Thursday, April 27, 2006
Benita Ferrero-Waldner European Commissioner for External Relations and European Neighbourhood Policy Suspension of aid to the Palestinian Authority government
ARTICLE DISPONIBLE UNIQUEMENT EN ANGLAISEuropean Parliament Plenary
Brussels, 26 April 2006
The election victory of Hamas in January presented the EU with an entirely new situation.
We supported the Palestinian elections and respect their outcome. But the heart of the matter is the emergence of a Palestinian Authority whose government is led by members of an organisation included in the EU terrorist list and that continues, to this day, to attempt to justify suicide bombings in Israel.
In January, the Council and the Quartet set out clear principles for continued engagement with the Palestinian Authority. I am the first to regret that the new government has so far refused to renounce violence, recognise the right of Israel to exist or accept existing agreements. These principles are the expression of a commitment to work for peace by peaceful means. They are not new: they have underpinned our cooperation with the Palestinians for many years.
As a result, the Council, meeting two weeks ago, endorsed the decision of the Commission to temporarily put on hold assistance to, or through, the Palestinian government and its ministries.
The Commission’s action is a precautionary measure taken to ensure that no Community funds pass into the hands of Hamas. We have taken it pending the possible evolution of the Palestinian Authority position and a definitive decision by the Council on relations with the Palestinian Authority. It is not a definitive decision : we are currently reviewing all projects involving payments to or through the Palestinian Authority to see whether we can find alternative solutions. My services have already held a meeting with the office of Mahmoud Abbas to discuss implementing some of these projects through the Office of the President.
I want to make it very clear what this means. We have suspended payments going to the Palestinian government, but we have not suspended aid to the Palestinian people.
On the contrary : since the beginning of this year, we have stepped up our aid to the Palestinians. On 27 February, I announced a €120 million package of aid including help for the refugees, and with fuel bills. This means that we committed almost half our normal year’s budget in two months. €100 million of this has already been paid, five times more than we paid for the same period in 2005.
Honourable members, this represents an acceleration of our aid to the Palestinian people, not a suspension.
The Commission is all too aware that the economic, social and humanitarian crisis in the Palestinian territories is getting worse. I have seen the reports from the visit that some members made to the region in the last few days and I know you share our deep concern. We will come forward with further measures to help the population.
But we must be clear on one point : the key to preventing a humanitarian disaster in the Palestinian territories lies with Israel and the Palestinian Authority, not the international community.
I have heard some people say that Europe has been paying the salaries of the PA. This is not true. Our support to the PA budget in the past has been linked to reform. At most, it covered less than 10% of the salary bill. A real problem now is Israel withholding Palestinian customs and tax revenues. These are Palestinian taxes which people have already paid. Withholding them means that basic services won’t be delivered, salaries cannot be paid, and families will suffer. Israel has also increased the closures of territory in the West Bank and into and out of Gaza. Addressing these problems will do more to help the Palestinian people than any measure the EU can take. The international community must intensify its diplomatic efforts with Israel on these two issues.
Honourable Members, on the Palestinian side, President Abbas has a key role to play, including in negotiations with Israel, and we are looking at how we might best support his Office. But we are not in the business of establishing parallel structures. We are rather looking at the possibility with other donors of establishing an international supervision mechanism which could facilitate the control of funds for donors to meet needs in the health and education sectors.
The Quartet meeting on 9 May is an opportunity for the international community to address this question as well as the measures Israel could take to ease the humanitarian situation.
I wish to conclude by stressing our wish to see an evolution of the positions taken by the Palestinian Authority government, not its failure. And in this way to address the contradiction between the positions currently espoused by members of the new Palestinian government (and by Hamas as an organisation) and the EU objective of a negotiated solution to the Israeli/Palestinian conflict, with Israel living side-by-side and at peace with a future Palestinian state based on the 1967 borders.
EU Grants related to this news:
The Council adopted the €920 million new EaSI programme. This programme funds projects which aim to reach the European Union’s objectives in terms of promoting a high level of employment, guaranteeing adequate social protection, co...
Lithuanian Presidency reaches agreement with the European Parliament on EU external financing for the 2014-2020 programming period.
It is the turn of the Council to adopt the new programme for training, education, youth and sport Erasmus + with a budget of €14,7 billion euro.
Copernicus, the EU’s new Earth Observation System, was approved by the Industry Committee on Thursday. Replacing the Global Monitoring for Environment and Security (GMES) programme, it will have a €3.79 billion budget for 2014-2020. Its...
