President Reuven Rivlin welcomed to his residence Mr. Carlos Moedas, the European Commissioner for Research, Science and Innovation.
The President welcomed the Commissioner on his visit to Israel, and noted the importance of the visit for the strengthening of cooperation in the fields of science and research. He said, “Despite differences of opinions on the issues of boycotting and labelling, we know the importance of the connection between the European Union and the European market, and the State of Israel. The development and research that we are doing together, as a hi-tech nation, is tremendous, and much of the innovation that we build here is exported around the world.”
The President invited the Commissioner to return to Israel later in the year as guest of honor for the celebrations marking 20 years of cooperation and partnership between Israel and the EU, as part the European Framework Programmes for Research and Technological Development. He added, “Cooperation between Israel and the EU benefits the whole world, and this cooperation speaks louder than any labelling or boycott.”
EU Commissioner Moedas expressed his appreciation for the President's work and said it was an honor for him to be in Jerusalem. He said, "I love this country. It is really for me a very special occasion to be here, especially because it has been 20 years since the beginning of the collaboration between Israel and the EU. Over the last year, I have been around Europe, talking to researchers and scientists, and everybody greatly appreciates the work of your scientists and innovators. You are an example. I want to be a little bit of your voice in terms of the great people I have met here, and the many innovators and entrepreneurs. The drive and energy that you have in this country to create businesses is unique and is an example to Europe. I am here to tell you that I hope this cooperation between Israel and Europe will increase. For us, and for our scientists, it is extremely important.”
He added, “I hope that during my tenure I will be able to be here for you, because you have been here for us in terms of everything in science and innovation.”
He noted as an example of Israel's achievements that Israel had 338 recipients of the European Research Grant. “These are awarded to the best of the best in the world.”
The President and the Commissioner went on to discuss the increasing levels, and the importance of cooperation between Israel and the EU, and of the positive effect and success of the many projects in Israel which bring together Jews and Arabs in economic cooperation and research partnerships.