European supply chain law: Hofreiter criticizes coalition partner FDP

European supply chain law
Hofreiter criticizes his coalition partner FDP

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The European supply chain law and the EU climate targets for trucks have been fully negotiated in Brussels. However, the FDP wants to block German approval and continue negotiations. The Green politician Hofreiter sharply criticizes this. The FDP is thereby causing “gigantic damage” to the EU.

Green politician Anton Hofreiter has sharply criticized the FDP for its resistance to the European supply chain law. “The problem is that, firstly, the FDP is not aware of the gigantic damage it is causing in the European Union,” said Hofreiter, chairman of the Committee for European Union Affairs in the Bundestag, on WDR radio.

The FDP is now once again violating the principle that concerns about a project must be raised at an early stage, but not just before the vote. “And the second thing is that I don’t think the Chancellor and the Chancellor’s Office understand how much damage we are causing and is therefore not taking sufficient care of it,” said Hofreiter. This is about “planning deficiencies in the Chancellery, which repeatedly lead to Germany appearing as unreliable at the European level.”

Germany wants to abstain from the vote on the supply chain law at EU level because the FDP has concerns. The law is intended to hold large companies accountable if they profit from child or forced labor outside the EU.

Chancellor Olaf Scholz must make it clear to the FDP that they can talk about anything, but at the right time. “It’s not the case that people act arbitrarily in Brussels. They say, ‘Oh, we’re not interested in what Germany says.’ But you have to say it in good time. And if you don’t say something in time, then you have it In the end it’s just a problem and it looks stupid,” says Hofreiter.

Wissing defends blockade with threatening bureaucracy

Federal Transport Minister Volker Wissing defended his party’s blockade of the already negotiated EU supply chain law and justified it with the threat of bureaucratic burdens. In the ZDF “Morgenmagazin” he rejected the fact that Germany had already given the “green light” for the regulations. The German side said “that we are prepared to continue to participate constructively in the negotiations in order to achieve a proper result.

“But the result is not neat because it creates a significant burden of bureaucracy, especially for medium-sized companies,” Wissing continued. The Federal Republic is “characterized by a medium-sized economic structure,” the minister continued. “We have weak growth, which is the worst possible time to build up even more bureaucracy. And that’s why things can’t stay like this.”

The Council of EU countries is scheduled to vote in Brussels on a controversial supply chain law and stricter climate targets for trucks. The majority for the two projects is shaky because the FDP wants to block German approval. Both legal texts have already been negotiated; the approval of the member states is actually considered a formality. The supply chain law is intended to hold companies across Europe responsible for child labor, exploitation and environmental pollution in the production of their goods. In some respects, the European directive goes beyond a German law that has been in force since the beginning of 2023.

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