Delegation of the European Union to Israel

2014 Behind the Lens: Ukraine crisis, Iran Nuclear Talks, ISIL and Israeli-Palestine conflict

19/12/2014 - 00:00
News stories

The European Union and its External Action Service played a significant role in 2014 in international efforts to solve major crises in Ukraine, Syria and Iraq, as well as an escalation of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. The EU also saw a change of leadership. For the EU's diplomatic service, this saw Federica Mogherini starting her mandate on November 1st as the Union's High Representative for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy/Vice President of the Commission, building on the achievements of former High Representative Catherine Ashton. It has been an eventful and intense year for the EU's external action!

Some snaphots from 2014

The year started with the intensification of the crisis in Ukraine, leading to Russia's annexation of Crimea which led to several rounds of sanctions in which the EU was a key player. Former High Representative Catherine Ashton showed strong support to Ukraine throughout the crisis and through the Presidential elections and formation of a new government. Federica Mogherini continues the EU's commitment in Ukraine and in just two months in office met with the Ukrainian leadership on multiple occasions and signed a historic Association Agreement. The EU also set up an Advisory Mission on civilian sector reform in Ukraine.

This year was important for the ongoing talks on Iran's nuclear programme. Based on the strong commitment by all sides to reach a mutually-agreed long-term comprehensive solution, ten rounds of negotiations and numerous meetings have been held during the past months. On November 24th, the Joint Plan of Action agreementwas extended until June 30th and Ashton, who led the talks leading to the interim agreement last year, was appointed to carry on her role Special Advisor for the talks.

In mid-2014, the world saw the rise of the so-called Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL). The EU attaches a great importance to fighting ISIL. On December 3rd, HR/VP participated in the first ministerial level meeting of the Global Coalition to Counter ISIL, where the way forward in fighting the organisation was discussed.

The summer brought an escalation of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, with tragedies on both sides. The EU strongly supports a two-state solution and is ready to play a major role in mediating the conflict towards resolution. High Representative Mogherini stressed the feeling of urgency to find a solution to this conflict when she addressed the European Parliament for the first time upon her arrival from her first official visit to the Middle East.

See this Flickr slideshow for a few glimpses of the year. Click top-right of the photos to see their descriptions.