The elections are too much about corona and too little about the future. That says European Commissioner Frans Timmermans in talks with DeccEit. He thinks it should be about reconstruction. “How are we going to rebuild the country, what are we going to invest in, what are the plans for the future and not just: how will we get through in the coming months?”
The Labour Party is concerned that billions of euros are going to large companies and that people who are at risk of being unable to pay their rent are forgotten. “Prime Minister Rutte, and certainly his party, will, at the end of the day, think mainly of tax relief for big business and not of the people at the bottom of society. That‘s the nature of the beast. Nothing wrong with it, but I’m not in favour of it.”
‘Too little about climate‘
The Dutch Commissioner thinks the debate is too limited. He would like to participate and he wants to talk mainly about climate change. His hands are itchy to talk about climate change. “It can be a bit more in the Netherlands.” As far as Timmermans is concerned, it must be about the Green Deal and the measures to be taken to combat global warming. “We have to adapt to the climate crisis, which is what Dutch want, too, but I don‘t hear politicians about it relatively little.”
He wants to talk, for example, about drought and water management, and the opportunities that action against these kinds of effects of climate change offers for Dutch businesses. He also wants to talk about the restoration of forests and about the need to plant forests. “We need to be able to react more quickly to what is happening to nature.” And of course Timmermans wants to talk about Europe.
In this respect, the European Commission has not had the best time. Errors were made in concluding contracts for vaccines, and international action was not taken decisively. Foreign Chef Borrell had his ears washed like a little child by Russian Minister Lavrov. The image of a European Commission as a broken bone has been outlined in almost all international media. Timmermans acknowledges that it was not the best time. “Yes, not everything always goes right. And we also make mistakes in the Commission.”
Nevertheless, he believes that it is good to join forces in combating the pandemic. “Otherwise, you will get competition between countries, where the richest countries or their population could vaccinate and the poorest countries would not be able to do it. So you have to go to jail. We have no choice, and if you have to go to jail, it may also happen that you occasionally make a mistake. You have to acknowledge that, you have to correct it, and make sure it doesn’t happen again.”