Brussels, 3 April 2008
European Neighbourhood Policy – THE
OCCUPIED PALESTINIAN TERRITORY
EU–Palestinian Authority relations: basic facts
The Interim Association Agreement on Trade and Cooperation with the
Palestinian Liberation Organisation on behalf of the Palestinian Authority (PA)
is in force since 1997. The ENP Action Plan was adopted in May 2005.
Major developments in 2007
The political situation in the occupied Palestinian territory during 2006 and
the first half of 2007 did not allow progress in the bilateral co-operation with
the Palestinian Authority within the European Neighbourhood Policy.
The EU is now ready to re-launch the implementation of the EU-PA Action Plan.
A Joint Committee meeting with the Palestinian Authority is scheduled for Spring
Efforts by the Government of Prime Minister Fayyad in areas like the
security sector, fiscal redress, and governance are
noticeable. Palestinian police has enhanced security in Nablus. The Ministry of
Finance has taken bold steps to restore the functioning of public
The European Commission commended the PA Government’s efforts to
produce the Palestinian Reform and Development Plan 2008-2010, which sets out
the vision of the future Palestinian state.
The EU supports reforms in the occupied Palestinian territory by
- Supporting effective, accountable and transparent systems of governance. The
Commission chairs the local Governance Strategy Group providing guidance to the
Palestinian Authority on governance reform issues, such as public
administration, accountability and transparency, and rule of law.
- Supporting to Palestinian democratic processes. The European Commission was
the first and largest donor to an independent Palestinian Election Commission.
This support helped to ensure that the presidential and legislative elections
were held in a free and fair manner.
- Strengthening of rule of law institutions. This includes EU support to
empowering the Palestinian judiciary, such as training for judges and court
administrators and development of a case law database. Complementary support is
provided to Palestinian civil police in coordination with the EU Police Mission
EUPOL COPPS, to help the Palestinian Authority establish sustainable and
effective policing arrangements.
- Institutional building necessary for a sustainable government, including
revenue collection and sound financial management. This includes specific
technical assistance to improve the Palestinian Authority's public finance
management, tax administration, and customs revenue collection.
- Supporting trade facilitation, advice on import and export procedures, as
well as credit guarantees for small and medium size enterprises, to encourage
Palestinian economic regeneration and reform.
- To scale up efforts to relieve the socio-economic crisis, the Commission
launched in June 2006 a Temporary International Mechanism (TIM) to provide basis
assistance to the Palestinians without going to or passing through the Hamas-led
government. The Commission gave a total of € 455 million to TIM, and
substantial funds were also provided by the EU Member States, brining the
overall EU contribution to over €616 million. Some 150.000 Palestinian
households directly received social allowances from the TIM, while 1.3 million
people in Gaza benefited from fuel deliveries for hospitals and from water
supply and sanitation.
- Building on this success, the new European financial mechanism PEGASE
replaced the TIM in February 2008. The mechanism channels assistance in support
for the three year Palestinian Reform and Development Plan 2008-2010, which was
presented to the Paris Donor Conference. PEGASE provides a predictable and
stable flow of assistance to the Palestinian Authority and will support its
reform efforts. It supports a broad range of activities in the areas of
governance, social and economic development, and public infrastructure.
Assistance to the Palestinians
The European Commission is the lead donor to the Palestinians. Its assistance
has increased to €550 million in 2007 from €340 million in 2006 and
€270 million in 2005. This was linked to higher emergency and humanitarian
needs due to the deterioration of the political and economic situation,
especially in the Gaza Strip.
The EU assistance (European Commission + Member States cumulated) has
increased from €500 million in 2005, to €688 million in 2006 and to
around €1 billion in 2007.
In December 2007, the Commission co-chaired the Paris donors’
conference for the Palestinians and pledged €440 million for 2008. This
includes substantial support for the Palestinian Reform and Development Plan
2008-2010, support to UNRWA for Palestine refugees, as well as humanitarian and
food aid. EU Member Stated pledged €664 million for 2008.
The Communication from the Commission to the Parliament and the Council
Implementation of the European Neighbourhood Policy in 2007 (3 April
2008) and a report on the occupied Palestinian territory are available at
More on occupied Palestinian territory and ENP