Project information
EU and Israel – The Case of “Light Europeanization” (EUrael)

Project Identification
Project Period
2/2015 - 5/2015
Investor / Pogramme / Project type
Masaryk University
MU Faculty or unit
Faculty of Social Studies

While the concept of Europeanization has been widely applied in the political science research focused on the developments in EU member states as well as in those European countries that (may) aspire to achieve the full membership, with regard to the countries beyond Europe this concept is still remarkably underdeveloped. Such a deficit is striking since there is a number of countries that have relatively close ties with the EU and may be in various ways influenced by the EU policies and practices. Among these countries, Israel can be seen as the most specific case both due to its close cultural and historical relations to Europe, and also to its difficult geopolitical position and distinct political and strategic cultures. While it would be inappropriate to apply the Europeanization concept to Israeli realities in all of its features, this project will try to prove in the area of politics the Europeanization can be traced in Israeli domestic political discourse and it can play an increasingly relevant role.
In recent years, and primarily since the Action Plan was signed in 2005, we can identify increasing amount of Israel-EU relations at all levels and in various policy areas that are gradually developed to the extent much more elaborate than any time before. And, although there are obvious ups and downs in the EU-Israeli relations, in most cases resulting from substantial disputes related to the security and diplomatic issues, these tend to be significantly more obvious in the high politics and in the interactions at the level of governments, ministries, and parliaments. Despite the somewhat murky appearance the EU-Israeli relationship seems to have acquired in the aftermath of the Cast Lead operation in 2009, we hold at the level of formal “technical” relations, especially in the policy areas related to the trade, research, and several other sectors, relevant degree of standardization of practices and tools can be identified. This trend is reflected by a number of authors who put traceable emphasis upon the process of emulation and diffusion of EU standards. It is exactly this development – the one that I call the “light” Europeanization – we intend to explore, aiming at the identification of the scope and extent of the patterns of Europeanization in those policy areas that are likely to be most susceptible to absorb the influence of EU.

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