EU reaches deal to bring Israel into €95.5bn research effort

EU bringing Israel into 95.5 billion euros research scheme, illegally occupied territories not included
2 min read
07 December, 2021
The Horizon Europe research scheme will run until the end of 2027 and is the biggest international research effort anywhere in the world.
The EU and Israel have long collaborated on these types of research projects [AFP via Getty]

The European Union and Israel concluded a significant deal to bring Israel into a key EU research effort known as Horizon Europe on Monday, although illegal West Bank settlements were not included.

The Golan Heights, which are also illegally occupied by Israel, were also not part of the deal, The Jerusalem Post said on Tuesday.

The Horizon Europe research scheme will run until the end of 2027 and is the biggest international research effort anywhere.

The seven-year project has a budget of 95.5 billion euros, and concerns issues like food, civil security, and coronavirus recovery.

Israeli Science Minister Orit Farkash-Hacohen said: "Today's agreement will allow Israelis and European scientists, innovators and researchers to continue to work together on the solutions of tomorrow through cutting edge technologies.

"This agreement gives a voice of recognition to Israeli innovation and reaches what is our most precious natural resource."

Haim Regev, Israel's EU envoy, and Mariya Gabriel, the European innovation and research commissioner, formally concluded the Horizon Europe deal in Brussels.

Gabriel explained the research scheme is the "closest form of cooperation [the EU has] with non-European countries".

Based on the agreement, Israel has the same access to Horizon Europe as any of the 27 countries that belong to the European Union.

Commissioner Gabriel noted previous collaboration has resulted in developments in fields such as climate, medicine, and biotechnology.

The Horizon Europe deal follows on from the Horizon 2020 scheme, which ran between 2014 and 2020. Israel participated in Horizon 2020 too, and illegally occupied Palestinian territories were also not in that deal.

Israeli participation in these types of EU schemes began 25 years ago.