Answer given by Mr Várhelyi
on behalf of the European Commission (30.8.2021)
The EU does not finance Palestinian textbooks.
The independent study on Palestinian textbooks carried out by the Georg Eckert Institute to which the Honourable Member refers was published on 18 June 20211. A copy of the study has been transmitted to the chairs of the European Parliament Committees on Foreign Affairs (AFET) and on Budgetary Control (CONT) as well as to the AFET committee’s secretariat.
The study provides an objective basis for the EU’s engagement with the Palestinian Authority to promote full adherence to the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO)’s standards of peace, tolerance, coexistence, and non-violence in all Palestinian educational materials. The EU remains committed to supporting the Palestinian Authority in building the institutions of a future democratic, viable and independent state that respects human rights and lives side by side with Israel in peace and security. Promoting high-quality education is particularly important in this respect. The EU has no tolerance for incitement to hatred, violence as a means to achieve political goals, and antisemitism in all its forms. These principles are non-negotiable for this Commission. Any material that goes against them risks undermining peace and co-existence and has no place in textbooks or classrooms.
The EU will step up its engagement with the Palestinian Authority, on the basis of the study and a comprehensive system of policy dialogue, engagement, and incentives, with the aim to ensure that further curriculum reform addresses problematic issues identified in the shortest possible timeframe and that the Palestinian Authority takes responsibility to screen textbooks not analysed in the study. The Commission takes this study seriously and will act on its findings as appropriate, with a view to bringing about full compliance of all Palestinian education material with the UNESCO standards of peace, tolerance, coexistence, and non-violence. The Commission reserves the right to take appropriate measures as necessary in this regard.
If there is substantiated evidence that any entity or individual has made inappropriate use of EU funding, recovery and reimbursement of the funds are required and the grantee may lose eligibility for EU funding. The Commission is looking into individual cases of alleged misuse or deviation of EU funds and economic resources in Palestine, and to date found no substantiated evidence for such misuse or deviation. It is now looking into the recent allegations by the Israeli authorities.
© European Union, 2021 – EP