November 27, 2013 – Brussels – AJC welcomed the announcement that Israel will join the EU’s Horizon 2020 program. Under the cooperative agreement Israel will contribute 500 million EUR and could receive upwards of 1.4 billion EUR in support of research and innovation projects over the next few years.
“Participation in Horizon 2020 is an important step forward in Israel’s relations with the EU,” said Daniel Schwammenthal, Director of the AJC Transatlantic Institute. “Given Israel’s standing as a leading center of research and innovation, this is clearly a win for all involved.”
Negotiations between the EU and Israel had reached an impasse on Monday over the EU’s new guidelines to prevent its funding from reaching settlements. The guidelines are scheduled to go into effect on January 1, 2014. The EU had rejected a compromise proposal from Israel, forcing Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu to order senior officials to continue negotiations until a solution was reached. Today, it was announced that “the agreement fully respects the EU’s legal and financial requirements while at the same time respecting Israel’s political sensitivities and preserving its principled positions.”
“The EU guidelines, which created an artificial boundary to what was to be defined as Israel, effectively established a territorial solution to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict without the participation of either main party,” said Schwammenthal. “Final borders are to be determined in direct Israeli-Palestinian negotiations.”