The EU is suing Germany because of the increasing nitrate pollution of groundwater and the year-long inaction in the face of its protection. The statement of claim. Not only farmers need to fear a massive impact.
It is a unique document of the failure. The 40-page indictment – occupied with 1500 pages of documents-Annex – attributed to the EU Commission for the environment-and agricultural politics of the Federal Republic of Germany. For years, the pollution of groundwater with nitrate is increasing in many regions of Germany. The main cause for agriculture, over-fertilization with liquid manure and dung. This is a clear violation of the since 1991, in force in the EU-nitrate Directive.
The writ to the records meticulously, like Germany ignored for years, the Problem and the EU-Commission has hold. For example, will allow substantially more fertilizer will be brought to the Fields than the plants could absorb, so a Central allegation to the Commission. Also, the statutory Düngepausen of a maximum of three months were far too short, – stated in the writ. State of the science for five to seven months.
Ministry of agriculture prevented the implementation of tougher rules
Stricter rules have failed so far, mainly on the resistance of the Ministry of agriculture. In the middle of last month, the coalition agreed on a Reform of the relevant regulations. Wilhelm pries Meier, agricultural policy spokesman of the SPD parliamentary group in the Bundestag, doubted, however, whether the action brought by the EU-Commission is null and void. “The lawsuit relates to the old fertilizer Ordinance. And only with the submission of the new fertilisers regulation and the amendment to the Düngegesetzes in the end, the Commission and the ECJ can assess whether the requirements of the nitrate Directive are complied or not,” says pries Meier. “I’m afraid, that the present amendment to the Düngegesetzes and also the fertilizer Ordinance is not going to be enough.”
the EU Commission says How serious this lawsuit, incidentally, is not only the content but also the tone of the statement of claim. From the allegation, to ignore scientific findings to “a mere game with terms” range on the edge of the legal arguments executed attacks against Berlin.
Other EU countries were already
the Commission was already in dispute with France. There, too, the case ended up before the European court of justice – the complaint was upheld. Currently, Paris is negotiating with Brussels about the possible penalties. In the discussion of money is, among other things, imprisonment of up to three billion euros. In the case of a condemnation is likely to come to Germany Similar.
However, the penalty would be the least of the Problem, says SPD-agricultural expert pries Meier. “In the judgment, things were finally included, we would have directly and immediately in the form of legislation to implement. Of course, this would also limit the room for manoeuvre of the legislator significantly,” he says. Specifically, Meier, Extolling the could mean in extreme cases that the courts in particularly nitrate areas contaminated prohibit agriculture.