The federal government needs strength to change its course about Nord Stream 2. Now that the chancellor decided to give up her leadership in CDU, she should take this chance to sweep the obstacles from the way of German policy to make a European progress with new determination. Nord Stream 2 is a bad project concerning energy, climate, environment, security, economy and alliance policies. So far the federal government has not sought for reasonable solutions, only excuses. The range of criticism in the European Parliament shows how Germany is isolated in this issue That is why I and my Lithuanian colleague Petras Auštrevičius (ALDE) have initiated an open letter to chancellor Angela Merkel. The letter was supported by 60 MEPs from five fractions as well as other signatories – writes a German MEP Reihard Bütikofer from the Greens. You can read the full letter below.
Brussels, 5 November 2018
Joint open letter regarding Nord Stream 2
Dear Madam Chancellor,
We write to you and to your government regarding the Nord Stream 2 pipeline – a project that continues to be developed in full speed despite all the concerns voiced from many of Germany’s European neighbours and from European institutions.
Whatever the reasons behind Russia’s efforts to build Nord Stream 2, one thing is clear: Russia is not building this pipeline alone. Several European companies are cooperating with Gazprom for the project. But even more importantly, Nord Stream 2 would not be built without the consistent support that your governments, Madam Chancellor, have lent to it for many years. It is more than obvious that Nord Stream 2 would fall, wasn’t there the decision by the German government to ignore all opposition to this economic deal with far-reaching political implications. It might benefit a few, but it would have severe economic down-sides on a larger scale and very destructive and corrupting political consequences.
Time has come to call a spade a spade. Germany’s position on Nord Stream 2 runs counter to the goals of the European Energy Union. It antagonizes many of Germany’s partners because it leaves their interests unaddressed, and it gives Russia additional strategic leverage over the EU because it increases the EU’s energy dependency on Russia.
Your government, Madam Chancellor, is allowing a major rift between EU member countries to fester at a time when the EU needs cohesion more than ever before. Europe cannot afford this. Nor can Germany.
Germany, by relying for up to 80% of its gas supplies solely on Gazprom, would automatically reduce its own energy independence. The impact on the energy security of the EU would also be negative, with significant impacts beyond the realm of energy policy. Germany is ignoring the security concerns that countries around the Baltic, NATO and the United States of America have been warning against. Germany’s own security is obviously intimately connected to that of its neighbours and partners. Germany, by holding on to Nord Stream 2, would continue to act as a divider. Germany would act against the will of the European Commission, the European Parliament and the majority of the Council of the European Union.
We ask you, Madam Chancellor, that your government reconsiders and changes its policy on Nord Stream 2. Stop blocking the work on the Gas Directive. Support the course set by the European Commission and the European Parliament. Let Russia’s President know that Germany will stand by its EU partners and by Ukraine. Choose the European way, not the “Germany first” way. Just recently, the bitter British experience with Russian meddling has demonstrated amply, how important it is for affected parties to be able to rely on the solidarity of their partners.
The benefits of Nord Stream 2 would go to the Kremlin, to Gazprom and, maybe, to a few Western companies. The heavy political cost for completing Nord Stream 2 would fall on Germany’s shoulders. Is that in Germany’s interest? Does Germany live up to its European responsibility by putting some very particular interests above our shared European interest? You know, Madam Chancellor, that the answer to both questions is “No”.
Germany, by acting short-sightedly, would undermine the solidarity principle within the EU. That is the very principle on which the EU must be based, if it is to be successful. Your government is not following the right priorities, Madam Chancellor. Please, do change course!
