EU Support for Labeling Settlement Products Continuing to Grow, Envoy Says

Outgoing EU Mideast envoy says European states in favor of labeling has grown to 14.

The outgoing EU envoy to the Middle East says there is growing support among the 28 member states for labeling Israeli products, seen by some as a possible precursor to a consumer boycott.

Speaking from Brussels, Reinicke said discussions on EU-wide labeling were put on hold after Israeli-Palestinian peace talks resumed five months ago.

Instead, the EU earlier this week promised Israelis and Palestinians unprecedented access to Europe if they reach a deal.

Reinicke says that if talks fail, discussions on labeling and other possible sanctions, including scaling back aid for the Palestinians, could resume.

Andreas Reinicke said Thursday that the number of EU states in favor of labeling has grown from two to 14 since he assumed his post nearly two years ago and that momentum is growing.

In April, Haaretz repored that 13 of the European Union states notified EU Foreign Minister Catherine Ashton of their support for the idea that local businesses label products from Israeli settlements in the West Bank and East Jerusalem.

A letter on the matter was signed by the foreign ministers of Britain, France, the Netherlands, Austria, Spain, Denmark, Malta, Luxembourg, Belgium, Portugal, Finland, Ireland, and Slovenia.