(photo credit: AFP/ DANIEL ROLAND)
IN 1995, the European Union’s Barcelona Conference launched the grand-sounding Euro-Mediterranean Partnership, a massive effort encompassing the countries of North Africa, Israel, Syria and Jordan. The main objective was to establish economic and political frameworks to stabilize the Arab regimes; the second goal was to compete with the US in Arab-Israeli peacemaking after Oslo.Both missions failed. But in the process and through a very large budget, the EU built alliances with a number of highly politicized NGOs. Through frameworks such as Partnership for Peace and the European Instrument for Democracy and Human Rights, and via delegation offices in Tel Aviv, Jerusalem and Amman, the EU began bankrolling dozens of NGOs, including the Israeli B’Tselem, Breaking the Silence and Adalah and the hard-core Palestinian political NGO, Applied Research in Jerusalem, which receives close to €1 million annually.