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In advance of Barroso’s visit, the Jerusalem-based NGO Monitor called for greater EU scrutiny on large-scale projects it funds “for highly politicized Israeli and Palestinian NGOs, and the absence of transparency regarding this funding.” “This is an opportune time for ending the blatant lack of transparency – in violation of the EU’s own principles – and for undertaking a detailed review, particularly for the NGO grants that end in June and July 2012,” NGO Monitor president Gerald Steinberg wrote Barroso in a letter. He continued: “Rather than automatically renewing this funding, the EU should carefully consider the implications of policies which secretly provide millions of euros from taxpayer funds to Israeli and Palestinian political NGOs. An independent examination of the EU’s funding for these NGOs, including analysis of the procedures and impacts, if any, is long overdue.”

NGO Monitor cited various EU-funded groups that it alleges promote misguided human rights work. According to NGO Monitor, “The Israeli Committee Against House Demolitions, which received 169,661 euros from the European Commission [concluded June 2012], is a fringe political NGO that fuels conflict by frequently accusing Israel of ‘apartheid’ and ‘ethnic cleansing.’ ICAHD officials are also active in promoting BDS [boycotts, divestment and sanctions] campaigns, particularly in churches in Europe and North America.”