Seventy-three MEPs voice concern over Israeli participation in EU R&D programme

Brussels 14/07/2015

Seventy-three MEPs from different political groups in the European Parliament have addressed a letter to the High Representative of the European Union, Federica Mogherini, and Mr Robert Jan Smits, Director-General for Research and Innovation at the European Commission, regarding Israeli participation in the new Horizon 2020 programme.

Initiated by Irish GUE/NGL MEP Martina Anderson, the letter (in attachment) was drafted in consultation with several European civil society and Palestinian human rights organisations regarding EU support to Israeli military companies through Horizon 2020.

Martina Anderson said: “These organisations had voiced their concerns about possible funding through Horizon 2020 to Israeli military company Elbit Systems and other Israeli companies involved in the illegal settlements in the occupied Palestinian Territories. Such companies are deeply complicit in Israeli military aggressions against the Palestinian people.

“In the previous EU Research Programme, FP7 (2007-2013), Elbit Systems and Israeli Airspace Industries participated in projects worth €393,600,149; a number of them were projects to further develop drone capacity.

“Funding for projects that include Israeli corporations involved in the ‘homeland security’ framework of the settlements risks undermining the guidance to private business issued by more than 20 member states that warn against economic ties that benefit the settlements.”

Ms Anderson concluded: “I believe it is our duty to ensure that EU taxpayer’s money is spent on projects that respect the EU’s commitment to upholding and promoting international law and is consistent with the EU’s position of non-recognition of settlements in the occupied Palestinian Territories.”

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