TheEnergy and Water Ministry
and the European Commission’s Joint Research Center (JRC) have signed a memorandum of understanding that will see Israel and the EU expand their collaboration on the development of sustainable energy
and water ventures.
The agreement was sign as part of the EU-Israel
European Neighborhood Policy Plan, put in place in 2005. It will see both parties "focus on ensuring a sustainable supply of energy and water
in line with international environmental standards," a JRC statement said.
"The partners will strive for more efficient and sustainable technologies and will also explore the link between energy and water."
The agreement, which was signed by Energy and Water Ministry Director-General Shaul Zemach and JRC Director- General Dominique Ristori while the latter was on a visit to Jerusalem, will be in effect for five years.
It will enable the research and sharing of technology, scientific information, staff and equipment.
Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu
welcomed the agreement saying it "Represents a very important milestone in the progression of development between Israel and the EU… The more we cooperate, the more it will benefit our respective societies."
European Commission President Jose Manuel Barroso added that scientific research and technology were two of the most important avenues of collaboration between Israel and the European Union.
“I'm looking forward to deepening our good cooperation between Israel and the European Union," he said.
According to an EU statement, energy aspects of the MOU will focus on "renewable energy, smart grids, energy efficiency and oil fuel alternatives." The water aspects of the deal, will focus on desalination – "an area in which Israel has strong scientific expertise."