The Ariel University Non-Recognition Campaign and the European Coordination of Committees and Associations for Palestine has published a briefing on involvement of Ariel University and other settlement entities in taxpayer-funded EU research programmes.
Update, 20 April 2021: Following the initial publication of this briefing, incriminating documents, including project deliverables, demonstrating the involvement of Ariel University in the BOUNCE project were redacted or removed from the project website in an attempt to conceal evidence of the project’s, and thereby the EU’s involvement in enabling Israel’s illegal settlement institutions.
The briefing has been updated in order to include links to archived copies and screenshots of redacted and removed documents.
The EU does not recognise, and has a duty under international law not to recognise Israeli sovereignty over the territories it has occupied since 1967.
EU guidelines stipulate that Israeli entities established in or activities conducted in occupied territories are ineligible for EU grants.
The Commission is failing to properly instruct against, monitor for, and rectify project management transgressions:
- Tel Aviv University collected soil samples from the occupied West Bank for a Horizon 2020-funded project.
- Illegal Israeli settlement-based Ariel University and settlement company Golan Heights Winery have been involved in past and ongoing Horizon-funded projects.
- EU-funded research papers include Ariel University affiliations falsely indicating it is located in Israel.
- Ariel University professors admit to devising schemes to circumvent the guidelines to gain access to EU research funding and mobility programmes.
The EU is shirking its duty to monitor and ensure compliance with its obligations under domestic and international law, leaving it to civil society to identify and denounce transgressions. The cases above show this is a widespread, ongoing issue that must be dealt with in a systematic manner.
The EU Council, Parliament and Commission must devise, fund and implement:
- effective monitoring of EU research projects, and
- effective accountability measures for transgressors, including official project participants facilitating the contraventions.