Is this how the European Union works? A generous donation by a special interest group can influence the decision-making process and make the EU directives questionable as for their motives? The answer could be most likely clear… According to German media allegations, a donation of 690,000 euro by the BMW family to Angela Merkel’s party, the Christian Democrat Union (CDU), prompted criticism due to timing. Short after the donation arrived in CDU, Germany blocked EU efforts to establish tougher carbon-dioxide emissions targets for passenger cars as of 2020.
BMW donation to Merkel’s Christian Democrats prompts criticism
“The three major shareholders in the family company BMW have donated 690,000 euros to Chancellor Angela Merkel’s Christian Democrats. The timing of the postelection windfall has prompted lobbying allegations.
The family behind BMW, based in the conservative heartland of Bavaria, is a traditional source of CDU income. The trio donated a combined 450,000 euros after the last election.
According to the parliamentary report, the BMW bigwigs had decided to make the donation at the beginning of the year, but wanted to wait until after the election so they didn’t affect it.
The timing of the windfall prompted criticism, however, as the news broke hours after Germany blocked EU efforts to establish tougher carbon-dioxide emissions targets for passenger cars as of 2020. BMW’s high-end fleet of cars tailoring to executives and long-distance travelers has an above-average emissions output compared to much of the European competition.
“The largest single donation so far in this election year was transferred not even one month after the election. That begs the question whether the Quandt/Klatten family was actively trying not to be seen taking sides in the vote,” Christina Deckwirth from the LobbyControl organization said. She also acknowledged the “proximity in terms of time” to Monday’s decision not to introduce stricter environmental targets for cars as of 2020.
Putting the brakes on Brussels
Germany pressed to delay the legislation until 2024, although EU Climate Commissioner Connie Hedegaard said in Luxembourg on Monday that she hoped the European Parliament could salvage the deal before the end of the chamber’s term next May.
News of Tuesday’s donation from a major carmaker was the lead story around the country.” (Deutsche Welle.de)