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October 21, 2014 / 27 Tishri, 5775
At a Glance

Posts Tagged ‘European Commission’

Israel Joins EU Science Research Program

Monday, June 9th, 2014

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and European Commission President Jose Manuel Barroso celebrated Israel’s entry to Horizon 2020, The EU Framework Programme for Research and Innovation. The ceremony, held Sunday in Jerusalem,was attended by EU Ambassador to Israel Lars Faaborg-Andersen and Science, Technology and Space Minister Yaakov Peri, who signed the agreement for the EU and Israel, respectively.

The program has been controversial in Israel. Despite Israel’s prowess in the natural sciences, and in technology research and development, Europe threatened to exclude Israel from Horizon 2020 if the latter did not agree to boycott scientists and researchers from Judea and Samaria. Eventually, Israeli representatives capitulated: Israeli research entities on the “correct” side of the 1949 Armistice Line can apply for European loans, but Israel has committed to ensuring the money is not spent in Judea and Samaria – at least, not amongst Jews.

In real terms, this means Israeli companies or organizations seeking loans from the EU will have to maintain systems that ensure the funds are not spent amongst the “wrong” kinds of Jews.

Horizon 2020 is among the largest programs in the world for scientific and industrial cooperation; Israel will transfer approximately 140 million Euros per annum from the Science, Economy and other ministry budgets. Investments in previous EU plants have proven themselves: The relative return on Israeli investments in the plan is approximately 60%. Israel invested 535 million Euros in the seventh plan; Israeli bodies received 840 million Euros in grants, 579.5 million Euros of which were for university scientists. Under the plan, which ended last year, 1,197 projects – with the participation of 2,124 Israeli scientists from academia and industry – were approved.

To date, approximately 500 proposals with Israeli participants have been submitted. The proposals will be evaluated by September 2014 and grant agreements will be signed by the end of the year.

Neo-Nazi Parties Win Seats in 2 European Parliament Elections

Monday, May 26th, 2014

For the first time ever, neo-Nazi political parties have won seats in the Brussels-based European Parliament, according to the latest exit polls. The election took place yesterday (Sunday, May 25), just a day after three Jews were murdered and a fourth person seriously wounded in a terror attack at the city’s Jewish Museum.

Is it a surprise that one of the parties was located in Germany? But a second country also voted in neo-Nazis as well — and not so far from Israel, either.

The neo-Nazi National Democratic Party (NDP) won one MEP (Member of the European Parliament) seat in yesterday’s European Union (EU) elections, coming in fourth with one percent of the vote in German polls. In the 1930s, Germany’s Nazi party was officially named the ‘National Socialists.’

Chancellor Angela Merkel’s pro-EU Christian Democratic Union party won 36 percent of Germany’s vote, followed by the Social Democrats, a center-left coalition partner with 27.5 percent. But in third place was the new “Alternative for Germany” with 6.5 percent of the nation’s vote, according to The Daily Mail. And the anti-EU AfD party was reported to have won as many as six MEPs; the party has advocated for ending the country’s use of the euro as currency.

However, Germany was not the only country that flipped to the right, by a long shot.

In Greece, for the first time the extreme-right neo-Nazi ‘Golden Dawn’ party won three seats, coming in third with nine percent of the vote. The anti-EU Syriza party also took the lion’s share of the vote, with 27 percent, an ominous sign, analysts said.

“Euroscepticism,” – a relatively new term – is criticism of the European Union and opposition to the process of political European integration – belief that integration weakens the nation state – and this trend ruled the elections on Sunday, as The Daily Mail pointed out.

In Italy, the anti-EU “Five Star” (M5S) movement, headed by ex-comedian Beppe Grillo, appeared to be headed for a close second place with 25 to 28 percent of the vote. First place was just a shave ahead by Italian prime minister Matteo Renzi’s center left Democratic Party (PD) with 29.5 to 32.5 percent of the vote.

In France, Marine Le Pen made headline when her hardline French National Front party proved the most popular with a quarter of the vote, 11 percent ahead of the ruling Socialists. Le Pen called for new elections in France and labeled the EU Public Enemy Number One, saying it is “like the old Soviet Union – it can’t be improved.” In fact, President Francoise Hollande’s party came in third with 14.7 percent of the vote, following the center-right UMP, which garnered 20.3 percent.

In Sweden, the Feminist Initiative Party also won seats in the European Parliament for the first time, with around seven percent of the vote. However, so did far-right Sweden Democrats.

In Belgium, where election coverage competed with coverage of the terror attack at the Brussels Jewish Museum, Flemish separatists were the big winners in the parliamentary elections there. But it will be months before a new government is formed.

The center-right New Flemish Alliance (N-VA) has a third of the votes in Flanders, where 60 percent of Belgian residents live and where Dutch is spoken – this, after 80 percent of the votes are counted. N-VA leader Bart De Wever said he believes the king will grant him the right to attempt to form a coalition, but it will mean finding potential French-speaking allies. Due to the Belgian system, there are effectively two elections, each with at least parties in two languages – French and Dutch. At least two from each side will be needed to form a coalition.

Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/news/breaking-news/neo-nazi-parties-win-seats-in-2-european-parliament-elections/2014/05/26/

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