In this edition, we break down Brussels’ diplomatic efforts to achieve peace in the Middle East, and why people are talking about an EU army again.

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This week we are joined by Riho Terras, a former general who’s now an Estonian MEP from the European People’s Party, the International Crisis Group’s Lisa Musiol, and Belgian historian Koert Debeuf from the Brussels School of Governance.

Panelists discuss the latest efforts of the EU’s foreign affairs chief to achieve peace in the Middle East. Josep Borrell gathered foreign ministers from all across Europe for talks with their counterparts from Israel, the Palestinian Authority and key Arab states. On the table, a roadmap for peace calling for a two-state solution.

“The solution is in the hands of the Israelis and Palestinians and I don’t see Borrell’s peace plan having that much influence on the process, because of his track record”, Riho Terras told the panel.

But Professor Koert Debeuf applauded the plan. 

“At least there is an effort to do something because the EU is fighting against something very important, which is irrelevance”, he said.

For Lisa Musiol, the main priority is to reach a truce to stop the conflict from spiraling out of control.

“A ceasefire will also be very important to make sure that this doesn’t become even more dangerous for the region and also ultimately for the EU, as European interests are already being affected, especially on the economic front”, said Musiol.

The panel also discussed whether an EU army may soon be on the march, given calls for more European cooperation on defense. Panelists were sceptical.

“If we talk about something, then we should talk about armies of Europe, but not about a European army. And then we should finance the armies of Europe in the way that they are able, in the NATO framework”, said Riho Tarras.

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