The expected decision by the European Union to sign future scientific agreements with Israel only if they involve institutions that do not have any connection with institutions and individuals outside the post-1967 Green Line was denounced on Tuesday by Science, Technology and Space Minister Yaakov Peri.

The minister said the decision by the European Union’s “European Commission” will potentially harm 40 percent of research and development academic grants in Israel. Peri said the expected European decision that scientific agreements will have a clause saying they are not relevant to Israeli academic institutions with dealings outside the Green Line “will endanger our scientific connections with the EU. The technical implementation of the decision is liable to prevent Israeli scientists from participating in R&D projects of the EU to large grants compared to scientists in other countries.”

As academic institutions in the territories, such as Ariel University, do not now get any financial involvement by the EU, the new statement refers to the other Israeli universities inside the Green Line that have connections with academic institutions or academic participants who live in the territories. Peri added that such a criterion will force Israeli scientists to compete “with one hand tied behind their backs” for research grants of the EU. Academic institutions within the state borders will have to declare their research project has no involvements in the territories if they want EU financing.

Every year, Israeli academics successfully compete for prestigious grants in the European R&D projects. The seventh such framework program has so far funded 1,900 Israeli research projects carried out in the universities, industry and hospitals -- for a total of 750 million euros.

Peri instructed his staff to study the budgetary significance of all scientific research and technological applications that are being developed as government projects and to prepare a new budget if the EU decision is carried out.

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