‘Europe’s two best economies must come up with a master plan’

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‘Europe’s two best economies must come up with a master plan’

Despite the fact that the ties between the two countries are good, the cooperation between the Netherlands and Germany needs to be much improved. This is what Günther Gülker, director of the German-Dutch Chamber of Commerce, says in the run-up to the visit of German Chancellor Scholz and part of his team of ministers to the Netherlands. ‘It would be nice if the two best economies in Europe came up with a master plan.’

The Dutch and German cabinets will meet today in Rotterdam under the leadership of Prime Minister Rutte and Chancellor Scholz. Defence, foreign affairs and energy are important themes that will be discussed.

According to Gülker, the fact that both governments are coming together is a signal that ties are indeed good. ‘Not only is Germany important to the Netherlands, but also the other way around. The Netherlands is now Germany’s most important trading partner in Europe.’

But things can be better. ‘More cooperation is needed, and that needs to be strengthened. Especially in the field of energy transition,’ he says. In particular, the ‘construction of cross-border infrastructure’ is progressing ‘too slowly’, according to Gülker.

Despite the fact that the ties between the two countries are good, the cooperation between the Netherlands and Germany needs to be much improved. (ANP / Peter Hilz)

And also in the technological field, cooperation must be improved, thinks Gülker. ‘We have a great European champion, ASML, which also collaborates a lot with German companies. But we need much more.’

‘We build a lot of wind turbines at sea. To get that power to Germany, we need pipelines, just like for the transport of hydrogen. The Delta Rhine Corridor (a public-private partnership for the construction of pipelines through the Netherlands and Germany, ed.) is in the planning stages, but it would be a shame if it stopped at the border. As we saw with the construction of the Betuwe railway line.’

Urgency

With the urgent letter, the Chamber of Commerce mainly wants to show the urgency of the issues. “During the pandemic, we have seen that things can move much faster. We hope that the governments recognize that too. It would be nice if the two best economies in Europe come up with a master plan for how the energy transition can be accelerated in the coming years,’ says Gülker.


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