Wednesday, 21 August 2013

Settlement guidelines block Ahava participation in EU-funded research project


European Union (EU) guidelines on Israeli settlements have nixed the cosmetics company Ahava’s participation in a research project. The profitable Israeli firm will no longer receive EU funding because its main factory is located in an settlement near the Dead Sea.

Ahava won’t obtain $8.25 million in EU cash it was expecting for a skin care project because of new rules on settlements scheduled to go into effect in 2014, according to a report by Bloomberg’s Jonathan Ferziger & David Wainer. The SuperFlex project was meant to create skin care products for the elderly, and two-thirds of the funding for the project came from the EU. It was set to begin next month.

In July 2013, the European Union announced that “grants, prizes or financial instruments” will not be given to Israeli entities in the West Bank. The guidelines are only binding on the EU, though, and not on member states. While the economic impact of the rules are limited, and occupation critics point out that the whole Israeli economy is tied to the settlements, Ahava is one company that will feel the heat from the EU policy.

In a statement to Bloomberg, though, Ahava said that “the EU’s decision does not concern Ahava.” more

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