EU, Israel hold first economic dialogue

A joint European Union-Israeli committee on economic matters held its first meeting Tuesday in Jerusalem, where the two sides discussed the short- and medium-term future of the euro zone.
This was the committee’s first meeting since its formation under the EU-Israel Association Agreement. The EU delegation was led by its chief diplomat in Israel, Andrew Standley, and included officials from the European Commission, European External Action Service and European Central Bank. Acting Finance Ministry director-general Doron Cohen led the Israeli team, which included representatives from the National Economic Council and Central Bureau of Statistics.
Discussion revolved around the challenges facing both the European and Israeli economies in the coming year. The European officials made a presentation on policy responses to the ongoing sovereign debt crisis, including the adoption of fiscal consolidation packages by most euro zone countries. The Israeli representatives presented on the upcoming fiscal challenges, and on the recommendations made by the government-appointed Trajtenberg and Economic Competitiveness committees.
Both parties welcomed the recently formed cooperation between Eurostat and its Israeli counterpart, the Central Bureau of Statistics, and agreed to support an extension of the two bodies’ current memorandum of understanding on the exchange of data beyond 2013. The next economic dialogue was set for early next year in Brussels.
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