Brussels – 18 June 2020 – The AJC Transatlantic Institute welcomes the European Parliament’s passage of the EU-Israel Euro-Mediterranean Aviation Agreement with 437 yes votes, 147 abstentions, and 102 no votes.
“This aviation agreement between the EU and Israel benefits consumers, empowers job-creating businesses, and aligns environmental standards. It’s a good day for EU-Israel relations,” said Daniel Schwammenthal, Director of the AJC's EU office, the AJC Transatlantic Institute.
Unlike the aviation accords Parliament approved with other third countries like China and Jordan, lawmakers from the Socialists, Greens, and far-left GUE group tried to postpone the vote on the agreement with the Jewish state. This delay tactic came in response to Israel’s discussion about the future of the West Bank. However, a majority of parliamentarians rejected this motion for adjournment and then proceeded to sign off on the deal.
“Despite the ultimately favorable outcome, it’s disconcerting that some lawmakers wanted to misuse this purely technical agreement to settle political disagreements. Had they succeeded, it would have no doubt been viewed in Israel as a preemptive sanction and severely damaged the bilateral relationship. Fortunately, a majority of lawmakers opted for constructive engagement with the new Israeli government instead of threats, and so both European and Israeli citizens ultimately won out.”
The European Parliament’s sign-off on the agreement, already ratified by national parliaments and adopted by the EU legislature’s transport committee, anchors Israel in the bloc’s aviation regulatory framework. It also contains rules on competition, labour and social standards, protection of passenger rights, and environmental cooperation.