05 Jun 2024, 13:34
Benjamin Wehrmann

“Security threat” Nord Stream 2 should be investigated by parliamentary commission – Green Party

Clean Energy Wire / Süddeutsche Zeitung / ZDF

The events leading up to Germany’s commitment to building the controversial Nord Stream 2 offshore gas pipeline to Russia could be investigated by an inquiry commission in parliament, the Green Party’s parliamentary faction head, Katharina Dröge, has suggested. Media reports released in the past week said that Germany’s previous government, which included former chancellor Angela Merkel from the conservative Christian Democrats (CDU) and current chancellor Olaf Scholz from the Social Democrats (SPD) as vice chancellor and finance minister, heavily lobbied for the pipeline that it repeatedly labelled a “private sector project” despite loud objections from many of its neighbours and partner countries in Europe as well as by the U.S. “Many questions need to be answered here – questions that, in my opinion, require parliamentary scrutiny,” Dröge said in a statement. The commission should investigate how Germany could’ve found itself in a situation that severely compromised its energy security in 2022, when the outbreak of Russia’s war on Ukraine disrupted Europe’s energy markets. “What mistakes did policymakers make in the past decades that made Germany more dependent on Russia than probably any other country in the European Union?” Dröge asked.

The Nord Stream 2 pipeline, which lays idle on the ground of the Baltic Sea after the German government halted its permitting shortly before the Russian invasion attempt in February 2022, is “a symbol of the security threat” that Germany had navigated into, Dröge argued. Green Party economy expert Felix Banaszak in a report by the Süddeutsche Zeitung called the pipeline “the greatest failure in economic, energy and foreign policy since the birth of the German Federal Republic,” calling for a parliamentary inquiry. An inquiry commission would ensure that parliament gains access to all relevant documents available to shed light on the pipeline’s history.

The CDU, meanwhile, called for another inquiry commission to examine the events around Germany’s nuclear power phase-out, which was delayed by three months during the energy crisis until being completed in April 2023. The conservative party argued that the step was warranted by media reports which cited irregularities in internal proceedings about communicating the three remaining reactors’ shutdown during the energy crisis between the Green Party-led ministries for the economy and for the environment. The commission could assess whether judgements had been made “without prejudice,” the CDU said according to a report by public broadcaster ZDF.

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