Israel and the EU have come to an agreement on the signing of a Horizon 2020 pact after phone negotiations, despite EU guidelines barring funding beyond the Green Line.
Israeli Justice Minister Tzipi Livni and High Representative of the Union for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy Catherine Ashton came to a compromise following many months of discussions. The EU had rejected various proposals until Livni presented Ashton with wording the EU felt it could accept, Israeli officials have announced. The deal was reached on two clauses in the Horizon agreement that had stopped Israel signing.
One clause relates to an appendix to be attached to the pact stating that the conditions of the agreement would not prevent the EU from implementing the Settlement Guidelines regarding allocating of funds to the Gaza Strip, West Bank and the Golan Heights. The parties decided to formally disagree on this clause. The EU will add the appendix, while Israel will attach another appendix in which it formally declares that it objects to the guidelines from both a legal and political perspective.
The second clause relates to indirect funding and loans to Israeli entities based in Israel that also operate in the disputed areas or have extensions or branches in the settlements. The EU was concerned that it would be unable to verify that European money would not make its way to those areas.
The agreement reached states any Israeli entity operating within the Green Line can apply for European loans, and both sides would examine ways to make sure the money would be restricted and not reach the settlements in any form.