Daily Israel Report

Compromise With EU on 'Horizon 2020'

Compromise reached with EU lets Israel join scientific project. EU maintains boycott guidelines while Israel does not recognize precedent.
By Ari Yashar
First Publish: 11/26/2013, 11:19 PM

PM Netanyahu with EU foreign policy chief Catherine Ashton
PM Netanyahu with EU foreign policy chief Catherine Ashton
Flash 90

On Tuesday night Israel and the European Union (EU) reached a compromise on wording for Israel's participation in the "Horizon 2020" European scientific collaboration project. The joint project was thrown in jeopardy by new EU guidelines that boycott entities over the 1949 Armistice line.

Intensive phone conversations between Minister of Justice Tzipi Livni and EU Foreign Minister Catherine Ashton finally led to the breakthrough. Minister of Economy Naftali Bennett and Deputy Foreign Minister Ze'ev Elkin were also involved in the discussions.

In the compromise the EU will note in the agreement that it does not recognize Israeli activities over the 1949 Armistice line and is not prevented from its new boycott guidelines, while Israel will attach a section emphasizing that it does not see in the EU's stance an obligating legal precedent, reports Mako.

Furthermore, Haaretz notes that through the compromise both sides agree to make sure European loans to any Israeli entity that operates within the 1949 lines would be restricted and not end up being invested over the 1949 lines.

The EU rejected Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu's previous compromise attempts, leading Netanyahu to call an emergency meeting on Monday. After the meeting Livni reportedly asked Netanyahu to speak to Ashton and persuade her to soften the European position.

The Horizon 2020 project stands to bring over two billion dollars into Israel for scientific research.

At the meeting on Monday Elkin said he was in favor of the agreement but "not at any price," saying the EU demands are too high.