Petras Auštrevičius, MEP ALDE, Lithuania Reinhard Bütikofer, MEP Greens/EFA, Germany
Laima Andrikienė, MEP EPP, Lithuania Margarete Auken, MEP Greens/EFA, Denmark Zigmantas Balčytis, MEP S&D, Lithuania
Bas Belder, MEP ECR, Netherlands
Bendt Bendtsen, MEP EPP, Sweden
Vilija Blinkevičiūtė, MEP S&D, Lithuania Michał Boni, MEP EPP, Poland
Elmar Brok, MEP EPP, Germany
Michael Cramer, Greens/EFA, Germany Ryszard Czarnecki, MEP ECR, Poland
Pascal Durand, MEP Greens/EFA France
Bas Eickhout, MEP Greens/EFA, Netherlands José Inácio Faria, MEP EPP, Portugal
Fredrik Federley, MEP ALDE, Sweden
Michael Gahler, MEP EPP, Germany
Benedek Jávor, MEP Greens/EFA, Hungary Eva Joly, MEP Greens/EFA, France
Sven Giegold, MEP Greens/EFA, Germany
Ana Maria Gomes, MEP S&D, Portugal
Igor Gräzin, MEP ALDE, Estonia
Theresa Griffin, MEP S&D, UK
Antanas Guoga, MEP EPP, Lithuania
Martin Häusling, MEP Greens/EFA, Germany Rebecca Harms, MEP Greens/EFA, Germany Hans-Olaf Henkel, MEP ECR, Germany
Maria Heubuch, MEP Greens/EFA, Germany Gunnar Hökmark, MEP EPP, Sweden
Marek Jurek, MEP ECR, Poland
Karol Karski, MEP ECR, Poland
Tunne Kelam, MEP EPP, Estonia
Jeppe Kofod, MEP S&D, Denmark
Andrey Kovatchev, MEP EPP, Bulgaria Zdzisław Krasnodębski, MEP ECR, Poland Philippe Lamberts, MEP Greens/EFA, Belgium Monica Macovei, MEP ECR, Romania Svetoslav Malinov, MEP EPP, Bulgaria Ramona Mănescu, MEP EPP, Romania Florent Marcellesi, MEP Greens/EFA, Spain Édouard Martin, MEP S&D, France
Valentinas Mazuronis, MEP ALDE, Lithuania Tamás Meszerics, MEP Greens/EFA, Hungary Tilly Metz, MEP Greens/EFA, Luxembourg Ana Miranda, MEP Greens/EFA, Spain Alessia Mosca, MEP S&D, Italy
Luděk Niedermayer MEP, EPP, Czech Republic Urmas Paet, MEP ALDE, Estonia
Ivari Padar, MEP S&D, Estonia
Miroslav Poche, MEP S&D, Czech Republic
Jiří Pospíšil, MEP EPP, Czech Republic Carolina Punset, MEP ALDE, Spain
Bronis Ropė, MEP Greens/EFA, Lithuania Dariusz Rosati, MEP EPP, Poland
Algirdas Saudargas, MEP EPP, Lithuania Molly Scott Cato, MEP Greens/EFA, UK Monika Smolkova, MEP S&D, Slovakia Bart Staes, MEP Greens/EFA, Belgium Ivan Štefanec, MEP EPP, Slovakia
Jaromír Štětina, MEP EPP, Czech Republic Richard Sulik, MEP ECR, Slovakia
Indrek Tarand, MEP Greens/EFA, Estonia Ramon Tremosa i Balcells, MEP ALDE, Spain Helga Trüpel, MEP Greens/EFA, Germany Monika Vana, MEP Greens/EFA, Austria Anders Vistisen, MEP ECR, Denmark
Anna Zaborska, MEP EPP, Slovakia Flavio Zanonato, MEP S&D, Italy Roberts Zīle, MEP ECR, Latvia
Linas Balsys, MP Lithuanian Green Party, Lithuania Lisa Badum, MP Greens, Germany
Annalena Baerbock, Co-Chair Greens, Germany Matthias Gastel, MP Greens, Germany
Eugenijus Gentvilas, MP Liberals’ Movement, Lithuania Katrin Göring-Eckardt, MP Greens, Germany
Anton Hofreiter, MP Greens, Germany
Michael Jungclaus, MP Brandenburg Greens, Germany Marko Kaasik, Vice-Chairman Greens, Estonia
Marek Kossakowski, Co-Chair Greens, Poland
Sylvia Kotting-Uhl, MP Greens, Germany
Oliver Krischer, MP Greens, Germany
Vytautas Landsbergis, Former MEP, Former Chairman of Seimas, Lithuania Claudia Müller, MP Greens, Germany
Ingrid Nestle, MP Greens, Germany
Omid Nouripour, MP Greens, Germany
Pia Olsen Dyhr, Party Leader Greens (SF), Denmark Manuel Sarrazin, MP Greens, Germany
Heide Schinowsky, MP Brandenburg, Greens, Germany Małgorzata Tracz, Co-Chair Greens, Poland
Axel Vogel, MP Brandenburg Greens, Germany