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Minister Niebel's Leitmotiv: "German Interests"

Provincialism instead of political farsightedness

Barely in office, German development minister Dirk Niebel unambiguously mapped out the road: he wants to ensure that development cooperation once again focuses on German interests. This position provoked—probably intentionally—protest from the greater part of the German development community. For them the Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ) is supposed to be the advocate of the developing countries within the chorus of ministries. A comment by Roger Peltzer

 

The intensity of the dispute suggests that there is some kind of clarity as to what interests are German and what the interests of developing countries are. But: is that really clear? Consider the example of the dispute over the reform of the European sugar market in 2007. Then—as a result of a WTO panel against the EU—the issue was to reduce the production of beet sugar in Europe in order to end EU dumping export of sugar surpluses ...

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