Israel summons EU ambassador over funding for pro-terror groups

EU Ambassador to Israel Emanuele Giaufret summoned after representative to PA says EU would pay organizations despite terror ties.

Arutz Sheva Staff ,

Emanuele Giaufret
Emanuele Giaufret
Flash 90

European Union (EU) Ambassador to Israel Emanuele Giaufret was summoned to the Foreign Ministry today and urged to give explanations following a recent letter from the EU Representative to the PA stating that organizations which support terrorism, including organizations listed as terrorist organizations in the EU, can receive EU funding.

The Israeli government was angered by the letter and is categorically opposed to the EU's policy on financing terrorist organizations, including organizations accused of incitement, support and involvement in terrorism.

Foreign Minister Yisrael Katz said: "We demand that the European Union immediately stop any support, financially or otherwise, in any party that directly or indirectly supports terrorism. As past experience shows, terrorism is terrorism and any assistance to terrorism will bring more terrorism."

The EU responded: "The EU opposes any incitement to violence or hatred, which is incompatible with advancing peace. Specific clauses have been introduced in individual grant agreements, obliging every beneficiary managing EU funds, both in Israel and in the occupied Palestinian territory, to refrain from engaging in incitement to violence or hatred. The EU supports civil society that contributes to peace
efforts and confidence building between Israelis and Palestinians."

"Allegations of the EU supporting incitement or terror are unfounded and unacceptable and we strongly object to any such suggestion. Our commitment to the fight against terrorism has never been stronger. As such, all contracts involving EU funding must ensure the full respect of applicable EU legislation, including accountability, transparency and sound financial management, and aims at protecting the integrity and proper functioning of the EU funds.

"The EU has strict rules to screen and vet the beneficiaries of EU funds. All recipients of EU funding are required to ensure that these funds are not made available, either directly or indirectly, to entities, individuals or groups, which have been designated under EU restrictive measures, or to their representatives. This includes ensuring that there is no detection of subcontractors, natural persons, participants in workshops and/or trainings or recipients of financial support made to third parties subject to EU restrictive measures. Strict monitoring and control mechanisms make sure that all individuals involved in EU funded actions exclusively pursue the objectives and activities approved for EU funding.

"EU support is subject to stringent and permanent monitoring and both ex-ante and ex-post verification to ensure that the funds are used for their intended purpose and in line with EU policies. If a recipient
has made inappropriate use of EU funds, reimbursement of the funds is required. These clauses are applicable to all contract types, regardless of their geographic scope and cannot be modified.

"We confirm these rules make the participation of entities, individuals or groups affiliated with terrorist organisations incompatible with any EU funding.

"If there is clear evidence that any organisation has made an inappropriate use of EU funds, reimbursement of the funds is required and the grantee may lose eligibility for EU funding. Commissioner Varhelyi also highlighted it is a key priority for the him, as competent Member of the European Commission, to fully enforce the implementation of the above conditionality and requirements and, if allegations are substantiated, to take the appropriate measures to protect the integrity and proper functioning of EU funds.

"The EU will continue to stand by international law and support Civil Society Organisations that defend international law and promote human rights and democratic values. Civil society has an essential role to
play in advocating for and strengthening good governance and sustainable development, in the region and around the world."