On May 15 of every year, Palestinians mark "Nakba Day" – when the state of Israel was founded in 1948 – to reaffirm their right of return to the lands from which their ancestors were forcibly displaced.
Since that year, the Palestinian cause has gone through several milestones, beginning with the armed struggle against Israel in the 1950s and early 1960s.
Another significant milestone was the acceptance of a political deal based on a two-state solution in line with the 1988 decision of the Palestinian National Council (the legislature of the Palestine Liberation Organisation) in Algeria, and the subsequent peace negotiations in the 1991 Madrid Conference that led to the 1993 Oslo Accord.
With the collapse of peace negotiations 20 years later, Palestinians resorted to urging the United Nations and the international community to recognise a Palestinian state based on the 1967 borders, and to join international organisations and treaties, such as the International Criminal Court, which Palestine officially joined in April.
In 2012, Palestine was recognised by the UN as a non-Member observer state.
Two years later, an unprecedented international support for the symbolic recognition of a Palestinian state within the 1967 borders was voiced out.
This support was brought about by a series of motions adopted by a number of European parliaments. The Swedish parliament was the first to catalyse the momentum of recognition of the Palestinian state earlier this year.
In October, Sweden officially recognised the State of Palestine, becoming the first European Union state to take such a move.
In this, however, Sweden was the eighth European state to recognise the Palestinian state after the Czech Republic; Hungary; Poland; Bulgaria; Romania; Malta, and Cyprus, which made their recognition some time before they became European Union members.
While Sweden was the 135th state to recognise the state of Palestine. Its October move reverberated in many European capitals. Five European parliaments followed in Sweden's footsteps by symbolically recognising the Palestinian state later.
On October 13, Britain's House of Commons adopted a non-binding resolution, urging the government to recognise the State of Palestine.
A month later, the Spanish Parliament voted with an overwhelming majority on a non-binding resolution, urging Madrid to recognise a Palestinian state within the 1967 borders.
France followed suit on December 2, after a majority of French lawmakers approved a non-binding resolution, calling on Paris to recognise the Palestinian state.
On December 11, the Irish parliament adopted a non-binding bill, urging the Irish government to recognise the State of Palestine. A day later, the Portuguese parliament took a similar step.
In February, the parliaments of Belgium and Italy adopted similar resolutions.
Such a momentum encouraged a number of European Parliament blocs to suggest that the European Union, which has a total of 28 member states, recognise the State of Palestine.
Nevertheless, the European Parliament only recognised the Palestinian state in principle, without committing member states to do the same, a move some commentators attributed to what they described as "political considerations" within the parliament.
The overwhelming majority of countries in Africa, Asia and Latin America have recognised the state of Palestine, making up most of the 135 countries who had taken the move.
On 23 November 2019, EuroPal Forum and Middle East Monitor co-hosted a conference at the Holiday Inn Bloomsbury in London on the relations between Europe and Palestine. A first of its kind, the conference brought together individuals at the forefront of discourse on Palestine in
As the European Court of Justice (ECJ) rules that European Union countries must identify products made in Israeli settlements in the occupied Palestinian territory, MEMO and EuroPal Forum are hosting a conference to discuss the EU’s position on major issues related to the occupat