Despite the clear intention of the state government and state parliament in Mecklenburg-Western Pomerania to dissolve the state's controversial climate protection foundation, its chairman has announced that he wants to continue it.

On Friday, the foundation in Schwerin announced that a dissolution was not possible under foundation law and for reasons of liability.

In doing so, reference was made to an expert opinion by the legal scholar Katharina Uffmann from Bochum.

"For us as a foundation, a dissolution is off the table," said the foundation's chairman, Erwin Sellering, who was Manuela Schwesig's predecessor as prime minister (both SPD).

Matthias Wysuwa

Political correspondent for northern Germany and Scandinavia based in Hamburg.

  • Follow I follow

The climate foundation was confirmed and founded in early 2021 without a dissenting vote in the state parliament.

Although the state government emphasized that the foundation, as its name suggests, should serve climate and environmental protection in the country, it was clear from the start that it should also help circumvent America's threat of sanctions and support the construction of the Nord Stream 2 to secure the pipeline that lands in Western Pomerania.

For this purpose, the founding of a business operation was made possible in the articles of association, and Nord Stream 2 AG was granted a large say in the process.

The foundation was endowed with 200,000 euros by the state and 20 million euros by Nord Stream 2 AG.

CDU calls for Sellering's dismissal

After the Russian invasion of Ukraine, Schwesig had described the creation of the foundation as a mistake, as well as the support for the pipeline project.

She had rejected allegations that Nord Stream 2 AG itself was responsible for the foundation.

The state parliament and state government spoke out in favor of dissolving the foundation and also applied for a legal opinion, which is still pending.

According to the Ministry of the Interior, it is currently available in a "first electronic" version, and they are still waiting for the final version to be sent by post.

In her report, Uffmann comes to the conclusion that a "dissolution or cancellation of the foundation as a reaction to Russia's illegal war of aggression against Ukraine, as a result of which the commercial business operations for the completion of Nord Stream 2 are currently being wound up", neither with the statutes nor with the be in accordance with the law.

Neither is "a case of impossibility of the foundation's purpose, nor have the circumstances changed in such a way that the fulfillment of the foundation's purpose no longer seems sensible," Uffmann is quoted as saying.

The purpose of the foundation is to protect the climate, the environment and nature.

With regard to the money paid by Nord Stream 2 AG, Sellering also announced that it would be checked whether the foundation was exempt from gift tax.

The State Chancellery announced that the goal of a resolution was adhered to.

"We all see that the dissolution of the MV Climate and Environmental Protection Foundation is a legally complex matter," said the head of the State Chancellery, Patrick Dahlemann (SPD).

That is why the state government also commissioned an expert opinion.

"Of course, we will also examine the report commissioned by the foundation's board of directors, which was presented today." The opposition was outraged.

The CDU asked Schwesig to recall Sellering.

The Greens announced that the report suffered from a central deficiency: “The main purpose of the foundation is climate and environmental protection.

In the meantime, however, there can no longer be any doubt that the MV Climate and Environmental Protection Foundation was founded for the purpose of contributing to the completion of the Nord Stream 2 gas pipeline.”

Keywords: