04 September 2020
Germany and Dutch industrial lobbies: partners in crime
04 September 2020
While the European Commission has finally acknowledged — almost three years after our first complaint — that the Netherlands was and continues to be in utter illegality regarding electric fishing, Germany finds nothing better to do than announcing its wish to “reopen the debate“. Light years away from the exemplarity demanded from decision makers by citizens and advocated for by Germany.
Germany’s tainted love with Dutch lobbies
Made by Julia Klöckner — German Minister of Food and Agriculture at a meeting of the European Parliament’s Committee on Fisheries on 3 September 2020 — “this statement is actually hardly surprising, in light of the incestuous relationship that Germany has historically maintained with Dutch industrial lobbies”, analyses Frédéric Le Manach, scientific director of BLOOM. A fact highlighted last June by the NGO Corporate Europe Observatory in its “Tainted Love” report.
Germany, a myth of exemplarity
The latest example of Dutch corporate interests having a little too much weight in German policy making is the setting up of BRA-2 BUTENDIEK with electric trawls in April 2020, in blatant violation of the regulation prohibiting electric fishing. BLOOM filed a complaint on that topic with the European Commission in July 2020; a complaint that has remained unheeded so far.
Green MEP Caroline Roose raised this issue of illegal German license during the aforementioned meeting of the Committee on Fisheries, but her question also remained unanswered; the German minister skillfully preferring to ignore it. “Justifying this illegal derogation right after having advocated for a responsible behavior would indeed have been more than perilous, especially given that Germany currently chairs the Presidency of the Council of the European Union and is therefore expected to be exemplary” continues Frédéric Le Manach.
The scandal of electric fishing continues and may enjoy a revival, thanks to Germany’s desire to reopen the debate and the surrealist bluff by the Netherlands, who attacked the prohibition of this destructive fishing method before the Court of Justice of the European Union. “By striving to continuously flout the general interest for the benefit of their industrial friends, European political decision-makers give the impression that they are doing their best to ruin the already eroded trust that citizens have in them”, says Sabine Rosset, director of BLOOM. A situation in which civil society can do close to nothing, given that the legal framework is entirely locked up by these deleterious interests.
To be continued…