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.
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.”
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.
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.