The European parliament party EFA will raise the issue of reversed burden of proof in mining issues in the European parliament. An FNP motion on this issue was unanimously adopted at the General Assembly of the European regional parties in Bautzen, Germany. The FNP has been fighting for decades for the reversed burden of proof and is therefore very pleased with the success of the motion. This is also a current issue in the Lower House, as a result of the earthquakes in Groningen.
Sybren Posthumus, FNP spokesperson European Affairs
Contact? Mail s.posthumusfryslan.nl
Often, the proof of mining damage is very complicated, expensive and of a bureaucratic nature. Furthermore, the chance of receiving compensation is very small. This is why the FNP wishes that the legal burden of proof will come to lie with the perpetrator of the damage - often the large mining companies. The FNP also wishes this to be regulated at European level, so that all the citizens and companies are treated equally. The motion fits with a previous resolution from the FNP at the EFA conference in 2012, which was more to do with the compensation for loss and a reasonable proportion of the returns for the regions where the mineral extraction takes place.
The EFA conference is from 16 to 19 April 2015 in the city of Bautzen/Budisyn. This year the conference is being organized by the Sorbs, a Slavic minority in Germany who live in Lusatia, a region between Dresden, Poland and theCzech Republic. The Sorbian minority is officially recognized in Germany and has a population of about 60,000. Damage caused by mining is a very serious problem for the Sorbs. Whole villages are demolished and wiped off the map to allow the extraction of lignite. This concerns open mines over dozens of km2. There is a great deal of resistance to this and, during an excursion, the FNP members will see for themselves the consequences of lignite extraction.
The European parliament party EFA (European Free Alliance, http://www.e-f-a.org/) is a party with 12 seats in the European parliament. Together with the Greens (EFA/Greens), the EFA is the fourth largest party in the European parliament. The FNP is a member of the EFA, along with 40 other parties from the whole of Europe, and has provided a Board member for more than 30 years. The member organizations come from 17 member states of the EU. For years, about 150 to 200 people have attended the EFA conference, including about 35 representatives of young people. This year, 4 people from the FNP, including member of the Provincial Executive and party leader Johannes Kramer, will attend the EFA conference.