Our panelists this week were Marc Botenga, a Belgian MEP with The Left and a substitute on the European Parliament delegation to Palestine, Antonio López-Istúriz White, a Spanish MEP with the European People’s Party and Chair of the European Parliament Delegation for relations with Israel, and Teresa Kuchler, Swedish journalist with Svenska Dagbladet.
This week, the eyes of the world were on the horrific attacks carried out by Hamas last week in Israel. To show solidarity, the EU institutions shone the Israeli flag on EU buildings and the President of the European Commission Ursula von der Leyen and the President of the European Parliament Roberta Metsola visited Israel on Friday.
Panelists gave their opinions on what role the European Union should play in the region and reacted to the messy response of the EU Commission to the events.
"Some of us we have been warning about this from the Foreign Affairs Committee, you know, that we have to change our foreign affairs approach in European politics. This cannot go on because this is the image of Europe. We need a coordinated effort and response to the crisis, not only this one, but many others to come", said Antonio Lopez Isturiz.
"I think the EU today has a role to play, you know, to defend international law, to defend international humanitarian law, to protect civilians. You know, this is a role that the EU should play to be very clear about this," said Marc Botenga.
"And the EU has in other conflicts played a diplomatic role, you know, to bring either a cease-fire negotiations whatsoever between the different partners, because the risk of this escalating into a full regional war is real concrete today," he added.
"The EU doesn't have a role to play in this crisis", said Teresa Kuchler, describing the bloc as "a payer, not a player".
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