Messaging Mayhem: The EU’s Struggle for Clarity on Israel-Palestine

Few long-standing conflicts evoke such intense discussions and foreign policy debates as Israel-Palestine, be it within or between the European Union’s 27 member states – informed by differing historical and political backgrounds. Therefore, the presence of a wide variety of viewpoints should not come as a surprise. And yet, the EU’s overall response to the unfolding geopolitical and humanitarian crisis in Israel-Palestine since the 7 October Hamas attacks has been shocking in the sheer magnitude of repeated mis-coordination. Twelve years after the creation of the European External Action Service (EEAS), a crisis of credibility casts long shadows over the EU’s aspirations for a cohesive and unified Common Foreign and Security Policy (CFSP). This Insight Piece will elucidate the contradictions on display and analyze the implications for Brussels’ vaunted efforts to become a geopolitical actor.


This piece was first published in International Development Research Network on December 1, 2023.

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