Premier Benjamin Netanyahu met EU Commissioner Catherine Ashton in Jeruzalem [Foto by GPO]Jerusalem and EU agree on formula that allows Israel to join Horizon 2020 project

Sides agree on compromise by which Israel can participate in lucrative R&D project despite EU settlement guidelines.

Israel and the European Union found a way on Tuesday to agree to disagree while continuing to cooperate, reaching an understanding making Israel’s participation in the EU’s flagship R&D program Horizon 2020 possible.

Israeli officials said a compromise was found regarding the settlement guidelines issue, whereby both sides could keep their positions but continue to work together on the 80 billion euro science and innovation program….

According to the compromise, Israel would write explicitly in an appendix to the agreement that it does not accept the guidelines, while the EU will write that the guidelines reflect European policy.

The guidelines, published in July, stipulate that no EU grants, prizes or financial instruments, such as loans, could go to Israeli entities operating outside the Green Line, including in east Jerusalem and the Golan Heights.

The issue of loans to Israeli entities inside the Green Line that do have operations in the territories is to be finessed so that the EU can ensure that the funds do not find their way into the settlements.

Once the final language of the compromise is worked out, it will be brought to Jerusalem and Brussels for final approval. The first tenders for participation in Horizon 2020 are to be issued on December 10.

The compromise agreement came after Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu decided at an urgent meeting Sunday evening that a way needed to be found to enable Israel’s participation in the program, and directed Justice Minister Tzipi Livni to do so.

Government officials said that although Netanyahu made clear he wanted a deal, he also made clear that it could not be at any price. …

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JPost – foto: Premier Benjamin Netanyahu met EU Commissioner Catherine Ashton in Jeruzalem [GPO]