Israel and the EU to seek ways to strengthen relationship.

(Communicated by the Foreign Minister’s Bureau)

Vice Prime Minister and Minister of Foreign Affairs Tzipi Livni’s visit to Brussels to attend the meeting of the EU-Israel Association Council ended this morning.

During her visit, FM Livni reached an agreement with her European counterparts on the creation of joint Israeli-EU working groups, which will examine ways to strengthen the relationship as regards current agreements and programs, as is fitting to Israel’s special status in the European Union. Israel is party to the European Union Association Agreement and is an active participant in the European Neighborhood Policy program.

In order to reach these aims, it was agreed that meetings of experts would take place within the framework of the joint working groups, to examine the possibility of increasing Israel’s involvement in the fields of education, science, commerce, investment, transportation and culture. The experts group will submit preliminary results by the end of 2007.

It was further agreed that the European Union will be represented by the German Presidency, the European Commission and the Secretariat of the Council of Ministers.