От роли плательщика к роли игрока на Ближнем Востоке

Политика Европейского Союза на Ближнем Востоке является наилучшим тестом для его единой внешней политики и политики в области безопасности. Многие европейцы разделяют это мнение, но, в то время как ЕС рассматривает возможность вступления на арену ближневосточных мирных переговоров, он должен ответить на комментарий бывшего премьер-министра Израиля Ариэля Шарона, сказавшего, что в регионе «вы плательщики, а не игроки».

Однако потенциальный вклад Европы нельзя недооценивать. Финансовая помощь, поступающая на Ближний Восток из Европы, была как стабильной, так и впечатляющей. С 1995 по 1999 годы ЕС перечислил в регион около 3.4 миллиардов евро, к чему Европейский Инвестиционный Банк (ЕИБ) добавил еще 4.8 миллиардов евро в виде ссуд. С 2000 по 2006 год Европа направила в регион еще 5.35 миллиардов евро, а ЕИБ утвердил еще 6.4 миллиардов в виде займов. В этом году Европейская Комиссия только Палестине пообещала 320 миллионов евро.

Это что касается плательщика. Но способствовала ли финансовая помощь Европы установлению мира на Ближнем Востоке? Палестинская автономия получила больше помощи на душу населения, чем послевоенная Европа в рамках Плана Маршалла, однако политика израильско-палестинского конфликта разрушила надежды на более широкое европейско-средиземноморское сотрудничество, которое могло бы положить начало политике диалога и инвестиций, обещающей реальные улучшения в жизни миллионов людей.

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