Schwezeg said the state government and state parliament had decided to dissolve the foundation – “even if it wasn’t easy from a legal point of view,” she explained at a specially held press conference on Tuesday in Schwerin. This plan must be maintained. However, there have recently been problems with the dissolution of the foundation because the board of directors on Sellering refused to dissolve the foundation, citing legal difficulties. Sellering even asked for her legal opinion.
“I found a way together”
Schwesig and Sellering have now announced that they have found a way to clear up the confusion. “We still had different opinions about legal options, but we found a way together,” Schweizig says. The solution is as follows: “The Board of Directors has agreed to resign as soon as the business operations of the Corporation are completed.” The goal is to finish the foundation by the end of September. The public must be transparently informed about the intermediate steps of the procedure. There will then be certification from an independent auditor, according to Schweig. Then the current board of trustees could resign and the dissolution board could reconvene and end the process.
Climate protection projects must continue
This is one way to embark on an orderly solution to the enterprise, Schwezeg said. The climate protection projects initiated by the Foundation will continue. Nearly 20 million euros are still in the foundation’s coffers, but there are still a few outstanding claims. 99 percent of the money came from Russian gas company Nord Stream 2, a subsidiary of state-owned Gazprom. According to the decision of the state parliament, the money should go to Ukraine if possible. What remains in the end is uncertain. A certain amount may also go back to Nord Stream 2 if the company must file for bankruptcy due to heavy losses. One thing is clear: Enterprise employees must continue to work for the state’s Energy and Climate Protection Agency (LEKA).
Foundation criticizes from the start
The three-member Constituent Board of Directors is made up of former Prime Minister Erwin Seeling (SPD), former European Parliament Member Werner Kohn (CDU) and Chief Financial Officer Katja Enderlin. The corporation has been criticized since its founding in January 2021 because, in addition to climate protection projects, it has also supported the construction of the German-Russian Nord Stream 2 gas pipeline, thus avoiding sanctions threatened by the US government. However, Sellering reiterated on Tuesday that he stands by his position that it is not legally possible to dissolve the foundation. A report commissioned by the state government had previously specified the possibility of dissolution of the institution by the board of directors and the supervisory authority of the institution – the Department of Justice. However, a report from the Board of Trustees came to a different conclusion. The state government, however, was optimistic.
If the solution succeeds, the foundation’s climate protection projects will be taken over by the state Energy and Climate Protection Agency in Mecklenburg-West Pomerania. The state wants to fund this with five million euros.
CDU: Schwesig should have dissolved the foundation earlier
In the first reactions, the SPD and the left spoke of a good solution, and the path to transparent treatment was clear. The move was praised by the Social Democrats, and lengthy legal procedures to terminate the incorporation were averted. The CDU parliamentary group made it clear that a lot of time has already been lost, and Prime Minister Schwezeig should have dissolved the institution long ago. The FDP also talks about improper polarization. Many questions remained unanswered, particularly who was behind the foundation’s founding. The opposition suspects the presence of strong Russian influence.
The state parliament wants to form a commission of inquiry into the institution
Today’s decision does not end the debate about the institution. On Wednesday, the state parliament will appoint a parliamentary inquiry into the institution. The so-called Jamaican opposition, made up of the CDU, the Greens and the Free Democratic Party, wants to clarify the establishment’s background. It is also about Russian influence on the actions of the state government led by the Social Democratic Party. At some point, Prime Minister Schwezeig must also sit at the witness stand before the deputies.