The President of the European Jewish Congress Pierre Besnainou met in Brussels with Dr. Benita Ferrero-Waldner, European Union Commissioner for External Relations and European Neighbourhood Policy, on July 7th to address several important points on the EJC agenda.
First and foremost the meeting dealt with the improving state of European-Israeli relations, in light of Prime Minister Sharon’s disengagement plan from Gaza. In spite of this atmosphere of increased diplomacy and trust, President Besnainou insisted that Europe needs to better understand the security needs of Israel – in exchange, he offered that the Israel ought to commit itself to deeper and more meaningful relations with Europe.
Both the EJC President and the Commissioner agreed that inter-religious dialogue is of key importance to Europe, and increased communication between faiths should be facilitated at the European level.
The EJC also informed Commissioner Ferrero-Waldner about disquieting developments in Bulgaria and Greece and she promised to share the information with Commissioner for Enlargement Olli Rehn.