The Netherlands is protesting against the construction of a German wind turbine park on the North Sea.
In Dutch eyes, the offshore park Riffgat, northeast of Rottumerplaat, will be partly in the Netherlands, says the foreign ministry. But Germany considers the 13.2 square metre area near the mouth of the Eems as completely German territory.
The first foundation pile for the 30 wind-turbine project went in on 15 June. In protest against the start of construction, the public works department wrote a letter to the German energy company EWE, saying that EWE needed a licence for the Dutch part of the project.
The Dutch foreign ministry says its claim is based on the United Nations Sea Rights Treaty. Germany traces its territorial claim on an enfeoffment (lien) dating from 1464.
In 1960, the German and Dutch governments signed the Eems-Dollard treaty on the border dispute. But this treaty only covers three sea-miles off the coast, not the area between three and 12 sea-miles, after which international waters begin. The Riffgat wind turbine park is now being built precisely between the three and 12 mile boundaries.
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