New European Neighbourhood Policy Action Plan concluded between the EU and the Palestinian Authority

The Action Plan which sets out the objectives of European Union and the Palestinian Authority bilateral relations for the next five years, was agreed in Jerusalem on 24 October. Catherine Ashton, stressed that this Plan will mark a new phase in the EU privileged bilateral partnership with the Palestinian Authority.

A new European Neighbourhood Policy Action Plan was agreed by Salam Fayyad, Prime Minister of the Palestinian Authority, and Catherine Ashton, High Representative of the European Union for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy and Vice President of the Commission. The Action Plan sets up new objectives and also provides the framework for an EU-PA work programme across a wide variety of sectors including justice and home affairs, economic co-operation, trade-related issues, energy, water and transport. In March 2012, the EU allocated €35 million in EU funds to improve the living conditions of the Palestinian people.

The EU and the PA have, in this new Action Plan, outlined a number of key priority objectives including a commitment to deepen bilateral relations in preparation for establishing a full-fledged Association Agreement between the EU and the future state of Palestine. They also will work together towards building a Palestinian state based on the rule of law and respect for human rights and democratic, accountable institutions. In order to ensure sustainable PA finances and economic development throughout the occupied Palestinian territory, they will also support each other as well as on the political, economic, social and cultural rights of the Palestinian population in East Jerusalem. Finally, they agreed to promote inclusive development in Area C.

The EU and the PA will monitor progress in achieving the plan’s objectives through regular policy discussions. The conclusions of the negotiations for the New European Neighbourhood Policy Action Plan will have now to be completed with their internal ratification process in view of the adoption of the Action Plan by the EU-PLO Joint Committee.