germany and the Jewish state would launch diplomatic relations was no matter of course. What began with careful overtures by German Chancellor Konrad Adenauer and a fateful first meeting in 1960 with Israel's Prime Minister David Ben Gurion, has over the past five decades evolved into a truly special relationship.
Ten years on, in 1975, Israel and the European Union signed their first free trade agreement, formalizing a relationship that would subsequently expand beyond just trade to cover economic, social, financial, scientific, technological and cultural cooperation.
Though not free of tensions, this relationship is vital for both sides. For Europe, Israel is a stable and reliable partner, the only democracy in a war-torn region. Europe also benefits greatly from Israeli ingenuity, be it in the field of security or high-tech. Israel, for its part, relies on the EU as its most important trading partner and depends on the diplomatic support from its Western partners.
This conference will not only take stock but also look in the future of this critical relationship. What role can the EU and Germany play on the international stage? What are the opportunities to intensify economic, scientific and political cooperation? How to confront together common security threats, from ISIS to nuclear proliferation? These and other questions will be discussed with a distinguished group of experts, decision makers, and diplomats from Germany, the EU and Israel.
Michael Hinterdobler, Director, Representation of the Free State of Bavaria to the European Union Christian Forstner, Director, Hanns Seidel Foundation Brussels
Keynote: “Strategic Partners in Tumultuous Times: The Next 40 Years of EU-Israel Relations”
Fulvio Martusciello, MEP, Chair, Delegation for Relations with Israel
First Panel: “Economic and Political Perspectives of EU-Israel Relationship”
Dr. Einat Wilf, Senior Fellow, Jewish People Policy Institute; Former Member of Knesset Malte Lehming, Op-Ed Editor, "Der Tagesspiegel"
Raúl Fuentes Milani, Head of Division, Middle East II, European External Action Service
Shuli Davidovich, Deputy Chief of Mission, Israeli Mission to the EU Moderator: Dr. Michael Borchard, Head of Konrad-Adenauer-Stiftung Israel
Successful Environmental Cooperation in the Region: Hanns Seidel Foundation’s Project under the EU Partnership for Peace Programme
Prof. Yossi Leshem, Department of Zoology, Tel Aviv University, Israel General Mansour Abu Rashid, Chairman, Amman Centre for Peace and Development (ACPD), Jordan
Moderator: Dr. Jessica Schäckermann, Project Coordinator, Hanns Seidel Foundation Israel and the Palestinian Territories
Second Panel: "EU-Israel Security Cooperation - ISIS, Iran and beyond"
Colonel Ron Wisel, Israel Defence Forces (IDF) Attaché, The Hague
Cristian Dan Preda, MEP, Coordinator for the Committee on Foreign Affairs of the EPP Group
Roland Freudenstein, Deputy Director and Head of Research, Wilfried Martens Centre for European Studies
Tommy Steiner, Senior Research Fellow, Institute for Policy and Strategy, Interdisciplinary Center (IDC), Herzliya, Israel
Moderator: Jason Isaacson, AJC Director of Government and International Affairs
Closing Remarks Robert H. Elman, Chair, AJC Transatlantic Institute