Press Release, Terherne, the Netherlands, December 8, 2015
After a successful campaign by the action group Friesland for Palestine, the Provincial Government of Friesland in the Netherlands has decided not to award its four year public transport contract, worth 12 million euros per annum, to EBS/EGGED but to Arriva.
EBS is under fire due to involvement of its parent company EGGED in human rights violations in occupied Palestinian territory. EGGED is accused of complicity with Israel’s illegal settlement policy and the exploitation of segregated buses in the oPt.
Whether EBS’ complicity in human rights violations was a key factor in the Provincial decision is not clear. Previously, the Frisian Provincial Government had expressed concern for possible legal action by EBS if it were excluded due to its conduct on human rights in Palestine. But the Province would anyhow have been in trouble if it had acted contrary to the ‘National Action Plan for Business and Human Rights’. Under this Action Plan governmental bodies should not do business with companies that are involved in human rights violations. The Provincial Government would then have faced complaints by the action group.
By the choice for Arriva, on the grounds that they had the best transportation plan, the Province has avoided all these problems.
After the intensive campaign against EBS, the action group Friesland for Palestine is very satisfied with the final outcome of the tender procedure.