Spain, Ireland, and Other EU Countries Set to Recognize Palestinian State on May 21

BRUSSELS — Spain, Ireland, and other European Union member countries will recognize a Palestinian state on May 21, confirmed EU’s foreign policy chief Josep Borrell on Thursday, ahead of a key U.N. vote scheduled for Friday.

Reuters reported that the vote will consider a Palestinian bid to achieve full U.N. membership status.

In March, Spanish Prime Minister Pedro Sanchez announced that Spain, Ireland, Slovenia, and Malta view the recognition of a Palestinian state alongside Israel as a crucial step toward a lasting two-state solution.

During an interview on Spain’s RNE radio station, Borrell affirmed the planned recognition date and noted that Slovenia would participate as well. “This is a symbolic act of a political nature. More than a state, it recognizes the will for that state to exist,” Borrell explained, adding that Belgium and other countries are likely to follow suit.

The announcement follows increased international calls for a ceasefire and a permanent resolution to the ongoing Palestinian-Israeli conflict, which intensified following a deadly attack by Hamas on Oct. 7 and subsequent Israeli military actions in Gaza.

Israel has criticized the plans for Palestinian recognition as a “prize for terrorism,” arguing that it could undermine the prospects for a negotiated peace.

The United Nations General Assembly is expected to support the Palestinian bid on Friday by acknowledging its qualifications for U.N. membership and referring the application back to the U.N. Security Council for favorable reconsideration.

Ireland’s national broadcaster RTE reported that Spain, Ireland, Slovenia, and Malta had coordinated their decision to coincide with the U.N. vote. Meanwhile, Slovenian Prime Minister Robert Golob indicated that Slovenia would officially recognize Palestine’s statehood by mid-June.

The Spanish Foreign Ministry and other involved countries have not commented regarding the specific recognition date.