“The guidelines will take effect as they are. This is how they were published [in the EU’s Official Journal], as a legal act, and that’s how it will be,” Ambassador Andreas Reinicke, the EU’s special representative to the Middle East peace process, told The Times of Israel. In certain areas where the guidelines are still unclear, “a closer look” at the details might be have to be taken, he allowed. Still, their main points will not be changed and will take effect by January 2014 as planned.
The EU’s directive, published last month, contains a denial of European funding to, and cooperation with, Israeli institutions based or operating over the Green Line, and a requirement that all future agreements between Israel and the EU include a clause in which Israel accepts the position that all territory over the Green Line does not belong to Israel
Israelis from across the political spectrum protested the EU’s new guidelines. An angry Netanyahu said Israel “will not accept any outside diktat about our borders.” Defense Minister Moshe Ya’alon instructed troops to halt cooperation with EU representatives in the West Bank and Gaza. President Shimon Peres asked the EU to “delay” the decision at least until after the current round of US-sponsored peace talks with the Palestinians.
Reinicke said that several EU foreign ministers explicitly welcomed the funding guidelines at the July 22 Foreign Affairs Council in Brussels, asserting that they were merely the implementation of existing EU legislation. The EU does not recognize Israeli sovereignty over the 1967 lines, and last year’s promotion of Ariel University Center, located in the West Bank, to a full-fledged university prompted the need to issue clear guidelines regarding funding Israeli institutions. While Ariel University’s elevated status wasn’t the only reason for the new guidelines, it was “certainly an important trigger for this entire discussion,” Reinicke said.