Archive | European Union

How the EU Continues to Fund Settlements in Occupied Territory

The EU recently issued guidelines blocking research and other grants to Israeli institutions with activities (archeological digs, etc.) across the Green Line. In the yesterday’s Jerusalem Post I reveal that the EU continues to actively fund settlements in occupied territory, against their own understanding of international law:

Under guidelines prepared earlier this summer, euros would not be allowed to go to Israeli entities located cross the Green Line – or to those that have any operations there. All Israeli entities applying for funding would have to submit a declaration that they do not have such operations.

Europe claims that such a move – unparalleled in its dealings with any other country – is mandated by international law. The EU does not recognize Israel’s sovereignty over the territories, and thus has an obligation to keep its money from going there. Those who celebrated the move said that Israel is finally paying the international price for its occupation.

Yet it turns out that despite the guidelines, the EU still knowingly and purposefully provides substantial direct financial assistance to settlements in occupied territory – in Turkish-occupied Northern Cyprus, that is. So the EU funds the occupation of an EU member state. . . .

Projects include study abroad scholarships for students at the numerous Northern Cyprus universities (imagine such funding for students at Ariel University!); developing and diversifying the private sector through grants to small and medium- sized businesses; various kinds of infrastructure improvements (telecom upgrades, traffic safety, waste disposal); community development grants, funding to upgrade “cultural heritage” sites, and so forth. They even put on a concert.

Amazingly, this information has never been discussed in the debate over the EU action. On the contrary, academic supporters of the EU measure have falsely stated that “There is no significant difference in the […]

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The Future of the European Union

The European Union has been one of the most interesting experiments in federalism of the post-World War II era. At present, the EU is a very weak federal government, if one can all it a government at all. In some ways, it is even weaker than US government was under the Articles of Confederation that preceded the Constitution. For example, unlike the the US government under the Articles, the EU lacks an armed forces and a common foreign policy. On the other hand, EU regulatory authority has gradually increased, and many European elites envision eventually turning it into a full-fledged federal state that could rival the United States in power and influence. In this Washington Post op ed, political scientist Charles Kupchan (an admirer of the EU) argues that the Union is dying because of the recent resurgence of nationalism which has been exacerbated by current economic crisis:

The European Union is dying — not a dramatic or sudden death, but one so slow and steady that we may look across the Atlantic one day soon and realize that the project of European integration that we’ve taken for granted over the past half-century is no more….

For many Europeans, that greater good no longer seems to matter. They wonder what the union is delivering for them, and they ask whether it is worth the trouble. If these trends continue, they could compromise one of the most significant and unlikely accomplishments of the 20th century: an integrated Europe, at peace with itself, seeking to project power as a cohesive whole….

Europe is hardly headed back to war; its nations have lost their taste for armed rivalries. Instead, less dramatically but no less definitively, European politics will become less European and more national, until the E.U. becomes a union in name

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