De pagador a jugador en Oriente Medio

La política de la Unión Europea en Oriente Medio es la prueba de fuego de su política exterior y de seguridad común. Muchos europeos comparten esta visión, pero, mientras la UE considera ingresar a la refriega de las conversaciones de paz de Oriente Medio, debe responder a la burla del ex primer ministro israelí Ariel Sharon de que en la región “ustedes son los pagadores, no los jugadores”.

Sin embargo, no debería subestimarse el aporte potencial de Europa. La contribución financiera de Europa a Oriente Medio ha sido consistente y espectacular. Entre 1995 y 1999, gastó aproximadamente 3.400 millones de euros en la región, a lo que el Banco Europeo de Inversiones sumó otros 4.800 millones de euros en préstamos. De 2000 a 2006, Europa invirtió otros 5.350 millones de euros, y el BEI aprobó 6.400 millones de euros en préstamos. Este año, la Comisión Europea comprometió 320 millones de euros sólo para Palestina.

Bastante para el papel de pagador. Ahora bien, ¿la ayuda financiera de Europa acercó la paz? La Autoridad Palestina ha recibido más ayuda per capita que la Europa de posguerra bajo el Plan Marshall, y sin embargo la política del conflicto palestino-israelí ha frustrado las esperanzas de un marco euro-mediterráneo más amplio que pueda permitir una política de diálogo e inversión que prometa mejoras reales para la vida de millones de personas.

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