The German Budget Commission allocates 2 million a year to ‘United4Rescue’
Berlin finances the NGO founded by the companion of the vice president of the Bundestag Katrin Göring-Eckardt (Greens), who is also a member of the Synod of the Evangelical Church of Germany. This was revealed by ‘Bild’, explaining that “the German Budget Commission has approved a resolution to finance the sea rescue alliance ‘United4Rescue’ with two million euros a year until 2026 (for a total of 8 million euros )” and specifying that it is the ”first time that the private rescue at sea of refugees in the Mediterranean receives state funding”.
But, underlines the German newspaper again, the “remarkable thing is that the founder and president of the United4Rescue association, Thies Gundlach, is Katrin Göring-Eckardt’s partner”. On Twitter, Göring-Eckardt said he was “very happy” that ”it was possible” to support the NGO with the ”federal budget”, reports Bild. Speaking with the newspaper, the Green leader mentioned “the coalition agreement, which provides for ‘the legal obligation not to let people drown'”, underlining “that he was not a member of the budget commission and that he ‘did not participate in the decision”’. A circumstance confirmed by Sven-Christian Kindler, spokesman for budget policy of the Green Party: “I have not had any contact with Göring-Eckardt – he told the newspaper – for the decision of the budget commission to finance United4Rescue”.
”In 2018”, as reported by the newspaper again, ”Göring-Eckardt already supported the sea rescue organization Sea-Watch” and “he did the same in 2020 for United4Rescue, which allied itself with Sea -Watch”. ”This puts the proposal in a significantly different light – commented CSU deputy Carsten Körber – and clearly shifts the commitment of the ‘traffic light coalition’ towards nepotism”. Wolfgang Stefinger, MP of the Bundestag and deputy member of the budget committee, also expressed himself in the same sense: “The fact that the partner of the Vice-President of the Greens of the Bundestag is on the board of directors of this association and that the association is generously financed by the Greens-led Foreign Ministry has an extremely negative flavour,” he told Bild.