|European Commission President Visits Israel
(Communicated by Foreign Ministry Spokesman)
The President of the European Commission, Mr. Romano Prodi, is visiting Israel (27-28/2) for the first time since assuming office in September 1999. During his visit, Mr. Prodi will meet with the President, Prime Minister, Foreign Minister, Finance Minister and Speaker of the Knesset.
Israel has extensive ties with the European Union, both bilaterally – the European Union is the main trading partner of Israel (22 billion dollars in trade in 1999) – and regionally – the involvement of the European Union in the peace process and its assistance to states in the region. (Note: Israel is the only country in the region that does not receive EU assistance funds).
Romano Prodi, the former prime minister of Italy (1996-98), is considered, in his role as President of the European Commission, to be one of the most important individuals in European public life and is included among the foremost European leaders. The European Commission is one of the three main institutions of the European Union, alongside the Council of Ministers and the European Parliament.