CSO reject EU policy reform that would legalize EU trade sanctions against developing countries, based on their migration policies
An important trade and development policy tool of the EU is the Generalized Scheme of Preferences (GSP), which allows developing countries to export goods to the EU at low or no tariffs. The current GSP Regulation is to expire end of this year.
The Dutch government, through its export credit agency Atradius DSB (ADSB), provides export support to companies that undertake activities abroad. The state wants projects it insures to have no negative consequences for people and the environment and therefore sets requirements for corporate social responsibility (CSR). A consultation on CSR policy ran until the end of April, to which a coalition of thirteen social organisations from the Netherlands and abroad, including Both ENDS and Milieudefensie (Friends of the Earth the Netherlands), responded.
While the energy transition via renewable energy, such as solar and wind energy, is fundamental to reduce EU CO2 emissions, we are concerned with the impacts it will have on the (geo-political) economy, people and environment. Our collaboration with civil society organisations in the Global South over the past 30 years has shown us that the patterns of consumption by rich countries, such as the Netherlands and the EU in general, have a devastating impact on people and the environment in mainly Africa, South-America and South-East Asia.
This joint position launched by 175 civil society organisations from 45 countries calls on world leaders to end OECD export finance for oil and gas, and explains how it can be done.
In October 2022, the Dutch government published a policy to implement the COP26 statement in which it promised to stop public finance for fossil fuel projects abroad by the end of 2022 . The proposed policy, unfortunately, has quite some 'loopholes' that make it possible for the Dutch government to keep supporting large fossil projects abroad for at least another year. These projects often run for years and will have a negative impact on the countries where they take place for decades to come.
In October this year, the Dutch government published a policy to implement the COP26 statement in which it promised to stop public finance for fossil fuel projects abroad by the end of 2022 . In spite of this pledge, the Netherlands is considering granting an export credit insurance to a floating production storage and offloading (FPSO) vessel that will be used to produce oil and fossil gas in Brazil for a period of 30 years.
The Mandalika International Street Circuit is a street circuit in the resort of Mandalika in Central Lombok in West Nusa Tenggara Province. The project, mainly intended to attract tourists, is largely financed by the Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank (AIIB).
In May 2022, Minister Hoekstra of Foreign Affairs and Minister Schreinemacher for International Trade and Development Cooperation announced that also The Netherlands will work towards implementing a Feminist Foreign Policy (FFP). This means that within its Foreign Policy, the Netherlands will pay more attention to inclusivity in general and specifically to women's rights and gender equality, including LGBTIQ+. This feminist lens will be central to all aspects of foreign policy; security, trade, diplomacy and international cooperation.
To foster an inclusive process and acquire insights in what a Dutch FFP should look like, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs opened an internet consultation. Both ENDS welcomes the FFP and therefore gladly shares its input and suggestions.
140+ organisations call on the European Ministers, Commissioners and members of the European Parliament to adopt a strong EU regulation on deforestation-free products. As "trilogue negotiations" on this law begin, we ask you to support a law that lives up to the promises of the European Green Deal and the Sustainable Development Goals and upholds the EU's commitments on climate, biodiversity and human rights.
Last year at COP26, the Netherlands, alongside 38 other governments and institutions, committed to the Glasgow Statement on International Public Support for the Clean Energy Transition. By signing this statement, the Netherlands has committed to ending new direct public support for the international unabated fossil fuel energy sector by the end of 2022- a commitment it has yet to deliver.
With this letter, 20 civil society organisations call on the Netherlands to announce its implementation policies for the Glasgow Statement ahead of the Export Finance for Future (E3F) Summit on the 3 November. The E3F Summit is a critical opportunity for the Netherlands to uphold the commitments made in Glasgow last year, alongside all other E3F members.
The recent E3F transparency report highlighted that Netherlands insured 6x more fossil fuel transactions than renewables from 2015-2020, with 3 billion EUR in fossil fuel transactions compared to only 0.5 billion EUR in renewables. This demonstrates that a fossil-fuel exclusion policy for Dutch export support is urgent, and essential, to align the Netherlands with its Glasgow commitment and the Paris Agreement.
A coalition of 13 Dutch organisations calls on investors like banks, pension funds and insurers to divest from TotalEnergies because of its EACOP project in Uganda and Tanzania. This new pipeline is causing human rights abuses, increased poverty, environmental pollution and climate change, and also TotalEnergies is using loopholes in the tax system to avoid taxes.
The letters has been send, among others, to the banks ABN AMRO, ING and Van Lanschot Kempen, pension funds ABP, BPL, PFZW, PMT and PNO media and the insurers Aegon, Allianz and Nationale Nederlanden. Together, the Dutch investors own shares and obligations worth more than 2.1 billion euros.
Today, almost 90 organisations and networks from around the world, including Both ENDS, sent a letter to the European Commission to urge the EU to stop including UPOV91 in Free Trade Agreements (FTAs). The main objective of UPOV91 is to further erode traditional seeds rights and to regulate local seed markets in the interest of internationally operating seed companies.
This matter is urgent because currently, the EU and Indonesia are negotiating an FTA. Including UPOV91 in this FTA means that Indonesia will have to change its policies, which will take away the farmers' rights to:
- breed, save and exchange all seeds and other planting material
- participate in decisions concerning seed improvement/ breeding, selection, quality standards, pricing, production, distribution and diversity
- customary practice especially in regard to indigenous seed
- be protected from being sold fake and inappropriate seed
- have a true choice between the use of certified and seed from fellow farmer managed seed systems.