At an informal meeting, the ministers of the European Union member states in charge of cohesion policy had discussed on 26 November in Vilnius the main novelties of 2014-2020 period to increase the effectiveness of structural fund investments.
+33 1 42 54 60 64
Marine Rossi at
33 (0)1 42 54 60 64
€ 2 million are provided by the European Commission to help victi...
This aid comes in response to floods that occurred in Assam as a result of the monsoon.
07 August 2012
A new funding for famine and drought victims in the Horn of Africa
ristalina Georgieva, the European Commissioner for International Cooperation, Humanitarian Aid and Crisis Response an...
27 July 2011
The humanitarian aid budget to Yemen will increase to 15 million euro
On January 15th, 2011, the European Commissioner for International Cooperation, Humanitarian Aid and Crisis Response ...
17 January 2011
2 million euro in aid to flood victims in Sri Lanka
On January 14th, DG ECHO of the European Commission has decided to grant emergency humanitarian aid of 2 million euro...
14 January 2011
100 million euro will be allocated in 2011 in support to Palestinia...
On December 22nd, the European Commission has decided that a first financial package worth 100 million euro will be a...
29 December 2010
Colombia: 2 million euros have been allocated to help flood victims
Following the torrential rains that fell on Colombia over the last few months, two million people have been affected ...
24 December 2010
Ivory Coast: 5 million euro have been allocated to respond to the h...
On December 22nd, 2010, the European Commission has developed an aid package to help threatened populations in Ivory ...
23 December 2010
The Commission will double its financial assistance to address the ...
On November 22, the Commission decided to allocate additional 20 million euro in the Sahel region, reaching 40 millio...
22 November 2010
ECHO: 1.5 million euro will go to Bolivia to help drought victims
On November 4th the European Commission decided to allocate 1.5 million euro for humanitarian assistance to vulnerabl...
04 November 2010
- 04 November 2010
Focus on EU Grants
05 December 2013The EU Council adopts two Framework programmes
After the European Parliament a few days ago, it is the turn of the EU Council to adopt two of the most iconic EU Fra...
27 November 2014Adoption of programmes for 2014-2020!
After the vote of the 2014 budget, on November 20th and 21st 2013, the European Parliament adopted numerous programme...
Become a partner :
The partner is a body actively involved in the project (from conception to its realisation) and in reception of part of the grant. It is by no means a subcontractor and must be directly involved in the successful completion of the overall project. It is important to note that the partners, regard...
To adapt to the multiannual financial framework 2014-2020 :
We are currently in the pivotal period of the end of the programming period 2007-2013 and of the preparation of the new multiannual financial framework (MFF). Indeed, a political agreement related to the 2014-2020 MFF has been concluded the 27th of June 2013 between the European institutions. The...
Creating an evaluation plan :
The evaluation is an obligation imposed by the European Commission, it is a tool to improve the professional performances of partners in carrying out the projects. Its purpose is to assess a current or completed project, including its design, implementation and results and to measure the relevanc...
Read quickly a call for proposal and gain in efficiency! :
Reading a call for proposal isn’t always easy for a non trained eye! In order to save some time and not to get lost in the deciphering, you need to analyze carefully and rapidly the interest of a call for proposal
Grant candidate's selection: ease the evaluator's work! :
Once submitted, all projects will reach the same stage: selection. It is therefore helpful to understand it's criteria and requirements, in order to ease the evaluator's work and to stack the odds in your favor.
27 September - 23 February 2014, EU 28Join the debate on the future of Europe !
Politicians from the European Commission will be coming to a city near you to listen to what you think about your rig...
20 September - 12 December 2013, EU 28Public consultation on the Green Action Plan for SMEs
Through this public consultation the Commission wishes to collect stakeholders’ views on the most effective suppor...
25 September - 18 December 2013, EU 28Consultation on the establishment of a quantitative reduction headline
The aim of this consultation is to understand stakeholders’ views on a range of actions and policies which could b...
03 October - 31 December 2013, EU 28Consultation on Crowdfunding in the EU – Exploring the added value o
The European Commission is launching a consultation to explore the added value of potential EU action. The consulta...
14 October - 14 February 2014, EU 28Consultation on Review of existing VAT legislation
The Commission adopted in December 2011 a Communication on the future of VAT that sets out the fundamental ...