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Parliamentary questions
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5 May 2017
Answer given by Vice-President Mogherini on behalf of the Commission
Question reference: E-001291/2017

The agreement associating Israel to the Horizon 2020 research and innovation framework programme was signed in the offices of the Prime Minister of Israel (in West Jerusalem) on 8 June 2014. All further documents signed with participants in Horizon 2020 projects, including from Israel, such as grant agreements, declaration on honour or accession forms, were signed electronically and as such have no specific place of signature.

In the guidelines(1), the eligibility exception applicable to national public authorities recognises that they are not established in the same way as other legal entities. National public institutions cannot be considered to have a ‘place of establishment’ understood as a legal address corresponding to a particular physical location at which they were registered, but rather they are established by national legislation.

Although the Israeli National Police benefits from the exemption on the place of establishment, they have to meet the guidelines requirements regarding activities. Hence what matters in this case is rather where the activities they carry out under the respective project take place and if they use an address for communication purposes in conformity with the footnote under point 16 of the Guidelines(2).

Although the Commission is not in a position to determine whether the placement of the Israeli National Police headquarters in the occupied Palestinian territories (oPt) constitutes a contravention of the Fourth Geneva Convention, the EU is opposed to the establishment of Israeli government institutions in the oPt. The EU does not recognise the Palestinian territories occupied by Israel in 1967 as a part of Israel, and therefore consistently avoids meetings with Israeli government authorities in the occupied territories.

United Nations Security Council resolution 2334 has reaffirmed the international position on settlements. It also reflects the EU’s long-standing position that settlements are illegal under international law, constitute an obstacle to peace and threaten to make a two-state solution impossible.

(2)In the case of Israeli public authorities at national level (ministries and government agencies/authorities), the declaration (on honour) will contain an address for communication purposes that is within Israel’s pre-1967 borders and that complies with point 10 of the Guidelines.

Legal notice