Complex and split but unique and coordinated: EU mediation in the Israeli-Palestinian conflict

University essay from Lunds universitet/Statsvetenskapliga institutionen

Abstract: This thesis aims to give a deeper understanding of the European Union (EU) in international mediation by examining how the EU has practiced its mediation over time. Based on existing theories on international mediation and EU foreign policy, an analytical framework consisting of actorness, resources and mediation strategies has been developed. The framework has then been applied on three different EU mediation processes, in 1996-1997, 2008-2009 and 2014, in one of the most long-going cases of EU involvement: the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. The results show that in general, the EU has become a more united and coherent actor, both regarding internal and external coherence. Over time, the EU has had resources to use on both Israel and Palestine but has almost always been unwilling to use its resources to influence Israel. Regarding mediation strategies, the EU has over time favoured the least active strategy, communication-facilitation. During all mediation processes, and especially in 2008-2009, the EU also showed signs of the two more active mediation strategies. The thesis contributes to a deeper understanding of mediation, and although the results refer to the specific conflict, they may be applicable to other cases of EU mediation.

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