O’Donnell, Hugh. “The European Union as a Mediator in Israel-Palestine: Operations Cast Lead and Protective Edge.” EU Diplomacy Paper 01/2016.
The European Union (EU) has played an important, yet inconsistent role in the Israel-Palestine conflict since the1980 Venice Declaration. This paper analyses how the EU’s role as a mediator has changed more recently in the Israel-Gaza conflict. Specifically, it examines how the ‘Concept on Strengthening EU Mediation and Dialogue Capacities’ adopted in 2009 and the creation of the European External Action Service and the High Representative by the Lisbon Treaty have changed the EU’s resources and strategies as a mediator as well as how these developments improved cooperation and coordination with other mediators. This analysis is done through a comparison of the EU’s role in the Israeli Operation Cast Lead in 2008/2009 and Operation Protective Edge in 2014. It is argued that the aforementioned changes made the EU a more capable mediator and facilitated internal coordination. However, these changes did not create more resources for the EU as a mediator, rather they changed how the EU used its resources.