The EU-Israel Association Agreement, which has been in force since 2000 within the framework of the Euro-Mediterranean partnership (Barcelona Process), governs relations between the two parties. It aims to strengthen political stability and economic development. Regional cooperation is another feature of the agreement, with regular political dialogue on issues of common interest. Although it is part of the European Neighbourhood Policy (ENP), Israel receives limited funding from the European Neighbourhood Instrument (ENI) due to its advanced economy, however Israeli NGOs are eligible for EU thematic budget lines, in particular EIDHR (European Instrument for Human Rights and Democracy). The EU-Israel Action Plan , agreed in 2006 and implemented through Twinning projects, promotes the integration of Israel into European policies and programmes.
The European Neighbourhood Instrument (ENI) is the main EU financial instrument during the financial period 2014-2020.
The ‘Twinning’ instrument was extended to Israel at the end of 2007. Through Twinning projects, the EU supports the approximation of Israeli norms and standards to those of the EU. The EU contribution to Twinning programmes in Israel under bi-lateral ENI allocations averages €2 million per year.
Since 2008, several Twinning projects have been launched in the areas of data protection, urban transport, equal employment opportunities, rural development, veterinary inspection and telecommunications. On-going Twinning projects are in the areas of statistics, environmental regulatory tools and veterinary diagnostic capacities.
Other budget lines
The European Peacebuilding Initiative (formerly EU Partnership for Peace Programme) supports civil society organisations working on promoting the Peace Process at the societal level and fostering direct civil society relationships, based on equality and reciprocity, between Palestinians and Israelis. The programme receives a €5 million annual allocation for local and cross-border initiatives in Palestine, Israel and Jordan.
Israel is also eligible for funding under the European Instrument for Democracy and Human Rights (EIDHR - €1.2 million in 2014 and the same in 2015) which aims to provide support for civil society initiatives that promote human rights, the rule of law and democracy.
Moreover, Israeli civil society organisation sare also eligible for funding from the Non State Actors and Local Authorities programme and the Civil Society Facility.
Young Israelis take part in youth exchange programmes with their European and Mediterranean counterparts under the Euro-Med Youth in Action Programme.
Israeli film-makers benefit from funding and training under the Euro-Med Audio-Visual Programme. Israel has also benefitted from the Technical Assistance and Information Exchange programme (TAIEX) since 2006.
During the period 2007-2013, Israel also benefitted from the Erasmus Mundus programme, which enhanced mobility and co-operation with the EU in the field of higher education, as well as the Tempus programme which supported the modernisation of higher education. Both programmes have been integrated in the Erasmus+ programme which was launched in early 2014 and for which Israel remains eligible.
Israel is the only non- European state to be a full partner in the Horizon 2020 Research Programme.
All programmes with Israel need to comply with the requirements set in the ‘Guidelines on the eligibility of Israeli entities and their activities in the territories occupied by Israel since June 1967 for grants, prizes and financial instruments funded by the EU from 2014 onwards ’ published in the Official Journal of the European Union on 19.7.2013