Close cooperation and friendship

Dutch government visits Berlin Close cooperation and friendship

75 years after the liberation of the Netherlands, the partnership that exists today between the two neighbouring countries is a great fortune, stressed Chancellor Angela Merkel at the third Dutch-German government consultations. The main topics on the agenda included climate and energy, and European policy matters.

Chancellor Angela Merkel and Prime Minister Mark Rutte during the government consultations at the Federal Chancellery

Good neighbourliness in action - Germany and the Netherlands to continue close cooperation

Photo: Bundesregierung/Denzel

While the German government found out more about the climate programme of the Netherlands in The Hague in August, today the focus was on Germany’s climate action programme explained Chancellor Angela Merkel. Following meetings in 2013 and 2016, this was the third time that the German Cabinet has met with Mark Rutte, Prime Minister of the Netherlands, and his Cabinet for government consultations. Eleven members of each government took part.

Governments adopt political declaration

At the joint plenary session attended by the two government delegations, the consultations primarily revolved around climate and energy issues. Alongside European-policy matters, though, the agenda also featured aspects of digitalisation, migration, defence-policy issues and bilateral cooperation. Within the scope of consultations, the two governments adopted a joint political declaration.

Support for Germany’s Presidency of the Council of the EU

Before the two Cabinets met for consultations, the Chancellor and Dutch Prime Minister Mark Rutte held bilateral talks. Since there are no problems at bilateral level, the Chancellor explained that they were able to talk at length "about European issues", including the next multiannual financial framework which needs to be adopted soon. The Dutch government also announced that it intended to support Germany, which assumes the Presidency of the Council of the European Union in the second half of 2020. There are considerations "as to whether we will then set priorities that are common concerns," underscored Angela Merkel. 

Close dialogue on climate action

With a view to the priority areas of climate and energy it became clear "that there are a great many common features in our approaches," said Angela Merkel. It can thus be expected "that in future too we will engage in a good and close dialogue in this field". Germany can learn from the Netherlands with regard to the introduction of electric mobility. The Netherlands, said the Chancellor, already has "far more charging stations and a very interesting payment system". 

The governments agreed to remain in extremely close contact on climate-policy measures to ascertain "what incentives have produced what results in each country, allowing us to learn a lot from one another", said Angela Merkel.

Desire for an orderly Brexit

The two government also discussed the United Kingdom’s withdrawal from the EU. Berlin and The Hague would still like to see an orderly withdrawal, but are prepared for a no-deal scenario. 

Migration policy too was on the agenda. What is needed here "is a bit of European solidarity" said Angela Merkel. The European asylum system "has not yet made the progress we would have hoped to see". 

Partnership and friendship a great fortune

Apart from concrete issues, the governments pointed out that it was a great fortune that the two neighbouring countries "today cooperate as partners and friends", 75 years after the liberation of the Netherlands. "We should never forget that," underscored Angela Merkel. "In this spirt we should make sure we keep working to maintain our cooperation." 

The German government is particularly looking forward to the planned state visit of the King and Queen of the Netherlands in summer 2020. "That is a huge honour for Germany," said Angela Merkel.