European Foreign Affairs Review

Volume 21 (2016)

Volume 21 (2016) / Issue 2

Gerald M. Steinberg, 'EU Foreign Policy and the Role of NGOs: The Arab-Israeli Conflict as a Case Study' (2016) 21 European Foreign Affairs Review, Issue 2, pp. 251–268

Abstract

The European Union’s structural weakness in foreign policy making, and the emphasis on soft power in promoting norms, contribute significantly to its close cooperation with civil society organizations and non-governmental organizations (NGOs).The EU provides core funding to hundreds of NGOs and receives legitimacy, information, and analysis from them. In return, this interdependence allows NGOs to expand their impact in many areas, including foreign policy.

This study analyses the relationship between NGOs and EU decision-making in the foreign policy realm, particularly in the context of the Arab-Israel conflict. By examining EU documents on key issues, such as Jerusalem, settlements, Israeli-Arab citizens, and guidelines for cooperation with Israeli institutions, the article highlights the direct impact of selected NGOs. We argue that the close and mutual NGO-EU dependency has significant political and theoretical ramifications.

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ISSN: 1384-6299
ID: EERR2016016