Press Release

IDI Receives Prestigious €2.4 Million ERC Research Grant

IDI Vice President Professor Mordechai Kremnitzer Awarded European Research Council Grant for Research to Change Government Decision-Making


IDI Vice President Professor Mordechai Kremnitzer Awarded European Research Council Grant for Research to Change Government Decision-Making

Thursday, December 6, 2012, Israel Democracy Institute, 4 Pinsker St., Jerusalem – IDI has been awarded a 2.4 million euro grant from the European Research Council (ERC) for a groundbreaking proposal by IDI Vice President of Research Mordechai Kremnitzer entitled "Proportionality in Public Policy: Towards a Better Balance between Interests and Rights in Decision-Making."

The proposal aims to improve the quality of government decision-making through a novel approach to the study and practice of proportionality—the notion that government actions should reflect a balance between competing interests and values. Although proportionality is well-established as a legal principle, it is poorly integrated into the policymaking process. The failure to practice proportionality often results in bad policies that infringe on fundamental values and provoke invasive judicial review. The challenge is to find ways to structure proportionality so that decision-makers will be able and willing to apply it. By structuring proportionality into government decision-making, Prof. Kremnitzer hopes to improve the quality of democratic governance, better protect human rights, and reduce tensions between the executive and judicial branches.

"I am honored by the ERC's recognition," said Kremnitzer, who will serve as the Principal Investigator on the project. "This generous grant will allow us to promote a new understanding of one of democracy's most important meta-constitutional principles."

IDI President Dr. Arye Carmon congratulated Kremnitzer, saying the award was a "truly monumental step" for both the IDI Vice President and the institute as a whole. "This grant, the first to be awarded to a think tank in Israel, is a testament to the important work being done by Prof. Kremnitzer and a vote of confidence in IDI's efforts to promote democracy," said Dr. Carmon.

"Congratulations to Professor Kremnitzer and the entire IDI staff," said Mr. Amir Elstein, Chairman of IDI's Board of Directors and Chairman of the Board of Israel Corp. "The ERC grant is awarded to the world's very best researchers. It is a badge of honor for Prof. Kremnitzer and for the Institute. I look forward to watching Prof. Kremnitzer's proposal develop and impact the way Israel – and governments around the world – make decisions."

About the ERC
Founded in 2007, the ERC is dedicated to "stimulating scientific excellence by supporting and encouraging the very best, truly creative scientists, scholars and engineers to be adventurous and take risks in their research." ERC grants are awarded through open competition to projects headed by starting and established researchers, irrespective of their origins - the sole criterion for selection is scientific excellence. The aim here is to recognize the best ideas, and retain and confer status and visibility to the best brains in Europe, while also attracting talent from abroad.

About IDI
IDI is a non-partisan "think-and-do tank" dedicated to strengthening the foundations of Israeli democracy. A 2009 Israel Prize recipient, the Institute promotes political reform, democratic values, social cohesion, and Jewish identity.  Visit IDI's website for more information.