15th Aug 2020

European firms miss out in Iraq

The announcement that Iraqi reconstruction contracts, worth billions of euro, will only go to firms from countries which supported the war in Iraq, has been met with consternation in much of Europe.

The US government yesterday (11 December), announced that the projects, said to be worth an estimated 15.2 billion euro ($18.6bn) will not go to countries like France, Germany or Russia, who opposed the war in Iraq.

Read and decide

Join EUobserver today

Support quality EU news

Get instant access to all articles — and 20 years of archives. 14-day free trial.

... or subscribe as a group

  • 15.2 billion euro of projects are up for grabs (Photo: Jan Oberg)

This has brought an angry reaction in those countries, with Russia threatening to not scrap Iraq’s debts to the country.

The European Commission last night said it would be examining whether the decision was in line with world trade rules on government procurement.

"As a first measure the European Commission will be requesting all necessary information from the US authorities concerned on the grounds for these limitations", the Commission said in a statement.

It is unclear if any EU legal challenge would be successful.

World Trade Organisation rules to safeguard non-discriminatory government tendering do allow for discrimination on the basis of national security.

Washington has said it would like to see more countries join the coalition, indicating that the list is not closed and could be expanded.

US mocks European fury over Iraq reconstruction contracts

The European Commission and France yesterday threatened to take legal action over the decision of the US government to award Iraq reconstruction contracts only to those countries with troops in the country. US President George W Bush defended his policy and laughed off European threats.


Lebanon is a new focal point

More than the tangible destruction, the explosion in the port of Beirut meant the ultimate destruction of hope for many civilians.

News in Brief

  1. Most EU states oppose US sanctions on Russia pipeline
  2. UK imposes quarantine on France, Netherlands, Malta
  3. At least 3.5m EU nationals to stay in UK
  4. UK urged to 'calm down' on migrants
  5. Pompeo starts EU tour with anti-Chinese 5G deal
  6. Dutch lawsuit seeks billions from tech firms
  7. Amazon people urge EU banks to stop funding pollution
  8. Russia vaccine could be "dangerous", Germany says


The Hagia Sophia and the global battle of symbols

The Turkish president's decision to restart Islamic worship services in Istanbul's Hagia Sophia last Friday is not innocent. So how should we react? By doing the opposite - and make Cordoba's famous Mosque/Cathedral in Cordoba a museum.

Stakeholders' Highlights

  1. UNESDANext generation Europe should be green and circular
  2. Nordic Council of MinistersNEW REPORT: Eight in ten people are concerned about climate change
  3. UNESDAHow reducing sugar and calories in soft drinks makes the healthier choice the easy choice
  4. Nordic Council of MinistersGreen energy to power Nordic start after Covid-19
  5. European Sustainable Energy WeekThis year’s EU Sustainable Energy Week (EUSEW) will be held digitally!
  6. Nordic Council of MinistersNordic states are fighting to protect gender equality during corona crisis

Join EUobserver

Support quality EU news

Join us