web analytics
September 2, 2014 / 7 Elul, 5774
At a Glance

Posts Tagged ‘Horizon 2020’

Israel, EU Agree on R&D Project, Despite Settlement Guidelines

Wednesday, November 27th, 2013

Israel and the European Union have agreed on a compromise under which Israel will join the Horizon 2020 research and development project despite new EU guidelines on Jewish settlements.

Following months of negotiations, the agreement was reported Tuesday night in the Israeli media after an impasse was reached on Monday night.

The project is expected to provide about $1.9 billion over several years to Israeli researchers and universities. Israel has taken part in the EU program since 1996.

In July, the European Commission announced new guidelines making Israeli entities and activities in Judea and Samaria, East Jerusalem and the Golan Heights ineligible for EU grants and prizes beginning on Jan. 1.

The agreement allowing Israel to sign came after telephone negotiations between Israeli Justice Minister Tzipi Livni and EU Foreign Minister Catherine Ashton, an unnamed Israeli official told Haaretz.

EU Parliament Members Urge ‘Rethink’ on Judea and Samaria

Thursday, November 14th, 2013

European Union’s foreign policy chief Catherine Ashton’s attempt to ban funding of projects in Judea and Samaria, the Golan Height and areas of Jerusalem claimed by the Palestinian Authority is being challenged by 27 Members of the EU Parliament.

Aston’s guidelines are to go into effect January I, but Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu has threatened to pull Israel out of the seven-year  EU Horizon 2020 project to which Israel is committed to contribute approximately $800 million.

In a letter addressed to Ashton, the MEPs, from across the political spectrum, urged the EU Commission, the EU’s executive arm, to reverse or at least soften the guidelines, the European Jewish Press reported.

Israel has taken part in EU research and development programs since 1996, including over the last seven years in which 1,584 Israeli researchers took part in more than 1,300 projects and received a total of more than $800 million in grant money.

EU Climbing Off the Limb after ‘Boycott Judea and Samaria’ Attempt

Sunday, October 27th, 2013

The European Union is quietly trying to climb down from a weak limb it stood in July with a statement but Foreign Policy chief Catherine Ashton “that bilateral agreements with Israel do not cover the territory that came under Israel’s administration in June 1967.”

The Israeli government reacted strongly, and even President Shimon Peres objected to the policy. Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu called Ashton’s bluff by saying that Israel would not participate in the Horizon 2020 program if she did not back down.

Since then, the EU has been excelling in acrobatics saying it really did not mean what it said. A high-level delegation from the European Union is in Israel this week to come up with a clever way to correct its “settlement guidelines” in a way that will not make it look ‘pro-settlement.”

Deputy Foreign Minister Ze’ev Elkin warned that if there is no deal, the Horizon 2020 program, which gets underway this Friday, would lose out on Israel’s contribution of technology and know-how while Israel would lose funding for projects. “As it stands, we cannot sign Horizon 2020. It would force us to discriminate against our own institutions,” Elkin said.

Netanyahu Gambles Again, Refuses to Sign New Agreements with EU

Thursday, August 8th, 2013

Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu gambled on Thursday that threatening the European Union over its recent guidelines to ban funding for anyone dealing with post-1967 Israel won’t backfire and cost the country financially, politically and academically.

He made a decision Thursday, along with several ministers at a Defense Ministry meeting Thursday, not to sign any new agreements with the EU unless it agrees to reword, or “clarify” last month’s guidelines that bar funding, grants or prizes for ventures in Judea and Samaria, the Golan Heights and areas of Jerusalem formerly occupied by Jordan.

The guidelines followed a decision made by the foreign ministers of EU member states at the Foreign Affairs Council meeting on Dec. 10 in which they said that “all agreements between the State of Israel and the European Union must unequivocally and explicitly indicate their inapplicability to the territories occupied by Israel in 1967.”

The decision places a question mark over the Horizon 2020 program to promote scientific research and development. Israel is the only non-European country that has been asked to join the prestigious program.

If the Prime Minister gets his way and the European Union blinks first, he could be riding high in the saddle again.

But unless Israel already has scouted out support from key EU nations, he is placing little Israel, despite its scientific and technological clout, against the gigantic European Union as well as directly challenging its political muscle.

The European Union already has publicly stated it will not cancel, modify or delay the implementation of the guidelines published last month and set to take effect in January 2014.

The EU stands to lose if Netanyahu lives up to his threat not to sign any new agreements. Immediate results would be the loss of Israel’s contribution of more than $800 million to the Horizon 2020 program over seven years, plus the loss of Israel’s scientific input.

But the cost to Israel for opting out could be far, far greater if the EU gets its back up and decides to teach Netanyahu a lesson that he cannot play  David and throw rocks at the EU Goliath. Israel could be a double-loser, once for not being a part of agreements that could profit the country and the second time for pushing the EU into writing in stone the ban on aid to post-1967 Israel.

The negative impact on Israel’s standing in the international scientific community would be “devastating,” the Times of Israel wrote Thursday, citing academics.

If the EU does not back down, Israel also will lose financially and politically. The country stands to gain more in future revenues that it is supposed to invest in the Horizons 2020 program.

A refusal by the EU to agree to amend the guidelines also would humiliate Israel politically, leaving it weaker than ever in the talks with the Palestinian Authority and which are being conducted under the guiding hand of the Obama administration. Washington has stated over and over that Israel has no “legitimacy” in all of the land claimed by the Palestinian Authority.

 

Israel already has lost the opportunity to use facts, legal arguments and logic to support a Jewish presence in all of Jerusalem, Judea and Samaria and the Golan Heights. Its lack of explanations and two decades of gradual political and security concessions have allowed nearly the entire international community, as well as most foreign journalists, to claim that Jewish “settlers” are illegal and an obstacle to peace.

Not even the deadly results of the deadly Oslo accords, the total withdrawal of the IDF from Gaza and the expulsion of civilian Jews living there have changed international opinion.

Among the changes that will be requested in the new EU guidelines, according to Haaretz, are to drop the demand that Israeli groups be required to submit a written declaration to the EU foundations that they have no direct or indirect connections with groups in the territories; to remove the stipulation that an indirect connection to the settlements makes Israeli groups ineligible for EU grants and loans; and to drop the territorial clause in the agreement, which states that Israel recognizes that it is not sovereign beyond the 1967 lines and that the agreement does not apply to those areas.

DM Moshe Ya’alon Teaches the EU a Lesson

Friday, July 26th, 2013

In direct response to the EU’s directives against Israel’s sovereignty over Judea and Samaria (as well as over Jerusalem and the Golan), Defense Minister Moshe “Bogie” Ya’alon has given the order that the IDF and other relevant government bodies under his control stop all cooperation with EU representatives. This includes any assistance that the IDF may have been providing the EU in infrastructure projects, according to a report in Ma’ariv.

Other steps the Defense Ministry have taken include no longer renewing special EU travel permits nor issuing new ones. Permits for projects in Gaza and Area C are not being granted. Furthermore, the relevant government offices are not taking phone calls from EU representatives.

Ya’alon has also given the order to block the direct transit of EU officials between Israel and Gaza. If EU officials want to go in or out of Gaza, they’ll have to go through the Sinai. Already the transit of three EU groups have been blocked.

On the EU’s part, they are not yet convinced that this is actually a new Israeli policy or just a temporary retaliation, and they plan to wait a few weeks to review if the restrictions are still in place.

Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/news/breaking-news/dm-moshe-yaalon-teaches-the-eu-a-lesson/2013/07/26/

Scan this QR code to visit this page online: