The European Union is present in Israel and the Palestinian Territories at different levels with the Delegation of the European Union to Israel in Tel-Aviv, the Office of the European Union Representative - West Bank, Gaza Strip, UNRWA (ex-ECTAO), the European Union Special Representative (EUSR) for the Middle East Peace Process, two CSDP Missions – EUBAM Rafah and EUPOL COPPS – and a representation of the European Commission Humanitarian Aid department (ECHO).
The Delegation of the European Union to Israel was officially opened in 1981 as a Delegation of the European Commission. With the entry into force of the Lisbon Treaty on 1 December 2009, the Delegation represents the European Union as a whole in Israel. The Head of Delegation, Andrew Standley, is accredited as the official representative of the European Union to the State of Israel.
The Office of the European Union Representative - West Bank, Gaza Strip, UNRWA (ex-ECTAO) has been established in 1994, in the context of the Oslo Accords, to develop EU assistance to the Palestinians and contribute to building institutions for a future Palestinian State. Over the period 1994-2009, the European Commission has provided more than €4 billion in support to the Palestinian people. Since February 2008, most of EU assistance to the Palestinian Authority is channeled through the PEGASE mechanism. PEGASE's programs benefit both the West Bank and the Gaza Strip.
Mr Andreas REINICKE has been appointed Special Representative for the Middle East Peace Process (EUSR) by a Council Decision on 23 January 2012. His mission is to give presence, visibility and political impetus to EU's efforts to help bring about a final settlement of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. He represents the EU in the preparatory meetings for the Quartet, a group consisting of the EU, UN, USA and Russia and established in Madrid in 2002. Part of the EUSR mandate is also to maintain contact with the two CSDP missions operating in the Palestinian Territories –EUBAM Rafah and EUPOL COPPS – and give support, at thater level, to their Heads of Mission.
The European Union Police Mission in the Palestinian Territories (EUPOL COPPS) is the second CSDP mission dedicated to help building a Palestinian institutional capacity. Created in January 2006 and based in Ramallah, EUPOL COPPS contributes to the establishment of sustainable and effective policing arrangements, advises Palestinians counterparts on criminal justice and rule of law related aspects under Palestinian ownership and supports the establishment of an efficient Palestinian criminal and judiciary system.
The European Commission Humanitarian Aid department (ECHO) has a permanent office in Jerusalem and a sub-office in Gaza. The European Union’s mandate to ECHO is to provide emergency assistance and relief to the victims of natural disasters or armed conflict outside the EU. The aid is intended to go directly to those in distress, irrespective of race, religion or political convictions. ECHO’s task is to ensure goods and services get to crisis zones fast. Since 1992, through ECHO funding, nearly 20 million people are helped each year in more than 90 countries through 200 partners (NGO's international organizations, the Red Cross and Red Crescent movements, and UN agencies). Its grants cover emergency aid, food aid and aid to refugees and displaced persons worth a total of more than €800 million per year. Since 2000, the European Commission has provided over €550 million in humanitarian aid to help meeting basic needs of Palestinians in the West Bank and the Gaza Strip, as well as Palestinian refugees living in Jordan, Lebanon and Syria.