The discussion focuses on economic, social, political and security issues which are of common interest to both sides and the potential of increasing Israel's convergence with Europe. What distinguishes the IEPN from other organizations engaged on similar issues is not only its multi-layered, flexible structure and its focus on concrete issues, but also its twin anchorage in the EU and in Israel.
The IEPN's structure is based on joint teams of Israeli and European senior researchers, who are organized in subject-oriented working groups. Joint teams of senior Israeli and European Circle Members and invited high-ranking speakers, analyse key issues affecting Israeli-EU relations in order to identify joint interests and mutual gains as well as obstacles to such a constructive relationship. Prominent guests that participated in IEPN Meetings include personalities as such as MEP Martin Schulz, President of the European Parliament, Saeb Erekat, Palestinian Chief Negotiator, MK Tzipi Livni, Head of the Kadima Party, former Minister of Foreign Affairs, Constantinos Papadopoulos, Secretary General, Greek Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Edward McMillan-Scott, Vice-President of the European Parliament, Dr. Alfred Gusenbauer, former Chancellor of the Republic of Austria, Robert Rydberg, Deputy Secretary General of the Minister of Foreign Affairs of Sweden, MK Micky Eitan, Minister of Improvement of Government Services, Dr. Yossi Beilin, former Israeli Minister of Justice, Prof. Shlomo Ben-Ami, former Israeli Minister of Foreign Affairs and Isaac Herzog, former Minister of Welfare and Social Services. The Research Teams produce detailed working papers and concrete policy recommendations.
Circle ISRAEL: In Europe - brings together experts from the EU level, old and new EU member states and other European countries.
Circle EUROPE: In Israel - provides a platform for meetings of Israeli experts.
The two CIRCLES are the central networking units of the IEPN. The members of these two CIRCLES come from a variety of countries and disciplines and it is their main tasks to disseminate the outputs of IEPN to colleagues and key decision-makers both in Europe and in Israel.
Amongst the issues dealt with by the Research Teams are:
These working papers and policy proposals are regularly discussed by a wider group of experts. The Circles have been established both in Israel and in the EU.
Since 2003 the IEPN has held numerous meetings in Israel, Europe and the United States. The IEPN has published several books and working papers on EU-Israeli relations, which were disseminated to key decision makers and the general public.