- The European Union (EU) provides substantial funding to highly politicized NGOs active in the Arab-Israeli conflict through various funding mechanisms, including: Development Cooperation Instrument (DCI), European Neighbourhood Partnership Instrument (ENPI), European Instrument for Democracy and Human Rights (EIDHR), the Humanitarian Aid and Civil Protection department (ECHO), and others. DCI and ENPI have subdivisions – under DCI there is the Non-State Actors and Local Authorities program (NSA-LA), and under ENPI there is Partnership for Peace (PfP).
- NGO funding is a central component of EU foreign policy, which attempts to promote peace, cooperation and human rights.In contrast to these stated moral objectives, the EU funds a number of highly biased and politicized NGOs that exploit the rhetoric of human rights to promote anti-Israel BDS (boycotts, divestment, and sanctions) and lawfare campaigns, inflammatory rhetoric, and activities that oppose a two-state framework.
- Lack of transparency: The EU fails to abide by minimum standards of transparency and accountability. The selection process of project funding is secret. The EU does not reveal information about selection committee members or their considerations. Moreover, project evaluations are not released, making it impossible to independently verify that projects achieve their stated goals and reflect the foreign policy objectives of the EU. (In response to requests from NGO Monitor, the EC provided a disk of documents with most details deleted.)
- Additionally, NGOs and NGO projects are selected for EU funding by unknown officials in local EC offices. They may have close connections to the NGOs that receive funding, a clear conflict of interest, or may be guided by ideological considerations. Despite requests from Members of European Parliament (MEPs) and NGO Monitor, the names and backgrounds of the decision makers have not been released.
- Limited funding information is available on the websites of the Delegation of the EU to Israel in Tel Aviv and the EU Technical Assistance Office in East Jerusalem. (See Table A below for available funding information.)1
Click for a compilation of articles highlighting NGO Monitor’s contributions to the broader conversation about NGOs, funding, and accountability in the European Union. These include blogs and op-eds written by NGO Monitor and staff, as well as articles citing NGO Monitor, or otherwise relevant to our mission.
- In 2014, EIDHR, one of the EU’s major financial assistance programs, had an annual budget of approximately €160 million, aimed at proving “support for the promotion of democracy and human rights in non-EU countries.”
- NGO Monitor’s analysis of EIDHR funding in 2007-2010 (the most comprehensive data) reveals that projects in Israel, projects in “Occupied Palestinian Territory (OPT),” and projects that address Israel and the Palestinian territories jointly received more than €11 million – more than any other target country. As of March 13, 2016, information regarding the latest cycle of EIDHR funding has been released only for projects in the West Bank and Gaza, but not for projects in Israel.
- The EU’s Partnership for Peace program has an average annual budget ranging from between €5 and 10 million; the EU contribution per project range from between €100,000 and 500,000.
- NGO Monitor’s detailed reports illustrate that, through PfP, the EU has provided grants to numerous NGOs that reject cooperation and partnerships with Israelis, support BDS and other biased campaigns that exacerbate the conflict, and are even involved in violent demonstrations. Following our analyses, the Calls for Proposals changed significantly, including the addition of language stressing the importance of cooperation and ensuring that “actions must assess whether or not they may directly or indirectly lead to violence, even if they have been established for non-violent purposes” (emphasis added).
- In 2014, ECHO, the European Commission’s Humanitarian Aid and Civil Protection department, provided €31.6 million to the West Bank and Gaza, €23.5 million of which was allocated to Gaza. The vast majority of the funding is directed to unaccountable and non-transparent Palestinian governmental agencies.
1 Additional funding information is available based on Israeli NGO financial reports to the Israeli Registrar of Non Profits, as mandated by the Israeli transparency law; see Table B below for detailed funding information).
Grants based on information provided by various EU websites and the EU’s Financial Transparency System
- The EU, Terror-Funding and Israel's Transparency Bill Ron Jontof-Hutter, The Algemeiner, August 17, 2016
- Letter from 4 German Members of the European Parliament regarding the proposed NGO Law
- MEPs Send an Open Letter on Israeli Government NGO Bill Julie Ward MEP
- Letter to PM Netanyahu from German-Israeli Parliamentary Friendship Group on NGO Law
- John Gatt-Rutter and the EU´s Middle East Fantasies Gerald steinberg, BlogActiv, August 30, 2015
- Europe´s NGO Jihad Against Israel Susan Warner, Gatestone Institute, August 27, 2015
- EU Funds Palestinian Radicalism Joseph Puder, Front Page Magazine, May 19, 2015
- Kidnapped Israeli Teens Compel Scrutiny of Hamas's International Finances Matthew Levitt, The New Republic, June 24, 2014
- Europe's Unaccountable Palestinian Aid Michael Theurer, The Wall Street Journal, April 9, 2014
- Foreign Diplomats, Mainly European, Participate in Popular Resistance Activities in Judea and Samaria The Meir Amit Intelligence and Terrorism Information Center, October 30, 2013
- Prof. Gerald Steinberg’s Prepared Remarks to the European Parliament SubCommittee on Human Rights June 23, 2010
- Lawsuit against European Commission on transparency and accountability
- Minutes of Selection Committee meeting for NGO funding (leaked document), September 29, 1999