On July 3, 2023, the Spanish Presidency of the Council of the European Union was inaugurated in Madrid, Spain. This marks the beginning of Spain’s six-month leadership of the Council, taking over from Sweden. This period is crucial as it is the final stretch of the European institutional cycle before the appointment of a new Commission after the elections to the European Parliament in May 2024. It is the fifth time that Spain has presided over the Council, having previously done so in 1989, 1995, 2002, and 2010.
During the inauguration, the President of the Government, Pedro Sánchez, expressed his support for the work of the High Representative of the European Union, Josep Borrell. Sánchez also emphasized the importance of the two-state solution for Israel and Palestine as the key to resolving the conflict in Gaza. He stressed the EU’s commitment to working with the parties and the international community to achieve peace and security for all the peoples of the Middle East.
Josep Borrell, the head of European diplomacy, highlighted the moral obligation of the international community to seek a solution to the crisis in the Middle East. He emphasized the need to pressure Israel to accept the two-state solution, and presented a comprehensive approach to the crisis to the EU foreign ministers. This approach includes the proposal for an international conference to relaunch the two-state solution.
Borrell also advocated for a shift from talking about the peace process to focusing more concretely on the two-state process. This signals a renewed effort by the EU to address the longstanding conflict in the Middle East and work towards a sustainable solution.
The Spanish Presidency of the Council of the European Union is expected to play a significant role in advancing these efforts and addressing other pressing issues facing the EU. As Spain takes on this leadership role, it will have the opportunity to shape the agenda and priorities of the Council, contributing to the overall goals and objectives of the European Union. With its experience and commitment to promoting peace and stability, Spain is well-positioned to make a meaningful impact during its presidency.
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