EU shares concerns on judicial reform in Israel

The EU is following the developments in Israel related to the judicial reform "closely and with concern", according to a statement released on Wednesday. Belgium shares these concerns and calls for "a broader compromise".

Israel's parliament, known as the Knesset, approved a controversial bill on Monday, limiting the jurisdiction of the Supreme Court. The bill deprives that court of the ability to rule on the "reasonableness" of a government decision.

Netanyahu's government holds a slim majority of 64 seats in the 120-seat Knesset. The bill was accepted with a 64-0 result because the opposition boycotted the vote.

The bill is part of a wider reform of Israel's judiciary. Prime minister Benjamin Netanyahu has accused the judiciary of interfering excessively in political decision-making. In Israel, there is no written constitution, so the Supreme Court plays an important role in upholding human rights and the rule of law.

Widespread protests

Netanyahu's plans have led to widespread protests in the country. A part of the population fears that the reform will lead to corruption and nepotism.

The EU is not the only party that is concerned about the reform. The United States - Israel's most important ally - has said it "regrets that the vote took place with such a weak majority" and that "major changes of a democracy need to gather as wide a consensus as possible to be sustainable".

The Belgian Federal Public Service (FPS) Foreign Affairs reacted to the reform in a tweet on Wednesday evening, saying it "shares the concerns of a significant part of the Israeli population, demonstrating a lack of consensus" on the judicial reform and called "for a broader compromise".


A placard depicting Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu is seen as people demonstrate on the 'Day of National Resistance'. © REUTERS/Ammar Awad


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