MKS 180: is the DAMEN/Lürssen letter awkward ?

As an echo of our recent article (published on the 17th of April), the German magazine, “Focus” has published today a very interesting article on the famous letter by DAMEN and Lürssen.

Titled “Fragwürdige Lobbyarbeit torpediert den Fregatten-Plan der Bundeswehr” (Questionable lobbying torpedoed the Frigate Plan of the Bundeswehr), the article quotes one of the most German senior scholars in German procurement law, Prof. Dr. Meinrad Dreher, of the University of Mainz.


The judgment of Prof. Dr  Meinrad Dreher on the DAMEN Lürssen letter

What does this eminent professor say about this letter? He considers it as “an attempt of an inadmissible political influence on the procedure » (“den Versuch einer unzulässigen politischen Einflussnahme auf das Verfahren”).

And going further, he does not hesitate to say: “Details from the procedure and the documents must not reach the public,” (“Details aus dem Verfahren und den Unterlagen dürfen nicht an die Öffentlichkeit gelangen”).


The political opinion of one member of the Defence Committee on the DAMEN Lürssen letter


More embarrassing for DAMEN and Lürssen : even some German MPs find the lobbying method . Mrs. Marie-Agnes Strack-Zimmermann, F.D.P, MP and member of the Defence Committee, denounces the letter in harsh words: “That has been a stupid action. Such a letter during an ongoing procedure is an absolute no-go. Such attempts of political influence are simply not possible” (“Das ist eine selten dämliche Aktion gewesen. Ein solcher Brief während eines laufenden Verfahrens ist ein absolutes No-Go. Solche Versuche der politischen Einflussnahme gehen einfach nicht”).


Did DAMEN and Lürssen endanger the whole process ?


Focus’s article concludes by  a question: “Does the process need to be restarted or the consortium excluded?”  A question the German MoD left unanswered but a spokesman merely pointed out that the procedure would be « carried out in accordance with applicable procurement law« .

In conclusion, it is very surprising to see how awkward the lobbying of DAMEN and Lürssen was. It could have potentially endangered the whole process of one of the most important naval procurement of Europe in the following years.

To follow-up in the coming days…

Share Post