Good cooperation

Germany and the Netherlands: De­vel­op­ment policy is peace policy

Today in Berlin, Minister Gerd Müller received his Dutch colleague, Minister Lilianne Ploumen

Minister Gerd Müller and his Dutch colleague, Minister Lilianne Ploumen

29.01.2014 |

Berlin – De­vel­op­ment co­op­er­a­tion in Afghanistan, working con­ditions in the textiles sector and other bilateral topics were on the agenda of the meeting with the Dutch Minister for Foreign Trade and De­vel­op­ment Co­op­er­a­tion. Federal Minister Müller emphasised in particular the good co­op­er­a­tion between Germany and the Netherlands in the challenging context of de­vel­op­ment work in Afghanistan: "For Germany and the Netherlands, de­vel­op­ment policy is in­ter­national peace policy. In Afghanistan we are cooperating very closely in this regard. Afghanistan’s civil reconstruction is im­por­tant to us, also and especially after all the troops have been withdrawn.” Since 2011, a Dutch-German joint project has been advising the Afghan gov­ern­ment on reforming the justice sector.

Both coun­tries are also actively involved in efforts to secure decent working conditions along in­ter­national delivery chains. The focus here is on the textiles industry in Asia, where for many companies there is heightened awareness of the importance of this issue due to the repeated accidents that have occurred in garment factories. Minister Müller said, "We need ecological and social standards in production coun­tries. Our task is to change consumer behaviour so that the emphasis is shifted towards an ecological and social market economy.” Last November, Germany and the Netherlands hosted a European conference in Berlin on the topic of living wages in in­ter­national supply chains.

Lilianne Ploumen has been the Dutch government’s Minister for Foreign Trade and De­vel­op­ment Co­op­er­a­tion since 2012. Dutch de­vel­op­ment policy focuses on security and legal systems, water management, food security and health care. A majority of Dutch projects are located in southern Africa.

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