In response to the European Union’s recent boycott of Israeli settlements and academic and economic programs connected to settlements, the Israeli Ministry of Foreign Affairs is considering boycotting a monumental EU research and development initiative.
Horizon 2020, the EU’s flagship program, is designed to boost industrial leadership, increase scientific research and fuel economic growth.
Israel is the only non-European full participant in the program as of now, and its contribution is supposed to be 600 million euro in total. According to the Jewish Press, the project would suffer if Israel were to back out. “Israel is a central partner in the projects that Horizon 2020 undertakes, and part of these project’s successes are dependent on Israeli human resources and research.”
However, a boycott of Horizon 2020 would cost Israel significantly as well. Israel is expected to get back 1.5 shekels in research and investments for every 1 shekel it contributes. The projected losses from a boycott are around 1 billion euro.
A Maariv report stressed that the window for Israel to choose to boycott the program is quickly closing, as the decision must be made before the first meeting on August 14th.Some speculate that Israel will merely boycott this meeting to send a message to their European counterparts: You can’t pick and choose when to use our help and when to stab us in the back. By Marissa Young on August 6, 2013