EU: Guidelines weren’t meant to stop Israeli entities operating beyond Green Line

The European Union says that contrary to reports, its new settlement guidelines don’t require Israeli entities to stop operating beyond Green Line.

European Union flags outside the European Commission building in Brussels. (Shutterstock.com)
European Union flags outside the European Commission building in Brussels. (Shutterstock.com)

The EU delegation in Israel sent me a response to my item (and the Maariv piece I quoted) regarding changes to the new guidelines on ties with Israeli institutions that operate beyond the Green Line. In short, the claim is that the original guidelines were never meant to limit activities beyond the Green Line – only to make sure that European grants and prizes are not part of such projects.

The demand from Israelis entities not to operate beyond the Green Line at all, the EU delegation to Israel says, was only made with regards to loans, which constitute less than 10 percent of funds the EU allocates in Israel. Here is the full statement:

“Both the report on the EU guidelines in Ma’ariv and +972’s coverage of that report failed to make an important distinction between loans and grants. What is referred by +972 as “the most important article” (12b) clearly refers to “financial instruments” (loans) whereas the conditions relating to grants clearly appear in other articles. Article 12b, referring to loans, indeed states that, “Israeli entities will be considered eligible as final recipients if they do not operate in the territories [conquered on June 1967].” Regretfully, in both reports, the mistaken impression was given that this clause refers to grants which constitute the vast majority of EU funding in Israel.

In the case of grants, the guidelines state that the beneficiary must be legally registered inside the 1967 lines and hold the EU-funded activity inside the 1967 lines. There is no requirement in the guidelines that states that beneficiaries of EU grants not operate in the territories occupied by Israel since June 1967.”

I will post more updates and some analysis on this issue in the coming days.

Related:
The day Europe got Israel’s attention