EU Lawmakers Soften Motion on 'Palestine'

EU lawmakers stop short of proposing a motion urging recognition of “Palestine”, settle on calling for resumption of peace talks.

Ben Ariel,

European Parliament
European Parliament
Flash 90

European Union lawmakers stopped short on Tuesday of proposing a joint motion urging EU members to recognize “a state of Palestine”, settling instead on a compromise resolution that peace talks should progress, according to Reuters.

Social Democrat, left-wing and Green members of the European Parliament had put forward motions for a symbolic vote on Wednesday to call on the EU's 28 members to recognize Palestine statehood without conditions.

However, the center-right European People's Party (EPP), the largest group in parliament, and the fourth largest group, the Alliance of Liberals and Democrats for Europe (ALDE), said recognition should only form part of a negotiated agreement with Israel.

After talks on Tuesday, negotiators for the center-left Socialists and Democrats, the EPP and ALDE, which together command a large majority in parliament, agreed on the following text, quoted by Reuters:

"(The European Parliament) supports in principle recognition of Palestinian statehood and the two-state solution, and believes these should go hand in hand with the development of peace talks, which should be advanced."

Voting on the non-binding resolution will take place shortly after midday on Wednesday in Strasbourg, the report said. The vote was postponed several weeks ago due to issues of wording.

The resolution comes in the wake of several moves by European countries to unilaterally recognize a Palestinian state.

France’s upper house of parliament voted last Thursday to urge its government to recognize “Palestine”. The French move came hard on the heels of a similar motion in the Irish parliament on Wednesday.

British lawmakers voted overwhelmingly on October 13 in favor of a non-binding motion to "recognize the state of Palestine"; Sweden announced on October 30 it officially recognized the state of "Palestine"; and several weeks ago, Spanish lawmakers adopted a motion calling on the government to recognize a Palestinian state.

Last Friday, a similar motion passed in Portugal. In Belgium, legislators are working on a resolution to recognize a Palestinian state, though the government recently said any timing to proceed will depend on European Union action.

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