Fifteen years after its launch, the impact of the Barcelona Process on the Palestinian Territory is in need of a reassessment. Despite some initial improvements in the political and economic structures, the Euro-Mediterranean Partnership alone has failed to anchor a peace deal between Israel and the Palestinians. In response, the European Neighbourhood Policy was launched to bring out a number of new foreign policy instruments, which induced substantial reforms. Yet the win by Hamas in the 2006 elections brought a halt to the EU’s aid and diplomacy. This boycott proved detrimental, as it widened the rift between the main parties to the point of no reconciliation. Whether the Union for the Mediterranean proves any better than its predecessor policies in the region remains to be seen. This publication aims at providing a broad picture of the EU’s policies towards the Palestinian Territory, in order to draw lessons from them and offer proposals for the way ahead.
Rouba Al-Fattal is a PhD candidate at the Institute for International and European Policy at the University of Leuven (KUL) in Belgium, and the co-founder of the Euro-Arab Forum (EAF), a Brussels-based NGO encouraging innovative ideas and open exchange between Europe and the Arab world.