114 MEP`s call on Ashton to implement Guidelines correctly

In a letter sent to EU foreign policy chief Catherine Ashton, 114 members of European Parliament have called for full and correct implementation of new EU guidelines slated to take effect on January 1.

The guidelines forbid any EU grants being awarded to Israeli projects in occupied Palestinian territory and prevent loans or prizes to being given to Israeli entities with operations in the West Bank, Golan Heights or East Jerusalem. They also require any new agreement with Israel to state that these areas aren’t part of Israel, and therefore aren’t covered by the agreement.

In their letter to Ashton 114 MEP`s stated that:

„We are writing to call your attention to certain serious concerns regarding the arrangements about to be concluded that will determine the terms of Israel’s participation in a range of EU programmes, including Horizon 2020. We wish to call on you to take the steps that remain necessary to ensure that no form of EU-funded support is provided to Israeli entities illegally established in the settlements, or to activities or operations of Israeli entities taking place in those settlements under any of these programmes.

As an ENP country, Israel is entitled to participate in a range of EU programmes, including Horizon 2020. The Guidelines published by the Commission on 19th July 2013 should apply to all these programmes, current and future.

In all cases, the EU must respect its own positions and commitments in conformity with international law on the non-recognition by the Union of Israel’s sovereignty over the territories occupied since June 1967. In all cases, no EU-funded support of any kind may be provided to Israeli entities unlawfully established in Israeli settlements or to settlement-based activities.

All of the eligibility criteria set out in the Guidelines must therefore be strictly implemented in their entirety – in the work programmes, financing decisions, calls for proposals, rules of contests, and calls for the selection of financial intermediaries or dedicated investment vehicles.

However, the necessary provisions must also be made to ensure that such critical eligibility criteria will not be rendered inoperative or unenforceable during implementation, in particular by failing to prudently address and mitigate the specific risks created by specific provisions of Israel’s national legislation. Such risks can be mitigated or eliminated if the Israeli authorities have been made fully aware of all the implementing arrangements that the Commission is planning to carry out.

It is in the EU’s interest for reasons of legal and financial certainty to ensure that all implementing arrangements relevant to the full and effective implementation of the conditions on eligibility set out in the Guidelines are duly notified to Israel prior to concluding the procedures associating Israel to the Horizon 2020 programme”

You can read the full letter here